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AMBERJACK, CH 46-40, F.A.C. (see REEF FISH)

AQUACULTURE RULE PROVISIONS: TITLE 46, F.A.C. RULE REPEALS, (Effective November 27, 1996)

Deletes obsolete aquaculture provisions for hard clams, spiny lobster, and oysters.

BAITFISH TRAWL FISHERIES, CH 46-50, F.A.C. (Effective June 3, 1996)

  • Allows the use of baitfish trawls only seaward of the Colregs Demarcation Line in state waters of Escambia County through Wakulla County approximately south of St. Marks from April 1 through November 15 each year for a two year period, ending November 15, 1998
  • Defines a baitfish trawl as a net in the form of an elongated bag with the mouth kept open by various means and buoyed by floats so that it is fished and towed at or along the surface of the water and never on the bottom
  • Allows the use of baitfish trawls for the directed harvest of menhaden, round and Atlantic thread herrings, scaled, Spanish, and orangespot sardines, anchovies, round scad, chub mackerel, blue runner, and ladyfish only - a ten percent (by weight) bycatch allowance for nontargeted species harvested in baitfish trawls is also allowed
  • Allows baitfish trawls to be towed for no more than 30 minutes
  • Allows the use of no more than two baitfish trawls, each with a mesh area not greater than 500 square feet and a perimeter around the leading edge of the net not greater than 66 feet, to be fished or deployed from any vessel where allowed in all waters of the region
  • Prohibits the use of baitfish trawls with a mesh size less than 1 1/4 inches stretched mesh in the cod (tail) end, and prohibits the use of any liner or insert with a smaller mesh in the cod end

BAITFISH TRAWL FISHERIES - TARP PURSE SEINE PILOT PROGRAM: BAITFISH SEASON HARVEST LIMITS, CH 46-50, F.A.C. (Effective November 12, 1997)

This rule sets the following total annual (July 1 through June 30) allowable harvest levels to apply during a 3-year pilot program:

anchovy - 85,000 lbs.; blue runner - 508,000 lbs.; thread herring - 308,000 lbs.; ladyfish - 2,088,000 lbs.; chub mackerel - 72,000 lbs.; menhaden - 2,415,000 lbs.; Spanish sardines - 943,000 lbs.; round scad - 999,000 lbs.; little tunny - 392,000 lbs.

 

BAITFISH TRAWL FISHERIES – Executive Order EO 13-22 MENHADEN, CH 68B-50, F.A.C. (Effective July 23, 2013 through January 1, 2014)

  • Prohibited the directed commercial harvest of menhaden from state and federal waters of the Atlantic north and east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line
  • Prohibited any harvest, or landing more than the recreational bag limit of 100 lbs or harvest for commercial purposes in state or federal waters north or east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line
  • Prohibited all sale for commercial purposes north of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line

BAITFISH TRAWL FISHERIES – Executive Order EO 13-22 MENHADEN, CH 68B-50, F.A.C. (Effective August 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014)

  • Superseded EO 13-22
  • Limited the commercial harvest, possession or sale of menhaden from state and federal waters of the Atlantic north and east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line to be 2,000 lbs per person per vessel whichever was less.

BAITFISH TRAWL FISHERIES – Executive Order EO 13-29 MENHADEN, CH 68B-50, F.A.C. (Effective August 23, 2013 through January 1, 2014)

  • Superseded EOs 13-22 and 13-23
  • Prohibited the directed commercial harvest of menhaden from state and federal waters of the Atlantic north and east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line
  • Allowed 1,000 lbs of menhaden harvested as bycatch to be retained per person or per vessel whichever was less
  • Prohibited the harvest, possession, or sale of greater than a 1,000 lbs of menhaden in or on state or federal waters of the Atlantic north or east of the Miami-Dade/Monroe County line
  • Made an exception for sale over 1,000 lbs if that quantity of menhaden had been previously landed and sold

BALLYHOO, CH 68B-56, F.A.C. (Effective May 1, 2003)

  • Establishes a 10-box commercial vessel limit for fishermen who use lampara nets to harvest ballyhoo
  • Prohibits the commercial harvest of ballyhoo with a lampara net during August each year
  • Establishes a lampara net endorsement for qualified ballyhoo fishermen and a subsequent 5-year moratorium on endorsements after the initial allocations
  • Provides for qualifying endorsement criteria and an appeals process
  • Establishes a maximum daily vessel limit of 5 gallons of ballyhoo for persons who possess a saltwater products license without a lampara net endorsement
  • Establishes a maximum daily vessel limit of 10 gallons of ballyhoo for persons who do not possess a ballyhoo endorsement and harvest ballyhoo as an incidental bycatch in purse seines or lampara nets

BALLYHOO, CH 68B-56, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2010)

  • Allows ballyhoo endorsement holders to sell their endorsement to other commercial fishermen from July 1 - March 31 each year
  • Limits any one entity from holding more than two ballyhoo endorsements at any one time
  • Prohibits leasing of ballyhoo endorsements
  • Allows only one endorsement per saltwater products license and one saltwater products license to be associated with a single endorsement

BALLYHOO, CH 68B-56, F.A.C. (Effective May 1, 2011)

Allows the transfer of lampara net endorsements from May 1 through the end of February.

BAY COUNTY LOCAL GEAR SPECIFICATION, CH 46-3.007, F.A.C. (Effective April 18, 1990)

Repeals a Bay County Special Act (Chapter 17493, Laws of Florida).

BAY COUNTY (WARREN BAYOU) - SEASONAL HARVEST CLOSURE, CH 46-5.003, F.A.C. (Effective March 16, 1993)

Prohibits all harvest of fish in Warren Bayou and its discharge canals in November, December, January, and February.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 46-18, F.A.C. (Effective June 13, 1985)

  • Closed season (statewide): April 1 - June 30
  • Gear restrictions: Each drag or basket used for harvesting bay scallops shall be no more than 40 inches in width and 14 inches in height, and shall have a rounded "lip" or leading edge designed to prevent digging into or penetrating grass beds, and to prevent traveling below the bottom; bag attached to drag or basket shall be constructed of mesh, wire mesh, or equally lightweight substitute; no vessel may pull, tow, or propel more than 4 drags or baskets; harvesting of scallops by mechanical means prohibited in water depths less than 3 feet
  • Recreational bag limit: 5 gallons whole bay scallops in shell, or ½ gallon bay scallop meat per person per day
  • St. Joseph's Bay: Commercial and mechanical harvest of bay scallops prohibited in southern portion of bay July 1 through August 15, and each weekend August 16 through Labor Day weekend

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 46-18, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1994)

