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Proposal Would Make Tarpon, Bonefish Catch-and-Release Only



From FWC Press Release

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its April 17 meeting near Tallahassee, moved forward unanimously with a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries.

The tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only proposal includes the following potential changes for management in state and federal waters off Florida:

? Eliminating all harvest of tarpon with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an IGFA record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.

? Keeping the tarpon tag price at $50 per tag but limiting them to one tag per person, per year.

? Modifying the tarpon tag program, including reporting requirements and shifting the start and end date for when the tarpon tag is valid.

? Discontinuing the bonefish tournament exemption permit that allows tournament anglers to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

The proposal will be brought back before the Commission for a final public hearing at its June meeting in Lakeland.

In a separate discussion, the Commission also reviewed how gear is being used for the tarpon fishery in Boca Grande Pass. The Commission directed staff to re-examine the definition of snagging and redefine what gear can be used in the Pass. This issue will likely be brought before the Commission at the June meeting as a draft proposal.

More information is available at MyFWC.com/Commission.

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