In collaboration with Hernando County, the Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida) and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Duke Energy released approximately 20,000 hatchery-reared spotted seatrout at Alfred McKethan / Pine Island Park on Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee.
“Our ongoing efforts with the Duke Energy Mariculture Center are helping repopulate spotted seatrout in the Gulf ecosystem,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “Preserving and protecting marine environments for future generations is our mutual responsibility, and today’s restocking initiative will help revitalize one of Florida’s most popular inshore species.”
The spotted seatrout are juvenile fish, approximately four inches in length. The addition of these fish at Pine Island Park will allow the existing ecosystem to thrive and create more abundant recreational fishing opportunities. Spotted seatrout do not tend to travel far from where they are introduced, and many are likely to remain in the area.
The spotted seatrout are a donation from the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River, a certified aquaculture facility and multi-species hatchery that grows and releases redfish and spotted seatrout into the Gulf of Mexico.
“Duke Energy is proud of our continued collaboration with the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida. Together, we have successfully managed countless fish release projects throughout the state,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We are committed to helping protect and responsibly manage Florida’s natural resources and are dedicated to helping support the vitality of our communities.”
Since opening in 1991, the Duke Energy Mariculture Center has cultivated and released more than 4.1 million fish and crustaceans. In addition, the center grows a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as eelgrass, for lake and spring restoration and saltwater marsh vegetation, such as mangroves, for living shoreline projects to support the overall health of Florida’s fisheries and marine habitats. It is one of the most successful marine-stocking programs in Florida focused on environmental stewardship and conservation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Duke Energy, CCA Florida, FWC and Duke Energy to release these fish into our ecosystem here in Hernando County,” said Hernando County Administrator Jeff Rogers. “This is an excellent opportunity to not only enhance the existing marine environment but to also allow for better recreational fishing opportunities at this location for our residents and visitors.”
Learn more about Florida’s Adventure Coast, Brooksville-Weeki Wachee, by visiting our web site at https://floridasadventurecoast.com/
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