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Florida FWC Gathers Input on Spotted Seatrout Regulations

Source: Fishing Wire

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is gathering input on management of the recreational spotted seatrout fishery. You can share your input by taking an online survey at SurveyMonkey.com/r/Seatrout2018. 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
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Florida Snook Harvest Comes to a Close in Most Gulf Waters

The recreational harvest season for snook closes Dec. 1 in federal and most state waters of the Gulf, including all of Monroe County and Everglades National Park.

Snook, as well as redfish, remain catch-and-release only in state waters from the Hernando/Pasco county line through Gordon Pass in Collier County (includes Tampa Bay and Hillsborough County) through May 10, 2019, in response to the impacts of red tide.

Snook outside of that area will reopen to harvest March 1, 2019. Anglers may continue to catch and release snook during the closed season.

Season closures are designed to help conserve snook during vulnerable times such as cold weather. Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, will close Dec. 15 through Jan. 31, 2019, reopening to harvest Feb. 1, 2019.

Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook” for more information on snook. Improve data and report your catch on the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action iAngler app at SnookFoundation.org.

Source: Fishing Wire