Allows the recreational harvest of bay scallops only from July 1 through September 30, and only in state waters north of the Suwannee River to the Alabama border. All other harvest of bay scallops statewide is prohibited, and the commercial harvest and sale of bay scallops is prohibited statewide at all times.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 46-18, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 1995)

  • Establishes a July 1 - August 31 recreational harvest season for bay scallops in state waters north and west of the Suwannee River only (all other state waters are closed to the harvest of bay scallops through the1997 season)
  • Establishes a daily recreational bag limit of 2 gallons of unshucked bay scallops per person (or 1 pint of shucked bay scallop meat), or 10 gallons per vessel (or ½ gallon of shucked bay scallop meat), whichever is less
  • Prohibits all commercial harvest and sale of bay scallops
  • Prohibits the use of mechanical devices (including shrimp trawls) and drags to harvest bay scallops
  • Establishes exemptions for bay scallop aquaculture and enhancement projects

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 46-18, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1997)

Continues the current bay scallop management plan indefinitely, and adds the first 10 days of September to the July/August open season in allowable harvest areas beginning in 1997.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 68B-18, F.A.C. (Effective June 2, 2002)

Reopens the recreational harvest of bay scallops in state waters between the Suwannee River and the Pasco-Hernando county line and prohibits harvest of bay scallops west of the Mexico Beach Canal.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 46-18, F.A.C., Executive Order 10-27 (Effective June 11, 2010) 

Opened the 2010 recreational harvest of bay scallops on June 19, 2010.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 68B-18, F.A.C., Executive Order 11-05 (Effective June 10, 2011)

Opened the 2011 recreational harvest for bay scallops on June 25, 2011, and extended the season until September 25, 2011.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 68B-18, F.A.C. (Effective July, 2012)
Extended the Bay Scallops season by two weeks at the end of the season until September 24.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 68B-18, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

BAY SCALLOPS, CH 68B-18, FAC, Executive Order 13-19 (Effective June 29, 2013)

Extended the season by two days, beginning June 29 instead of July 1.

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH), CH 69B-33, F.A.C. (Effective March 31, 1988)

  • Possession limit: One per person
  • Sale: Prohibited
  • Gear restrictions: Only by hook and line, and possession of billfish aboard vessels fishing with gill or trammel nets or longline gear in state waters is prohibited (NOTE: Exceptions are made to allow wholesale or retail seafood businesses or restaurants that smoke billfish for individuals, and taxidermists who mount billfish for the harvester, to possess more than one)

 

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH), CH 68B-33, F.A.C. (Effective August 26, 1999)

  • Establishes a lower jaw fork length minimum size limit of 99 inches for Atlantic blue marlin, 66 inches for Atlantic white marlin, and 63 inches for west Atlantic sailfish
  • Prohibits retention of longbill, Mediterranean, and roundscale spearfish from Florida waters

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH, SWORDFISH), CH 68B-33, F.A.C. (Effective October 1, 2002)

  • Includes swordfish in the Billfish rule chapter
  • Requires persons who sell swordfish in Florida to possess a valid Florida Saltwater Products License and a federal Limited Access Permit for swordfish
  • Establishes a minimum size limit for all swordfish taken from state waters of 47 inches lower jaw fork length, or 29 inches cleithrum to keel length, or 33 pounds dressed weight

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH, SWORDFISH), CH 68B-33, F.A.C. (Effective April 2, 2003)

  • Establishes a daily one-fish bag and on-the-water possession limit per person for recreationally harvested swordfish
  • Establishes a recreational vessel possession limit of 3 swordfish
  • Requires recreational anglers to report all non-tournament landings of billfish and swordfish as mandated in federal rules
  • Requires all billfish to be landed in a whole condition

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH, SWORDFISH), CH 68B-33, F.A.C. (Effective August 3, 2010)

  • Increases the recreational swordfish vessel limit from 3 swordfish to 4
  • Creates a special charter boat vessel limit of 6 swordfish and a special headboat vessel limit of 15 swordfish
  • Retains the individual daily bag limit of 1 swordfish per person except for the captain and crew of for-hire vessels
  • Removes the 33 pound minimum swordfish weight requirement

BILLFISH (MARLIN, SAILFISH, SPEARFISH, SWORDFISH), CH 68B-33, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2012)

  • Allows harvest of roundscale spearfish
  • Adds roundscale spearfish to the one fish aggregate bag and possession limit for billfish
  • Includes roundscale spearfish in the possession exception for taxidermists and for smoking fish by seafood businesses
  • Creates a minimum size limit of 66 inches from the lower jaw to the fork in the tail

BILLFISH AND SWORDFISH, CH 68B-33, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

BILLFISH AND SWORDFISH, 68B-33, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Swordfish removed from Billfish and Swordfish Chapter 68B-33 and placed into new chapter of its own 68B-57.

BISCAYNE BAY/CARD SOUND SPINY LOBSTER SANCTUARY, CH 46-11, F.A.C. (Effective July 3, 1984)

Sets aside an area in Dade and Monroe counties where the harvest of spiny lobsters is prohibited all year.

BLACK DRUM, CH 46-36, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1989)

  • Designated as a "restricted species"
  • Minimum size limit: 14 inches
  • Maximum size limit: 24 inches; recreational harvesters may harvest and possess one black drum per day longer than 24 inches; the possession, landing, and sale of black drum longer than 24 inches in length by persons engaged in commercial harvest is prohibited
  • Bag limit: 5 per day
  • Commercial vessel limit: 500 pounds per day
  • Prohibits the use of multiple hooks in conjunction with natural bait and snatch hooking
  • Fish must be landed in a whole condition

BLACK DRUM, CH 46-36, F.A.C. (Effective August 31, 1998)

Allows shore fishermen who possess a valid saltwater products license with a restricted species endorsement to harvest the commercial limit for black drum.

BLACK DRUM, CH 68B-36, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2006)

Provides that, for purposes of determining the legal size of black drum, "total length" means the straight line distance 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.

