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.
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.
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.