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.

STONE CRAB SEASON opened October 15. Season lasts until may 16, 2012. More information on regulations click HERE.

(All following information from FWC is repetition ...)

 REPEATING IN NOVEMBER: ANGLERS' HELP ASKED

FWC is requesting angler assistance with a research project focusing on red snapper caught in Florida offshore waters. This project will provide fisheries researchers and managers with vital catch-and-release survival information needed for assessing the status of this important recreational fishery.

Anglers will be approached by the biologists at public areas along the Gulf Coast of Florida (boat ramps, fishing piers and marinas) to request participation in the study. Anyone fishing for red snapper in Florida can also request a postage-paid survey card in the mail by e-mailing name and address to FishStats@MyFWC.com. To download a data sheet, click HERE.

That same area of the web site has details on reporting tagged fish to the Angler Tag Return Hotline at 800-367-4461.

FWC SEEKS INPUT ON POSSIBLE MANAGEMENT CHANGE TO SPOTTED SEATROUT, SHARKS.

For more information on FWC's management of spotted seatrout and sharks. click HERE.

Gulf Gag Grouper sport season reopened mid-September for two months. For more, click HERE.

MORE PROTECTION PROPOSED for Hammerheads, Tiger Sharks.

FWC advanced its long-standing policy to protect stressed shark populations during their 3-day September meeting in Naples.

Also, several draft amendments for spotted seatrout regulations would open recreational harvest year-round and expand commercial fishing opportunities.

A final hearing on both will be held during the November FWC meeting in Key Largo.

Also, a new rule has been proposed requiring that boaters in Broward County will have to slow down for manatees throughout the week - not just on weekends - From November 15 through March 31 on portions of the ICW in the northern part of the county with additional slow zones in a few other areas. This will be put through a public hearing in April in Pompano Beach.

Check FWC web site for later information.

Atlantic Snook harvest season reopened  September 1; other areas remain catch-and-release. More at web site.

LOBSTER SEASON: August 6 through March 31.

Visit MyFWC.com for more information on all of the above.

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