BLACK DRUM, CH 68B-36, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

BLUE CRAB, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1994)

  • Designates blue crab as a "restricted species" effective January 1, 1995
  • Retains the current minimum size limit of five inches for hard blue crab commercial harvest
  • Repeals the 10 percent tolerance for undersized blue crabs
  • Allows a bycatch possession limit of 200 pounds of blue crabs per trip on shrimp trawls
  • Allows an incidental bycatch of blue crabs not higher than the recreational bag limit with all other nonconforming gear
  • Allows roller frame trawls to harvest no more than the recreational bag limit of undersized blue crabs as an incidental bycatch; such blue crabs shall be used as live bait only
  • Allows the incidental harvest of blue crabs with legal gear fished in fresh water
  • Specifies that the only gear allowed to be used to harvest blue crabs in state waters include legal traps, dip nets, drop nets, fold-up or star traps, hook and line gear, push scrape, and trot line
  • Specifies that all traps used to harvest blue crabs have maximum dimensions of 24" X 24" X 24" or 8 cubic feet in volume (beginning January 1, 1995), be constructed of wire with a minimum mesh size of 1½ inches for hard blue crabs (1 inch for peeler crab traps), have the throat(s) located only on a vertical surface, contain at least one unobstructed escape ring with a minimum inside diameter of two inches (except peeler crab traps), and buoys and lines of certain specifications
  • Requires all traps used to harvest blue crabs to have a degradable panel, beginning January 1, 1995
  • SSpecifies that all buoys attached to blue crab traps be at least 6 inches in diameter and be made of styrofoam, cork, molded polyvinyl chloride, or molded polystyrene
  • Requires commercial harvesters to affix their blue crab endorsement license number to each buoy in legible figures at least two inches high, and to display the buoy color and license number on the boat used to set this gear
  • Requires each trap used by recreational blue crab harvesters to be marked with the harvester's name and address and each buoy attached to such trap to be marked with the letter "R"; buoys are not required on traps fished from docks
  • Requires peeler crabs to be kept in a separate container from other blue crabs
  • Prohibits all harvest and possession of egg-bearing blue crabs
  • Establishes a daily recreational bag limit of 10 gallons of blue crabs
  • Allows traps used to harvest blue crabs and peeler crabs to be worked during daylight hours only

BLUE CRAB, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 1994)

  • Requires all blue crab traps to have at least 3 unobstructed escape rings installed, each with a minimum inside diameter of 2 3/8 inches, effective January 1, 1995 (one such escape ring shall be located on a vertical outer surface adjacent to each crab retaining chamber)
  • Exempts recreational traps - with a volume of no more than 1 cubic foot fished from a vessel, a dock, or from shore to harvest blue crabs - from general trap specification provisions
  • Allows a 5 percent tolerance per container for undersize hard blue crabs
  • Allows the harvest of no more than 10 gallons of undersize blue crabs with a dip net per person or vessel, whichever is less, for use and sale as live bait
  • Allows legal live bait shrimp harvesters a bycatch of 10 gallons of undersize blue crabs per vessel

BLUE CRAB, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1995)

Establishes degradability requirements for blue crab traps. Such traps are considered to have a legal degradable panel if:

  • The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a single loop of untreated Jute twine, and the trap lid is secured so that when the jute degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed, or
  • The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to one end with a corrodible hook composed of non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, and the trap lid is secured so that when the hook degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high and 3 inches wide, and the opening is laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar; the opening in the sidewall of the trap must no longer be obstructed when the jute degrades, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high by 3 inches wide, and the opening must be obstructed with an untreated pine slat or slats no thicker than 3/8 inch; the opening in the sidewall of the trap must no longer be obstructed when the slat degrades, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high by 3 inches wide, and the opening must be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner or be obstructed with a panel of ferrous single-dipped galvanized wire mesh made of 24 gauge or thinner wire

BLUE CRAB, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective October 4, 1995)

  • Allows baiting of blue crab peeler traps with live male blue crabs only
  • Requires all blue crab traps with 1½" mesh to have escape rings

BLUE CRAB - TRAP VESSEL MARKING, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective September 30, 1996)

Requires the color and trap number of marking buoys to be permanently and conspicuously displayed on vessels so that they are:

  • Readily identifiable from the air, with the approved buoy design displayed and affixed to the uppermost structural portion of the vessel and displayed horizontally with the painted design up (for vessels with an open design, such as skiffs from which blue crab traps are fished, one seat instead shall be painted with buoy assigned colors with permit numbers, unobstructed and no smaller than 10 inches high, painted thereon in contrasting color); otherwise, the display is required to exhibit the harvester's approved buoy design, unobstructed, on a circle 20 inches in diameter, outlined in contrasting color, together with the permit numbers affixed beneath the circle in numerals no smaller than 10 inches high
  • Readily identifiable from the water, with the approved buoy design displayed and affixed vertically to both the starboard and port sides of the vessel near amidship; the display is required to exhibit the harvester's approved buoy design, unobstructed, on a circle 8 inches in diameter, outlined in contrasting color, together with the permit numbers affixed beneath the circle in numerals no smaller than 4 inches high

BLUE CRAB - TRAP VESSEL MARKING, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1998)

  • Prohibits the harvest of blue crabs with a trap in federal waters adjacent to Florida
  • Requires that each throat (entrance) in all blue crab traps be horizontally oriented; the width of the opening where the throat meets the vertical wall of the trap and the opening of the throat at its farthest point from the vertical wall, inside the trap, shall be greater than the height of any such opening; no such throat shall extend farther than 6 inches into the inside of any trap, measured from where the throat opening meets the vertical wall of the trap to the throat opening at its farthest point from the vertical wall, inside the trap
  • Provides that trap marking buoys be either spherical in shape with a diameter no smaller than 6 inches, or some other shape provided that it is no shorter than 10 inches in the longest dimension and the width at some point exceeds 5 inches
  • Requires persons who commercially harvest blue crabs with traps to possess a saltwater products license with both a blue crab and restricted species endorsement

BLUE CRAB - TRAP SPECIFICATIONS, CH 46-45, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 1999)

  • Allows the use on blue crab traps of trap lid tie-down straps secured at one end by a loop composed of non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, 2 X 3/8 inch non-treated pine dowels or squares to replace the hook on tie-down straps, a 3 X 6 inch panel attached to the trap opening with 24 gauge or less wire or single strand jute
  • Prohibits the use of a 24 gauge hook or tie-down strap on blue crab traps
  • Requires each commercial blue crab trap fished in Florida waters to be permanently marked with the harvester's blue crab trap endorsement number
  • Deletes rule language that requires 1-inch identification numbers on blue crab trap buoys

BLUE CRAB - TRAP SPECIFICATIONS, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective February 28, 2002)

Extends the moratorium on the issuance of new blue crab endorsements through June 30, 2005.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2003)

Prohibits blue crab traps in the area north of the Suwannee River and beyond 3 miles seaward from September 20 through October 4.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective July 15, 2004)

Extends the September 20 through October 4 blue crab closure to all Gulf of Mexico state waters between three and nine miles from shore.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective October 21, 2004)

