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Freshwater Fisheries Managment

The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management provides expertise on freshwater fish populations, angler use, or other aspects of freshwater fisheries needed for management decisions by the FWC, and to assess impacts of decisions made by others to ensure quality fisheries and fishing in selected Florida lakes, fish management areas, rivers and streams.

DFFM biologists are the first line of support for inquiries by the public for information on freshwater fisheries management issues, fishing opportunities, fish pond management, fish kills or other general fisheries-related issues. The DFFM also delivers aquatic education and outreach to future anglers to expose them to angler ethics, fisheries management, aquatic ecology, tackle crafting, angling skills, fish identification and other aspects aimed at promoting responsible life-long participation in sport fishing. Additionally, freshwater fish production facilities provide a dependable supply of the specific size, quantity and quality of freshwater fish for specific freshwater fisheries management objectives.

The division has 69.5 full-time positions, two sections (Regional Freshwater Fisheries Management and Hatchery Operations and Stocking) plus a special projects group. These individuals protect and enhance 3 million acres of lakes, ponds and reservoirs, and 10,550 miles of rivers, streams and canals. The recreational fishery resources alone in these waters provide entertainment for more than 1.4 million anglers annually, who spent 24.4 million days fishing recreationally in Florida's fresh waters.  They had an economic impact of $2.4 billion, in 2006. Those expenditures helped create 19,000 jobs in Florida.  In addition, freshwater commercial fishing generates $13 million per year.

Thomas Graef is the division director.