Florida Largemouth Bass Management

Fishing is a fast growing outdoor activity in the United States. I’m sure that my statement is true for other countries as well. With the ever increasing interesting in angling the various Department of Natural Resources (DNRs)have to figure out ways of managing the fish species in their areas. The various processes that they use help in forming the rules in harvesting fish, one of these methods is doing research on a particular species.

The future of the Largemouth Bass might have started in 1983 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The state received a donation of a 7,300 acre tract of land that once had been mined for phosphate. When the mining stopped in the mid-1970s the landscape of this area transformed into a series of 1,000 acres of lakes. This area has become known as Tenoroc Fish Management Area.

This donation provides various methods on conducting studies on Largemouth Bass management. The research area allows the biologist opportunities to establishing several studies at the same time on over 20 lakes that range from seven to 228 acres in size. To fully conduct these studies the biologist need to have anglers participate in the studies by catching and releasing the fish that are caught. The anglers are required to pay a $3 fee and forfeit their Florida fishing license.

Each lake has an assigned quota of the number of anglers either fishing from the bank, from a kayak, canoe or a small boat. Not all the lakes have the same rules for those interested in keeping fish.  The anglers are required to complete a report of the species caught, released and kept. These reports help in determining fish populations are reacting to regulations, other management strategies, and fishing pressure.

So how big do the Largemouth Bass get at Tenoroc? There is a mounted bass at the check in station that is definitely in the double digits. Some research on YouTube revealed some kayak anglers with bass in the 10 lb plus area. My experience in Tenoroc was nothing big but I did manage a few bass in the 16” length. Will I make another trip to the Tenoroc Fish Management Area again? Sure I will! It will be an adventure in the pursuit of that Monster Hawg that every bass angler dreams. Another reason to make a trip back is to do my part in the research of Largemouth Bass in Florida to further the management of this great sport fish for generations to enjoy.

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