The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), The Mosaic Company and Hardee County are working on a new freshwater fishing destination in central Florida. The Florida Fishing Trail will feature a series of freshwater lakes and is estimated to be complete in Spring 2024.
Anglers can cast a line along the shore of the nine freshwater lakes or from one of the planned fishing piers. There will also be ramps to launch boats and kayaks. Sport fish including largemouth bass, crappie (specks) bream, and catfish are swimming throughout the waterbodies, including these trophy-sized bass documented by FWC biologists during a recent sampling trip.
The project partners held a groundbreaking event on March 24 to celebrate this exciting new collaborative project where representatives from each organization highlighted their support.
Breaking ground at the new Florida Fishing Trail in Hardee County on March 24. Pictured: FWC Commissioner Gary Lester; Terry Atchley, Hardee County; Russell Schweiss, Mosaic; Denise Grimsely, The Development Group
“The Florida Fishing Trail will be a premier freshwater fishing destination in the region and will offer a variety of unique angling opportunities in one place,” said FWC Commissioner Gary Lester. “This exciting project is bringing new fishing opportunities to the Sunshine State and is made possible by our fisheries management staff and dedicated partners at Mosaic and Hardee County.”
“The lakes that make up this phase of the trail provide an excellent example of the quality fish habitat found on reclaimed land,” said Russell Schweiss, Mosaic’s Vice President of Land and Resource Strategies. “This partnership will drive public utilization of these reclaimed lands and will become a growing economic driver for Hardee County as the trail continues to grow in future phases. We look forward to seeing the benefits this trail will bring the region in the years to come.”
“Hardee County is honored and excited to have a local destination opportunity for our residents and visitors that will allow exploration of the outdoors with great fishing lakes,” said Terry Atchley, County Manager for Hardee County. “We appreciate the partnership with our local and state agencies for this amazing attraction. Hardee County has the unique position to bring visitors to our beautiful community and to enhance, foster, and implement positive growth that will be enjoyable to our current and future generations to come.”
To learn more about FWC’s freshwater fisheries management and conservation work, visit MyFWC/Freshwater.