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Saltwater Regulations

Saltwater Regulations

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Fishing Regulations
2010
Valid rom Jan. 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010
F L O R I D A
Florida Fish and Wildlie Conservation Commission
SALTWATER EDITION
MyFWC.com
Content
Regional ofces.......................................... 2
You do not need a license

i you are................................................... 4 Costs or licenses....................................... 4 Marine lie regulations.............................. 5 Basic recreational saltwater

fshing regulations............................. 6–7 Recreational gear and spearing.............. 3 Artifcial ree locations.............................. 8 New regulations or snapper, grouper

and other ree fsh.................................. 9 Know your Florida fsh............................... 9 Division o Law Enorcement (DLE)........ 5 Resource hotlines...................................... 8 Blue crab trap closures............................. 8 New regulations or sharks 

in Florida.................................................10
Report sawfsh sightings
or science..............................................10
State records
and slams...............................................10
For additional inormation
please contact:
Florida Fish and Wildlie
Conservation Commission
MyFWC.com

Division o Marine Fisheries Management
2590 Executive Center Circle East
Berkeley Building
Tallahassee, Florida 32301

850-488-6058
Introduction
This publication is provided as a guide to Florida shing laws and regulations. The Florida Administra-
tive Code is the nal authority on shing laws. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

(FWC) strives to ensure information in this booklet is accurate, but assumes no liability for any errors that occur in this publication. Contact the FWC if you have any questions on issues not covered in this booklet. This publication is valid only from January 1, 2010 through June 30, 2010.

How your license ee helps
The money collected from saltwater shing licenses is used to improve and restore sh habitat and for
marine sheries research, law enforcement, and public education on marine resources.
An additional $.50 subagents fee will be charged for any license or permit not purchased directly from
the county tax collector.

Obtain immediate license privileges, 24 hours a day, at MyFWC.com/License or by calling toll-free 888-FISH-FLORIDA (347-4356). Processing fees will apply to telephone and Internet sales. Additional processing fees will apply to telephone and Internet sales.

2010 Commission meeting dates and locations
Subject to change regarding availability of appropriate facilities to hold the meeting.

February 17–18 — Apalachicola
April 28–29 — Tallahassee
June 23–24 — Winter Park

For more information about Commission meeting dates, times, locations and agendas, visit our Web
site at MyFWC.com and click on “Commission Meetings” on the left side of the page.
Shows and Events
Visit the FWC booth at these upcoming events to pick up your copy o theRe c r e at i o n al
Saltwater Fishing Regulationsa n d Fishing Lines: Angler’s Guide to Florida’s Marine Re­
sources.
Florida State Fair
February 4–15
Tampa
Florida Sportsman
Fishing & Boating Show
February 6–7
Ft. Myers
941-378-0411
www.loridasportsman.com/
shows
Florida Sportsman
Fishing & Boating Show
February 20–21
Ft. Walton
941-378-0411
www.loridasportsman.com/
shows
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
February 27
Crystal River
352-527-7677
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
March 27
Daytona Beach
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
April 10
Summerland Key
850-488-6058
FWRI Marine Quest

April 15–17
St. Petersburg
727-896-8626

Kids’ Fishing Clinic
April 17
Pensacola
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
April 24
Naples
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
May 8
Panacea
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
June 5
Panama City Beach
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
June 12
Fernandina Beach
850-488-6058
Kids’ Fishing Clinic
June 26
Cape Canaveral
850-488-6058
Dear Angler,
On behalf of all the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissioners, I
am pleased to provide you with the January 2010 edition of Saltwater Fishing
Regulations. This publication is just one example of your saltwater shing license
dollars at work. In fact, every penny of your license fee is spent on Florida marine
sheries management, research, enhancement, outreach and enforcement. Over
a million licensed anglers in our state are providing us with the resources to
maintain a level of conservation and protection that ensures Florida’s status as
the “Fishing Capital of the World.”
Your contribution to management and conservation of Florida’s saltwater sheries
extends beyond the license you buy. By knowing the rules and regulations, and
abiding by them in the spirit of conservation that we all value, you are actively
participating in the long term protection of our valuable saltwater sheries. Knowing
and complying with the regulations, properly handling your catch to maximize the
chance the sh will survive when it is released, taking care to ensure monolament
line (and other trash items) do not get into the marine environment, and being

careful not to damage sea grasses or corals when boating in shallow water are just some of the ways we can all demonstrate a personal commitment to conserve and protect Florida’s shing treasures. Your actions will have a lasting impact on the resources.

