OYSTERS - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER85-5, F.A.C. (Effective October 1 - December 29, 1985)

Bag limits: 5 bushels of oysters harvested per boat per day in Okaloosa and Walton counties and 20 bushels of oysters per day in Wakulla, Dixie, and Levy counties

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective December 30, 1985)

Extends bag limits (shown above in emergency rule) until all waters of Franklin County are reopened to oyster harvesting.

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective May 5, 1986)

Removes bag limits (as established above) in all counties other than Franklin and Gulf. Reopens Apalachicola Bay to oyster harvesting with the following restrictions:

  • No tolerance on harvesting undersized oysters (except for undersized oysters attached to legal-sized oysters too tightly to remove, for which a 15% tolerance exists)
  • Daily harvest limit of 15 bags of oysters per boat for commercial fishermen
  • Daily harvest limit of 1 bag of oysters per person for recreational fishermen
  • Closure to oyster harvesting on any Friday, Saturday, or Sunday
  • Closure to oyster harvesting from 4:00 p.m. to sunrise all other days
  • Closure to oyster harvesting in East Hole, Platform Bar, and Hotel Bar
  • Allowable harvest season of October 1 to June 30, with modified harvest areas
  • Establishment of Department of Natural Resources monitoring stations and tagging systems to regulate oyster harvesting

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective December 1, 1986)

Bag limits: 20 bags in Levy and Dixie counties, 15 bags in Wakulla County, and 10 bags in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties (daily, per person or boat, whichever is less)

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective November 26, 1987)

Allows oyster harvesting in North Bay in Bay County in the area west of Bailey Bridge (State Road 77) at all times except between July 1 and September 1 each year, and in the areas east of Bailey Bridge all year.

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective July 7, 1988)

  • Authorizes use of dredges on leased lands in Apalachicola Bay under certain conditions
  • Prohibits mechanical devices or trawls to harvest oysters from public lands
  • Allows recreational harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay on weekends
  • Designates production zones for purposes of identifying shellstock containers
  • Requires washing and shading of oysters
  • Deletes obsolete restrictions on number of days allowed for commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay and allows DNR Executive Director to open the Bay to commercial harvest on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in certain circumstances
  • Allows authorized persons other than Marine Patrol officers to check oysters at monitoring stations
  • Requires that tags remain on oyster bags until contents are processed

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective April 18, 1990)

Reinstates the closure of North Bay in Bay County to all harvest of oysters from June 1 through August 31 each year and allows oysters cultivated from eggs by licensed or lawfully allowed mariculture operations to be possessed and sold at sizes below the minimum size limit for purposes of grow-out to legal size under certain conditions.

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective March 10, 1991)

  • Establishes a statewide commercial limit of 15 bags daily per person or vessel, whichever is less, except the limit in Levy and Dixie counties is set at 20 bags daily per person or vessel, whichever is less
  • Sets a statewide recreational daily limit of two bags per person or vessel, whichever is less
  • Establishes a statewide three inch minimum size limit for oysters with a 15 percent tolerance for undersized, attached oysters, and a 5 percent tolerance for undersized, unattached oysters
  • Requires persons harvesting oysters from areas where monitoring stations are operating to pass through these stations and comply with all Department of Natural Resources requirements for such stations
  • Prohibits the commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from July 1 through September 30 and on Saturday and Sunday from October 1 through June 30
  • Prohibits the use of trawls, dredges, drags, scrapes, or other mechanical devices (except ordinary hand tongs) for harvesting oysters, and allows oysters to be harvested by hand, while diving, swimming, leaning from vessels, or wading, and by tongs
  • Prohibits the harvest of oysters statewide between sunset and sunrise, except where monitoring stations are in operation, in which case harvest is prohibited between 4:00 p.m. and sunrise
  • Establishes a statewide harvest season for oysters as October 1 through June 30 each year, except that the season in Dixie and Levy counties shall be September 1 through May 31 each year, and Apalachicola Bay shall have a summer harvest season between July 1 and September 30 each year
  • Exempts certain licensed or lawfully allowed mariculture operations from size limits, bag limits, and seasons by meeting certain criteria
  • Exempts leaseholders of submerged lands from these rules if pursuant to provisions in valid leases

OYSTERS, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective November 29, 1993)

  • Establishes a daily commercial harvest limit of 20 bags of oysters statewide
  • Allows the commercial harvest of oysters, during the October through June "winter season" in Apalachicola Bay, seven days a week from November 16 through June 30
  • Allows Apalachicola Bay to be closed for health purposes or if the Department of Environmental Protection determines that the harvest of 300 bags of oysters per acre in the Bay is not sustainably

OYSTERS - WAKULLA COUNTY, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective October 3, 1994)

Changes the oyster harvesting season in Wakulla County to occur from September 1 through May 31 each year.

OYSTERS - APALACHICOLA BAY - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER94-1, F.A.C. (Effective September 13 - December 12, 1994)

Prohibits the harvest of oysters from Apalachicola Bay from September 13, 1994 through November 13, 1994. Allows commercial fishermen to harvest a daily vessel limit of 10 bushels of oysters on weekdays only from November 14, 1994 through December 12, 1994, and allows recreational fishermen to harvest a daily vessel limit of one bushel of oysters during this period.

OYSTERS - APALACHICOLA BAY, CH 46-27, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 1999)

  • Allows the harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay on Sundays through Thursdays from July 1 through September 30 each year
  • Eliminates the commercial vessel bag limit for oysters in Apalachicola Bay from October 1 through June 30 each year

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27, F.A.C. (Effective October 7, 2001)

Provides that enforcement of the oyster minimum size limit be conducted on the water only.

