Evaluating a Stakeholder‐Driven Bass Regulation Change in Florida: Agency Staff and Stakeholder Perspectives

We evaluated stakeholder engagement aspects of a statewide Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides regulation change in Florida. Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) who worked on the project and stakeholders who participated in outreach were interviewed and/or surveyed about their opinions of the process. This was the largest stakeholder engagement process ever conducted by FWC for freshwater fisheries management decision making; therefore, an evaluation was critical to measure the success of the process and to inform future stakeholder engagement. Staff reflected positively on the process but noted breakdowns in communication and a lack of human dimensions expertise. Stakeholders felt that their input was appreciated and used by the agency to aid in decision making. This evaluation illustrates where the project was effective and areas where improvements can be made for future projects.

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