  • Extends the blue crab endorsement moratorium to July 1, 2006
  • Allows male blue crabs used as bait to attract female blue crabs into peeler traps to be fed with a single bait fish
  • Permits a vertical or horizontal orientation of degradable panels and the use of 16 gauge degradable staples in blue crab traps

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective May 26, 2005)

  • Establishes a hard crab endorsement and a soft crab endorsement, which can be associated with either an individual or vessel Saltwater Products License
  • Establishes endorsement qualifying and re-qualifying criteria
  • Requires trap tags and establishes tag ordering criteria and a replacement tag program
  • Establishes an appeals board and criteria by which non-qualifying blue crab fishers could be allocated traps
  • Establishes the Blue Crab Advisory Board by rule, and sets criteria for appointment to the board
  • Prohibits the leasing or renting of endorsements, tags, or traps
  • Establishes endorsement holder responsibilities

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective February 1, 2006)

  • Establishes a nontransferable blue crab limited-entry endorsement for certain net fishermen who have a valid blue crab endorsement but no qualified landings to use up to 100 traps to harvest and sell hard shell blue crabs
  • Establishes an incidental take endorsement to allow a daily bycatch of 200 pounds of blue crabs per vessel from shrimp trawls and stone crab traps
  • Allows a blue crab harvester to obtain permission from the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement to let another person transport, deploy, pull or retrieve the harvester's traps on a short-term basis for hardship reasons/li>

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B ER 06-1, F.A.C. (Effective July 1 - September 28, 2006)

Extends the moratorium on blue crab endorsements and delays the start of the blue crab effort management program until July 1, 2007.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective September 20, 2006)

Continues provisions of CH 68B ER06-1, F.A.C., Extends the moratorium on blue crab endorsements and delays the start of the blue crab effort management program until July 1, 2007.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective October 15, 2007)

  • Allows recreational fishers to use fold-up blue crab traps up to one cubic foot in volume that are not necessarily pyramid-shaped
  • Deletes the provision that limits the base panel of fold-up traps to one square foot

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2009)

Establishes the following regional closed seasons of up to 10 days each to the harvest of blue crabs with traps in:

  • All waters of the St. Johns River system from Jan. 16-25
  • All other coastal waters from the Georgia/Florida border south through Volusia County from Aug. 20-29
  • All waters of Brevard through Palm Beach counties from Aug. 10-19
  • All waters of Broward through Pasco counties from July 10-19
  • All waters of Hernando through Wakulla counties from July 20-29
  • All waters of Franklin County to the Florida/Alabama border from Jan. 5-14

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2009)

Establishes administrative penalties for violations of provisions of the Blue Crab Effort Management Program.

BLUE CRAB, CH 68B-45, F.A.C. (Effective January 26, 2011)

  • Retains the 10-day January closures to the harvest of blue crabs with traps in the St. Johns River system and in Franklin through Escambia counties as scheduled in 2011, and thereafter, sets the January St. Johns closure to occur in even numbered years and the January Franklin-Escambia closure in odd numbered years, the August closures in Nassau through Palm Beach counties in even numbered years and the July closures in Broward through Wakulla counties in odd numbered years.
  • Changes the blue crab license endorsement transfer window from September through December to May through February
  • Allows initial blue crab trap tags to be ordered at any time
  • Allows qualified blue crab harvesters to designate another of their own vessels to be used to temporarily pull blue crab traps while their regular vessel is repaired or replaced
  • Clarifies that soft shell blue crab harvesters may hold only two soft shell endorsements at one time

BLUEFISH, CH 46-43, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1993)

  • Designates bluefish as a "restricted species"
  • Establishes a 10 fish daily bag limit for recreational fishermen
  • Increases the minimum size limit from 10 inches to 12 inches fork length
  • Requires all commercial harvesters to adhere to statewide gear requirements while fishing in state and Atlantic federal waters, except that the use of spotter airplanes to harvest bluefish is allowed in federal waters of the East Central Coast Region
  • Establishes a 7,500 pound daily commercial vessel limit for bluefish on Florida's east coast in state and federal waters north of the Dade/Monroe county line
  • Requires bluefish to be landed in a whole condition

BLUEFISH, CH 46-43, FAC (Effective October 4, 1995)

Establishes an annual commercial quota of 877,000 pounds for bluefish harvested on the state's Atlantic Ocean coast.

BLUEFISH, CH 46-43, FAC (Effective August 31, 1998)

Prohibits the sale of undersize bluefish.

BLUEFISH, CH 68B-43, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

  • Removed inconsistent gear specifications for Atlantic state and federal waters
  • Removed the static quota allowing the fishery to remain open until the federal quota was met
  • Clarified the size limit, recreational bag limit and landed in whole condition extended into federal waters

BLUE LAND CRABS, CH 68B-54, FAC (Effective February 27, 2003)

  • Prohibits harvest of blue land crabs from July 1 through Oct. 31 each year to protect the crabs during spawning migrations
  • Prohibits harvest, possession, purchase or sale of egg-bearing female blue land crabs
  • Allows harvest of blue land crabs only by hand or by the use of dip nets
  • Prohibits use of bleach or other chemical solutions for harvest of blue land crabs
  • Prohibits the daily harvest or possession at any time of more than 20 blue land crabs per person
  • Prohibits harvest of blue land crabs from state parks and from the right of way of any federal, state or county maintained road, whether paved or otherwise

BLUE RUNNER, 68B-61, FAC (Effective January 1, 2014)

  • Created a new rule chapter for blue runner
  • Defined blue runner as any fish, or part of a fish of the species Caranx crysos
  • Established a recreational bag limit of 100 fish per person
  • Maintained no commercial bag limit
  • Required a commercial SPL in state and federal waters for commercial harvest
  • Extended regulations into federal waters

BONEFISH, CH 46-34, FAC (Effective March 1, 1988)

  • Bag and possession limit: One per person
  • Minimum size limit: 18 inches total length

(NOTE: An exception from possession limit for taxidermists is allowed)

BONEFISH, CH 68B-34, FAC (Effective July 1, 2006)

Provides that, for purposes of determining the legal size of bonefish, "total length" means the straight line distance 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.

