FL Fish & Wildlife Commission Fishing Report

FWCThe Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission works to protect, safe and preserve Florida fish. The FL fishing photos and the latest Florida Fishing News is presented as a public service from Naples Marco Living. Thank you for supporting the fishing and wildlife conservation efforts of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. Contact us for information about featuring your business in Naples Marco Living.

  • Share input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery
    Share input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery -

    The FWC is gathering input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery. Your input will help FWC better understand the public’s satisfaction and desires related to this popular recreational fishery. 

    Background

    Spotted seatrout is managed in Florida in four unique zones across the state (Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast). 

    The status of the seatrout populations within each zone is assessed using a measure of population health known as the Spawning Potential Ratio. Research indicates seatrout populations should be kept to at least 20 percent SPR to maintain a sustainable population. The FWC manages spotted seatrout at a higher management goal of 35 percent SPR to provide a better fishery. 

    In 2017, staff held a series of workshops related to a draft spotted seatrout assessment. The final assessment results were released in 2018 and suggest the Southwest and Southeast zones are exceeding the FWC’s management goal. The Northeast and Northwest zones are not meeting the 35 percent SPR management goal and may benefit from some management actions. 

    The results of the survey will be brought to a Commission meeting in early 2019.

    Management Zones Map

    Management Zones Graph

Double R's Fishing and Tour Company
Double R's Fishing & Tours Co. - 25000 Tamiami Trail East - Port of the Islands, Naples, FL 34114-9602 | 239-642-9779
Experience some of the best charter fishing south Florida has to offer. Our captains have 30+ years of experience to help make your Naples / Marco Island fishing trip one to remember. Fishing in an estuary is a unique esperience! You'll fish for Snook, Red Snapper, Drum Tarpon, Trout, Tripletail, Shark, Grouper, or Pompano. These are just a few of the many species in the 10,000 Islands.
Visit Double R's Fishing Tours Website


Captain Phil DeVille Fishing Charters
Capt. Phil DeVille – 10,000 Islands Backwaters - Everglades National Park Fishing Tours, Port of the Islands, Naples, FL | 239-293-5480
Share Captain Phil's passion for the Ten Thousand Islands - Florida Everglades charter fishing trips. Fish for Snook, Red Fish, Trout, Snapper, Flounder and more from a 17' Mitzi Skiff Flats Boatfish. Over 15 varieties of edible fish and great sport fishing. Up to 189 species of birds may be seen in a single trip. View alligators, crocodiles, osprey, eagles, dolphin, and manatee.
View Captain Phil DeVille's Website


Sunshine Fishing Charters Marco Island FL
Sunshine Tours and Charters, Rose Marina, 951 Bald Eagle Dr., Marco Island FL | 239-642-5415
Sunshine Tours offers the best in Offshore, Back Country and Near Coastal Fishing, Island Shelling and Sightseeing aboard one of our four fishing boats. Since 1984, Sunshine Tours has provide unsurpassed on-the-water experiences for locals and visitors alike. Shared and private fishing charters available.
Visit Sunshine Fishing Charters Website
Outgoing Charters Captain Jesse Hill
Outgoing Charters - Captain Jesse Hill, Everglades City, Chokoloskee, Port of the Islands, FL | 239-825-6283
At Outgoing Charters the customer comes first. Whether it's family fun or hardcore fishing, Captain Jesse Hill is a 4th generation native guide who will cater to your specific wants and needs. Light tackle, back country fishing in Everglades National Park and the 10,000 Islands. Fish for redfish, snook and more. You'll enjoy a comfortable boat with quality gear. Captain Jesse's ultimate goal is to exceed your expectations.
Visit Outgoing Charters Everglades Fishing Website

  • Share input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery
    Share input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery -

    The FWC is gathering input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery. Your input will help FWC better understand the public’s satisfaction and desires related to this popular recreational fishery. 

    Background

    Spotted seatrout is managed in Florida in four unique zones across the state (Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and Northeast). 

    The status of the seatrout populations within each zone is assessed using a measure of population health known as the Spawning Potential Ratio. Research indicates seatrout populations should be kept to at least 20 percent SPR to maintain a sustainable population. The FWC manages spotted seatrout at a higher management goal of 35 percent SPR to provide a better fishery. 

    In 2017, staff held a series of workshops related to a draft spotted seatrout assessment. The final assessment results were released in 2018 and suggest the Southwest and Southeast zones are exceeding the FWC’s management goal. The Northeast and Northwest zones are not meeting the 35 percent SPR management goal and may benefit from some management actions. 

    The results of the survey will be brought to a Commission meeting in early 2019.

    Management Zones Map

    Management Zones Graph

  • Media statement: FWC Commission red snapper fishery update
    Media statement: FWC Commission red snapper fishery update -

    At its December meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) directed staff to proceed with a proposal that would set the popular and economically important 2019 Gulf red snapper recreational season.  