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27, F.A.C. (Effective September 1, 2005)

Changes the Apalachicola Bay winter oyster harvest season from Oct. 1 - June 30 to Sept. 1 - May 31 and the summer season from July 1 - Sept. 30 to June 1 - Aug. 31.

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27, F.A.C. (Effective May 18, 2006)

Allows oysters to be harvested in Apalachicola Bay for commercial purposes any day of the week during the period beginning on November 16 each year through May 31 of the following year.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay – EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-19, CH 68B-27, F.A.C (Effective May 20, 2010; Expired June 1, 2010)

Opened the summer harvest season for oysters in Apalachicola Bay to relieve economic hardships on the commercial fishing industry that may have occurred in the area due to the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay – EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-25, CH 68B-27, F.A.C (Effective June 5, 2010; Expired August 31, 2010)

Opened harvest for oysters in Apalachicola Bay on Saturdays to relieve economic hardships on the commercial fishing industry that may have occurred in the area due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay – EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-32, CH 68B-27, F.A.C (Effective June 18, 2010; Expired August 31, 2010)

Opened harvest for oysters in Apalachicola Bay, seven days a week and opened the winter harvesting areas help relieve economic hardships on the commercial fishing industry that may have occurred in the area due to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

OYSTERS, Pensacola Bay – EXECUTIVE ORDER 10-35, CH 68B-27, F.A.C (Effective July 3, 2010; Expired October 1, 2010)

Opened areas for harvest in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in order to relieve economic hardships on the commercial fishing industry that may have occurred in the areas due to BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27, F.A.C. (Effective June 7, 2010)

Allows fishermen to be able to stow tongs on their vessels before dawn.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay – EXECUTIVE ORDER 11-32, CH 68B-27, F.A.C (Effective September 1, 2011; Expired November 16, 2011)

Allows the commercial harvest of oysters in Apalachicola Bay, Florida seven days per week.

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27.0017 (Effective June 1, 2012)

Allow oyster harvest 7 days a week, year-round in Apalachicola Bay by removing language that prohibits harvest of oysters on Fridays and Saturdays June 1 through Aug. 31 and Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 1 through Nov. 15.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay– EXECUTIVE ORDER 12-09, CH 68B-27 FAC (Effective July 1, 2012; Expired July 13, 2012)

Extended the licensing period for the 2011-2012 Saltwater Products License associated with the Apalachicola Bay Oyster Harvesting License from June 30, 2012 until July 13, 2012.

OYSTERS, Bay County – Executive Order, CH 68B-27 FAC (Effective October 1, 2012)
Lowered the commercial bag limit for oysters in Bay County from 20 to 10 60 pound bags per person or vessel, whichever is less, for the month of October.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order EO 13-17, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective June 1 through August 31, 2013)

Prohibits the commercial harvest of oysters on Fridays and Saturdays in Apalachicola Bay

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 13-32, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective Sept. 1-Oct. 12, 2013 (Rescinded Sept. 4, 2014))

Closed the commercial harvest of oysters beginning Sept. 1, 2013, until opened by DACS or Oct. 12, 2013

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 13-33, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective Sept. 4, 2013)

Rescinded order 13-32 closing the commercial harvest of oysters beginning Sept. 1, 2013, in Apalachicola Bay.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 14-11, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective May 12-31, 2014)

Harvest of oysters in areas 1601 and 1611 in Apalachicola Bay shall close when area 1642 is closed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 14-12, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective May June 1-Aug. 31, 2014)

  • Commercial harvest of oysters closed on Fridays and Saturdays.
  • East Hole closed to commercial and recreational oyster harvest.
  • Commercial bag and possession limit lowered to 8 bags.
  • Recreational bag, possession and vessel limit lowered to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell.

OYSTERS, CH 68B-27.018, F.A.C.  (Effective Nov. 26, 2014)

Create a no-cost Shellfish Harvest endorsement for commercial oyster harvesters who have taken the appropriate training course offered by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services within the last 12 months

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 14-18, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2014-May 31, 2015)

  • Commercial harvest of oysters closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • East Hole closed to commercial and recreational oyster harvest.
  • Commercial bag and possession limit lowered to 5 bags.
  • Recreational bag, possession and vessel limit lowered to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell.
  • Harvest of oysters in areas 1601 and 1611 in Apalachicola Bay shall close when area 1642 is closed by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 15-13 amendment to EO 14-18, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective May 7, 2015)

East Hole opened for harvest on May 7, 14, 21 and 28

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 15-14, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective June 1, 2015)

  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole.
  • Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to five  bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).
  • Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit all to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).
  • Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through July 16.
  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest on Saturdays and Sundays from July 20 through Aug. 28.

OYSTER, Executive Order 15-18, (Effective Sept. 21, 2015 and set to expire at  June 1, 2016)

  • Prohibits the recreational harvest for oysters on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 
  • A commercial harvester may not harvest or land per day from Apalachicola Bay or possess while in or on the waters of Apalachicola Bay more than four (4) bags of oysters. 
  • A recreational harvester may not harvest or land per day more than five (5) gallons of oysters in the shell form Apalachicola Bay or possess while in or on the waters of Apalachicola Bay more than one half bag of oysters. The recreational harvesters aboard a vessel in or on Apalachicola Bay may not collectively possess more than one half bag or oysters.
  • Prohibits commercial and recreational harvest for oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole in the Apalachicola Bay System, except on Mondays.
  • Prohibits commercial and recreational oyster harvesting in shellfish harvesting areas 1612 and 1622, as described in rule 5L-1.003, F.A.C., south of a line running due east form the mouth of Sheepshead Bayou.