BONEFISH, CH 68B-34, FAC (Effective July 1, 2010)

  • Includes all bonefish species in FWC's bonefish management rules
  • Extends FWC bonefish regulations into adjacent federal waters
  • Requires bonefish to be landed in whole condition

BONEFISH, CH 68B-34.005, FAC (Effective July 1, 2011)

  • Modifies definition of harvest and eliminates the bag limit to make bonefish a catch and release fish
  • Allows temporary possession of a single bonefish at any one time for purposes of photographing, measuring and weighing at the site of capture
  • Creates a tournament exemption permit that allows temporary possession bonefish by permit holders to transport and weigh bonefish at certified scales
  • Creates livewell and transport requirements for temporary possession during transport to certified scales

BONEFISH, CH 68B-34, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

  • Made bonefish a catch-and-release-only species
  • Removed the definition of “organized tournament”
  • Removed references to the tournament exemption permit for bonefish tournaments
  • Eliminated the tournament exemption permit
  • Prohibited the use of multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait to harvest or attempt to harvest bonefish

BREVARD COUNTY TURKEY CREEK AND CRANE CREEK, CH 46-3.009, FAC (Effective April 18, 1990)

Allows only hook and line gear, landing or dip nets, cast nets, or legal crab traps to be used to harvest fish in all waters and tributaries of Turkey Creek and Crane Creek in Brevard County westward of a line drawn between the two easternmost points of land at the respective mouths of the creeks.

BREVARD COUNTY NET GEAR, CH 46-3.038, F.A.C. (Effective February 16, 1993)

Repeals Brevard County Special Acts prohibiting nets in certain areas, and readopts the prohibition of the use of any net or seine of a length greater than 75 yards within 200 yards of the mean high tide mark in the Atlantic waters of Brevard County, except for those waters adjacent to beaches closed to public access by NASA.

CALICO SCALLOPS, CH 46-53, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 1999)

(Note: Some trawl provisions regarding this rule are also included in the shrimp rule - CH 46-31, F.A.C.)

  • Prohibits the harvest of calico scallops between the Hillsborough/Manatee counties line and the Big Bend/Northwest regions line
  • Prohibits the use of scallop trawls in all state waters closed to otter trawls, and within 1 mile from the COLREGS line (except in Franklin, Gulf, and Wakulla counties - within 3 miles from the COLREGS line)
  • Prohibits the possession of more than 250 processed calico scallop meats per pound measured in a 1 pound sample taken in any container(s), with no tolerance for undersize scallops
  • Allows the use of specified trawls for the directed harvest of calico scallops only, and allows the use of a try net
  • Establishes a minimum webbing size of 3 inches stretched mesh throughout the body and bag of the net, a minimum net twine size as #84 nylon, a maximum headrope length of 40 feet (120 feet perimeter), and a maximum net mesh area of 500 square feet
  • Establishes a maximum net tow time of 25 minutes, and allows turtle excluder device exemptions for specified calico scallop trawls if federally approved

CALICO SCALLOPS, CH 68B-53, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER SEASONAL NET CLOSURE, CH 46-3.002, F.A.C. (Effective May 1, 1988)

Closes river to net fishing all year, east or upstream of a line running across the river from Redfish Point to near Peppertree Point, and closes northern half of river near Cape Coral to netting during roe mullet season (November 1 to January 15) each year. Provides exception to closures for common hand cast nets and bait seines 100 feet or less in length.

CALOOSAHATCHEE RIVER SEASONAL NET CLOSURE, CH 46-3.002, F.A.C. (Effective September 1, 1993)

Expands above closure to January 31 each year and extends the closure area to include the southern half of the river and waters surrounding the Punta Rassa - Shell Point area.

COBIA, CH 46-19, F.A.C. (Effective June 13, 1985)

Establishes a minimum size limit of 37 inches total length (equivalent to 33 inches fork length).

COBIA, CH 46-19, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1990)

  • Minimum size limit: 33 inches fork length
  • Bag limit: 2 per person daily for all fishermen, commercial and recreational - must be landed in a whole condition

COBIA, CH 46-19, F.A.C. (Effective August 31, 1998)

Prohibits the sale of undersize cobia.

COBIA, CH 68B-19, F.A.C. (Effective March 22, 2001)

  • Designates cobia as a "restricted species"
  • Establishes a one-fish-per-day bag limit per person and a six-fish-per-day vessel limit (whichever is less) for recreational fishermen
  • Establishes a two-fish-per-day bag limit per person and a six-fish-per-day vessel limit (whichever is less) for commercial fishermen

COBIA, CH 68B-19, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

COLLIER COUNTY SPEARFISHING BAN REPEAL (Effective June 30, 2013)

  • Create 68B-3.002, FAC, titled: Repeal of Chapters 27473 and 30665, Collier County Special Acts, which would repeal these two Special Acts of Local Application for Collier County
  • Amend the Commission’s spearfishing rules to clarify that spearfishing is allowed in waters off Collier County.

DIVERS: FISH FEEDING PROHIBITED, CH 68B-5.005, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2002)

  • Prohibits the practice of the introduction of food or other substances by divers to feed or attract marine species
  • Prohibits the operation of any vessel for hire for the purpose of carrying passengers to any site to observe fish feeding

DOLPHIN, CH 46-41, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1991)

  • Recreational daily bag and on-the-water possession limit: 10
  • Commercial size limit: 20 inches fork length for commercial fishermen and all sale (must be landed in a whole condition)
  • Allowed gear: Hook and line, longline (bycatches not exceeding the bag limit exempted)

DOLPHIN AND WAHOO, CH 68B-41, F.A.C. (Effective January 3, 2005)

  • Designates dolphin and wahoo as restricted species
  • Establishes a 20-inch fork length minimum size limit for all harvest of dolphin on Florida's Atlantic coast
  • Establishes a statewide maximum recreational harvest limit of 60 dolphin per vessel (except 10 dolphin per paying passenger on for-hire vessels)
  • Establishes a statewide daily two-fish recreational bag limit and a 500-pound commercial daily vessel limit for wahoo
  • Requires commercial vessels on the Atlantic coast harvesting dolphin and wahoo to have a federal permit
  • Prohibits the sale of recreationally caught dolphin or wahoo (except qualified for-hire vessels may sell recreationally harvested dolphin)
  • Requires all dolphin and wahoo to be landed in a whole condition

DOLPHIN AND WAHOO, 68B-41, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Wahoo removed from Dolphin and Wahoo Chapter 68B-41 and placed into new chapter of its own 68B-58.

