Along with Duke Energy and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Coastal Conservation Association Florida began releasing more than 16,000 juvenile and adult redfish in southwest Florida counties this month. The program was announced in the fall of 2018, and includes the donation of the hatchery-reared redfish from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River, Florida.
Each of the releases include approximately 2,000 juvenile fish and 25 to 30 adult redfish per county, all hatchery-reared at the Duke Energy Mariculture Center. Releases have already occurred in Pasco County at Brasher Park on Feb. 5 and Hillsborough County at the Cockroach Bay Ramp on February 7.
Though date have not been announced additional releases will happen in Charlotte, Collier, Lee, Manatee and Sarasota counties.
“We’re extremely excited to begin releasing these fish now that the waters are determined to be safe,” said Brian Gorski, CCA Florida Executive Director. “Between these releases, encouraging anglers to catch-and-release and promoting conservation, we’re going to see this fishery improve, and we’re honored to be a part of it.”
“Duke Energy is committed to helping protect and preserve Florida’s natural environment,” said Catherine Stempien, Duke Energy Florida president. “Our Mariculture Center advances environmental stewardship throughout the state by partnering with state/local agencies and universities on restoration projects. The redfish we are donating will have long-term positive environmental impacts in the affected areas and we’re proud to play a small part in the solution to the recent red tide occurrence.”
“We are thankful for the leadership and efforts of CCA and Duke Energy on making this redfish enhancement possible,” said Eric Sutton, FWC Executive Director. “We are proud to be a partner.”
Anglers can become engaged by joining CCA Florida at JoinCCA.org.