FWC chair underscores importance of bass resource

Kathy Barco, who serves in the volunteer position of chairman of Florida’s top conservation governing body, last Sunday welcomed back the Bassmaster Elite Series to Palatka, Fla., and in particular to the St. Johns, the river she grew up on.

“I have lived most of my life on this river, and it’s such a wonderful fishery,” said the chairman of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“Florida understands the economic impact that this tournament and many like it bring to our state and to our local communities and Putnam County; the impact is just incredible,” she said. “The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission understands what bass fishing does for the state of Florida, and how important [bass fishing] is, and how important it is to work with our partners like B.A.S.S. to keep these fisheries open and pristine and to keep growing bigger bass.”

B.A.S.S. will bring four tournaments to Florida in the first couple months of the season. The kickoff event, a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open, was on the Harris Chain of Lakes in January. On the heels of last week’s St. Johns River Elite event will be the March 22-25 Power-Pole Slam on Lake Okeechobee. Then, March 28-30, another Okeechobee event, the Cabela’s B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Southern Divisional, will make it four for Florida so far this year.