February 9, 2011
Contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
To celebrate the restoration of Lake Trafford in Collier County, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites families to witness the release of wildlife and introduce their children to fishing, for free, Saturday morning.
At 1,500 acres, Lake Trafford is the largest freshwater lake south of Lake Okeechobee. Already, water clarity, native vegetation and the number of small fish have improved. Largemouth bass fingerlings stocked last year are growing well. Anglers seeking crappie are catching and releasing the bass.
"Lake Trafford is an important resource for boating, fishing and wildlife-viewing," said Barron Moody, regional administrator for the FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management. "One of the FWC's primary goals in restoration was to create healthy habitat for our fish and wildlife resources. This means more recreational opportunities for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts."
To mark the milestone, FWC Commissioner Ron Bergeron will be among the dignitaries speaking at a public celebration hosted by the South Florida Water Management District. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at Ann Olesky Park in Immokalee.
"The FWC is proud to have teamed up with our local, state and federal partners to restore Lake Trafford," said Bergeron. "Restoring this lake and its fishery will improve the entire ecosystem, thus benefitting the local community."
Following Bergeron's remarks, staff from the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter, assisted by the FWC, will release juvenile yellow-crowned night herons on Lake Trafford's shoreline. The Busch sanctuary raised and rehabilitated the wading birds after their nest was destroyed.
At the conclusion of the public-speaking portion of the festivities, the FWC will sponsor free fishing for children. Staff will loan rods and reels to the kids and provide bait. This activity will be at the pier at Ann Olesky Park.
Over the past several years, the lake has been the focus of a multi-agency restoration project. The lake was dredged of millions of cubic yards of muck that had triggered algal blooms and fish kills.
Till next time tight lines and good fishing….
From Staff Writer @ Bass Online (
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