OYSTER, Executive Order 15-22, (Effective October 1, 2015 and set to expire  July 1, 2016)

A commercial harvester or vessel may not harvest or land per day from the St. Andrews Bay System or possess while in or on the waters of the St. Andrews Bay System more than ten (10) bags of oysters.

OYSTERS, Executive Order 16-17 (Effective June 1, 2016-Aug. 31, 2016)

  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole through Aug. 31.
  • Lowering the daily commercial harvest and possession limit from 20 to four  bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets) through Aug. 31.
  • Lowering the daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit to 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day; a bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets) through Aug. 31.
  • Closing commercial and recreational oyster harvest on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from June 1 through July 17.
  • Closing commercial and recreational harvest on Saturdays and Sundays from July 18 through Aug. 31.

OYSTERS, Executive Order 16-18 (Effective July 5, 2016-June 30, 2018)

Prohibiting the harvest of oysters in Zone I or II of the oyster reef habitat restoration project in West Bay in Bay County. 

 

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 16-28, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2016-May 31, 2017)

  • Prohibits commercial and recreational harvest on Saturdays and Sundays each week
  • Commercial harvester may not harvest or land per day from Apalachicola Bay or possess while in or on the waters of Apalachicola Bay more than three (3) bags of oysters
  • Recreational harvesters may not harvest or land per day more than five gallons of oysters in the shell from Apalachicola Bay or possess while in or on the waters of Apalachicola Bay more than one half bag of oysters. The recreational harvesters aboard a vessel in or on Apalachicola Bay may not collectively possess more than one half bag of oysters
  • Commercial and recreational oyster harvesting is prohibited in shellfish harvesting Areas 1612 and 1622, as described in rule 5L-1.003, F .A.C., south of a line running due east from the mouth of Sheepshead Bayou.

OYSTERS, St. Andrews Bay - Executive Order 16-31, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective Oct. 1, 2016-June 30, 2017)

  • A commercial harvester may not harvest or land per day, or possess while in or on the waters of the St. Andrews Bay system more than five (5) bags of oysters, provided that no more than ten (10) bags of oysters may be possessed aboard any vessel in or on the waters of the St. Andrews Bay System at any time


OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 17-16 - CH 68B-27, FAC (May 4-31, 2017)

  • Commercial and recreational harvest of oysters prohibited on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays of each week, within areas of Shellfish Harvest Area 1642 with some exceptions:
  • If Area 1642 is temporarily closed to the harvest of shellfish on a Monday or a Tuesday, the commercial and recreational harvest of oysters from Area 1642 is allowed on the following Friday of the same week.
  • If Area 1642 is temporarily closed to the harvest of shellfish on a Wednesday or a Thursday, the commercial and recreational harvest of oysters is allowed on the following Saturday of the same week.

OYSTERS, Apalachicola Bay - Executive Order 17-20, CH 68B-27, FAC (Effective June 1-Aug. 31, 2017)

  • Commercial and recreational harvest of oysters in the area commonly known as East Hole is prohibited.
  • The daily commercial harvest and possession limit is three bags of oysters in the shell per person (each bag is equivalent to 60 pounds or two 5-gallon buckets).
  • The daily recreational harvest per person, vessel and possession limit is 5 gallons of oysters in the shell (previously two bags per day).
  • From June 1 through July 17, commercial and recreational oyster harvest closed on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • From June 18 through Aug. 31, commercial and recreational oyster harvest closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

POMPANO, CH 46-35, FAC (Effective July 1, 1989)

  • Minimum size limit: 10 inches fork length
  • Maximum size limit: Prohibits the sale of pompano greater than 20 inches fork length
  • Snatch hooking and the use of multiple hooks with natural bait prohibited
  • Must be landed in whole condition

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 46-35, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 1996)

FLORIDA POMPANO and PERMIT:

  • Establishes 10 inches minimum/20 inches maximum size limits for all harvest of both species
  • Establishes an aggregate 10 fish daily recreational bag limit for both species, with an allowance of 1 fish over 20 inches in length
  • Pompano - hook and line, cast net, and beach and haul seine gear only / Permit - hook and line gear only
  • Prohibits sale of fish less than 10 inches and greater than 20 inches in length

AFRICAN POMPANO:

  • Establishes a 24 inches minimum size limit for all harvesters
  • Prohibits all daily harvest, possession, and sale of more than 2 fish per person or vessel (whichever is less)
  • Allows the use of only hook and line gear

Additional provisions:

  • Designates all the above listed species as "restricted species"
  • Defines "length" (for purposes of determining size limits for the above species) as the measurement of the fish from the most forward point of the head to the rear center edge of the tail
  • Requires all the above species to be landed in a whole condition, and prohibits the possession of any such fish that are not in a whole condition in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty
  • Prohibits the use of any multiple hook in conjunction with natural bait, and snagging (snatch hooking) to harvest the above species in state waters
  • Allows size/bag limit exemptions to Florida pompano aquaculture operators who provide proper documentation

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 68B-35, F.A.C. (Effective November 1, 2001)

  • Provides that qualified fishermen may harvest pompano with gill nets in specified federal waters adjacent to state waters under certain conditions, which include pompano endorsement or special activity license, vessel length, net specification, and landings requirements
  • Allows eligible fishermen to possess a gill net and pompano in specified state and adjacent federal waters
  • Provides that commercial fishermen who do not possess a pompano endorsement or special activity license will be subject to existing gear limitations, as well as a daily harvest, possession and sale limit of 250 fish caught per vessel in state waters
  • Allows a bycatch of 100 pompano in legal nets targeting other legal species in federal waters

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 68B-35, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2004)

  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 11 inches fork length for all harvest of pompano and permit
  • Establishes an aggregate recreational bag limit of six fish daily per person for pompano and permit
  • Applies the 250-fish commercial harvest and landing limit for pompano to fish caught in federal as well as state waters (gill net fishermen who possess a pompano endorsement and fish in federal waters between Cape Sable and Hurricane Pass in southwest Florida are not affected by this action)
  • Eliminates the pompano special activity license program

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 68B-35, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2005)

Establishes a vessel possession limit of two permit and pompano larger than 20 inches fork length in state and federal waters.

