A Florida lake is getting a nice boost in its fish population.
Lake Apopka in central Florida was home to a great bass fishery. In fact, in the 1940s, the lake was one of the main attractions in Florida. Anglers would travel from across the country to visit and fish the lake. That, unfortunately, was 50 years ago.
With the rise in agriculture in the area and in Florida in general, the lake came into trouble. The discharge from the farms created the perfect environment for an algae bloom. An algae bloom is not a perfect environment for fish. Then, in 1980, there was a pesticide spill in the lake, resulting in fertility problems in some of the animals around the lake.
Something had to be done. Communities organized to clean up the lakes and reclaim the lake. Stopping the discharge of phosphorus from the local farms. The Governor signed into law an act that would allow the group to purchase the farms, allowing for further cleanup of the lake.
All that work leads us to today. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will be stocking 1 million fingerling bass into the lake. Unfortunately only around 10 to 15 percent are expected to grow to a large size. However this shows the turn around of the lake. From nearly dead to produce trophy fish within the next five years.
The lake is seeing a rebound. The vegetation around the lake will protect the fish until they grow to a larger size. It only took 200 million to get here.
Some are worried that this is an exercise in futility. The lake being mostly muck and is choking out the rest of the vegetation to continue to hold the fish. The state has tried to dredge the lake to get rid of the muck without much success. All we can do is hope.