FWC: Fish Orlando app shows maps of lakes

ORLANDO, Fla. - A new smartphone application announced Thursday by state wildlife officials allows tourists and residents in central Florida to see maps of major lakes in the area while catching up some fishing tips.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said in a statement that the Fish Orlando! app also allows users to read specific fishing rules and identify local sport fish.

The FWC, in cooperation with local governments, manages urban lakes to enhance fishing opportunities, the commission said. The FWC developed the Fish Orlando! program in 1998 to expand Orlando's urban fisheries program by providing quality-size fish, unique fishing experiences at various lakes and ponds and habitat enhancement.

The app was created by Team Dart, a Web-application development service. Tony Bickley vacationed often in Florida and was so impressed with the program that the British businessman offered his company's services free of charge "as a way of saying thank you," he said in a statement.

Some of Bickley's favorite lakes to visit in Orlando are known as the "FAB FIVE" because they were developed to produce quality-sized sport fish, the commission said.

Along with the lakes, four urban ponds are also included in the Fish Orlando! program that are suitable for beginning anglers and those who prefer to harvest their catch.

The FWC has distributed almost a quarter-million maps requested by anglers from 30 states and four foreign countries. Along with the app, Bass Pro Shops has a Fish Orlando! kiosk in its Orlando store that plays a video summarizing the program.

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