Friday, November 18, 2011

Florida Sea Trout Bill Passed with Changes (No Seine Nets!)

The Florida sea trout bill was recently passed at the FWC meeting in the keys. The large issue of the bill was the idea of using seine nets for commercial fishermen. The bill was changed at the meeting and it seems to have come to a good conclusion.

Changes take effect Feb.1, 2012, and include:

*  Removing regional recreational season closures (removing the current February closure in northern Florida and the November-through-December closure in southern Florida);

*   Raising the recreational bag limit in northeast Florida from five to six;

*  Changing commercial seasons based on region – lengthening them from three months to five months in the northwest, southwest (June 1 - Oct. 31) and southeast (May 1 - Sept. 30) regions, and from three months to six months in the northeast region (June 1 - Nov. 30);

*  Allowing spotted seatrout to be sold 30 days after the close of the regional commercial season;
*  When there are two commercially licensed fishermen aboard, changing the commercial vessel limit to 150;

*  Redefining the areas where spotted seatrout are managed by splitting the state into four management zones instead of three.

The changes come after a 2010 spotted seatrout stock assessment indicated numbers were consistently exceeding the annual management goal across the state, and nearly double in the northeast region of Florida.

-Info from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) at

It looks like we will have our sea trout fishery intact and we will be able to catch and keep sea trout year round with new season closures. 


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