Florida FWC Stocking 1 Million Largemouths into Lake Apopka
What: Photo and interview opportunity
When: Thursday, Nov. 30, from 10 to 11 a.m.
Where: The event will take place at the Winter Garden Boat ramp next to Tanner Hall (29 W. Garden Ave., Winter Garden)
Why: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management staff are on track to stock more than 1 million Florida largemouth bass into Lake Apopka this year. This event follows last year's (November, 2016) first stocking into Lake Apopka of largemouth bass that were spawned out of season.
Background: Lake Apopka is a 30,000-acre lake in central Florida that was historically known as one of the best bass fisheries in the United States. This project will allow the FWC to improve Lake Apopka's bass fishery while lake restoration projects to enhance the lake's habitat and encourage natural fish reproduction are ongoing.
The genetically pure Florida largemouth bass were spawned at FWC's Richloam Fish Hatchery, which is housed at the Florida Bass Conservation Center. The bass were spawned in early September, specifically for Lake Apopka. Pure Florida largemouth bass tend to grow bigger than largemouth bass species found in other parts of the country. Stocking the lake 4-5 months earlier than usual ensures that larger fingerlings are going into the lake, which allows the bass a better chance of survival, as there is a more abundant food source available.