Current Events

Fishing Club Seminar presentation 5.11.2002

Red Tide Status Update for March 4, 2022

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Current Conditions
Over the past week, Karenia brevis was detected in one sample from Northwest Florida. Additional details are provided below.

  • In Southwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.
  • In Northwest Florida over the past week, K. brevis was observed at very low concentrations in one sample from Bay County.
  • Along the Florida East Coast over the past week, K. brevis was not observed.

No reports of fish kills suspected to be related to red tide were received over the past week. For more details, please visit: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/health/fish-kills-hotline/.

Respiratory irritation suspected to be related to red tide was not reported in Florida over the past week. For recent and current information at individual beaches, please visit https://visitbeaches.org/ and for forecasts that use FWC and partner data, please visit https://habforecast.gcoos.org/.

Forecasts by the USF-FWC Collaboration for Prediction of Red Tides for Pinellas County to northern Monroe County predict net northwestern movement of surface waters and net eastern/southeastern transport of subsurface waters in most areas over the next 3.5 days.

The next complete status report will be issued on Friday, March 11th. Please check our daily sampling map, which can be accessed via the online status report on our Red Tide Current Status page. For more information on algal blooms and water quality, please visit Protecting Florida Together.

This information, including maps and reports with additional details, is also available on the FWRI Red Tide website. The website also provides links to additional information related to the topic of Florida red tide including satellite imagery, experimental red tide forecasts, shellfish harvesting areas, the FWC Fish Kill Hotline, the Florida Poison Information Center (to report human health effects related to exposure to red tide), and other wildlife related hotlines.

To learn more about various organisms that have been known to cause algal blooms in Florida waters, see the FWRI Red Tide Flickr page. Archived status maps can also be found on Flickr.       

The FWRI HAB group in conjunction with Mote Marine Laboratory now have a facebook page.  Please like our page and learn interesting facts concerning red tide and other harmful algal blooms in Florida.

FWC approves a draft proposal for limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper

FWC approves a draft proposal for limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper 

At its October meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a draft proposal for a limited, highly regulated harvest of goliath grouper in Florida state waters. Staff were directed to explore additional changes before bringing the proposal back for final approval at the March 2022 meeting.

If approved in March, this proposal would provide additional stakeholder access to goliath while continuing to allow access through catch-and-release, ecotourism and dive viewing opportunities.

“I think we are going to learn a lot through the process, while continuing to promote continued rebuilding of the population,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.

“Conservation is not about closing a resource forever; it’s about closing it as a management measure and giving access back when we can,” said Commissioner Robert Spottswood. “I believe we are at this point, and it is a small and productive step in the right direction.”

The proposed draft rules include:

  • A recreational harvest of up to 200 goliath per year, with a maximum of 50 from Everglades National Park.
  • Requiring a recreational goliath harvest permit and tag, issued via a random-draw lottery, to legally harvest a goliath (staff will explore setting the cost of the tag, currently proposed to be $500, based on the cost of managing the program).
  • Limiting harvest to one fish per person per open season with permit and tag.
  • A March 1 through May 31 season.
  • Allowable gear would be hook-and-line.
  • A slot limit of 20 to 36 inches total length (staff will explore raising the slot minimum size limit to 22 or 24 inches total length).
  • Harvest would be permitted in all state waters except those of Palm Beach County south through the Atlantic coast of the Keys (staff will update the proposal to include Martin County).
  • Harvesters would also be subject to post-harvest requirements. 

In addition, staff will explore modifying gear regulations to minimize impacts from catch-and-release fishing on goliath grouper spawning aggregations.

The FWC will continue to monitor the status of the stock using alternative metrics approved by the Commission in 2018. 

The FWC will also continue ongoing efforts that recognize goliath’s role in the ecosystem and promote stock rebuilding.

Learn more about goliath grouper at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Goliath Grouper” under the “Reef Fish” tab.

View the Commission meeting agenda and documents at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and the agenda under “Oct. 6-7, 2021.”

FWC approves closures for gray triggerfish, red grouper and some snappers in Gulf state waters 

Oct. 6, 2021

Suggested Tweet: Gray #triggerfish, red #grouper, some snappers to close in Gulf state waters: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2f64778  #FWC2021 

FWC approves closures for gray triggerfish, red grouper and some snappers in Gulf state waters 

At its October meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved temporary closures to recreational harvest of gray triggerfish, red grouper, blackfin snapper, queen snapper, silk snapper and wenchman in Gulf state waters starting Monday, Oct. 11. These closures are consistent with recent closures in Gulf federal waters. 

Gray triggerfish will reopen March 1, 2022. Red grouper, as well as blackfin snapper, queen snapper, silk snapper and wenchman, will reopen Jan. 1, 2022, both in Gulf state in federal waters. 

These fisheries were closed in federal waters because NOAA Fisheries estimates that the annual quotas for these species have been reached. 

View the Commission meeting agenda and documents at MyFWC.com/Commission by clicking on “Commission Meetings” and the agenda under “Oct. 6-7, 2021.”

Sept. 30, 2021 Flounder recreational harvest season closes Oct. 15

Suggested Tweet: Flounder recreational harvest season closes Oct. 15: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2f54b07 #Florida #Fishing 

Flounder recreational harvest season closes Oct. 15

The recreational harvest of flounder in all state and federal waters will close Oct. 15 and remain closed through Nov. 30, reopening Dec. 1.