DOLPHIN AND WAHOO, CH 68B-41, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

ESCAMBIA AND SANTA ROSA COUNTIES: PURSE SEINE HARVEST OF MENHADEN, CH 46-3, F.A.C. (Effective August 3, 1994)

Allows the limited use of purse seines to harvest menhaden in state waters of Escambia and Santa Rosa counties landward of the Colregs Demarcation Line. The rule, applicable in the above described region only:

  • Establishes a June 1 through May 31 commercial harvest season for menhaden/li>
  • Provides that if the total commercial harvest of menhaden is not projected to reach one million pounds during the period June 1 through October 31, the season will close until the following June 1
  • Provides that if the total commercial harvest of menhaden is projected to reach three million pounds before May 31, the season will close on the projected date until the following June 1
  • Prohibits the harvest of menhaden with a purse seine from any vessel 40 feet or greater in length
  • Prohibits the use of purse seines greater than 400 yards in length
  • Prohibits the use of purse seines in the waters of Big Lagoon, Santa Rosa Sound, Escambia Bay north of the railroad trestle just north of the Interstate 10 bridge, Blackwater Bay north of the Interstate 10 bridge, or in any bayou in the inside waters of these counties, except Bayou Texar and Bayou Chico
  • Prohibits the harvest of menhaden with purse seines from sunset Friday through sunrise Monday, and on legal state holidays
  • Establishes a two percent bycatch allowance by weight for nontargeted species harvested with purse seines (however, any fish for which the Commission has established a bag limit may not be retained)

FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, CH 46-6, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1997)

This rule, in state waters of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary:

  • Prohibits all harvest, possession, and molestation of any living or dead marine organism or habitat feature within the Western Sambos Ecological Reserve (SER), and within the Cheeca Rocks, Eastern Dry Rocks, Hens and Chickens, Newfound Harbor Key, Rock Key, and Sand Key Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA's); however, properly stowed finfish, shellfish, and marine plants, and fishing gear not readily accessible for immediate use (by being stowed unbaited in a cabin, locker, rod holder, or similar storage area, or by being securely covered and lashed to a deck or bulkhead), may be possessed on a vessel in transit through these areas; catch and release fishing by trolling is also allowed in the Sand Key area
  • Prohibits touching and standing on a living or dead coral formation
  • Prohibits all harvest, possession, and molestation of any living or dead marine organism or habitat feature, and all fishing, within the Eastern Sambos Special-Use area, except by special permit for research or education purposes

FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, CH 46-6, F.A.C. (Effective November 16, 1998)

  • Allows persons fishing in Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary state waters who possess a valid federal permit to harvest ballyhoo, balao, halfbeaks, and herring in the Cheeca Rocks, Hens and Chickens, Eastern Dry Rocks, Rock Key, and Sand Key Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA's) with a legal cast net or modified lampara net (designed to fish only at the water surface), and in the Newfound Harbor SPA with a legal cast net
  • Prohibits the harvest of all bycatch, contact with or disturbance of the seabed, and the use of any other gear other than that specified above in the designated SPA's

FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY, CH 68B-6, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2001)

Prohibits all fishing, spearfishing and collection of marine life in state waters in the Tortugas Ecological Reserve.

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 46-48, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1996)

  • Establishes a 12 inches minimum size limit for all harvester of both species
  • Establishes a 10 fish daily recreational bag limit for each species
  • Allows only hook and line, cast net, and beach and haul seine gear for the harvest of each species (gigs also allowed for flounders only) - a 50 pound commercial daily vessel bycatch allowance for each species otherwise legally harvested in nonconforming gear is also allowed
  • Daily harvest of no more than 10 of each species allowed by spearfishing
  • Designates both species as "restricted species" /li>
  • Defines "length" (for purposes of determining the size limit) as the measurement of the fish from the most forward point of the head to the rear center edge of the tail
  • Requires both species to be landed in a whole condition, and prohibits the possession of any such fish that are not in a whole condition in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty
  • Prohibits the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with natural bait, and snagging (snatch hooking) to harvest both species in state waters
  • Allows size/bag limit exemptions for aquaculture operators who provide proper documentation

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 46-48, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1997)

Increases the daily bag limit for sheepshead from 10 to 15 fish per person for recreational fishermen, and allows commercial spearfishing of sheepshead.

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 46-48, F.A.C. (Effective August 31, 1998)

Prohibits the sale of undersize flounder and sheepshead.

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 68B-48, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2006)

Provides that, for purposes of determining the legal size of flounder and sheepshead, "total length" means the straight line distance 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.

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 68B-48, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Sheepshead removed from Flounder and Sheepshead Chapter 68B-48 and placed into a new chapter of its own 68B-59.

FLOUNDER AND SHEEPSHEAD, CH 68B-48, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

GEAR DEFINITIONS, CH 68B-4.002, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Several gear definitions located in individual species chapters consolidated and moved to the Gear Definitions chapter.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective April 18, 1990)

Repeals a statutory provision that prevents the D.N.R. from issuing special activity licenses for the experimental use of alternative shrimp fishing gear.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER91-1, F.A.C. (Effective February 12 - May 13, 1991)

Prohibits the use of any gill or trammel net with a total length greater than 600 yards, allows no more than two such nets to be possessed aboard any boat at any time and no more than one such net to be used from a single boat, and requires the net to be tended and marked according to certain specifications in the waters of Brevard through Palm Beach counties.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective March 20, 1991)

Prohibits the use of gill nets in state waters with a mesh size greater than 6 inches stretched mesh.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 4, 1991)

In all waters of Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties:

  • Prohibits the use of any gill or trammel net with a total length greater than 600 yards
  • Allows no more than two nets to be possessed aboard any boat at any time
  • Allows no more than one net to be in the water at any time
  • Requires nets to be tended during a soak time lasting no more than one hour
  • Prohibits the attachment of two or more gill or trammel nets together if the total length of the joined nets exceeds 600 yards
  • Requires nets to be marked and lighted according to certain specifications

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 1992)

  • Requires each net fished with, set, or placed in the water to be tended
  • "Tend" is defined as a person fishing either within 300 yards of the net and using vessel movement and noise to force fish into the net, or within 50 yards of the net and visible from the net if the vessel used is not in constant motion, or the person fishing is physically present at the net if the net is fished from shore or from a structure attached to the shore (until April 30, 1994, persons using nets in state waters seaward of the Colregs Demarcation Line in Nassau, Duval, and St. Johns counties are exempt from these requirements January through April each year)
  • Requires that each net fished with, set, or placed in the water one hour before sunrise through one hour after sunset have affixed at each end of the net cork line either an international orange float with a diameter of at least 12 inches or an end buoy equipped with a high flier (a vertical rod rising at least 24 inches above the water) displaying a triangular net signal flag no smaller than 12" X 18" X 18" with a white circle at least 6 inches in diameter on a field of bright orange, and one hour after sunset through one hour before sunrise have a white light affixed at each end of the net cork line visible 360 degrees from a distance of not less than one mile (note - markings are not necessary any time one end of a net is retained aboard a vessel while fishing); requires corks or floats of contrasting colors to be affixed along the net cork line at no greater than 100-yard intervals at all times
  • Requires all markers described above to be marked with the vessel or operator's saltwater products license
  • Defines "net" as any gill or trammel net or seine (except purse seines), for purposes of this rule
  • Exempts persons using gill and trammel nets in Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie, Martin, and Palm Beach counties from the rule provisions described above - these persons shall comply with Rule 46-4.007, Florida Administrative Code, now in effect
  • Repeals Chapter 370.082, Florida Statutes (relates to current net tending and marking requirements in several Florida counties)
  • PProhibits all persons from intentionally discarding any monofilament fishing line or netting into state waters; requires such material to be stored safely on vessels and disposed of on land; encourages designation of a disposal container aboard all vessels for proper disposal of monofilament fishing line and netting, and for any other nondegradable material
  • Prohibits the use of any gasoline or electric motorized vessel to harvest any fish in Lake Avoca in Pinellas County
  • Prohibits fishing with nets other than a cast net or landing or dip net in the Faka Union River (or Canal)
  • Repeals Chapters 19704, 28996, and 57-1794, Laws of Florida/li>