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 68B-35, F.A.C. (Effective August 31, 2011)

  • Establishes separate management strategies for permit, Florida pompano and African pompano
  • Establishes a separate management area for the permit fishery instate and federal waters: Special Permit Zone (SPZ).  The SPZ lies in south FL encompassing waters south of Cape Florida on the Atlantic coast and south of Cape Sable on the Gulf Coast.

PERMIT -Inside Special Permit Zone (SPZ):  

  • Establishes a recreational minimum size limit of 22" fork length
  • Establishes a recreational closed season of May 1-July 31
  • Establishes a recreational bag limit of 1 per harvester per day and a vessel limit of no more than 2 per vessel
  • Allows hook and line only in state waters; Hook line and spearing in federal waters
  • No commercial harvest
  • Applies state regulations for permit in federal waters

PERMIT- in all other areas of Florida:

  • Establishes a recreational size limit of not less than 11" or more than 22" fork length
  • Establishes a recreational bag limit of two per harvester per day, including one fish over 22" and vessel limit of two fish over 22" per day
  • Allows hook and line only in state waters; Hook line and spearing in federal waters
  • Eliminates directed commercial harvest of permit and establishes a commercial incidental bycatch limit of 250 fish (only allowed when fishing in federal waters with nets targeting other species)
  • Requires commercial vessels to transit permit caught with nets in federal waters directly through state waters without stopping
  • Applies state permit regulations in state and federal waters off Florida

FLORIDA POMPANO:

  • Establishes a recreational minimum size limit of 11" fork length
  • Establishes a recreational bag limit of 6 pompano per harvester per day
  • Extends state pompano regulations into federal waters

AFRICAN POMPANO:

  • Federal waters hook and line and spearing are allowed for recreational harvest
  • Extends state recreational African pompano regulations into federal waters; maintains no commercial regulations in federal waters

POMPANO, AFRICAN POMPANO, PERMIT, CH 68B-35, FAC (Effective Nov. 15, 2012)

  • Removes the unnecessary exception to the recreational size limit for permit harvested from the Special Permit Zone (SPZ)
  • Removes unnecessary exceptions to the one-permit bag limit for the SPZ
  • The daily sale limit of 250 Florida pompano moved to section 68B-35.0035; and modified by applying the limit to all commercial harvesters except those fishing in the Pompano Endorsement Zone under a Pompano Endorsement, as originally intended
  • Correctly reflect that the harvest of permit as bycatch with a gill net is only legal in federal waters
  • Removes an unnecessary exception to the closed season for harvest of permit from the SPZ

PRIMA FACIE EVIDENCE RULE PROVISIONS: TITLE 46, F.A.C. RULE REPEALS (Effective July 15, 1996)

Deletes language establishing what constitutes prima facie evidence for violation or establishing a presumption. Rules amended by this action include gear, Biscayne Bay-Card Sound Spiny Lobster Sanctuary, king mackerel, reef fish, queen conch, bay scallops, oysters, sardines, shrimp, billfish, black drum, mullet, dolphin, and marine life.

PUFFER FISH, PROHIBITION ON TAKE IN VOLUSIA, BREVARD, INDIAN RIVER, ST. LUCIE AND MARTIN COUNTIES, CH 68B-3.007, F.A.C. (Effective July 15, 2004)

Prohibits all harvest of puffer fish from the waters of Volusia, Brevard, Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin counties.

Back

QUEEN CONCH, CH 46-16, F.A.C. (Effective June 17, 1985)

Prohibits any person from taking, harvesting, killing, molesting, harming, or mutilating any queen conch from the land or waters of Florida.

QUEEN CONCH, CH 46-16, F.A.C. (Effective Dec. 11, 1986)

Extends existing rule (shown above) to persons aboard Florida registered vessels in federal waters contiguous to Florida waters.

QUEEN CONCH, CH 46-16, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1990)

Prevents persons in vessels registered in other states from harvesting queen conch in adjacent federal waters and landing the animals in Florida.

QUEEN CONCH, CH 46-16, F.A.C. (Effective Jan. 1, 1991)

Designated as "protected species".

QUEEN CONCH, CH 68B-15, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

Chapter reorganized and reformatted as part of phase one of the rule cleanup process.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective Sept. 12, 1985)

  • Minimum size limits: 16 inches total length in state waters from Florida/Alabama border east and south to a straight line drawn from Bowlegs Point in Dixie County southwesterly through Marker 16, and 18 inches total length in all other state waters
  • Maximum size limit: Statewide possession limit of one redfish 32 inches total length, or larger, per person

RED DRUM (REDFISH) - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER86-3, F.A.C. (Effective Nov. 7, 1986 - February 4, 1987)

Prohibits all harvest of redfish in Florida waters. Prohibits sale of native redfish.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective Feb. 12, 1987)

  • 18 inches total length minimum size limit extended to all state waters
  • Establishes March and April as closed season to all harvest in state waters
  • Must be landed in whole condition (head and tail intact)
  • Prohibits use of treble hooks while fishing with natural bait
  • Prohibits snatch hooking

