Florida hatcheries

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has invested substantially in efforts to expand its fisheries management toolbox through hatchery enhancement and habitat restoration, in addition to its traditional focus on regulating fishing. At present, FWC maintains an operational-scale hatchery enhancement program for freshwater fish, including largemouth bass. Saltwater hatchery programs are experimental in nature and are yet to become fully integrated into fisheries management.

Hatchery enhancements can be effective only under certain conditions, and even then aquaculture production and release, fishing regulations, habitat protection or restoration, and governance arrangements must be tailored to the specific conditions and management objectives in order for benefits to materialize. Different situations and objectives call for different hatchery program designs.

The project aims to assess the biological-technical potential for hatchery programs to contribute to fisheries management goals; and to evaluate the social and economic benefits and costs of marine and freshwater hatchery enhancement in Florida. The specific objectives are to:

1) Develop an integrative understanding of Florida enhancement fisheries systems

2) Quantitative biological-technical assessment

3) Evaluate economic and social benefits

4) Establish development plans

5) Provide decision making frameworks and tools

6) Synthesize results in an enhancement policy

This research in conducted in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and Mote Marine Laboratory. The project is funded by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration Program.

Guiding principles: The updated responsible approach to fisheries enhancement PDF


Lorenzen, K. (2014) Understanding and managing enhancements: why fisheries scientists should care. Journal of Fish Biology 85: 1807-1829. PDF

Camp, E.V., Lorenzen, K., Ahrens, R.N.M. & Allen, M.S. (2014) Stock enhancement to address multiple recreational fisheries objectives: an integrated model applied to red drum Sciaenops occelatus in Florida. Journal of Fish Biology 85: 1868-1889. PDF

Garlock, T. M., Monk, C. T., Lorenzen, K., Matthews, M.D. & St. Mary, C.M. (2014) Effects of hatchery rearing on Florida largemouth bass resource allocation and survival under semi-natural conditions. Journal of Fish Biology 85: 1830-1842. PDF

Trushenski, J. Blankenship, L., Bowker, J., Flagg, T., Hesse, J., Leber, K., Lorenzen, K., MacKinlay, D., Maynard, D., Moffitt, C., Mudrak, V., Scribner, K., Stuewe, S., Sweka, J., Whelan G. & Young-Dubovsky, C. (2014) AFS completes assessment, issues new guidance regarding hatchery operation and the use of hatchery-origin fish. Fisheries 39: 543-547. PDF

Lorenzen, K., Agnalt, A.L. Blankenship, H.L. Hines, A.H., Leber, L.M., Loneragan, N.R. & Taylor, M.D. (2013) Evolving context and maturing science: aquaculture-based enhancement and restoration enter the marine fisheries management toolbox. Reviews in Fisheries Science 21: 213-221. PDF

Taylor, M.D., Brennan, N.P., Lorenzen, K. & Leber, K.M. (2013) Generalized Predatory Impact Model: A numerical approach for assessing trophic limits to hatchery releases and controlling related ecological risks. Reviews in Fisheries Science 21: 341-353. PDF

Camp, E.V., Lorenzen, K., Ahrens, R.N.M., Barbieri, L. & Leber, K.M. (2013) Potentials and limitations of stock enhancement in marine recreational fisheries systems: an integrative review of Florida’s red drum enhancement. Reviews in Fisheries Science 21: 388-402. PDF

Lorenzen, K., Beveridge, M.C.M. & Mangel, M. (2012) Cultured fish: integrative biology and management of domestication and interactions with wild fish. Biological Reviews 87: 639-660. PDF

Lorenzen, K., Leber, K.M. & Blankenship, H.L. (2010) Responsible approach to marine stock enhancement: an update. Reviews in Fisheries Science 18: 189-210. PDF