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective November 26, 1992)

Establishes the criteria for Special Activity Licenses to be issued to persons using non-conforming fishing gear to allow for gear innovation, provide for public health, safety, and welfare, and for scientific research purposes.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1993)

  • Requires hook and line gear to be continually tended
  • Prohibits soaking a net for more than one hour, beginning when the first mesh is placed in the water and ending either when the first mesh is retrieved back aboard the vessel or on shore or the gathering or pursing of the net is begun to facilitate retrieval back aboard the vessel, whichever occurs sooner; once either the first mesh is retrieved back aboard the vessel or on shore or the gathering or pursing is begun, the netting operation shall be continuous until the net is completely removed from the water
  • Sets a maximum mesh size for seines at 2 inches stretched mesh, excluding the wings
  • Sets a minimum mesh size for gill and trammel nets at 3 inches stretched mesh, beginning January 1, 1995
  • Sets a maximum length of 600 yards for all gill and trammel nets and seines
  • Allows only a single net to be fished by any vessel or individual at any time
  • Allows no more than two nets to be in possession on a vessel, and requires that the two nets have stretched mesh sizes that differ by at least 1/4 inch or depths that differ by at least 25 meshes
  • Prohibits the use of powerheads in state waters except for personal protection; the possession of fish which have been harvested with explosive devices on any vessel fishing or at rest in state waters will be deemed prima facie evidence that such fish have been harvested in state waters
  • Prohibits the use of spotter airplanes to assist the harvest of any species other than Spanish mackerel during the unlimited harvest segment and species allowed to be harvested by purse seines
  • Requires all persons using gill and trammel nets, and seines exceeding either 100 feet in length, 4 feet in depth, or 3/8 inch mesh size to obtain a saltwater products license
  • Prohibits the use of longline gear
  • Repeals, modifies, or readopts numerous local laws and special acts regarding the use of fishing gear in Florida

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - PANHANDLE REGION, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective March 16, 1993)

  • Defines the Panhandle Region as the area between the Gulf/Franklin county border and the Florida/Alabama border
  • Prohibits the use of all nets (except cast nets) in Lake Powell, Johnson Bayou, Pretty Bayou, Callaway Bayou, Mill Bayou, Sandy Creek, and Doty's Cove in Bay County; in Lake Pippin in Okaloosa County; in Blackwater Bay north of Interstate Highway 10 in Santa Rosa County; and in Lake Wimico and certain tributaries in Gulf County
  • Allows recreational fishermen to use gill nets smaller that 300 feet in length with a mesh size larger than 3 inches stretched mesh to harvest mullet until January 1, 1995 in this region

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective April 12, 1993)

Restores an exemption to persons fishing with nets seaward of the Colregs Demarcation line during the months of January through April each year (until May 1, 1994) in Nassau, Duval, and St. Johns counties from the one hour soak time provision in CH 46-4, F.A.C.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - SOUTHWEST FLORIDA PURSE SEINE RESTRICTIONS, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1993)

Allows the use of purse seines in the Tampa Bay area (Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Manatee counties) in state waters beyond 3 miles offshore of the COLREGS line only. This rule also repeals local purse seine gear restrictions in this area and establishes a maximum purse seine length of 600 yards with a maximum depth of 1,500 meshes in the allowable area.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - SPECIAL ACTIVITY LICENSES FOR NONCONFORMING GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective September 1, 1993)

Allows the issuance of a special activity license to persons harvesting fish for scientific purposes in non-conforming gear for sale to nonprofit institutions.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - BIG BEND GEAR SPECIFICATIONS: RECREATIONAL NET FISHING, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective September 1, 1993)

Allows recreational fishermen to use a gill net with a maximum length of 100 yards with a minimum 3 inches stretched mesh in the Big Bend Region to harvest mullet until January 1, 1995.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - SOUTHWEST FLORIDA GEAR SPECIFICATIONS, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective September 1, 1993)

  • Defines the Southwest Region to include Collier through Pinellas counties
  • Prohibits the use of gill and trammel nets in any bayou, river, creek, or tributary of the Estero River, Hendry Creek, Imperial River from headwaters to Fishtrap Bay, Myakka River from State Road 776 north to County Road 780, Gordon River north of U.S. Highway 41, Hillsborough River, and Alafia River; and, along with cast nets, in a specified area of Blind Pass and Dinken (also known as Jenkins) Bayou from November 1 - January 31 each year
  • Prohibits the use or possession of all gill and trammel nets aboard any vessel with a motor (gasoline, diesel, or electric) in the "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge/Sanibel Island Conservation Zone; in addition, the use of motorized vessels to assist in the harvest of fish in this zone is prohibited; the harvest of fish with hook and line gear or cast nets aboard any vessel under internal combustion power in this zone is also prohibited
  • Allows tended wing ding nets to be used under certain conditions with a maximum 12 hour soak time outside the COLREGS line in Manatee to Collier counties

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - EAST CENTRAL COAST GEAR SPECIFICATIONS - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER93-1, F.A.C. (Effective October 12, 1993 - January 10, 1994)

  • Establishes a conservation zone for green sea turtles to include all state waters between Sebastian Inlet and Jupiter Inlet outside the Colregs line at all times
  • Allows only one gill net (maximum length of 600 yards) aboard a vessel, with zero net soak time, in the conservation zone
  • Prohibits the use of trammel nets in the conservation zone
  • Prohibits the use of all gill and trammel nets and seines in Martin County in all inland waters south of the St. Lucie Inlet to the State Road 708 bridge and waters of the St. Lucie River, North and South Forks, west of the U.S. Highway 1 (Roosevelt) Bridge

