The Big Reds Tournament Press Release
|Oct. 6, 2010|
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Karen Rhine|
|Office of University Communications||(321) 674‐8964|
Broodstock for Conservation to Rebuild
Florida Fish Populations
MELBOURNE, FLA.—Anglers and fishing guides are invited to enter The Big Reds Tournament, the Indian River Lagoon on Saturday, Nov. 13. The event will establish and maintain East Coast Redfish broodstock at Florida Institute of Technology’s Vero Beach Marine Laboratory (VBML), with the goal of producing millions of redfish fingerlings to help restore redfish populations in east coast habitats.
Florida Tech is conducting this effort as a partner in the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative, which aims to replenish fisheries populations through the efforts of a network of hatcheries around the state of Florida. Redfish are the first target. Snook, seatrout, snapper and other species will be brought into the program in coming years.
In The Big Reds Tournament, anglers will be provided with FWC waivers of current size limits so they can capture the Big Reds for use as broodstock. Chase boats in the tournament fishing areas near Sebastian Inlet and the Pineda/520 Causeways will pick up the fish, place them in onboard live wells or holding nets, and transport them to the culture facilities in Vero Beach.
There will be a single Longest Fish Award for Redfish for eligible fish more than 40-inches long. There will also be the Cumulative Brood Stock Length Award and Individual Brood Stock Awards.
The entry fee is $750 per angler, with two anglers and one guide per boat. The tournament website, www.fmfei.org, has pages for guides to register their availability to fish in the tournament, and angler registration forms. All funds raised by this tournament will be used to maintain the broodstock and the fingerlings that will be produced in late summer 2011.
The Anglers Gala, to be held Friday, Nov. 12, 6-8 p.m. at the VBML is mandatory for the guide and at least one team member on the guide’s boat. Attendance is necessary to pick up the special permit and banner for catching over-slot-limit Redfish, to review fish handling techniques and to become familiar with the tournament format and guidelines. Dinner, beer and wine will be served. Anglers’ family members are welcome to attend if they are listed on the tournament registration form.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Florida Tech and Hubbs Sea World Research Institute are organizing the tournament. Florida Tech and the Florida Beer Company are the sponsors of the Anglers Gala. Other sponsorship opportunities are available. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=140224460312&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=140224460312&v=wall&ref=ts
For more information, visit: http://fmfei.org/
About Florida Institute of Technology
Founded at the dawn of the Space Race in 1958, Florida Tech is the only independent, technological university in the Southeast. With more than 9,000 students enrolled on main campus, extended campuses and online, Florida Tech has been named a Barron's Guide “Best Buy” in College Education, designated a Tier One Best National University in U.S. News & World Report, and is one of just nine schools in Florida lauded by the 2011 Fiske Guide to Colleges. The university offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs. Fields of study include science, engineering, aeronautics, business, humanities, mathematics, psychology, communication and education. Additional information is available online at http://www.fit.edu.
The Wildlife Foundation of Florida, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), and their partners in the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative are creating a network of statewide hatcheries to provide fish for today and tomorrow. To raise awareness about the Initiative and create an opportunity for developing east coast hatchery capabilities, the Wildlife Foundation of Florida is sponsoring the Big Reds Tournament.
About the Florida Marine Fisheries Enhancement Initiative
Under the supervision of the FWC, the Initiative is a public and private partnership created to ensure healthy populations of Florida’s marine sport fish. The Initiative will create a series of strategically-networked hatcheries and facilities on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts to support Florida's sport fish populations. Partner agencies assisting the Wildlife Foundation of Florida and the FWC with this effort include Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute, Harbor Branch at Florida Atlantic University, Mote Marine Laboratory, the Florida Institute of Technology, Port Manatee, and the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
About the Big Reds Tournament
During the tournament, participants will capture live, healthy redfish from Florida’s Atlantic Coast that will be used to establish a breeding stock for fishery enhancement efforts. The Big Reds Tournament will take place on November 12 and 13 in Sebastian Inlet, Florida. For more information about the Initiative and the Big Reds Tournament, including information about how to register to participate, visit www.supportfloridasportfish.com.
For additional event information contact Brett Boston at (800) 988-4889.