Saving the freshwater bass of Florida could be as easy as going fishing. A new Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission program called Trophy Catch is turning that prized catch into a data collection service for the Commission.
Step one: catch a bass over eight pounds. Step two: weigh it, measure it, and snap a picture. Step three: release it back into the water and send those photos to TrophyCatch. The bigger the fish, the bigger the prize and Bob Wattendorf with Florida Fish and Wildlife says the information on the bass’s location and size helps them preserve the fish for the future.
“These are fish of a lifetime for many people and so there is a tendency for them to want to take them home and make an old-fashion wall mount out of them and what we’re trying to do is show that there’s a better way by releasing them and letting them grow and get caught again.” Says Wattendorf.
For the biggest of the big bass – over 13 pounds – part of the prize is a free fiberglass version of the catch to hang on the wall. But not to fear taxpayers, the prizes are donated by private companies like Bass Pro Shops.