RED DRUM (REDFISH) - Emergency Rule, CH 46ER87-1, F.A.C. (Effective May 1, 1987 - July 29, 1987)

Prohibits all harvest in state waters. Prohibits possession, transportation, buying, selling, or exchanging any native redfish.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective July 9, 1987)

Continues emergency rule above for an indefinite period.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective Oct. 1 - Dec. 31, 1987)

Temporary season opening for redfish to include:

  • 1 fish recreational daily bag limit, with off-the-water possession limit of 2 fish
  • 5 fish daily bag limit per vessel for commercial fishermen
  • Size limit of 18 inches to 27 inches total length
  • Use of treble hooks while fishing with natural bait prohibited
  • Fish must be landed in whole condition (heads and tails intact)
  • Redfish designated as "restricted species"
  • Prohibits harvest of native redfish beginning 1/1/88; sale of native redfish allowed until 1/5/88

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective Jan. 1, 1989 - Oct. 1, 1991)

  • Establishes 18 inch minimum size limit and 27 inch maximum size limit for redfish harvested in state waters
  • Establishes daily bag limit of 1 native redfish per person and an off-the-water possession limit of 2 fish per person
  • Prohibits the sale of native redfish
  • Closes the months of March, April, and May to harvest and possession of redfish
  • Allows the sale of redfish harvested elsewhere with proper documentation

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective June 3, 1991)

Continues above rule indefinitely, declares redfish as a "protected species", and prohibits gigging and spearing of redfish.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 46-22, F.A.C. (Effective Jan. 1, 1996)

  • Eliminates the March, April, and May closed season
  • Prohibits the simultaneous possession aboard a vessel of any gill net or entangling net together with any red drum
  • Requires all red drum to be landed in a whole condition, and prohibits the possession of red drum that are not in a whole condition in or on state waters, on any public or private fishing pier, on a bridge or catwalk attached to a bridge from which fishing is allowed, or on any jetty
  • Defines "total length" for red drum to mean the length of the fish measured from the most forward point of the head to the hindmost point of the tail

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 68B-22, F.A.C. (Effective March 17, 2004)

Allows the executive director of the FWC, or a designee, to issue permits to participants in qualified catch and release redfish tournaments to catch, hold, and release fish under the following conditions:

  • Tournament competitors and staff must attempt to release all redfish alive, including those fish that are weighed in
  • Best management practices must be used for handling of fish
  • Tournament boats must contain aerated or re-circulating live wells, with a minimum size of 18-gallons or the volumetric equivalent
  • Dead redfish may not be discarded when fish are caught, held, and released
  • Redfish must be placed in recovery tanks after weigh-in before being released
  • The tournament must provide the FWC with a description of the release location (as a condition of the exemption permit, the FWC may specify the tournament release location)
  • The tournament must submit a post-tournament report
  • The tournament must agree to allow the FWC the opportunity to conduct research and onboard monitoring, as needed
  • Two-person tournament teams may possess two redfish
  • Tournament catch, hold, and release permits may only be issued to catch-and-release redfish tournaments that agree to all permit conditions
  • All tournament competitors must possess a copy of the tournament catch, hold, and release exemption permit during the tournament

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 68B-22, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2006)

Provides that, for purposes of determining the legal size of red drum, "total length" means the straight line distance from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed, while the fish is lying on its side.

RED DRUM (REDFISH), CH 68B-22, F.A.C. (Effective Feb. 1, 2012)

  • Defines "Northeast region," "Northwest region" and "South region"
  • Increases Bag limit in the Northeast and Northwest regions from 1 fish to 2 fish
  • Establishes a statewide vessel limit of 8 red drum
  • Eliminates the off-water possession limit
  • Establishes that bag limits apply to the land in the area adjacent to the fishing site
  • Establishes a transport possession limit of 6 fish per person

RED DRUM (REDFISH), EO 16-12  (Effective May 1, 2016)

Reduces the daily bag limit from two fish to one fish per person in the Northwest red drum management zone (Escambia County through Fred Howard Park near Pasco County)

RED DRUM (REDFISH), 68B-22.005, F.A.C. (Effective Nov. 1, 2016)

Reduces the daily bag limit from two fish to one fish per person in the Northwest red drum management zone

REEF FISH (formerly SNAPPER, GROUPER, AND SEA BASS), CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 29, 1985)

Minimum size limits:

  • Red, mutton, yellowtail snappers - 12 inches
  • Yellowfin, black, gag, red, Nassau groupers and jewfish - 18 inches
  • Black and southern sea bass - 8 inches

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective Dec. 11, 1986)

  • Snapper Bag limit: 10 per recreational fisherman daily, with off-the-water possession limit of 20 per recreational fisherman, for any combination of snapper, excluding lane, vermillion, and yelloweye
  • Grouper Bag limit: 5 per recreational fisherman daily, with off-the-water possession limit of 10 per recreational fisherman, for any combination of groupers, excluding rock hind and red hind
  • Use of longline gear by commercial fishermen prohibited; bycatch allowance of 5% is permitted harvesters of other species using this gear
  • Use of stab nets (or sink nets) to take snapper or grouper is prohibited in Atlantic waters of Monroe County
  • 5% of snapper and grouper in possession of harvester may be smaller than the minimum size limit
  • Must be landed in whole condition (head and tail intact)

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective Feb. 1, 1990)

  • Designates all snapper and grouper as "restricted species"
  • Designates red snapper and jewfish as protected species
  • Prohibits all harvest, possession, and sale of jewfish from Florida waters
  • Minimum size limits:

