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Aquaculture of Florida Largemouth Bass

All persons engaging in the commercial aquaculture of live Florida largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides floridanus) for food must obtain an Aquaculture Certificate of Registration from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS), Division of Aquaculture.

Protecting the genetic integrity of the Florida largemouth bass is critical to ensure the long-term viability of this important and iconic Florida gamefish. Genetic Authentication Standards have been developed by the FWC and incorporated in Florida Administrative Code 68A-23.009 and FDACS, Division of Aquaculture Best Management Practices (BMP).

Only genetically authenticated Florida largemouth bass may be sold as a food fish. Documentation of genetic authentication must accompany any shipment or sale. Individuals selling cultured or imported Florida largemouth bass may require a Freshwater Fish Dealers license.

The culture and sale of live largemouth bass (Micropterus spp.) except Florida largemouth bass for food and private pond stocking is prohibited.

Holders of FWC dealers license selling cultured or imported Florida largemouth bass may only sell fish that have been genetically authenticated and must obtain an FWC Importation and Transportation Permit. Documentation of genetic authentication must accompany any shipment or sale.

Persons interested in stocking largemouth bass in private waters or persons possessing a Freshwater Fish Dealers license to sell fish must obtain a no-cost FWC Importation and Transportation Permit. Only genetically authenticated Florida largemouth bass purchased from a hatchery where fish have been certified by an FWC approved laboratory may be imported into and transported within the state.

FWC Approved Labs

Auburn University

Auburn University
Eric Peatman
334-734-4611
peatmer@auburn.edu

Center for Aquaculture Technologies

Center for Aquaculture Technologies
Jason Stannard
858-450-2972
jstannard@aquatechcenter.com

FAQs

FWC genetic standards through genetic testing requirements ensure protections by limiting production and stocking to genetically authenticated Florida largemouth bass.

Sellers must obtain an Aquaculture Certificate of Registration from the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Department of Aquaculture.

You may transport your daily catch of live largemouth bass to your home but they cannot be released into another waterbody other than the location in which they were caught.

Contact

Bill Pouder
William.Pouder@MyFWC.com
(863) 648-3805
3900 Drane Field Road
Lakeland, FL 33811-1207