FWC unveils haul box for stocking largemouth bass
Thursday, July 01, 2010
Media contact: Bob Wattendorf, 850-488-0331
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art aluminum
haul box that will deliver largemouth bass and other freshwater
fishes from the Florida Bass Conservation Center to public waters
around the state. BASS/ESPN Outdoors funded the new tank and
its beautiful Glen Lau-inspired wrap.
The Florida Bass Conservation Center, which
reopened its doors in Sumter County in 2007, has the capacity to
produce up to a million advanced fingerling bass. Advanced
fingerlings, also known as Phase II bass, are reared to a larger
size (3 to 4 inches) with innovative technology developed by FWC
biologists. Part of the new science applied at the center
incorporates a special bass diet developed in conjunction with the
University of Florida. The bass center's innovations led to
its receiving the 2009 Wallop-Breaux Outstanding Project of the
Year award from the American Fisheries Society in the Sport Fishery
Development and Management Facilities category.
The new haul box has two 400-gallon compartments
and is set up to use both an oxygen-injection system and aerators
to help keep the fish healthy. Hatchery manager Rick Stout
said they can now safely transport up to 20,000 advanced
fingerlings at a time, or more than 200,000 traditional fingerling
bass (1 to 1.5 inches).
"The key, however, is that we should be able to
stock advanced fingerlings into healthy habitats when they are big
enough to grow and survive much better than smaller fingerlings
would - not to mention avoiding getting eaten by some of the
predators that enjoy the smaller, 1-inch bass," Stout said.
Ann Marie Tavares, a graphic artist with the FWC,
designed the wrapping on the haul boxes, using award-winning images
by master cinematographer and bass expert Glen Lau. Lau has also
allowed his images to adorn the Florida Bass Conservation Center
facility and the interpretive area that is open to the public
during normal work hours. In fact, Lau allows art-quality
prints of his photographs and DVDs of his world-renowned videos,
including "Bigmouth" and "Bigmouth Forever," to be sold at http://shop.wildlifeflorida.org, with the
profits going to support the Florida Bass Conservation Center.
"We can all be proud of the state-of-the-art
research and tremendous cooperation between all the partners that
made this happen," said Tom Champeau, director of the FWC's
Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management.
As the FWC's new haul box travels the roads of
Florida, bringing fingerling bass and other sport fishes to state
waters, it will help confirm Florida's role as the Fishing Capital
of the World.
For more information about the Florida Bass
Conservation Center and the long-term Black Bass Management Plan,
go to MyFWC.com/Fishing.