Many of Florida's economically important marine species, such as
red drum, snook, queen conch, and bay scallops, have declined in
abundance relative to historic levels. Hatchery production is
frequently suggested as one remedy for this decline.
Florida's first state operated marine fish hatchery spawns and
raises hatchery fish for stock enhancement in Florida waters.
The purpose of this program is to breed and rear game fish and mollusks for release into marine waters and to evaluate the use of hatchery-reared animals in restoring and managing Florida's coastal fisheries.
Hatcheries focus on fish stock enhancement, habitat restoration and educating the public about marine conservation.
The former Florida Department of Natural Resources began
development of a saltwater hatchery and initiated a stock
enhancement program in 1985.
Prized for ease of sight fishing and their tenacious fight, red drum (or redfish) are one of the most sought after game fish in Florida.