Duke Energy’s Mariculture Center provides juvenile fish for release.
Seatrout among millions of fish raised at the center to support Gulf.
BROOKSVILLE, Fla. – In collaboration with Hernando County, Duke Energy, Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Florida and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) have released about 20,000 hatchery-reared spotted seatrout at Alfred McKethan/Pine Island Park.
“Our ongoing efforts with the Duke Energy Mariculture Center are helping repopulate spotted seatrout in the Gulf ecosystem,” CCA Florida Executive Director Brian Gorski said. “Preserving and protecting marine environments for future generations is our mutual responsibility, and this restocking initiative will help revitalize one of Florida’s most popular inshore species.”
The juvenile spotted seatrout are approximately 4 inches in length. The addition of these fish at Pine Island Park will allow the existing ecosystem to thrive and create more abundant recreational fishing opportunities. Spotted seatrout do not tend to travel far from where they are introduced, and many are likely to remain in the area.
The spotted seatrout were provided by the Duke Energy Mariculture Center in Crystal River, a certified aquaculture facility and multispecies hatchery that grows and releases redfish and spotted seatrout into the Gulf of Mexico.
“Duke Energy is proud of our continued collaboration with the Coastal Conservation Association of Florida. Together, we have successfully managed countless fish release projects throughout the state,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We are committed to helping protect and responsibly manage Florida’s natural resources and are dedicated to helping support the vitality of our communities.”
Since opening in 1991, the Duke Energy Mariculture Center has cultivated and released more than 4.1 million fish and crustaceans. In addition, the center grows a variety of submerged aquatic vegetation, such as eelgrass, for lake and spring restoration and saltwater marsh vegetation, such as mangroves, for living shoreline projects to support the overall health of Florida’s fisheries and marine habitats. It is one of the most successful marine-stocking programs in Florida focused on environmental stewardship and conservation.
“We are thrilled to partner with Duke Energy, CCA Florida and FWC to release these fish into our ecosystem here in Hernando County,” said Hernando County Administrator Jeff Rogers. “This is an excellent opportunity to not only enhance the existing marine environment but to also allow for better recreational fishing opportunities at this location for our residents and visitors.”
Duke Energy Florida
Duke Energy Florida, a subsidiary of Duke Energy, owns a diverse generation mix of natural gas, coal and renewables, providing about 10,200 megawatts of owned electric capacity to approximately 1.9 million customers in a 13,000-square-mile service area in Florida. Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK), a Fortune 150 company headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S. It employs 30,000 people and has an electric generating capacity of 51,000 megawatts through its regulated utilities, and 3,000 megawatts through its nonregulated Duke Energy Renewables unit. The company’s regulated utilities serve approximately 7.7 million retail electric customers in six states, including Florida.
Coastal Conservation Association Florida
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) was founded in 1977 after drastic commercial overfishing along the Texas coast decimated redfish and speckled trout populations. One of 19 state chapters, CCA Florida became the fifth state chapter in 1985. A 501(c)3 nonprofit, the purpose of CCA is to advise and educate the public on conservation of marine resources. Through habitat restoration projects, water quality initiatives and fisheries advocacy, CCA Florida works with its over 18,000 members including recreational anglers and outdoor enthusiasts to conserve and enhance marine resources and coastal environments.Duke Energy
Duke Energy Contact: Allison Barker
Hernando County Contact: Kasey Hyde
Office: 352.540.6426; Cell: 352.277.1069