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Fish Orlando

About the "Fish Orlando" Program

Fish Orlando Turkey Lake

Many people do not know that the greater Orlando urban region houses over 60,000 acres of freshwater, providing many exciting angling opportunities for the 2 million local residents and over 40 million yearly visitors from around the world.  Florida is the Bass Fishing Capital of the World, and what better gateway to promote our outstanding freshwater resource than centrally located Orlando, Florida.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation commission's mission through Fish Orlando is to create, conserve, and promote convenient quality fishing opportunities in the greater Orlando area.  To accomplish our mission we practice management strategies based on applied science as well as maintaining elaborate communication with our stakeholders.  Because over 90% of those fishing today got started by a family member, Fish Orlando's marketing slogan is "Bringing Quality Fishing to Families".

Presently, our program focuses its work in Orange County forming partnerships with the City of Orlando, City of Ocoee, City of Winter Park, Orange County, BASS PRO SHOPS and a variety of other business and volunteer/civic groups.

To date, the Fish Orlando program has two main components:  The FAB FIVE and the URBAN PONDS.  The FAB FIVE are five water bodies managed for quality size fish and/or a unique fishing experience.  The URBAN PONDS are water bodies managed for beginning anglers and those that love to eat their catch.  Both provide quality family fishing and are the center point of various events, programs and promotions.  All are, or will be, Fish Management Areas (FMAs), which give them special status within our Commission.

In addition to the two primary components, Fish Orlando also manages or helps oversee other water bodies in the greater Orlando area that are not FAB FIVE water bodies or URBAN PONDS.  Some of them are FMAs because they were an integral part of earlier efforts of Orlando's urban fishery program, but now, due to redirection of the program, do not receive as much attention.  Others are not FMAs but because of their resources and fishery, they are given attention.  All offer a chance for the greater Orlando angler to enjoy a quality fishing experience.

Current Fishing Forecasts for the Fish Orlando sites are available. Directions to the FAB FIVE, URBAN PONDS and other water bodies within the greater Orlando area are found in our Fish Orlando Fishing Map. For a free copy of the Fish Orlando Fishing Map or a schedule of our annual Fish Orlando Family Fishing Events, please contact our FWC office at 352-732-1225 or FishOrlando@MyFwc.com.

History

In 1991, the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (then known as the Florida Game & Fish Commission) created an urban fisheries project in Orlando called the Central Florida Urban Fisheries Project (CFUFP).  It primarily managed water bodies for beginning anglers as well as those who like to keep and eat their catch.  Its promotional efforts centered on fishing clinics and weekend events.

In late 1997, due to the tremendous fisheries potential of the Orlando area (60,000 acres of water, 40 million visitors/year, 2 million residents), Tallahassee fisheries leaders within the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) expanded the Orlando urban fisheries program into what is now known on the "street" as Fish Orlando!  New aspects that were part of this expansion included water bodies managed for quality size fish and/or an unique fishing experience as well as increased promotional and tourist components.

Initially these new aspects were coordinated via Tallahassee and performed by a patchwork of FWC personnel in and around the Central Florida area.  In late 1998, however, the coordination of the expanded work was brought to Orlando in the form of a new project called the Greater Orlando Sport Fisheries Project (GOSP).  In October 2000, both projects (CFUFP and GOSP) comprising Fish Orlando were combined into one, known as the Greater Orlando Urban Fisheries Project (GOUFP).  All management and promotional focuses set up prior to the merger remained intact under GOUFP.  In 2005 the FWC was reorganized and the Fish Orlando program was placed in the Northeast regional system within the division of Freshwater Fisheries, where it remains today.

The Fish Orlando program has two main components: The FAB FIVE and the URBAN PONDS.

The FAB FIVE are five water bodies managed for quality size fish and/or a unique fishing experience.

The URBAN PONDS are water bodies managed for beginning anglers and those that love to eat their catch. Both provide quality family fishing and are the center point of various events, programs and promotions. All are, or will be, Fish Management Areas (FMAs), which give them special status within our Commission.

In addition to the two primary components, Fish Orlando also manages or helps oversee other water bodies in the greater Orlando area that are not FAB FIVE water bodies or URBAN PONDS. Some of them are FMAs because they were an integral part of earlier efforts of Orlando's urban fishery program, but now, due to redirection of the program, do not receive as much attention. Others are not FMAs but because of their resources and fishery, they are given attention.  All offer a chance for the greater Orlando angler to enjoy a quality fishing experience.

Fish Orlando App

New "Fish Orlando!" iPhone App now available!

This app will give you key information about the "Fish Orlando!" sites, where they are, their amenities, what the target species are at each location, and even a map to show you the way. More information is available at the iTunes store or by searching "Fish Orlando" in the App Store on your iPhone.