TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Trophy Catch program is represented at this year’s News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show, encouraging anglers to get out on the water to win prizes in a citizen science program.
The FWC is celebrating the 10th season of its freshwater angler recognition program by giving away big prizes. Biologists tagged and released 10 largemouth bass with pink tags in 10 different locations across the state and the secret locations were recently revealed.
“So this year’s a huge year for the Trophy Catch Program. This year is our 10th year, so we’re actually doing special prizing this year. So we actually have 10 bass, over 10 pounds, in 10 lakes throughout the state and some of these fish might be worth more than $7,000,” said Matt Stevens, a fisheries biologist with FWC.
Stevens said what they’re asking anglers to do is document their catch on a scale and take a photo with the entire fish in the photo before registering it online.
Prizes include things like Bass Pro Shop gift cards, discounts on tackle, rods and reels and more.
Stevens is happy to be at the Outdoors Expo & Boat show sharing the information.
“It’s fun. It’s an angler-based event, lots of fishermen here, so we try and let them know about the program. Let them know about the pink tags, because that’s only going to happen for one year,” he said.
The Trophy Catch Program booth will also be giving away a free boat. Those who stop by just need to register, no need to try and catch a trophy bass.
More information about the program and submission instructions are available on the TrophyCatch 10-TAG webpage.
“It’s a citizen science program. So all we’re asking for is your information and for you to participate in science so we get good information so we can manage trophy bass even better than we do now,” said Stevens.
The News Channel 8 Outdoors Expo & Boat Show lasts through the weekend. A full list of events and seminars can be found online.