    Under the current draft proposal, the Gulf season would be open June 11 through July 12, with a possible fall reopening if quota is available. This season would apply to those fishing from private recreational vessels in state and federal waters and to charter vessels that do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to fishing in state waters only. Staff will report back to the Commission at the February meeting for final review and approval of the 2019 Gulf red snapper recreational season.

    Red Snapper

  • Media statement: FWC Commission Blue Heron Bridge dive site update
    Media statement: FWC Commission Blue Heron Bridge dive site update -

    At its December meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft proposal that would maintain high-quality snorkeling and diving opportunities at the Blue Heron Bridge/Phil Foster County Park in Palm Beach County. The Commissioners also approved expanding the previously proposed closed area to include additional waters north of the park.  

    The changes, if approved at the February Commission meeting, would:

    • Prohibit the collection and possession of marine life fishery species (species collected for and managed for the tropical aquarium trade) within the park and surrounding waters (prohibitions would not apply to other fishing activities, such as hook-and-line fishing).

    The changes would allow direct transit of marine life species harvested outside the closed area through the closed area so long as the vessel does not stop. The changes would also allow landing by motorized vessel of those species collected elsewhere at the park boat ramp and docks.

    Further, staff will evaluate all future Special Activities Licenses to determine if collection from the Blue Heron Bridge dive site is necessary or if another location can be used. Special Activities Licenses authorize certain activities that are otherwise not allowed under current recreational and commercial harvest regulations and are often issued for scientific research, education or public exhibition purposes.  

    To comment on this and other proposals, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments or email Marine@MyFWC.com.

    Blue Heron Boundry

     

  • Media statement: FWC Commission shore-based shark fishing update
    Media statement: FWC Commission shore-based shark fishing update -

    Shark Fishing From Shore

    At its December meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved draft changes to shark fishing regulations, including management changes for the shore-based shark fishery. These changes will increase survival of released sharks, improve information gathering of the fishery and address some of the public safety concerns related to the fishery.  

    The draft rules will be brought back before the Commission for final approval in February and include:

    • Creating a mandatory, no-cost, annual shore-based shark fishing permit.
    • Prohibiting chumming when fishing for any species from the beach.
    • Prohibiting delaying the release of prohibited shark species when fishing from the shore.
    • Requiring that prohibited shark species remain in the water (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
    • Requiring the use of non-offset, non-stainless-steel circle hooks with live or dead natural bait (when fishing from shore and from a vessel).
    • Requiring the possession/use of a device capable of quickly cutting the leader or hook (when fishing from shore or a vessel).
    • Cleaning up and updating the current rule language.
  • FWC seeks input on bay scallop long-term management solutions and announces 2019 regional season dates in most areas
    FWC seeks input on bay scallop long-term management solutions and announces 2019 regional season dates in most areas -

    Photo: http://bit.ly/2nXU7ph External Website 

    Gallery: http://bit.ly/2BM92Mz External Website

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering input on the bay scallop season structure for 2020 and beyond via an online survey. The agency has also set the 2019 regional season dates for bay scallop harvest for most of the areas that will be open to harvest.

    Survey Information

    The FWC is working toward a long-term season structure that it proposes to be effective in 2020.

    To have your feedback included in this planning, participate in the survey by visiting SurveyMonkey.com/r/BayScallops2018. External Website A draft rule on this season structure is anticipated to be discussed at the February Commission meeting.

    Scallop Season Information

    The 2019 regional seasons for bay scallop harvest from Franklin through Hernando counties will be the same as they were in 2018.

    Pasco County dates were slightly modified to ensure the season in that region opens on a Friday.

    The St. Joseph Bay/Gulf County season has not yet been set due to potential impacts from an ongoing red tide. The FWC is working closely with researchers and the community to determine how to move forward with the 2019 season in that region.

    The following regionally-specific bay scallop open seasons have been created by executive order for 2019 only:

    • Franklin County through northwestern Taylor County (including Carrabelle, Lanark and St. Marks): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters from the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County to Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County.
    • The remaining portion of Taylor County and all of Dixie County (including Keaton Beach and the Steinhatchee area): the third Saturday in June (June 15) through Sept. 10. This region includes all state waters east of Rock Island near the mouth of the Fenholloway River in Taylor County and north of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County.
    • Levy, Citrus and Hernando counties (including Cedar Key, Crystal River and Homosassa): July 1 through Sept. 24. This region includes all state waters south of Alligator Pass Daybeacon #4 near the mouth of the Suwannee River in Levy County and north of the Hernando – Pasco county line.
    • Pasco County: July 19-28. This region includes all state waters south of the Hernando – Pasco county line and north of the Anclote Key Lighthouse in northern Pinellas County, and includes all waters of the Anclote River.

    Learn more about bay scallop regulations at MyFWC.com/Fishing, click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.”

    ScallopZones2019GulfTBD

    2019 regional bay scallop seasons.

