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FWC approves rules to facilitate management for trophy largemouth bass

At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rules to facilitate management for trophy largemouth bass. Staff has engaged stakeholders through angler creel surveys, a virtual public meeting, email outreach and signage at the effected resources listing the proposed rule changes. Stakeholder support was high.

The FWC manages largemouth bass for conservation and general angler success. As part of the Florida Trophy Bass Project, staff proposed customized management strategies focusing specifically on trophy bass production at four select waterbodies. The proposed regulations will protect large bass, allowing them to achieve the largest size possible. These efforts, coupled with the documentation and promotion of trophy bass caught in Florida, will help establish Florida as the Trophy Bass Capital of the World.

“As part of the Florida Trophy Bass Project, these four waterbodies will benefit from customized regulations designed to maximize trophy largemouth bass production,” said Commissioner Gary Lester.

The rule language includes:

  • Suwannee Lake FMA: 16-inch maximum length limit (i.e., possession of fish over 16 inches prohibited) for largemouth bass, 15 fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass, and circle hooks required when fishing with live bait greater than 3 inches in length.
  • Lake Victor FMA: 16-inch maximum length limit for largemouth bass, 15 fish daily bag limit for largemouth bass, and circle hooks required when fishing with live bait greater than 3 inches in length.
  • Shop Lake at Tenoroc FMA: 16-inch maximum length limit for largemouth bass, no daily bag limit for largemouth bass, and circle hooks required when fishing with live bait greater than 3 inches in length.
  • Fellsmere Water Management Area (Headwaters and Egan Lakes): Catch and release of all largemouth bass, and circle hooks required when fishing with live bait greater than 3 inches in length.

View the Commission meeting agenda and documents at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and the agenda under “Dec. 15-16, 2021.”