The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the long-term Black Bass Management Plan (BBMP) at its June 2011 meeting in St. Augustine.
Tom Champeau, director of the FWC's Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management, said the integrated plan would focus on expanding new opportunities, while also refining traditional conservation approaches dealing with habitat and fish management practices that consider human needs. Implementation of the plan was expected to create significant ecological, economic and social benefits for Florida. More than 7,500 anglers provided input during the plan’s development, as did a technical assistance group representing a variety of fishing-related businesses, university experts, professional anglers, outdoor media and fishing guides.
The overall goal of the plan is to ensure Florida is the Black Bass Fishing Capital of the World by:
- Ensuring healthy lakes and rivers to benefit many species of fish and wildlife, as well as trophy bass fisheries.
- Strengthening local economies by documenting and increasing economic benefits derived from bass fishing, which already provides more than 14 million days of quality outdoor recreation for bass anglers and generates an economic impact of $1.25 billion.
- Attracting events such as national professional bass fishing tournaments, which have huge economic impacts, to smaller towns and cities as a result of Florida's enhanced reputation.
A year later, much progress has been made towards fulfilling the goals of the BBMP. The following is a partial list of accomplishments, which are further documented through the detailed links below: