FAQs: Shoreline fishing - License requirement changes

(Updated 02/07/11)

  1. When did the shoreline license requirement take effect?
  2. Who is required to have a valid shoreline fishing license with them?
  3. How much does the license cost?
  4. If I have a regular saltwater fishing license, will I have to purchase a shoreline license too?
  5. If I wade into the water to fish, will I no longer be covered by the shoreline license?
  6. If I ride in a boat to a fishing spot and then fish from shore, am I still covered by the shoreline license?
  7. Do nonresident anglers qualify for the shoreline license?
  8. Is anybody exempt from the shoreline license requirement?
  9. If I fish from shore, using a cane pole, Cuban yoyo or hand line with no reel attached, do I still have to have the shoreline license?
  10. If I fish from shore, using a cast net, crab net, dip net, some other kind of net, crab basket, trap, gig or spear, am I still covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism?
  11. If I gather scallops or other shellfish by hand, am I covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism?
  12. If I get a shoreline license now, can I buy a regular saltwater fishing license later if I decide to fish from a vessel or from shore using non-exempt gear?
  13. Why did the state pass this shoreline fishing license requirement?
  14. Are there other changes to license and permit requirements for other activities, like hunting?
  15. Is there a similar shoreline license for freshwater anglers?
  16. Where can I find more information about license requirements?
  17. Do I need a Snook Permit if I have a Shoreline license?

1. When did the shoreline license requirement take effect?

The new shoreline fishing license requirement took effect Aug. 1, 2009.

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2. Who is required to have a valid shoreline fishing license with them?

Resident saltwater anglers who fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore will need to buy a shoreline fishing license unless they have a regular saltwater fishing license or are exempt.

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3. How much does the license cost?

The license is free, effective July 1, 2010. However, anglers who obtain the license over the phone will pay a convenience fee of $3.33 to the vendor who provides the service, and those who obtain the license off the Internet will pay a $2.31 convenience fee.

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4. If I have a regular saltwater fishing license, will I have to get a shoreline license too?

No. A resident regular fishing license that covers fishing from shore as well as from a vessel costs $17 and may be the best option for most anglers unless they feel certain they will fish only from shore.

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5. If I wade into the water to fish, will I no longer be covered by the shoreline license?

Anglers who wade into the water are considered to be fishing from shore as long as they can stand on the bottom.

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6. If I ride in a boat to a fishing spot and then fish from shore, am I still covered by the shoreline license?

No. If an angler arrives at the fishing location by boat, he must have a regular saltwater fishing license, regardless of whether he fishes from shore.

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7. Do nonresident anglers qualify for the shoreline license?

No. The shoreline fishing license is available to Florida residents only. Nonresident saltwater anglers must purchase a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license at $17 for three days, $30 for seven days or $47 for one year, regardless of whether they fish from shore or a vessel. These prices include administrative fees, but handling fees are additional.

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8. Is anybody exempt from the shoreline license requirement?

The new license requirement allows exemptions for residents who are age 65 or older, all children under age 16, resident disabled persons who meet certain qualifications, active duty military personnel while home on leave, and all anglers who fish from a licensed pier. In addition, the license requirement includes exemptions for resident anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid, and anglers who use a pole or line without a line retrieval mechanism (such as a reel) in their home counties.

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9. If I fish from shore, using a cane pole, Cuban yoyo or hand line with no reel attached, do I still have to have the shoreline license?

There is an exemption for resident anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, using natural bait, and it applies to anglers who fish from shore, structures affixed to shore or vessels. This exemption applies only in the angler's home county.

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10. If I fish from shore, using a cast net, crab net, dip net, some other kind of net, crab basket, trap, gig or spear, am I still covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism?

The exemption for anglers using a pole or line, not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism, does not include anglers who use any type of gear other than hook and line. For instance, crabbers who use traps, baskets, crab nets, dip nets or landing nets will need to obtain a shoreline license to crab from shore or purchase a regular fishing license. Also, fishermen who use cast nets or other types of nets are not exempt from license requirements.

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11. If I gather scallops or other shellfish by hand, am I covered by the license exemption for anglers who don't have a fishing line retrieval mechanism?

No. The exemption for anglers using a pole or line not equipped with a fishing-line-retrieval mechanism does not include those who gather shellfish or other marine animals by hand.

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12. If I get a shoreline license now, can I buy a regular saltwater fishing license later if I decide to fish from a vessel or from shore using non-exempt gear?

Yes.  Anglers who have a shoreline license but need a regular saltwater fishing license can purchase a regular saltwater fishing license, even if they already have a shoreline license.

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13. Why did the state pass this shoreline fishing license requirement?

At the request of the FWC, the Florida Legislature passed the shoreline fishing license requirement to head off a federal registration requirement that would have gone into effect Jan. 1, 2010, and would have had a $15 to $25 fee, beginning in 2011. The shoreline license makes Florida's resident anglers exempt from that federal fee.

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14. Are there other changes to license and permit requirements for other activities, like hunting?

Yes. Other permit fee changes that were requested by several hunting, fishing and conservation organizations will take effect July 1, 2010. They include increases in

  • the state waterfowl permit, from the current $3 to $5;
  • the resident turkey permit, from $5 to $10;
  • the nonresident turkey permit, from $100 to $125;
  • the snook permit, from $2 to $10; and
  • the lobster permit, from $2 to $5.

Also, starting in July 2010, the law creates a $5 annual deer permit (required in addition to a hunting license for deer hunters unless they are exempt from license and permit requirements) and allows the agency to charge up to $5 per day for non-hunting and non-fishing recreation on certain wildlife management areas. The FWC will evaluate areas where the FWC is the lead manager to determine where to charge the fees and how much to charge.

In addition, up to 10 percent of the hunting and sport fishing permit fees are to be used to promote those sports, with emphasis on youth participation.

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15. Is there a similar shoreline license for freshwater anglers?

No.  There never was a general exemption for fishing from the shore or a structure attached to shore in freshwater, so no new license was needed. In addition, the new exemption for anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid applies only to resident saltwater anglers fishing from shore or a structure attached to shore and does not relate to freshwater.

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16. Where can I find more information about license requirements?

More information about license and permit requirements, outdoor recreation and FWC programs is available at MyFWC.com.

17. Do I need a Snook Permit if I have a Shoreline license?

Yes, if you are not exempt and have a Saltwater Shoreline license you are required to have a Snook Permit to keep a snook in season.

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FWC Facts:
Florida has 3 million acres of freshwater lakes and 12,000 miles of streams and rivers - home to more than 250 different species of freshwater fish.

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