Marine Fisheries Monthly Hot Sheet


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Marine Fisheries Monthly Hot Sheet 



In this issue:


Red Snapper - Workshops, Lionfish, Greater Amberjack – Gulf, Gray Triggerfish – Gulf, Spiny Lobster, Blue Crab, PermitSeason Updates, Events

Commission Meeting

Action: Marine Fisheries items Sept. 10-11 in Kissimmee

Information: The FWC Commission will discuss several marine fisheries management items Sept. 10 and 11 at the meeting in Kissimmee including:

  • A staff report on the biology and status of goliath grouper
  • Updates on federal fishery management
  • Changing how American eel is managed by establishing a recreational bag limit of 25 and a recreational and commercial minimum size limit of 9 inches
  • Prohibiting the intentional breeding of lionfish and the retention and cultivation of lionfish eggs
  • Setting the bay scallop season to open the Saturday before July 1, unless July 1 falls on a Saturday, in which case the season would start July 1
  • Requiring commercial oyster and clam harvesters to complete an annual training course offered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services outlining proper harvest, handling and transportation practices for shellfish and requiring them to obtain a no-cost Shellfish Harvest endorsement in association with their commercial license.

Links for more information:

Commission []

License-Free Fishing

Action: Saltwater license-free fishing day Sept. 6

Information: Florida residents and visitors can experience Florida’s unique saltwater fishing opportunities without being required to have a recreational saltwater fishing license on Sept. 6.

All bag limits, seasons and size restrictions apply.

Miss this license-free fishing day? Nov. 29 is also a saltwater license-free fishing day. There are eight license-free fishing days each year including four freshwater and four saltwater.

An annual license for residents can be purchased at 1-888-FISH-Florida or at All fishing license fees are used to support Florida fish and wildlife conservation and help attain additional funding for Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration projects.

Links for more information:

License Information []

License-Free Fishing Days []


Action: Gulf and Atlantic season opens Sept. 1

Information: Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC’s management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.

A snook permit as well as a recreational saltwater license is required unless the angler is exempt from having a license. Snagging snook is prohibited and gear is limited to hook-and-line only.

The daily bag limit is one-fish-per-person.

In the Atlantic, snook must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 32 inches total length, which is measured from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed while the fish is lying on its side. In the Gulf, they must be not less than 28 inches and not more than 33 inches total length.

It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

Links for more information:

Snook []

Bay Scallop

Action: Season closes Sept. 25, last day of harvest Sept. 24

Information: Bay scallop season, which is in state waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line to the west bank of the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County, closes Sept. 25.

Links for more information:

Bay Scallop Information []

Oyster – Apalachicola Bay

Action: Oyster harvest changes effective Sept. 1

Information: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) implemented conservation measures in an effort to help the Apalachicola Bay oyster population recover from the effects of low river flow. Apalachicola Bay oyster populations have significantly declined in recent years due to lack of sufficient fresh water flows in the Apalachicola River.

Changes in effect from Sept. 1 through May 31, 2015, in Apalachicola Bay, including all waters of Indian Lagoon in Gulf County.

Changes effective Sept. 1 include:

  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole;
  • Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to five bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets);
  • Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit all to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets);
  • Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Closing two other shellfish harvesting areas (Area 1601, also known as Porters Bar and Platform Bar, and Area 1611, which includes Bayou Flats and Pickalene Bar), if the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) determines the area known as Cat Point (Area 1642) should be closed to harvest due to water-quality concerns. FDACS regularly monitors shellfish harvesting areas for water-quality standards and closes and reopens these areas based on whether standards are met to safely harvest shellfish for consumption.

All other harvest regulations remain in effect.

Links for more information:

Recreational Oyster Information []

Commercial Oyster Information []


Action:  Upcoming recreational season openings and closures for September-October.

Information: The following species have upcoming season openings/closures:

(May not include all harvest openings/closures. View regulations online at for more.)  


Sept. 1 –

Sept. 25-

Sept. 20-Oct. 4 -

Oct. 15 -

Links for more information:

FWC Recreational Regulations []

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Sept. 6 – Saltwater License Free Fishing Day

Sept. 10-11 – Kissimmee – FWC Commission meeting

Oct. 4 – Kids’ Fishing Clinic – St. Petersburg

Oct. 11 – Kids’ Fishing Clinic – Naples

Oct. 18 – Marine Quest, FWRI – St. Petersburg


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FWC Facts:
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