FWC to stock Lake Trafford with 150,000 bass
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Media 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
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.