As commissioners, we share your interest in conserving our natural resources and like you, we also have a passion for the great outdoors. We thank you for your support and will continue to work on your behalf.

Have fun out there, and be safe!
Rodney Barreto
Chairman, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Contact us
Go to MyFWC.com for up-to-date

information on recreational saltwater
shing regulations, news and events
as well as resources, publications
and videos.

Visit the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife
Research Institute online at
http://research.MyFWC.com

For federal shing regulations,
please contact:
Gulf of Mexico Fishery
Management Council
888-833-1844
www.gulfcouncil.org
South Atlantic Fishery
Management Council
866-SAFMC-10
www.safmc.net
National Marine Fisheries Service
(NOAA Fisheries)
727-824-5301
www.nmfs.noaa.gov
Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission

620 South Meridian Street
Farris Bryant Building
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600
(850) 488-4676
(800) 955-8771 TDD

Commissioners
Rodney Barreto
Chairman,M i ami
Richard A. Corbett
Vice Chairman,Tamp a
Kathy Barco
Jacksonville
Ronald M. Bergeron
Ft. Lauderdale
Dwight Stephenson
Delray Beach
Kenneth W. Wright
Winter Park
Brian S. Yablonski
Tallahassee
Staff
Nick Wiley
Executive Director
Gregory L. Holder
Assistant Executive Director
Karen Ventimiglia
Deputy Chief of Staff
Mark Robson
Director, Marine
Fisheries Management
FWC regional ofces
Northwest Region

3911 Highway 2321
Panama City, FL 32409-1658
(850) 265-3676

Lt. Col. Louie Roberson, Regional Director
North Central Region

3377 East U.S. Highway 90
Lake City, FL 32055-8795
(386) 758-0525

Roland Garcia, Regional Director
Northeast Region
1239 Southwest 10thS t r e et
Ocala, FL 34471-0323
(352) 732-1225
Dennis David, Regional Director
Southwest Region

3900 Drane Field Road
Lakeland, FL 33811-1299
(863) 648-3200

Tom Champeau, Regional Director
South Region
8535 Northlake Boulevard
West Palm Beach, FL 33412-3303
(561) 625-5122
Charles E. Collins, Regional Director
January 1, 2010 – June 30, 2010
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
2
SALTWATER REgS
gEAR & SpEARINg
Recreational gear
Additional regional gear restrictions may apply in your county.
For further clarication, contact the local regional ofces listed
on page 4.
Reef sh gear rules (applies to species marked withl on
pages 6 and 7)
■ Gulf■of■Mexico: These regulations require the use of a venting

tool and dehooking device when recreationally or commercially shing for reef sh in the Gulf of Mexico. All persons aboard a vessel harvesting reef sh must possess and use non-stainless steel circle hooks when using natural baits.

Atlantic■ Ocean: Recreational and commercial shers are
required to use dehooking devices as needed while shing for
reef sh.
These rules apply to the following species. For a complete species
list, please visit MyFWC.com.
• Greater amberjack
• Lesser amberjack
• Banded ruddersh
• Gag grouper
• Black grouper
• Red grouper
• Snowy grouper
• Yellown grouper
• Yellowmouth grouper
• Scamp grouper
• Warsaw grouper
• Speckled hind
• Grouper, all others
• Hogsh
• Red porgy
Black sea bass
• Black snapper
• Wenchman snapper
• Cubera snapper
• Gray snapper
• Lane snapper
• Mutton snapper
• Red snapper
• Schoolmaster snapper
• Vermilion snapper
Snapper, all other
• Golden tilesh
• Gray triggersh
Hook-and-line gear