    Red snapper - 13 inches

    Queen, mutton, blackfin, cubera, dog, mahogany, silk, and yellowtail snapper - 12 inches

    Gray/mangrove and schoolmaster snapper - 10 inches (the sale of these species of total length less than 12 inches is prohibited)

    Lane and vermilion snapper - 8 inches

    Sea basses - 8 inches

    Yellowfin, black, gag, red, Nassau, and yellowmouth grouper and scamp - 20 inches

    • Recreational bag limits: 10 daily per person for any combination of snapper, not including lane and vermillion (no more than 5 may be gray/mangrove snapper and no more than 2 may be red snapper); 5 daily per person for any combination of grouper
    • Off-the-water recreational possession limits: 20 per person for any combination of snapper, not including lane and vermillion (no more than 10 may be gray/mangrove snapper and no more than 4 may be red snapper); 10 per person for any combination of grouper
    • Allowable gear: Hook and line, black sea bass trap, spear, gig, or lance (except powerheads, bangsticks, or explosive devices) for snapper and grouper
    • All commercial harvest of any species of snapper, grouper, and sea bass is prohibited in state waters whenever harvest of that species is prohibited in adjacent federal waters
    • Snapper and grouper must be landed in whole condition

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Feb. 1, 1990)

  • Designated as a "restricted species"
  • Minimum size limits: 28 inches fork length (the sale of an amberjack of less than 36 inches fork length or 28 inches with head-only removed is prohibited)
  • Recreational bag limit: 3 daily per person
  • Off-the-water possession limit: 6 per person
  • Must be landed in a whole condition (may be landed with head-only removed for commercial harvest)
  • All commercial harvest of amberjack in state waters is prohibited whenever harvest of amberjack is prohibited in adjacent federal waters
  • A federal reef fish permit to harvest amberjack is required any time this permit is required in adjacent federal waters

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Dec. 31, 1992)

  • Requires the appropriate federal permit in order to exceed snapper/grouper bag limits and to purchase or sell snapper/grouper on the state's Gulf coast
  • Establishes vermillion snapper minimum size limits of 10 inches for recreational fishermen and 12 inches for commercial fishermen on the state's Atlantic coast
  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 20 inches for red snapper on the state's Atlantic coast
  • Prohibits the harvest of Nassau grouper from state waters
  • Restricts all harvest of mutton snapper in May and June to the bag limit for this species

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Dec. 31, 1992)

  • Requires the appropriate federal permit in order to exceed the amberjack bag limit and to purchase or sell amberjack on the state's Gulf coast
  • Restricts all harvest of amberjack in April and May to the bag limit for this species
  • Requires all amberjack species to be landed with heads and tails intact (the coring provision for greater amberjack still applies)
  • Prohibits persons from harvesting greater amberjack under both recreational and commercial rules on the same trip

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Oct. 18, 1993)

Allows persons who possess either a Gulf of Mexico or South Atlantic federal reef fish permit to commercially harvest snappers and groupers (except red snapper) in all state waters, until July 1, 1995.

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective March 1, 1994)

  • Establishes a recreational daily bag limit of 10 vermilion snapper harvested from the Atlantic, and not count these fish in the aggregate bag limit for other snappers
  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 16 inches for mutton snapper
  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 12 inches for red porgy harvested in Atlantic state waters
  • Effective July 1, 1994, designates hogfish as a "restricted species", establishes a minimum size limit of 12 inches fork length for hogfish, and establishes a daily recreational bag limit of 5 hogfish per person
  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 12 inches for gray triggerfish, effective January 1, 1995
  • Establishes a daily bag limit for cubera snapper of two per person or boat, whichever is less, for all fishermen, for fish 30 inches in length or larger (smaller cubera snapper are included in the 10 snapper aggregate recreational bag limit)
  • Allows a two-day possession limit for reef fish statewide for persons aboard charter and headboats on trips exceeding 24 hours provided that the vessel is equipped with a permanent berth for each passenger aboard, and each passenger has a receipt verifying the trip length
  • Modifies rule language to provide the same state and federal definitions of Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean regions
  • Establishes vessel trip limits of one speckled hind and one warsaw grouper for all fishermen in state waters
  • Prohibits the sale of warsaw grouper and speckled hind harvested in state waters
  • Sets the minimum size limit for red snapper on the state's Gulf coast at 14 inches, and then at 15 inches effective January 1, 1996, and 16 inches effective January 1, 1998

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective July 1, 1995)

Continues the allowance of persons to possess either the proper South Atlantic or Gulf permit to harvest reef fish for commercial purposes through December 31, 1995.

REEF FISH - BLACK SEA BASS TRAPS, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Oct. 4, 1995)

Establishes degradability requirements for black sea bass traps. Such traps are considered to have a legal degradable panel if:

  • The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to the trap by a single loop of untreated Jute twine, and the trap lid is secured so that when the jute degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed, or
  • The trap lid tie-down strap is secured to one end with a corrodible hook composed of non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, and the trap lid is secured so that when the hook degrades, the lid will no longer be securely closed, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high and 3 inches wide, and the opening is laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by a single length of untreated jute twine knotted only at each end and not tied or looped more than once around a single mesh bar; the opening in the sidewall of the trap must no longer be obstructed when the jute degrades, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high by 3 inches wide, and the opening must be obstructed with an untreated pine slat or slats no thicker than 3/8 inch; the opening in the sidewall of the trap must no longer be obstructed when the slat degrades, or
  • The trap contains at least one sidewall with a vertical rectangular opening no smaller in either dimension than 6 inches high by 3 inches wide, and the opening must be laced, sewn, or otherwise obstructed by non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner or be obstructed with a panel of ferrous single-dipped galvanized wire mesh made of 24 gauge or thinner wire

REEF FISH - COMMERCIAL HARVEST, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 1996)

Continues to allow persons to possess either the proper South Atlantic or Gulf permit to harvest reef fish for commercial purposes through December 31, 1996.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 1996)

Establishes a 5 fish daily bag limit on red snapper for all harvesters on the state's Gulf of Mexico coast, and prohibits the sale of red snapper when federal sale closures occur in Gulf of Mexico waters.

