FWC & SAF Looking at Changes

Gone Fishin Radio Show Logo

Rick Hale
Rick’s Bait Shop

Florida Wildlife Commission

large spotted seatrout in Jacksonville

No fewer than four species of fish are being looked at for changes in the law.  Along with the new Shark rules that went into effect this past July 1st, these new laws could have major implications for North Florida.  They are now looking at Spotted Seatrout as the  next fish that might have changes.  And that will affect North Florida in a major way.

The Spotted Seatrout is one of the three major sportfish in the North Florida area joining Flounder and Redfish.  I have received some strong comments concerning the number of legal Spotted Trout that the Captains have been seeing lately.  We’ve all seen some nice catches on Facebook but according to the Captains, those numbers are way down.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission needs and wants your input on Spotted Seatrout management.  The FWC is hosting several workshops that allow personal input.

All workshops will begin at 6 p.m. local time and will be held at the following locations:

Destin - July 29th
Steinhatchee - July 31st
Naples -  August 6th
Melbourne - August 7th

Here are the changes for Spotted Seatrout that are being proposed for our area:

  1. The limit number reduced…  from 6 to 5.

  2. Changing the recreational and commercial slot limit from 15 to 19 inches.  [The current law is 20 inches, with one over 20].

  3. Prohibiting Captain and Crew from keeping a personal bag limit on a for-hire trip.

Go here for FWC news release:  https://myfwc.com/news/all-news/seatrout-workshops/

Southern Atlantic Fishery

We saw on Facebook where many people are complaining about the amount of roe that was being found in the Red Snapper on the most recent open weekends. Those complaints must have been heard because they are now looking at discussing changes to future Atlantic Red Snapper season dates. These are now very narrowly defined in the Federal Rules.

red snapper in Jacksonville

SAF will consider setting recreational and commercial seasons outside of the peak spawning time (June through September) or distributing the recreational days differently.  These possible changes may revise the FMP's goals, objectives, and regulations.

Potential regulation changes include:

  1. Reducing the 60 Dolphin recreational vessel limit.

  2. New gear restrictions for commercial only vessels harvesting Dolphin and Wahoo.

Rick Hale
Rick’s Bait Shop

“Gone Fishing Radio Show”
Fridays at noon on Sunny 102.3
Call the show 904.831.1023