Fishing in the Know - Marine Fisheries Monthly Newsletter


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APRIL 2015

FWC's Fishing in the Know

Division of Marine Fisheries Management Monthly Newsletter

 In this issue:

Commission Meeting, Gulf Reef Fish Survey, Gag Grouper, Spiny Lobster, Season Updates, Events

Commission Meeting - Tallahassee

Action: Marine Fisheries items to be discussed April 15-16

Information: The FWC Commisison will discuss several marine fisheries management items April 15-16 at the meeting in Tallahassee including:


  • Federal fishery management updates

Final rules on:

  • Setting the Gulf recreational red snapper season
  • Changes to the Restricted Species Endorsement qualification requirements
  • Making the spiny lobster commercial dive endorsement transferable
  • Inceasing the commercial and recreational size limit for gray triggerfish in Atlantic state waters from 12 to 14 inches fork length

A draft rule on:

  • Changing stone crab trap gear specifications for Collier, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties

Links for more information:

Commission Meeting []

Gulf Reef Fish Survey

Action: Signing up to participate becomes mandatory April 1

Information: Are you a Gulf Reef Fish Angler? You are if you fish in the Gulf of Mexico (excluding Monroe County) from a private boat and plan to harvest, possess or land:

  • Red or vermilion snapper
  • Gag, black or red grouper
  • Gray triggerfish
  • Greater or lesser amberjack
  • Banded rudderfish
  • Almaco jack

This includes anglers who are 65 and older.

Sign up today at, by calling 1-888-FISHFLORIDA (347-4356) or in person at your local tackle store or tax collector’s office. The process is easy and no cost. A subset of Gulf Reef Fish Anglers will be contacted by the FWC and surveyed about their fishing trips for reef fish.

Links for more information:

Gulf Reef Fish Survey []


Gag grouper - Gulf

Action: Four counties open April 1 to recreational harvest

Information: State waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties open to recreational harvest of gag grouper April 1. This region will remin open through June 30, closing July 1 and includes all waters of Apalachicola Bay and Indian Pass, including those in Gulf County, and all waters of the Steinhatchee River, including those in Dixie County. State waters in the Gulf are from shore to 9 nautical miles. The minimum size limit is 22 inches total length and the bag limit is two per person.

The remainder of Gulf of Mexico state waters will open July 1 and close Dec. 4, with the last day of harvest being Dec. 3. Monroe County follows Atlantic regulations.

Links for more information:

Gulf Grouper []

Map []


Spiny Lobster

Action: Season closes April 1

Information: Recreational and commercial spiny lobster seasons close April 1 and will reopen Aug 6. The two-day recreational sport season is the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday of July, which is July 29 and 30 this year.

Links for more information:

Spiny Lobster []



Action:  Upcoming recreational season openings and closures for April-May.

Information: The following species have upcoming season openings/closures:

(May not include all harvest openings/closures. View regulations online at for more.)  


April 1

May 1

May 15

Links for more information:

FWC Recreational Regulations []

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APRIL-MAY 2015 EVENTS             


Lionfish Events Calendar

April 4-5: Freshwater License Free Fishing Day

April 10-12: Southeast US Boat Show - Jacksonville

April 11: Kids’ Fishing Clinic – Pensacola

April 11-12: Florida Sportsman Expo – Port St. Lucie

April 14-16: Commission Meeting - Tallahassee

April 18: Vamos a Pescar - Miami

May 1-3: Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival - Fernandina

May 16-17: Lionfish Removal and Awareness Day Festival and Tournament

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FWC Facts:
Encouraging youth and families to get outside and enjoy fishing improves health by reducing the potential for obesity and other threats to public health.

Learn More at AskFWC