Mutton Snapper Workshops
FWC is hosting a series of public workshops around the state to gather public input and develop a better understanding of the public’s view on management of mutton snapper. Staff will provide a brief presentation about mutton snapper management issues that are currently being worked on and will solicit stakeholder concerns and comments about these issues. Anyone with an interest in management of Florida’s mutton snapper is encouraged to participate. Click here for more information on meeting dates, times and locations.
The recreational harvest of snook in Atlantic state and federal waters reopens Feb 1, 2016
The recreational harvest season for snook reopens on Feb 1 in Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season will remain open through May 31.
In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license, unless the angler is exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook. It is illegal to buy or sell snook.
Click here to view more information.
The recreational harvest of shallow water grouper species closed in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Monroe County, Jan 1, 2016
The season will remain closed through April 30, 2016. Grouper species that may not be harvested are gag, red, black, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, graysby and coney.
FWC approves barracuda conservation measures for south Florida
FWC approved new recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda for waters off south Florida. The changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only, and will include a:
- Recreational and commercial daily bag limit of two fish per person and
- Recreational and commercial daily vessel limit of six fish per vessel.
These new limits went into effect Nov 1, 2015.
Stakeholders in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys have voiced concerns about declining barracuda numbers observed when fishing and diving. FWC staff gathered public input from concerned stakeholders at workshops conducted earlier this year. The FWC is responding to these concerns by creating bag limits to prevent further declines and conserve barracuda in the region.
The original proposal also included barracuda size limits, however the FWC wants to gather more input from stakeholders before creating additional limits. FWC staff will conduct another series of workshops in south Florida to gather more public input before considering any additional management measures.
Click here for more information.
UPDATE: Gray triggerfish size limit changes in Atlantic state waters effective Nov 21, 2015
At its Nov 18 meeting in Panama City Beach, FWC approved changes to the gray triggerfish size and bag limits in Atlantic state waters.
The approvals include:
- In Atlantic state waters – changing the recreational minimum size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length and creating a 10-fish recreational bag limit
- Statewide – changing the sale and import size limit from 14 to 12 inches fork length
These changes make Atlantic state water regulations inconsistent with the minimum size requirement (14″) for triggerfish in Atlantic federal waters. These changes will go into effect on Saturday, Nov 21.
Stakeholders expressed that a smaller size limit is more appropriate because gray triggerfish are, on average, smaller in size in state waters off the Atlantic coast of south Florida than they are in other federally managed regions along the Atlantic. FWC realized public input from all areas affected by the size limit change was not received by federal fishery managers.
For more information on the changes, click here.
New state permit allows mackerel tournaments to donate catch to benefit charity
With just a no-cost permit, mackerel tournament directors can donate tournament-caught king and Spanish mackerel to a licensed wholesale dealer in exchange for a donation to the charity of the tournament’s choice. While this activity has traditionally occurred at mackerel tournaments in Florida, recent federal regulation changes prohibited the activity unless a state permit was issued.
In addition to helping tournaments raise funds for charity, this permit will help minimize waste of tournament-caught king and Spanish mackerel that otherwise may not have been eaten. FWC approved the creation of this permit at its June 2015 meeting in Sarasota.
Donated fish can be caught in state or federal waters and would have to be handled and iced in accordance with seafood safety standards. Wholesale dealers must be onsite during the weigh-in to obtain the tournament-caught fish. The fish would also have to be identified as tournament catch on commercial trip tickets.
This permit will ensure that tournament-caught fish are not counted toward both the recreational and commercial fishing quotas. Although fish are recreationally caught, they enter the commercial market once donated to a wholesale dealer. Preventing these fish from being double-counted in both the recreational and commercial fishing quotas ensures more accurate landings data and prevents possible negative impacts to the commercial fishery, such as early season closures.
For more information or to apply for a permit, click here.
FWC’s monthly newsletter for February, Fishing in the Know, is available for viewing
The February 2016 issue of the Fishing in the Know
newsletter from FWC is available now. To view and/or download a copy of the newsletter, click here
Discarded monofilament line injures and kills wildlife
Fishing is an important part of the Florida lifestyle as well as its economy. To ensure that this activity doesn’t lead to problems for birds and other wildlife, the FWC wants anglers to know about the potential hazards and sure-fire solutions. FWC warns that monofilament fishing line and fishing hooks can snag and entangle birds, sea turtles and manatees, leading to injury and even death.
For more information on the statewide Monofilament Recovery & Recycling Program, click here.
Nine New Saltwater Grand Slams for Florida
FWC has introduced nine new Saltwater Grand Slams. Grand Slams challenge anglers to catch three specific fish species in a 24-hour period.
The new Grand Slams include:
- Inshore Grand Slam: red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder
- Family Slam: any three fish in the same family (example: red drum, black drum and spotted seatrout)
- Blue Water Slam: dolphin, sailfish, wahoo
- Florida Grand Slam: permit, tarpon, bonefish
- Shoreline Slam: sheepshead, whiting, Florida pompano
- Reefs and Rubble Slam: black sea bass, gag, gray triggerfish
- Nearshore Slam: cobia, tripletail, king mackerel
- Bay and Estuary Slam: gray (mangrove) snapper, snook, Spanish mackerel
- Small Fry Slam (for children 15 and under): pinfish, grunt, catfish
Click here to view more information.