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 46-14, FAC (Effective April 1, 1996)

Prohibits the sale of all amberjack species (including greater and lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, and Almaco jack) during the April/May closed commercial season.

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 1996)

In Monroe County waters only, reduces the recreational bag limit for amberjack of any species (including greater and lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, and Almaco jack) to one fish harvested daily per person.

REEF FISH - COMMERCIAL HARVEST, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Nov. 27, 1996)

Continues to allow persons to possess either the proper South Atlantic or Gulf permit to harvest reef fish for commercial purposes through December 31, 1997.

REEF FISH - VERMILION SNAPPER, CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 1998)

Establishes a 10 inches minimum size limit for vermilion snapper harvested in all state waters (to conform with federal rules).

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 46-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 1998)

  • Reduces the recreational daily bag limit for greater amberjack to 1 fish per person statewide
  • Prohibits the sale of any amberjack species (greater and lesser amberjack, Almaco jack, and banded rudderfish) during March, April, and May each year
  • Prohibits the sale of any amberjack species less than 36 inches fork length at any time
  • Requires all amberjack to be landed in a whole condition (including such fish harvested commercially)
  • Establishes 14 inches minimum/22 inches maximum fork length size limits and an aggregate recreational daily bag limit of 5 fish per person for banded rudderfish and lesser amberjack

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective August 17, 1998)

  • Reduces the recreational bag limit for red snapper from 5 fish per day to 4 fish per day (including captain and crew on for-hire vessels)
  • Modifies the federal commercial license requirement in the reef fish rule to correctly reference new Gulf red snapper commercial limited entry permits

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective November 1, 1998)

Provides an automatic closure of state waters to Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper harvest when federal waters are closed to such harvest, effective November 1, 1998.

REEF FISH, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective December 31, 1998)

  • Modifies black and gag grouper management in Atlantic Ocean state waters only by establishing a 2 fish daily recreational bag limit (within the 5 fish daily aggregate limit for all groupers), increasing the minimum size limit from 20 to 24 inches total length, and prohibiting the harvest and possession in excess of the recreational bag limit and purchase and sale of black and gag grouper during March and April
  • Increases the minimum size limit on black sea bass from 8 to 10 inches total length statewide, establishes a 20 fish daily recreational aggregate bag limit on black sea bass in Atlantic state waters only, and requires escape vents on sea bass pots statewide
  • Establishes a 14 inches total length minimum size limit and a 5 fish daily recreational bag limit for red porgies, and prohibits the harvest and sale in excess of the bag limit and all sale of red porgies in March and April (these provisions apply in Atlantic state waters only)
  • Requires that all reef fish species managed in Florida be landed in a whole condition, and designate all such species as "restricted species"
  • Standardizes commercial closure language in Commission reef fish rules
  • Prohibits all possession of Nassau grouper
  • Specifies that the 1 fish daily recreational bag limits for speckled hind and Warsaw grouper are within the 5 fish aggregate daily grouper bag limit
  • Revises the name of the federal licenses required to harvest amberjack in the South Atlantic to conform with federal changes

REEF FISH - MONROE COUNTY GAG & BLACK GROUPER, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 1999)

These rules, effective in all Monroe County state waters:

  • Increase the minimum size limit for black and gag grouper from 20 to 24 inches total length
  • Establish a 2 fish daily recreational bag limit (within the 5 fish daily aggregate limit for all groupers) for black and gag grouper
  • Prohibit the harvest, possession, or landing of black and gag grouper in excess of the recreational bag limit and the purchase, sale, or exchange of black and gag grouper during March and April

REEF FISH - BLACK SEA BASS TRAP SPECIFICATIONS, CH 46-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 1999)

  • Allows the use on black sea bass traps of trap lid tie-down straps secured at one end by a loop composed of non-coated steel wire measuring 24 gauge or thinner, 2 X 3/8 inch non-treated pine dowels or squares to replace the hook on tie-down straps, a 3 X 6 inch panel attached to the trap opening with 24 gauge or less wire or single strand jute
  • Prohibits the use of a 24 gauge hook or tie-down strap on black sea bass traps

REEF FISH - EMERGENCY OPENING OF STATE RED SNAPPER FISHERY IN GULF WATERS, CH 68BER99-1, F.A.C. (Effective August 3, 1999)

  • Allows the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper fishery to remain open in Florida waters from August 29, 1999 through October 31, 1999
  • Limits fishermen to a daily bag limit of 2 red snapper no less than 16 inches in total length harvested from state waters during this period

REEF FISH - RED PORGY, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective October 22, 1999)

Closes Atlantic state waters to the recreational harvest of red porgy through March 5, 2000.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective December 31, 1999)

Establishes an April 15 - October 31 open season for the recreational harvest of red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2000)

