FWC Fishing Rule Changes 2/2013

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) met Feb. 13th and 14th in Orlando to discuss several rule changes that will effect Florida anglers.

One of these rule changes was the recreational red snapper season for Gulf of Mexico state waters. They proposed the 2013 season should start June 1 and end July 14th. The commission is considering a season longer then the proposed 27 day long federal season because of reports indicating the upcoming federal stock assessment will show red snapper are doing better than previously thought along with reports from anglers that the fishery is improving. They will make a final decision on this season at the April Commission meeting in Tallahassee.

The FWC also set the 2013 recreational gag grouper season for Gulf of Mexico state waters. The season will be July 1st – December 3rd in most state waters. Taylor, Jefferson, Wakulla and Franklin counties, including waters of the Steinhatchee River, Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, will have a gag grouper open season of April 1st through June 30th. This will allow recreational anglers in this area to fish for gag grouper when they are closer to shore and can be fished for from smaller boats. Monroe County is included in the Atlantic season for gag grouper.

The FWC approved two changes to how gray triggerfish are managed in Gulf of Mexico state waters. The changes will make state regulations consistent with pending federal regulations. Changes for recreational anglers include a June 1-through-July 31 closed recreational season and a two-fish daily bag limit. Changes for commercial anglers include a 12-fish trip limit and a June 1-through-July 31 harvest closure.

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