Bill White caught this 47-inch redfish off a seawall in Merritt Island. He caught it using fresh-cut mullet. Father, Bill, climbed down the rocks and helped land him for a quick picture. Red drum and spotted seatrout management changes made by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at their November 2011 meeting took effect Feb. 1. The key changes include increased recreational bag limits and the removal of seasons for seatrout.

Northwest Zone: Escambia County through Fred Howard Park Causeway near Pasco County. Northeast Zone: Nassau through Flagler counties. South Zone: Pinellas through Monroe counties on the west coast and Miami-Dade through Volusia counties on the east coast.

Changes affecting red drum 

1)  The creation of three management zones (see map) for red drum instead of one statewide management area. The areas represent the northwest, northeast and southern sections of the state’s waters.

2) Increasing from one to two the number of red drum that a recreational fisherman can take per day in the Northeast and Northwest zones

3) Establishing a statewide vessel limit of eight red drum;

4) Limiting the number of red drum that can be transported in a vehicle on land to six red drum per person.







Northwest Zone: Escambia to Fred Howard Park Causeway. Southwest Zone: Fred Howard Park Causeway to Monroe County line at Card Sound. Southeast Zone: Miami-Dade County at Card Sound to Volusia/Flagler County line. Northeast Zone: Flagler/Volusia County line to Nassau County. (FWC graphic)

Changes affecting spotted seatrout 

1) Redefining the areas where spotted seatrout are managed by splitting the state into four management zones instead of three (see map)

2)  The recreational season will be open year-round statewide (this includes the removal of the February closure in northern Florida, and the November-through-December closure in southern Florida)

3) Raising the recreational bag limit in Northeast Florida from five to six









Both species’ rule changes are the result of a successful management strategy, says the FWC.

“This is our version of having a listed, protected species and being able to take it off that list. This is a success story,” said Commissioner Brian Yablonski about the increased recreational fishing opportunities.

Other recreational red drum and spotted seatrout rules will remain the same.

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