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 www.myfwc.com