Florida is known as a tourist-friendly state, but starting Aug. 1, one visitor will no longer be welcome: the invasive lionfish. Introduced into Florida waters in the late 1980s, lionfish populations have boomed in recent years, negatively impacting native wildlife and habitat.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is asking anglers to help gather important information about the Atlantic red snapper fishery. The recreational red snapper season in Atlantic federal waters (beyond 3 nautical miles in the Atlantic) is open for 8 days this year.
The FWC has scheduled a series of Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational stakeholder workshops beginning in late July to discuss state and federal management of recreational red snapper, and to explore potential future approaches to managing this fishery.
The gag grouper recreational harvest season in Gulf of Mexico state waters, not including Franklin, Jefferson, Wakulla and Taylor counties, will remain open through Dec. 3, closing Dec. 4.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) made several changes at a June 18 meeting in Fort Myers that will help combat the lionfish invasion in Florida waters. Lionfish are an invasive species that have a negative impact on native wildlife and habitat.
Recreational harvest of golden tilefish and snowy grouper in the South Atlantic will close, at 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 7, 2014.
The 2014 Gulf of Mexico red snapper recreational season in federal waters is 9 days, opening at 12:01 a.m., June 1, 2014, and closing at 12:01 a.m., on June 10, 2014. The red snapper bag limit is 2 fish with a 16-inch minimum total length size limit.
Local control efforts such as lionfish derbies have shown to be an effective means of lionfish control. Several of these events are held across the state annually along with many other lionfish related educational events. Find a lionfish derby or lionfish-related educational event near you.
Reminder: FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management is hosting a statewide telephone conference tonight, Tuesday, March 4 to gather input on a proposed Gulf Offshore Recreational Fishing Permit.
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of public hearings around the Gulf of Mexico beginning Monday, March 10, 2014 through Monday, March 24, 2014.
The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier game fish, snook, reopens on March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.
During its recent meeting in Houston, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council approved moving ahead with an amendment to update the allocation of Gulf red snapper between the commercial and recreational sectors, a welcome development hailed by the Coastal Conservation Association as long overdue.
During the next FWC meeting, to be held in Tampa, Feb. 12-13, the public is invited to provide input on many current fisheries management issues. Of pressing concern to many recreational anglers on the Gulfside is the presentation of a red snapper draft rule to set the 2014 recreational season in the Gulf. Let your voice be heard and be sure to attend this important meeting!
This is a reminder that the Feb. 1 through March 31 closure that would have affected several species of grouper in Gulf state waters has been removed and will not occur as it has in previous years. This closure was removed at the September 2013 meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
The recreational harvest season for snook reopens on Feb. 1 in Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters (from the Miami-Dade/Monroe county line north), including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season will remain open through May 31.
It is glaringly apparent that the views and concerns of recreational anglers are not being heard by federal fisheries managers. In an effort to reach out to the recreational angling community, the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council has scheduled a series of Recreational Angler Participation sessions.