Reel in a fish and help track data while experiencing a hands-on catch-and-release program at the headwaters of the Florida Everglades. The 500-acre Grande Lakes Orlando estate partnered with the Florida Wildlife Commission to offer both novice and expert fishers a hands-on catch-and-release program that doubles as a research adventure.
Taking place at Shingle Pond, the most remote section of Grande Lakes, the program aims to do more than offer participants a fun day of fishing; its goal is to determine why certain types of largemouth bass grow faster than others.
The estate’s lakes are stocked with more than 1,000 bass implanted with a coated micro-wire tag that helps detect when they are caught. During the catch-and-release expedition, guests can reel in one of these fish and assist with measuring and recording data and then subsequently releasing the fish back in the lakes.
With this helpful information, the Florida Bass Conservation Center is able to assess the role of parental genetics in the growth rates of largemouth bass.
“We are thrilled to provide a hands-on experience that takes the fishing experience to another level,” said Nathan Stith, director of golf, The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club, Orlando, who oversees Grande Lakes Adventure Experiences. “We’ve turned fishing into a fun game for our guests yet at the same time they have the opportunity to contribute to a greater research initiative.”
In addition to the catch-and-release program, Grande Lakes features fishing opportunities from the shore and guided excursions to the private waters of Shingle Pond.
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