July Fish Busters' Bulletin

Florida anglers want a homespun management plan for the most popular freshwater sportfishes in America - the freshwater black basses. Recent surveys indicated more than 94 percent of nearly 5,000 respondents feel such a plan is important, and nearly two-thirds felt angler input was critical.

Black bass have long been the main attraction in Florida's fresh waters. This 1961 cover was illustrated by Wally Hughes (1918-2010), a renowned wildlife artist. He was best known for his work as an illustrator, photographer, and art director for Florida Wildlife Magazine. Tom Champeau, director of the Division of Freshwater Fisheries, thanked participants for their insights, including a lengthy list of actions and ideas focused in areas of habitat, fish and people management. The next step is for fisheries biologists to work with the TAG team to create a complete draft plan and to share it with the public for a second round of input and discussion in August. Stay tuned to MyFWC.com/BassPlan_Survey and the Fish Busters' Bulletins for more.

The resulting proposal will be shared with the public and, after another round of public comment and refinement, presented to the Commissioners at a public meeting to finalize the plan. It is anticipated the plan will be accepted in early 2011, allowing the FWC to pursue implementation with the ultimate goal of making Florida the undisputed Black Bass Fishing Capital of the World.

Instant licenses are available at MyFWC.com/License or by calling 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Report violators by calling *FWC or #FWC on your cell phone, or 888-404-3922. Visit //www.myfwc.com/Fishing/ for more Fish Busters' columns.

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