New fishing regulations for Fellsmere Water Management Area

At its May meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved largemouth bass regulation changes for Fellsmere Water Management Area (commonly known as Headwaters and Egan Lakes).

The rules include catch and release of all largemouth bass in the Fellsmere Water Management Area and the required use of circle hooks when fishing with natural bait greater than three inches in length.

“Fellsmere is a success story for our state’s fisheries,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “Our iconic trophy bass will benefit from these management decisions.”

The FWC manages largemouth bass for conservation and general angler success. Fellsmere Reservoir is currently managed under statewide freshwater fishing regulations. As part of the Florida Trophy Bass Project, staff proposed customized management strategies focusing specifically on trophy bass production at select waterbodies. The new regulations will protect bass, allowing them to achieve the largest size possible. These efforts, coupled with the documentation and promotion of trophy bass caught in Florida, will help establish Florida as the Trophy Bass Capital of the World.

The FWC will use data collected from fish population sampling and angler creel surveys to inform future management actions. For more information about regulations on the Fellsmere Water Management Area, contact Trevor Knight 352-620-7341.