FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 20, 2014
FOUR FLORIDA STATE PARKS RANK
IN TOP 10 OF FAMILY-FRIENDLY PLACES TO BOAT AND FISH
~Florida has more
locations ranked in the top 10 than any other state~
TALLAHASSEE – Five Florida locations made the top
10 in the Take
Me Fishing List of 100 Family-Friendly Places to Boat and Fish, four of which are Florida State Parks. The four parks and their
corresponding rankings are Bahia Honda State Park in Big Pine Key (2), Skyway Fishing Pier State Park in St. Petersburg
(3), Lake Kissimmee State Park in Lake Wales (5) and Blue Spring State Park in
Orange City (8). Lake Talquin State Park in Tallahassee also made the list,
coming in at 21. Everglades National Park in
Homestead ranked number 4.
“Boating and fishing are favorite
activities at many of our state parks,” said Donald Forgione, director of the
Florida Park Service, “I am very proud that five of Florida’s state parks are
recognized by Take Me Fishing. Many family memories are made baiting hooks and
The list, published by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, is
based on the following criteria.
location, defined as within an hour’s drive of a major city or town, so
they are easily accessible.
- Have a
public body of water that is known for having plenty of common fish
species such as bass, crappie, bluegill and trout. Often times these
public places are stocked with fish for all.
- Part of a
park that also offers amenities families need like parking, restrooms,
playgrounds, picnic areas or campgrounds.
- Has plenty
of places to cast a line, like a fishing pier or has boat ramps to allow
you to reach other areas on your boat.
recommended by other anglers! Anglers from around the U.S. cast their vote
and thought these parks offered some of the best fishing spots.
Throughout the year, there are fishing-related special
events that take place at many of the 161 Florida state parks. Coming up on May 31 at Fort Clinch
State Park in Fernandina Beach, there is the Annual
Free Kids’ Fishing Clinic. The clinic is open to children ages 5 to 15 and
teaches lessons on knot tying, fishing ethics, tackle, habitat, casting and
more. Also, on June 7 is Kids
Fishing Day at Alfred B.
Maclay Gardens State Park in Tallahassee. This program is designed to
introduce children of all ages to fishing through family interaction.
Participants will rotate through a number of educational stations and after
learning different aspects of freshwater fishing, children will compete for
prizes sponsored by local merchants.
Florida’s state parks and state trails offer many opportunities
for outdoor recreation. In Florida, visitors and residents will find beaches,
freshwater springs, lakes and rivers where swimming, canoeing, kayaking and
fishing are very popular. Trails offer the opportunity for hiking, bicycling
and horseback riding. Most state parks offer playgrounds where children can
play and parents can sit in the shade to keep a watchful eye. Most parks also
offer picnicking facilities with tables, barbecue grills and shelter.
Last year, the Florida Park Service received its third National
Gold Medal for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, making Florida
America’s first three-time Gold Medal winner. In fact, no other system has ever
won two Gold Medal awards and systems are not allowed to apply for the award
within five years of receiving a Gold Medal. Considerations for this award were
based on the agency’s ability to address needs of those it serves through
collective energies of citizens, staff and elected officials. The awards
were received in 1999, 2005 and 2013 from the American Academy for Park and
Recreation Administration and the National Recreation and Park Association.