Hook-and-line anglers must tend their gear at all times to prevent people, marine life and shore life from becoming entangled in the line or injured by the hook. Also, it is against the law to intention-

ally discard any monolament netting or line into or onto state
waters. Monolament line can entangle birds, marine mammals,
marine turtles and sh, often injuring or killing them.
Nets
The following types of nets may be used for recreational purposes
in Florida waters:
Bully nets (for lobster only) no greater than 3 feet in diameter.
Frame nets and push nets (for shrimp only) no greater than 16
feet in perimeter.
Hand held landing or dip nets no greater than 96 inches in pe-
rimeter.
Cast nets measuring 14 feet or less stretched length (stretched
length is dened as the distance from the horn at the center of
the net with the net gathered and pulled taut, to the lead line).
Cast nets may be used as harvesting gear for the following species

only: black drum, bluesh, cobia, ounder, mullet, Florida pom- pano, red drum, sheepshead, shrimp, Spanish mackerel, spotted seatrout, weaksh and unregulated species.

Beach or haul seines measuring no larger than 500 square feet of

mesh area, no larger than 2 inches stretched mesh size, not con- structed of monolament, and legibly marked at both ends with the harvester’s name and address if a Florida resident. Non-resi-

dents using beach or haul seines for recreational purposes are
required to have a commercial saltwater products license and leg-
ibly mark the seine at both ends with the harvester’s saltwater
products license number. Beach or haul seines may be used as
harvesting gear for the following species only: black drum, bluesh,
cobia, ounder, mullet, Florida pompano, red drum, sheepshead,
shrimp, Spanish mackerel, weaksh and unregulated species.
Explosives, etc.

The use of powerheads, explosives, chemicals or the discharge of rearms into the water to kill or harvest marine life is prohibited in state waters.

Spearing
Spearing is dened as “the catching or taking of a sh by bowhunt-
ing, gigging, spearshing, or any device used to capture a sh by
piercing its body.” Spearing does not include the catching or taking
of a sh by a hook with hook-and-line gear or by snagging (snatch
hooking). Spearshing is dened as “the catching or taking of a sh
through the instrumentality of a hand or mechanically propelled,
single or multi-pronged spear or lance, barbed or barbless, operated
by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water.” The
use of powerheads, bangsticks, and rebreathers remains prohibited.

The following is a list of species which are prohibited for harvest by spearing. Any other species not listed which are managed by the Commission, and those not managed by the Commission are allowed to be harvested by spearing.

• Billsh (all species)
• Spotted eagle ray
• Sturgeon
• Manta ray
• Sharks
• Bonesh
• Tarpon
• Goliath grouper
• Snook
• Blue crab
• Nassau grouper
• Spotted seatrout
• Red drum
• Weaksh
• Stone crab
• Pompano
• African pompano • Permit
• Tripletail
• Lobster

• Families of ornamental reef sh (surgeonsh, trumpetsh,
angelsh, butterysh, porcupinesh, cornetsh, squirrelsh,
trunksh, damselsh, parrotsh, pipesh, seahorse, puffers,
triggersh except gray and ocean)

You may NOT spearsh
(excluding bowshing and gigging):
Spearshing of marine and freshwater species in freshwater is
prohibited. Possession of a spear gun in or on freshwater is also
prohibited.
Within 100 yards of a public swimming beach, any commercial
or public shing pier, or any part of a bridge from which public
shing is allowed.
Within 100 feet of any part of a jetty that is above the surface of
the sea—except for the last 500 yards of a jetty that extends more
than 1,500 yards from the shoreline.
In Collier County and in Monroe County from Long Key north to
the Dade County line.
For any sh for which spearing is expressly prohibited by law.
In any body of water under the jurisdiction of the Department of
Environmental Protection, Division of Recreation and Parks. (Pos-
session of spearshing equipment is prohibited in these areas,
unless it is unloaded and properly stored.) Fishermen who catch
and/or sell sh harvested by spearing are subject to the same rules
and limitations that other anglers in the state are required to
follow.
In Monroe County there are additional regulations for spearshing.
For more information call 305-289-2320 or visit
www.oridakeys.noaa.gov.
You may NOT spear, bowsh or gig:
In Volusia County inland waters with the exception of ounder
and sheepshead using a spear with three or fewer prongs.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
January 1, 2010 – June 30, 20103

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