permitted. It should be released in the immediate vicinity to where it was caughtwithout placing it in a livewell or stressing it.When a native fish is legal to take, it is your discretion whether you harvestit or release it. Generally speaking, size and creel limits have been established sothat harvesting these fish will still allow sustaining the fish population based onnatural reproduction, mortality rates, growth rates, and habitat capacity. In certaincircumstances, such as where slot limits are specified, it is especially helpful toremove the smaller fish (below the slot). In theory, reducing the numbers of smallfish reduces competition, which allows the protected fish in the slot (for instance 15inches to 24 inches) to grow more quickly.Non-native fishes (other than peacock bass and triploid grass carp) should beharvested. Most make good eating, and the best way to transport them is on ice.They should not be released and definitely should not be relocated.Legally taken fish should be released as close as possible to where they arecaught, but certainly within the same water system. Rules went into effectspecifically for relocating largemouth bass in July 2010 that affect anglersrelocating bass as well as those purchasing and stocking bass in private ponds.Rule 68-5.002 (see FLrules.org) states that northern black bass (
) is a conditional non-native species. Possession, importationinto Florida, sale or transportation of any live specimens or eggs of this species of black bass is prohibited except by special permit from the FWC. Hybrids of thenorthern black bass and Florida subspecies (
M. s. floridanus
) are legal to possess inthe Suwannee River and its tributaries and north and west of the Suwannee River.