  • TrophyCatch awards Season 6 Phoenix bass boat package
    TrophyCatch awards Season 6 Phoenix bass boat package -

     Trophy Catch Winner

    Benjamin Porter wins the Phoenix bass boat package at the Bobby Lane Cup at Camp Mack. FWC photo.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) TrophyCatch program awarded its Season 6 Phoenix 819 Pro bass boat and trailer, powered by a 200 hp Mercury Marine outboard, guided with a MotorGuide trolling motor and anchored with a Power-Pole, to Benjamin Porter from Jacksonville.

    The boat giveaway was hosted at the Bobby Lane Cup at Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort, on Dec. 1. Five finalists took the stage to participate in a reverse drawing that concluded with Porter winning the Phoenix boat package.  

    “I was excited just to be a finalist.” said Porter. “It changed my perspective on the whole program. I still can’t believe I won the boat. This is life changing.”  

    TrophyCatch awards one program registrant a Phoenix bass boat package after each Season’s conclusion. Anyone may register for free External Website to win the annual Phoenix bass boat package by registering for the TrophyCatch program at TrophyCatch.com. No catch submissions are required to win.   

    “We were thrilled to be able to award the beautiful Phoenix 819 Pro boat package to Benjamin Porter at the Bobby Lane Cup,” said KP Clements, TrophyCatch director. “Our TrophyCatch partners are so gracious to offer these amazing rewards to our anglers to bolster their commitment to conservation and excitement for the sport of bass fishing. This is all possible because of Phoenix, Mercury Marine, Power-Pole and MotorGuide.”  

    The Bobby Lane Cup is an annual youth fishing tournament hosted by professional angler Bobby Lane. The tournament is held on Lake Kissimmee with the goal of furthering the love of fishing in our youth and to raise money to provide scholarships to those students involved in the sport of bass fishing. The 2018 tournament had 371 kids who fished in the tournament, 34 kids who participated in the Reel Kids casting event, 185 boat captains and a total event attendance of approximately 2,441 people. Nineteen $1,000 scholarships were awarded to youth anglers at the event.

    TrophyCatch is a partnership between FWC biologists, anglers and fishing industry leaders such as Bass Pro Shops, that rewards the catch, documentation and release of largemouth bass weighing 8 pounds or heavier in Florida. To be eligible for club-level prizes, anglers are required to submit photos or videos of their catch to TrophyCatch.com showing the entire fish and its weight on a scale, before releasing it back into the water. FWC biologists use TrophyCatch data to make informed decisions about the management of Florida bass fisheries and to promote the catch and release of trophy bass.

    The FWC encourages anglers to join TrophyCatch as citizen-scientists that assist in fisheries management and the conservation of Florida’s lakes and rivers. A TrophyCatch mobile app is available for download on both Apple and Android devices. For more information about the TrophyCatch program, email Amber Nabors at Amber.Nabors@MyFWC.com.  

  • FWC adds new opportunities to catch a Florida Saltwater Fishing Record
    FWC adds new opportunities to catch a Florida Saltwater Fishing Record -

    Forlizzio With Grunt

    Dawn Forlizzio with a white grunt added to her Saltwater Fish Life List. Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, anglers can submit white grunt, blueline tilefish, schoolmaster snapper and red porgy to the Florida Saltwater Fishing Records program.

    Beginning Jan. 1, 2019, anglers will have more opportunities to catch a Florida Saltwater Fishing Record. Four new species – white grunt, blueline tilefish, schoolmaster snapper and red porgy – will be added to the list of species eligible for a Florida Saltwater Fishing Record. Catches for these newly-added species must be made on or after Jan. 1, 2019, to qualify for a record.

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) maintains state records External Website for the heaviest marine fishes caught in Florida state waters or in federal waters extending directly outward of Florida state waters in conventional tackle and fly-fishing categories. Saltwater record holders receive a certificate of accomplishment, prize pack, recognition in various publications and a custom ink fish print to memorialize their catch courtesy of Fish Print Shop. External Website

    To qualify for a record, the catch must be weighed on a certified scale on land, and photographs must be submitted clearly showing the weight displayed on the scale, the rod and reel used to make the catch, the angler with their catch and various views of the fish for identification purposes. Species that are difficult to identify must be confirmed by a qualified fisheries biologist. The angler’s signature on a completed application form External Website must be witnessed by a notary. For more information and to view current records, External Website visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com and click on “Programs” and “Florida Saltwater Fishing Records”, or contact us at AnglerRecognition@MyFWC.com or 850-487-0554.

    Florida Saltwater Fishing Records are part of FWC’s Catch a Florida Memory – Saltwater Angler Recognition Programs. Anglers can gain recognition for catching record-sized fish and for participating in Saltwater Fish Life List, Saltwater Reel Big Fish and Saltwater Grand Slams. Programs reward anglers for their fishing efforts, while encouraging them to target a diversity of species. To learn more and submit catches, External Website visit CatchaFloridaMemory.com.

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