APOPKA, Fla. – A popular lake recognized by many people for its gator population is getting a new splash of life.
Florida Wildlife Conservation workers began stocking a record 1 million Florida largemouth bass into Lake Apopka Wednesday.
The 30,000-acre waterway is known as one of the best bass fisheries in the U.S. Wildlife workers hope the project will boost the population and the lake's habitat.
The bass, spawned specifically for Lake Apopka, were shipped 30 miles to the new location from FWC's Richloam Fish Hatchery in Sumter County.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission attempted a new technique by stocking the late earlier than usual in hopes of a better survival rate. Their goal is to complete the project over the next three weeks.
Largemouth bass share Lake Apopka with more than 1,000 alligators.
Every year, FWC officers do surveys to see how many gators are living in each lake and how many of those qualify as bull gators. They also conduct mercury tests on alligators.
News 6 shadowed survey teams earlier this year as experts counted the gators in Lake Apopka. It surveyed twice, with 1,014 gators. A map of bull gator sightings across Central Florida is embedded below.