This annual season closure and other management measures were approved by the Commission late last year because a stock status update suggested that the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing on the Atlantic coast of Florida. Other south Atlantic and Gulf states have also reported declines in flounder populations and have been making their own regulation changes.

Learn more about flounder regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine. 

Red Tide Status Update for September 29, 2021

Snook season starts Sept. 1

Aug. 27, 2021

Suggested Tweet: Harvest of #snook, a premier #Florida fish, starts Sept. 1 in most areas of the state: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2eea1c7 #fishing

Snook season starts Sept. 1

The recreational harvest season for snook starts Sept. 1 statewide with the exception of state waters from Pinellas/Hillsborough counties (including Tampa Bay) south to Gordon Pass in Collier County. These waters are catch-and-release for snook due to impacts from red tide.

Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use proper handling methods to help released snook survive and promote high species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about catch-and-release and the best way to handle a fish, visit MyFWC.com/FishHandling.

A snook permit, as well as a recreational saltwater license, is required to harvest snook unless the angler is exempt from the recreational license requirements.

Researchers are collecting data on the harvest of snook. If approached by a biologist or if you see a donation cooler marked with “Snook Carcass” at your favorite fishing access point, please provide your filleted snook carcasses.

These carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments.

Anglers can also record and report their catch data, including information on the size of released fish, by using the Angler Action Foundation’s iAngler app.

If you see a fishery violation, call the Wildlife Alert Program at 888-404-FWCC (3922).

For more on snook regulations, visit MyFWC.com/Marine and click on “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook” or download the Fish Rules App. Learn more at FishRulesApp.com or follow Fish Rules at Instagram.com/FishRulesApp or Facebook.com/FishRulesApp.

Aug. 26, 2021 Gag grouper fall season opens Sept. 1 in Gulf 4-county region

Suggested Tweet: Gag #grouper fall season opens Sept. 1 in Gulf 4-county region: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2ee80f4 #Florida

Gag grouper fall season opens Sept. 1 in Gulf 4-county region

The gag grouper recreational season in Gulf state waters off Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties will open for harvest Sept. 1 through Dec. 31.

The season for all other Gulf state and federal waters is June 1 through Dec. 31. Monroe County state waters follow Atlantic regulations.

The minimum size limit for gag grouper is 24 inches total length and the daily bag limit is two fish per harvester within the four-grouper aggregate bag limit. Charter captains and crew have a zero bag limit.

If you plan to fish for gag grouper in state or federal waters from a private recreational vessel, you must sign up as a State Reef Fish Angler prior to your fishing trip (renew annually). To learn more, visit MyFWC.com/SRFS. Sign up today at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com.

Learn more about grouper regulations at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations” and “Grouper” under the “Reef Fish” tab or download the Fish Rules App. Learn more at FishRulesApp.com or follow Fish Rules at Instagram.com/FishRulesApp or Facebook.com/FishRulesApp.

Aug. 10, 2021 

Redfish Summit 2021: Attend, learn, share your input

Suggested Tweet: Tampa Bay #snook, #redfish, spotted seatrout catch-and-release measures extended through Oct. 11 @MyFWC meeting. [VIEW_THIS_URL]] #Florida 

Tampa Bay snook, redfish and spotted seatrout catch-and-release measures extended 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has extended measures making snook, redfish and spotted seatrout catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay through Oct. 11. These changes went into effect earlier this summer due to recent impacts from red tide. The Commission decided to keep these measures in place until they can be reevaluated at the next Commission meeting in early October.

Under these measures, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are catch and release in all waters in Manatee County north of State Road 64, Hillsborough County and in Pinellas County. The Braden River and all tributaries of the Manatee River are also included but not Palma Sola Bay and the Anclote River.

The FWC thanks Gov. Ron DeSantis for his leadership and proactive response during this time.

Regulations outside of those counties remain unchanged, including the measures south of State Road 64 in Manatee County (including Palma Sola Bay) through Gordon Pass in Collier County for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout.

Learn more at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Recreational Regulations.”

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Aug. 9, 2021

Tampa Bay snook, redfish and spotted seatrout catch-and-release measures extended 

Suggested Tweet: Like #redfish? Join us at the first ever Redfish Summit 2021. @MyFWC: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/2ebee83 #Florida #Reddrum 

Redfish Summit 2021: Attend, learn, share your input

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is hosting the first ever Redfish Summit 2021 on Aug. 24 in Ocala. The summit will be a day-long public discussion on redfish biology and management in Florida including a presentation on an updated stock assessment, information about habitat and water quality, and interactive discussions about future management of the fishery. 

This event would not be possible without the support of our many sponsors including:

CCA logo
  • Diamond sponsor: Coastal Conservation Association of Florida
  • Platinum sponsor: Sea and Shoreline Aquatic Restoration 
  • Silver sponsors:
    • American Sportfishing Association
    • Fish and Wildlife Foundation of Florida

The summit will be at the Hilton Ocala, 3600 SW 36th Ave., Ocala. To participate in the event in person, register at MyFWC.com/Redfish2021. Space is limited. Those who cannot attend the summit in person can watch on TheFloridaChannel.org and submit comments and questions to potentially be addressed during the summit at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.