FWC staff installing a fish attractor. FWC photo.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has installed a total of 100 fish attractors (artificial fish habitat) at four public fishing piers on Lake Talquin in order to enhance fishing opportunities for shore and bank anglers.
Fish attractors provide refuge for organisms such as insects, crustaceans, minnows and other forage fish that sport fish depend upon for food. Fish are attracted to brush piles or other structures in search of forage and protection from predators. As a result, attractors concentrate fish where anglers can easily catch them.
Fish attractors were installed at Pat Thomas Park and High Bluff Campground in Gadsden County, and Ben Stoutamire Landing and Williams Landing in Leon County. Each site received 25 mini mossback fish attractors, measuring approximately 2.5 feet high and 4 feet wide. The attractors are in 7-8 feet of water and are weighed down with a 28-pound concrete block. They are marked with orange and white buoys to alert anglers to their presence.
Mossback fish attractors are made of synthetic brush and are more durable than the oak trees that have been previously used as attractors. Artificial and oak attractors perform equally, but the artificial attractors last almost indefinitely.
Lake Talquin is just west of Tallahassee and is nationally known for its high-quality black crappie (speckled perch) fishery. This 8,800-acre reservoir has an average depth of 15 feet and a maximum depth of 40 feet. There are seven public boat ramps and five public fishing piers on the Leon County side of the lake (Highway 20). On the Gadsden County side, there are five public boat ramps and two public fishing piers. Various fish camps and campgrounds surround the lake.
Anglers should keep in mind that the fishing regulations for Lake Talquin state that all crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. For more information, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing, click on “Freshwater Fishing,” “Sites & Forecasts,” “Northwest Region” and then select “Lake Talquin.”
Anglers planning to take advantage of the enhanced fishing opportunities on Lake Talquin should remember not to anchor their vessels near fish attractors. This is to prevent direct damage to the attractor by an anchor, and to prevent brush or attractor panels from being dragged away from the main attractor site, reducing their effectiveness.