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Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission's Urban Pond Program

By TERRY TOMALIN, Times Outdoors Writer

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 5, 2000

Looking for a good place to take a youngster fishing? The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission stocks and manages several good "urban ponds" in the Tampa Bay area.

These ponds were selected for their location (in populated areas so anglers need not travel far) and the facilities available (parking, restrooms, picnic areas and shelters).

Five bodies of water in the Tampa Bay area offer opportunities to fish for channel catfish, brown bullhead, bluegill, redear sunfish, largemouth bass and blue tilapia:

  • Freedom Lake Park, Pinellas Park, southeast corner of U.S. 19 and 49th Street. This 7-acre pond is an average of 5 feet deep. Call the Pinellas Park City Parks Division, (727) 541-0769.

  • Walsingham Park, Pinellas County, 102nd Avenue, 2 miles west of Seminole Boulevard. This 100-acre park is an average of 10 feet deep with a maximum of 20. Call (727) 549-6142.

  • Al Lopez Park, Tampa, Himes Avenue, just south of U.S 92. This 10-acre pond is an average of 6 feet deep with a maximum of 8. Call the Tampa City Parks Department, (813) 931-2121.

  • District Park, Hillsborough County, Route 574 and Gallagher Road. This 14-acre pond is an average of 15 feet deep with a maximum of 25. Call (813) 757-3837.

  • Stephen J. Wortham Park, Hillsborough County, Rhodine Road, 2 miles east of U.S. 301. This 10-acre pond is an average of 5 feet deep with a maximum of 12. Call the Hillsborough County Parks Department, (813) 975-2160.

Please note that these ponds have special regulations.

For more information on the Urban Fishery Project, contact the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 3900 Drane Field Road, Lakeland, FL 33811; (863) 648-3202.

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