Catch-and-release fishing still allowed for snook, bonefish and tarpon
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Media contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554
While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) issued an executive order on Jan. 15 that
temporarily extends closed harvest seasons for snook statewide and
establishes temporary statewide closed harvest seasons for bonefish
and tarpon, the FWC advises anglers that catch-and-release fishing
for these important game fish species is still allowed.
The FWC appreciates angler support for taking
conservation measures that will help protect saltwater fish and
provide time for the FWC to evaluate the possible impacts to fish
populations that may have occurred because of the recent prolonged
cold weather in Florida.
The order, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan.
16, provides that no person may harvest or possess snook in state
and federal waters off Florida until September and establishes a
temporary prohibition on the harvest and possession of bonefish and
tarpon from state and federal waters off Florida through March
The FWC advises anglers that this order prohibits
only the harvest or possession of snook, bonefish and tarpon during
the closed periods. Anglers may still catch and release these
species during these temporary closures, and the FWC encourages
everyone to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure
their survival upon release. Information regarding proper
handling and release of fish is available online at http://catchandrelease.org/Catch_and_Release_web.pdf.
More information on the FWC's executive order
regarding the snook, bonefish and tarpon temporary harvest
closures, and information regarding another FWC executive order
issued on Jan. 15, which temporarily suspends certain saltwater
fishing regulations to allow for the collection and disposal of
dead fish killed by cold weather, is available online at