News Releases

Join the FWC, partners at ‘Vamos a Pescar Miami!’ (Let’s Go Fishing Miami!) event

News Release

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0520

  Proud boy shows off two channel catfish.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the World Fishing Network teamed up to put fish in the water and smiles on fishing kids’ faces when they attend the Vamos a Pescar Miami! (Let’s Go Fishing Miami!) event April 18 at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th Street (Bird Road), Miami (

A special “Free the Fish!” stocking of 3,000 catchable-sized channel catfish at Tropical Fish Management Area in Miami-Dade County’s Tropical Park will have taken place to help ensure a fun day at the fishing event.

The fish are coming from the FWC’s Florida Bass Conservation Center in Webster, but the World Fishing Network is covering the costs to the state for production of these extra-large catfish.

Hatchery-raised catfish are normally 4 to 6 inches long when stocked, but the larger fish being freed in the lake for this event will be over 8 inches long. The difference? These bigger “derby fish” are already large enough to be landed by anglers and do not need the months of growing time their smaller siblings require before becoming catchable.

“There are many things the FWC does to improve fishing,” said biologist and Tropical FMA manager John Cimbaro, “but the most direct is putting ready-to-catch fish right in the water.” Tropical FMA is a cooperative effort between the FWC and Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces.

Families don’t need reservations for the Vamos a Pescar Miami! (Let’s Go Fishing Miami!) event at Tropical Park April 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Activities include boating, target casting, a shooting range, EcoAdventures, wildlife viewing, music by “Havana Soul” and, of course, on-site fishing with bait and loaner rods available. Hands-on fishing instruction will also be provided and will include casting, knot tying and fish habitat.

“These fish will have been stocked especially for the Vamos a Pescar Miami! The fishing event that day will be catch-and-release. These catfish might remain in the lake for over 10 years and grow to weights of more than 10 pounds, providing fun for anglers for a decade,” Cimbaro said. “We are very grateful to the World Fishing Network for its support and for its investment in the future of fishing, in this lake and elsewhere.”

“We know how valuable fish stocking efforts are, and we love supporting them,” said Sean Luxton, senior vice president of digital and content distribution for WFN. “This month, while the WFN TV channel is being made available to tens of millions of anglers across North America as part of a free preview, we’re extra focused on freeing fish.”

WFN isn’t the only partner behind the Vamos a Pescar Miami! event. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation recently announced the formation of the George H.W. Bush Vamos A Pescar™ Education Fund. The fund will work to increase awareness and participation in fishing and boating through grassroots programs, classes and on-the-water activities held in high-density Hispanic communities. The event at Tropical Park will help highlight this effort and aims to encourage more young anglers to participate in “Fish Camps.”

The FWC’s Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network ( provides Fishing and Basic Boating Skills Camps, or Fish Camps, for short, throughout the state. Fish Camps, for youth ages 9 to 15, combine learning and practical application of angling and boating skills. The goal of Fish Camps is to establish individuals as life-long anglers and stewards of aquatic and fisheries resources, so they can benefit from a healthy, active connection with nature.

For a brochure on the Tropical Fish Management Area in the FWC’s South Region, go to and select “Freshwater,” “Sites & Forecasts” then “Fish Management Areas.” For information about the fish stocking, contact biologist John Cimbaro at 561-882-5721. For further information about the Vamos a Pescar Miami! event, contact the Tropical Park office at 305-226-8315. For information on Fish Camps, contact Steve Marshall at 561-292-6050.

FWC Facts:
Boats 16 feet and longer must have at least one USCG-approved throwable Type IV PFD per passenger - immediately available in case of a fall overboard.

Learn More at AskFWC