Site Updated:
October 01, 2013

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FISHING, DIVING & OTHER GOOD CLEAN FUN

Florida Fishing Regulations
LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
:
Anyone fishing from a boat in Florida who is 16 years of age or over must have a valid fishing license (except when that boat has a charter boat fishing license covering everyone aboard). Licenses are available for salt water, fresh water or both (residents only). They may be purchased from county tax collectors' offices or from agents such as bait & tackle shops by phone at 1-888-347-4356 and now, may be purchased on the Internet where an authorization number makes the  license valid immediately! An additional fee is charged for these services. Basic  resident licenses are valid for 12 months from the date of purchase (though 5 -year and lifetime licenses are also available), visitors may purchase 12 -month or, for the short visit, three-day or seven-day licenses. Additional permits (and fees) are also required for snook and crawfish (Florida lobster). The following fees are in effect as of our most recent update, but being set by the State Legislature, they are always subject to change. Agents may also add an issuance fee.

Resident

Salt Water

Fresh Water

Combo

Non-Resident

Salt Water

Fresh Water

12-Month

$17.00

$17.00

$32.50

12-Month

$47.00

$47.00

5-Year

$79.00

$79.00

 

3-Day

$17.00

$17.00

 

 

 

 

7-Day

$30.00

$30.00

BROCHURE & MORE INFO: For an up-to-date brochure on Florida Salt Water Species, Limits, Closed Seasons and more contact FWC at their Web site or call 1—888—FishFlorida (347-4356).
 

Personal Watercraft Regulations
In Florida, the specific regulations include the following:

  1. Everyone operating, riding on or being towed by PWC must wear an appropriate (Type Ill) and approved Personal Flotation Device (PFD).
  2. If the PWC is equipped with a safety cut-off switch, the lanyard rnust be attached to the operator.
  3. PWCs may not be operated between 1 /2 hour before sunset and 1 /2 hour after sunrise.
  4. ]umping wakes, "buzzing" other craft or cutting in front of other vessels are considered negligent operation and are specifically prohibited.
  5. A PWC may not be operated by anyone under the age of 14 — 18, if the watercraft is rented.

Always become familiar with a PWC's specific handling characteristics before  enturing far or going fast. ALWAYS remember: No thrust, no control!
When you are out on the water, remember you are not i alone — you have to share with other operators of other vessels, most of which will be larger. Be especially careful to avoid environmentally sensitive areas such as sea grass beds. Remember also, in many areas PWC operation is severely restricted or, in some cases, banned outright. Always know before you go!

 

Diving & Snorkeling
Many parts of Florida present some awesome opportunities for underwater discovery via snorkeling or SCUBA diving. But to keep everyone safe and help preserve the wonders of nature that make these sports so inviting, we suggest you follow a few basic guidelines.

  1. First, and most important, always fly the proper dive flags (see below) and when you're operating in a good area for diving, keep a careful watch for the dive flags of others -— stay at least 100 feet away in channels, 300 feet in open water. Then, if you're reef diving, remember that coral is a living animal. Only the top surface — a half inch or less — is alive and slowly growing atop a limestone skeleton of preceding colonies. For this reason and others (such as a critical need for a delicate balance of light, water quality and temperature) a living reef can be easily damaged. Anchors, dragged mooring lines, or even the careless touch of a diver can cause harm. Once the coral skeleton is exposed, it is vulnerable to algae and sponge colonization which will then be competing with the coral polyps for space on the coral base. Coral is most often the loser. If the coral reefs die, marine life must migrate to survive, and what's left behind will be barren, algae encrusted forms, totally devoid of marine life.
  2. Pay attention to your chart to avoid an unintentional grounding that can do so much damage to shallow areas. (It's not too good for boats, either!)
  3. Don't anchor on or even close to living coral. Many reef locations (particularly in Broward County and in The Keys) feature mooring buoys to tie up to. Always use these permanent moorings wherever they are available. If there aren't any, anchor over nearby sandy spots rather than on the reef itself. Be careful — reef sand patches are often relatively small.
  4. When SCUBA diving, make sure you don’t have any loose gear (such as a dive computer) that can damage the reef by hanging free. Don't stand on or touch live coral. Avoid kicking up sand — you can smother the coral!
  5. Finally, remember these corals grow very slowly, often at a rate of less than 1/ 5th of an inch per year. And, they are NOT for harvest. You should take only pictures and leave nothing behind. Preserving the reefs will assure they are here for all of us to enjoy in the future.
     

dive-flag-borderlessFlorida law requires displaying the red with white stripe recreational diver-down flag. It must measure at least 20" x 24" (though a flag on a float still may be only 12"  square). Whenever you see these flags stay at least 100 feet away — 300 feet if  possible. Also, watch for the telltale bubbles of surfacing divers and stand clear when you see them.

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