Behind the scenes at Florida Bass Conservation Center

Take a behind the scenes look at the Florida Bass Conservation Center.

Welcome to the Florida Bass Conservation Center located in Webster, Fla.
Just a short drive from the Harris Chain of Lakes, the Florida Bass Conservation Center serves as a hatchery for Florida Strain Largemouth Bass that are stocked into public bodies of water across the state.
The Conservation Center is open to the public Monday-Friday (9:00 AM – 3:00 PM). As soon as you walk in, beautiful photography and artwork surrounds the walls of the lobby.
The manager of the Florida Bass Conservation Center, Barron Moody, was kind enough to take us on a behind the scenes tour of the fascinating center.
The largest portion of the Conservation Center is where all of the feeding and breeding tanks are held.
Each tank serves a different purpose. Some of the tanks house largemouth bass that have just been spawned, and the largest tanks are home to the brood bass.
Small Koi fish are used to feed the wild bass that are used for spawning.
Fortunately, Thursdays are feed days for the brood bass, so we were able to see the show.
The extremely healthy Florida strain largemouth didn’t let the Koi fish hang around for too long.
Each bass that is used for breeding is brought in from the wild. The Conservation Center is able to track the genetics of each bass. This makes for an extremely healthy repopulation process.
When the bass spawn in the tanks, crew members will add a specifically designed piece of fabric that allows the females to drop their eggs. Once the eggs have been dropped, the fabric is moved to a separate tank to allow the newly spawned bass to grow and begin the feeding process.
As the Koi fish are put into the tank, the aggressive bass would blow up on the surface.
This Koi’s fate was being determined by the two onlooking largemouth.
The Conservation Center also reproduces catfish. These are catfish eggs that are in the process of hatching.
The Conservation Center requires a very specific system of water distribution. As you would imagine, this is an extremely important part of the center.
The Conservation Center has multiple lab units where various testing can be done.
The upstairs unit of the Conservation Center is a self-serve guest center that is home to multiple replica mounts of Trophy Catch bass and much more.