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - EAST CENTRAL COAST GEAR SPECIFICATIONS, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective January 23, 1994)

Makes emergency provisions described above permanent.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 18, 1994)

Clarifies that statewide net marking requirements are intended to apply to the east central coast of Florida.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective January 3 - June 30, 1995)

In all state waters from Ponce de Leon Inlet to Jupiter Inlet outside the Colregs Demarcation Line:

  • Prohibits the use of all gill nets, trammel nets, and seines one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise
  • Allows only one gill net (maximum length of 600 yards) aboard a vessel, with zero net soak time, at all other times
  • Prohibits the use of trammel nets at all times

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective September 30, 1996)

Rule amendments and the repeal of obsolete rules that conform current fishing gear rules with Constitutional provisions. Rules affected include local laws, gear, Spanish mackerel, black drum, and marine life species.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1997)

  • Allows the use from a single vessel of no more than 2 cast nets (each with a radius of no more than 12 feet, 7 inches) in nearshore and inshore state waters
  • Prohibits the use of rebreathers to aid the harvest of any marine species
  • Conforms various gear rule definitions with Constitutional provision

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 46-4, F.A.C. (Effective April 27, 1998)

  • Prohibits the use of any seine with a mesh size larger than 2 inches stretched mesh
  • Deletes obsolete net gear provisions
  • Conforms certain gear rules to constitutional and statutory provisions

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective December 2, 1999)

Specifies that a legal cast net can have a stretched length (the distance from the horn at the center of the net, with the net gathered and pulled taut, to the lead line) no greater than 14 feet.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2001)

Prohibits spearfishing of marine species in freshwater.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2001)

Removes some potential barriers to net fishing by persons with disabilities.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR - MARTIN COUNTY, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective February 27, 2003)

Deletes a rule that prohibits the use of beach or haul seines in described areas of Martin County inside waters from September through February each year. Rule 68B-3.032, F.A.C., which allows only 30-foot minnow seines, cast nets and landing or dip nets in inside waters of Martin County at all times, applies instead.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2003)

  • Clarifies and re-adopts certain provisions that implement prohibitions of the net limitation amendment
  • Prohibits the transport of illegal nets in state waters (unless the transport of such nets is direct, continuous and expeditious from where the vessel is moored to where the use of such nets is legal)
  • Specifies that any auxiliary vessels used in conjunction with a primary vessel must be commercially registered and eight feet long or longer
  • Prohibits possession of more than four seines aboard a vessel (including the primary vessel and any other vessel being transported or towed)

(NOTE: The rules include certain exceptions for docked vessels meeting specified length requirements, vessels transporting dry nets that are stored to make their immediate use impracticable, vessels using nets in a licensed aquaculture operation and vessels containing or transporting trawl nets, as long as the frame or trawl doors are not deployed.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2004)

  • Limits the number of fishing lines/rods used per boat to fish for any species of fish in Boca Grande Pass to no more than three during April, May and June
  • Prohibits use of breakaway gear to harvest any fish in Boca Grande Pass during April, May and June - breakaway gear is defined to mean any bob, float, weight, lure or spoon that is affixed to a fishing line or hook with wire, line, rubber bands, plastic ties or other fasteners designed to break off when a fish is caught

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 15, 2004)

Prohibits possession of trap pullers on all commercial and recreational vessels that do not have a Saltwater Products License with an accompanying lobster, stone crab or blue crab endorsement or a federal fish trap permit (except as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act).

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective January 3, 2005)

Allows the use of trap pullers on vessels harvesting from aquaculture leases or pursuant to a federal live rock permit (no wild-caught regulated species may be possessed aboard the vessel).

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2005)

Incorporates constitutional and statutory net fishing provisions into FWC rules, and creates net measurement and net construction specifications.

GEAR SPECIFICATIONS AND PROHIBITED GEAR, CH 68B-4, F.A.C. (Effective April 1, 2007)

Requires persons recovering monofilament netting in Florida waters to notify FWC law enforcement prior to recovering the netting and to have an FWC officer present to supervise recovery and disposal of the material.

GENERAL CHAPTER CREATED, CH 68B-2, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

  • 68B-2, FAC, Restricted Species License Exemption renamed General chapter
  • Several definitions and rules consolidated and moved to the General chapter
  • 68B-2.001 General Definitions added to the General chapter, creating a location for commonly used definitions
  • “For Commercial Purposes” added to General Definitions and defined as at least twice the recreational bag limit with intent to sell (formerly found in Florida Statute and several FAC chapters)
  • “Harvest” added to General Definitions and expanded to include the unnecessary harming or destruction of marine organisms.
  • “Purchase” and “Sell” added to General Definitions and expanded to mirror language in snook chapter, such that a change in possession would not be required for a transaction to constitute a purchase or sale.
  • 68B-2.002 added to General Chapter, clarifying:
    • All non-harvested finfish and regulated invertebrates be immediately returned to the water
      • Prohibiting all unnecessary harming or destruction
      • Prohibiiting discarding of these animals on the bank, shore or otherwise out of the water
  • Allowing for temporary possess of marine organisms to determine species and length and to take photographs
  • 68B-2.003 added to General chapter, clarifying when a recreational fishing license, saltwater products license or RS endorsement is required (previously found in Florida Statute)
  • 68B-2.004 added to General chapter, prohibiting both recreational and commercial harvest of any single species on the same trip (found in reef fish chapter)
  • 68B-2.007 added to General chapter, prohibiting possession, transport, sale and purchase of illegally-caught marine organisms (previously found in reef fish and redfish rules and Florida Statute)
  • 68B-2.008 added to General chapter, prohibiting placing traps in navigational channels

GENERAL CHAPTER - FREE FISHING DAYS, CH 68B-2.009, FAC (Effective _____ )

  • Approved 2 additional saltwater dates for 2013
    • October 12
    • November 30[R11]  
  • Placed four license-free recreational saltwater fishing days into FWC rule
  • Saltwater license free fishing days were set to occur annually on:
    • First Saturday and Sunday in June
    • First Saturday in September  
    • First Saturday following Thanksgiving                  

GOVERNOR'S RULE REDUCTION INITIATIVE: TITLE 46, F.A.C. RULE REPEALS (Effective January 1, 1996)

Eliminates 60 obsolete or otherwise substantively unnecessary rules from Title 46 of the F.A.C., in response to a call from the Governor to reduce the number of state agency regulations. Includes local laws rendered obsolete by the constitutional net ban, severability and penalties rules, and other rules found to be substantively unnecessary.

 

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FWC Facts:
Smalltooth sawfish have been reliably measured at 18 feet, but they may grow to over 20 feet long.

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