April 21, 2010
Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

Biologists with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will stock 150,000 Florida largemouth bass fingerlings in Lake Trafford, the largest lake south of Lake Okeechobee. The 1,500-acre freshwater lake is an important resource for boating, fishing and wildlife-viewing.

Over the past few years, the lake has been the focus of a multimillion-dollar, multi-agency restoration project. So far, participants have dredged the lake of 8 million cubic yards of muck that, in the past, triggered algal blooms and fish kills. To date, the FWC has contributed over $3 million for dredging and re-vegetation of Lake Trafford. Dredging could be complete by 2011.

As part of the restoration, the FWC will restock the lake with native largemouth bass on Thursday, April 22. The agency will stock an additional 50,000 advanced fingerlings about four weeks from now. These fingerlings are from the Florida Bass Conservation Center in Richloam.

“We are working to re-establish a self-sustaining, healthy fish population in the lake,” said FWC freshwater fisheries administrator Barron Moody. “We anticipate that this stocking, and a similar effort planned for next year, will bring about the return of largemouth bass fishing to the lake.”

An 18-inch-minimum-length regulation for largemouth bass specific to Lake Trafford is in effect in anticipation of these stockings and to protect the fish from premature harvest. For complete freshwater fishing regulations, go to MyFWC.com/Fishing.

Fishing license sales help pay for stocking and other bass conservation efforts. Currently, the FWC is offering freshwater anglers a special value-added bonus package when they upgrade to a five-year or lifetime freshwater fishing license. For details, visit MyFWC.com/License.

In addition, the FWC is seeking angler input on the proposed draft Black Bass Management Plan. To learn more and complete a survey, go to MyFWC.com/BassPlan_Survey.

Till next time tight lines and good fishing….
From Staff Writer BASSonline – [email protected]
BassOnline.com / 888-829-BASS

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