Tuesday, January 31, 2017

FWC's Fishing in the Know

February 2017

FWC's Fishing in the Know

Division of Marine Fisheries Management Monthly Newsletter

If a fish needs to be handled, wet your hands. This reduces the amount of fish slime removed from the fish. Slime protects the fish from infection and aids in swimming.
Ezster Keresztes with her flounder catch. FWC is gathering public input on this and other species. Visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments today.
Email your fishing photos to Saltwater@MyFWC.com.

Commission Meeting – Crystal River

Marine Fisheries items to be discussed Feb. 8

Information: The FWC Commission will discuss several marine fisheries management items Feb. 8 at the meeting in Crystal River.
  • Federal fishery management updates
  • Federal legislative updates
  • Goliath grouper – Review and discussion of the biology, history and recently-completed stock assessment. Overview of potential future management strategies.
  • Gray triggerfish: Update and possible discussion of limited 2017 recreational season in Gulf state waters.
Draft regulation changes (all items in this section are slated to be brought back to a Commission meeting at a later date for final decision):
  • Red snapper: Considering the 2017 recreational season in Gulf state waters.
Potential regulation changes: (a final decision could be made at this meeting)
  • Bay scallops: A review of feedback from community leaders across the scallop harvesting area and a proposal to temporarily change the season opening and closure dates in some areas of the state. Will include an update on St. Joseph Bay.
  • Spiny lobster bully nets: Create an open-access commercial bully net endorsement, require commercial bully net vessels be marked with the harvester’s bully net endorsement number, prohibit the simultaneous possession of a bully net and any underwater breathing apparatus (other than a mask and snorkel) aboard vessels being used to commercially harvest lobster or being used to transport commercial quantities of lobster, prohibit trap pullers on commercial bully net vessels, and update the definition of “commercial harvester” to include a reference to the bully-net endorsement.
  • Boundary lines cleanup: Correct existing coordinates in rule to match the positions of the referenced or present-day landmarks using current technology.

Links for more information:
Agenda [MyFWC.com]

Flounder, Sheepshead, Tripletail

FWC needs your feedback

Information: FWC is collecting feedback on Florida’s flounder, sheepshead and tripletail fisheries. If you fish for any of these three species, we’d like to know more about:
  • Whether you actively target them or if you catch them while targeting other species
  • How you fish for them (hook-and-line, etc.)
  • If those fisheries are seasonal in your area
  • When and where you target them
  • Your thoughts on how these fisheries are doing, compared to the past and/or compared to other fisheries
  • Your thoughts on current management of these species
Comment at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.
Link for more information:
Saltwater Comments [MyFWC.com]


Atlantic season opens Feb. 1

Information: The recreational harvest season for snook in Atlantic state and federal waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north) including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River will open Feb. 1.
Link for more information:
Snook [MyFWC.com]

Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs
Catch a Florida Memory today

Information: Participating in one of these three programs encourages ethical angling while rewarding you for your efforts.
  • Saltwater Fish Life List: A list of 71 different species. Can you catch them all?
  • Saltwater Reel Big Fish: Recognition for extraordinarily-sized catches.
  • Saltwater Grand Slams: Earn rewards for catching three different specified species in a 24-hour period.
Link for more information:
Angler recognition logo

Lionfish Panhandle Pilot Program
Remove lionfish in 7-county region = rewards

Information: Remove 100 lionfish from Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf and Franklin counties between May 2016 and May 2017 to get a tag allowing for either an extra legal-sized red grouper or cobia over the bag limit from state waters. In addition, the first 10 persons or groups that harvest 500 or more lionfish during this one-year period will be given the opportunity to name an artificial reef.
Link for more information:


    Commission Meeting
    Flounder, Sheepshead, Tripletail
    Snook – Atlantic
    Black Sea Bass – Atlantic
    New Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs
    Lionfish Panhandle Pilot Program



      State waters are from shore to 9 nautical miles in the Gulf and from shore to 3 nautical miles in the Atlantic.  
      Feb. 1 – 
      March 1 –

      red drum
      Mark Dunnam with a red drum.



       Get the Marine Fisheries Monthly via email at MyFWC.com by clicking on “Sign up for updates ”