Important Regulation Changes For Florida Bass

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) wants to make sure anglers are aware of adjustments to bass-harvest regulations on Orange and Lochloosa lakes.

The protective slot limit and the daily bag limit remain the same. All fish between 15 and 24 inches must be released, and there's a three-fish daily bag limit. Now, however, only one of the three bass kept may be over 24 inches in length.

"The largemouth bass fishery was outstanding last year," said Allen Martin, an FWC regional freshwater fisheries biologist. "It was particularly productive for large fish. Reports of trophy-size fish in the 8- to 10-pound range have become somewhat common on Orange Lake."

Public input and a survey of area anglers and businesses supported the change, which reduces the potential for anglers to harvest multiple large bass in a single day. Even though many trophy bass have been caught from Orange Lake recently, trophy bass are still a rare and valuable resource.

The 12,550-acre Orange Lake is the largest lake in the FWC's North Central Region. It is an FWC fish management area and is located about 20 miles southeast of Gainesville. Lochloosa Lake is northeast of Orange Lake.

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