57.5 F
Ocala
Monday, December 11, 2023

FWC to host public meetings on proposed trophy bass regulation changes for two local lakes

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will host three public meetings in December to discuss proposed regulation changes for Orange and Lochloosa lakes.

These rule changes, which are part of FWC’s Florida Trophy Bass Project, are intended to create conditions that increase the waterbodies’ potential to produce largemouth bass 15 pounds and heavier.

The proposed changes include:

  • Requiring largemouth bass 20 inches or longer in total length to be released immediately.
  • Requiring circle hooks when fishing with natural bait over 3 inches long.
  • Allowing a potential state record bass to be possessed for the purpose of certification once FWC staff have been notified of the catch.

The FWC will host one in-person and two virtual public meetings to provide additional information and receive feedback from stakeholders.

The in-person meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 6 at the Sun Retreats Ocala Orange Lake (formerly Grand Lake RV Resort), which is located at 18545 NW 45th Avenue Road in Citra.

The virtual meetings will be held the following week, beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, December 13 and 2 p.m. on Thursday, December 14. In order to participate virtually, participants will need a computer with an internet connection, or a phone or tablet with the Microsoft Teams app installed.

Anyone interested in participating in a virtual meeting should send an email to: TrophyBass@MyFWC.com. In that message, provide your name, email address, and phone number, and also indicate which meeting you would like to join.

For more information, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Florida Trophy Bass Project webpage.