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Information from FWC

FWC UPDATE — Notes on Fishing Rules and other announcements

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (a/k/a FWC) keeps us up to date on changes that fishermen (cruising-fishermen included) should know, and other items of interest to boating people. As the audience is somewhat varied, we give a quick note on the news and suggest that those interested in specific topics check it all out at the FWC web site.

There's also information on boating, parks, ramps, etc., etc. and we'll hope to include news on anything we think you'll want to know about.

FWC's web site is www.MyFWC.com
 

Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium Announced for September 14-15.
Health of Gulf Seafood, Fishery Analysis and Habitat Restoration on Agenda

Co-sponsored by FWC, The Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Symposium will be the first summit to bring together the various stakeholders in the Gulf's fishery, an annual multi-billion-dollar industry for Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The full story is available HERE.

SNOOK OPENING IN ATLANTIC, REMAINS CLOSED IN GULF

The recreational harvest season for snook opens Sept. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season remains closed in all Gulf of Mexico waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County, through Aug. 31, 2013.

Anglers may report their catch on the Snook Gamefish Foundation’s website at Snookfoundation.org by clicking on “Angler Action.” This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments on species such as snook.

Anglers may catch and release snook during the Gulf closure. The FWC encourages everyone to handle these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release.

In the Atlantic, anglers may keep one snook between 28 and 32 inches total length per day. The Atlantic season will close Dec. 15.

Fishermen targeting snook must have a snook permit as well as a saltwater license unless they are exempt from having a license. Using snatch hooks and spears is prohibited.

It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

This Gulf closure went into effect Dec. 15, 2010, after the population was impacted by prolonged cold weather. The closure will give the Gulf snook population time to rebound.

Click on link for more information on snook.

To read Alan Pierce’s “Gone Coastal”column:,
this month titled:
TAKING AMBERJACKS TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
click on the Logo (R)

AS ANNOUNCED IN JULY, Bay scallop seasON HAS BEEN EXTENDED TWO WEEKS

After determining that two years of season extensions did not significantly impact the bay scallop population, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) decided June 28 to permanently extend the recreational season by adding two weeks to the end.

The decision was made at the Commission meeting in Palm Beach Gardens. Commissioners also directed staff to look into the possibility of a future commercial harvest of bay scallops. The commercial harvest of bay scallops has been closed in Florida state waters since 1994.

The recreational season, which started July 1 and formerly closed annually on Sept. 11, will now end Sept. 25.

 Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops” to learn more.

Spiny lobster season

The regular commercial and recreational lobster season started Aug. 6 and runs through March 31.

Spiny lobsters must have a carapace length greater than 3 inches to be taken during the open season, and divers must possess a measuring device and measure all lobsters in the water.

Lobster harvest is prohibited at all times in Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park, Biscayne Bay/Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, certain areas in Pennekamp Park, and no-take areas in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

During the Aug. 6 - March 31 regular season, the daily recreational bag and on-the-water possession limit is six spiny lobsters per person.

You must have a recreational saltwater fishing license and a spiny lobster permit to recreationally harvest spiny lobsters unless you are exempt from recreational license requirements. Information about these licenses and permits is available online at MyFWC.com/License.

Divers and snorkelers must display a “divers-down” flag (red with a white diagonal stripe) while in the water. Divers-down flags displayed on vessels must be at least 20 inches by 24 inches, and a stiffener is required to keep the flag unfurled. Dive flags carried on floats must be at least 12 inches by 12 inches. Divers must make reasonable efforts to stay within 300 feet of a divers-down flag on open waters and within 100 feet of a flag within rivers, inlets or navigation channels. The flag must be displayed from the highest point of the vessel and must be visible from all directions. When divers are out of the water, the flag must not be displayed. More information on divers-down flag requirements is available online at MyFWC.com/Boating by clicking on “Boating Regulations.”

Additional information on recreational spiny lobster fishing, including how to measure spiny lobster, is available on line at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Lobster.”

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Looking for something to do this Labor Day weekend? Why not get out on the water and experience some of Florida’s finest fishing? Saltwater recreational anglers can fish without a recreational fishing license on Sept. 1 as part of the state’s license-free fishing days.

“Florida’s license-free fishing days are an excellent opportunity to share the fun, excitement and togetherness of a fishing trip with the entire family. This also is a great time for experienced anglers to introduce friends to the sport, even if they don’t have a fishing license,” said Nick Wiley, executive director of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

“We hope Florida residents and visitors will experience the joy of saltwater fishing. We expect many will discover a healthy sport they can enjoy for a lifetime.” [MORE...]
 

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SW Fishing

LICENSE-FREE SALTWATER FISHING FUN
SATURDAY, SEPT. 1

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