  • Merges amberjack rules into the current reef fish rule chapter
  • Conforms amberjack commercial licensing requirements to those of reef fish (with a clarification that the appropriate federal commercial permit is a condition of sale for all species in the rule)
  • Eliminates the 5-day commercial season closure extension in the reef fish rule
  • Restores the documentation requirement for reef fish species possessed during a closure period
  • Includes the 1-fish-daily vessel limit for speckled hind and warsaw grouper within the 5-fish grouper aggregate bag limit
  • Increases the maximum size limit for banded rudderfish and lesser amberjack from 20 to 22 inches in length

REEF FISH - RED PORGY, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 6, 2000)

Prohibits all harvest of Atlantic red porgy from state waters.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2001)

  • Raises the minimum size limit of Gulf of Mexico gag and black grouper to 24 inches total length for commercial harvesters
  • Establishes a Feb. 15 to Mar. 15 closed season for the commercial harvest of Gulf gag, black, and red grouper

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2001)

Increases the minimum size limit of gag and black grouper to 22 inches total length for recreational harvesters in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

REEF FISH - RED PORGY, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 2001)

For Atlantic red porgy, this rule:

  • Allows a one fish per person daily recreational bag limit and a 50 pound commercial vessel limit
  • Establishes a minimum size limit of 14 inches total length
  • Prohibits commercial harvest and sale January through April (permitted commercial and for-hire vessels are allowed a one fish per person daily bag limit)

REEF FISH - AMBERJACK (formerly AMBERJACK, CH 46-40), CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 1, 2001)

Establishes a 1,000-pound commercial daily vessel limit for greater amberjack harvested from Atlantic state waters.

REEF FISH - SEA BASSES & RED PORGY, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 2001)

Withdraws federal permit requirements for the commercial harvest of sea basses and red porgy in the Gulf of Mexico.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2003)

  • Clarifies that imported reef fishes must comply with Florida's legal minimum size limits
  • Includes a listing of minimum size limits for importation of 19 reef fish species
  • Reduces the minimum size limit of red snapper commercially harvested from Gulf state waters from 16 to 15 inches total length
  • Reduces the minimum size limit for all harvest of scamp from Gulf state waters from 20 inches to 16 inches total length
  • Changes the term "jewfish" to "goliath grouper" to reflect a change to the common name for this species
  • Deletes the rule designation of red snapper and goliath grouper (formerly jewfish) as protected species
  • Reorganizes and simplifies various reef fish rule provisions
  • Changes rule language regarding possession of mutton snapper, red porgy and amberjack during commercial trips to correspond with federal regulations
  • Deletes a provision pertaining to closure notices for state waters when adjacent federal waters close

REEF FISH - BLACK SEA BASS TRAPS, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 15, 2004)

Establishes a September 20 through October 4 closure to use of black sea bass traps in all Gulf of Mexico state waters between three and nine miles from shore.

REEF FISH - RED GROUPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 3, 2005)

Establishes a two-fish daily bag limit for recreational harvest of red grouper in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

REEF FISH - GROUPER VESSEL TRIP LIMIT, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective May 20, 2005)

Applies a grouper vessel trip limit for vessels harvesting commercially in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel trip limit is 10,000 pounds from January 1 until such time as the National

Marine Fisheries Service reduces the vessel trip limit in adjacent federal waters to 7,500 pounds or 5,500 pounds, in which case the Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries Management shall order a consistent reduction in the vessel trip limit in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The grouper vessel limit shall be restored to 10,000 pounds on January 1 of the following year. All grouper species listed in Ch. 68B-14.001(2)(b), F.A.C., except bank sea bass and black sea bass, are included in the grouper vessel trip limit.

REEF FISH - BLACK SEA BASS TRAPS, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 17, 2005)

  • Requires each trap used for harvesting black sea bass to have the trap owner's Saltwater Products License (SPL) number permanently attached
  • Each buoy attached to these traps shall have the letter "B" and the owner's SPL number affixed to it in legible figures at least 1.5 inches high
  • Requires a buoy or time-release buoy must be attached to each black sea bass trap or at each end of a weighted trap trotline. The buoy must be constructed of Styrofoam, cork, molded polyvinyl chloride, or molded polystyrene, be of sufficient strength and buoyancy to float, and be either white in color or the same color as the owner's blue crab or stone crab buoy colors. These buoys must be either spherical in shape with a diameter no smaller than six inches, or some other shape that is no shorter than 10 inches in the longest dimension and the width at some point exceeds five inches

REEF FISH - VERMILION SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective September 16, 2005)

  • Raises the statewide recreational minimum size limit for vermilion snapper from 10 to 11 inches total length
  • Increases the commercial minimum size limit for vermilion snapper from 10 to 11 inches total length in Gulf of Mexico state waters
  • Establishes a recreational daily bag limit of 10 fish per person in Gulf state waters
  • Establishes a closed season to the commercial harvest of vermilion snapper in Gulf state waters from April 22 through May 31

REEF FISH - RED GROUPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2006)

Reduces the daily recreational bag limit for red grouper harvested in the Gulf of Mexico from two fish per person to one fish per person.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2006)

  • Provides that, for purposes of determining the legal size of reef fish species, "total length" means the straight line distance from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed, while the fish is lying on its side
  • Changes the legal measurement for gray triggerfish from total length to fork length

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2007)

  • Allows the Atlantic recreational harvest of one golden tilefish and one snowy grouper within the five-fish daily aggregate grouper bag limit
  • Increases the daily recreational bag limit for Atlantic red porgy from one fish to three fish per person
  • Increases the recreational minimum size limit for Atlantic vermilion snapper from 11 to 12 inches total length
  • Sets commercial trip limits in the Atlantic that are the same as trip limits in federal waters
  • Increases the recreational minimum size limit for Atlantic black sea bass from 10 inches total length to 11 inches total length in 2007, and then to 12 inches total length in 2008, and establishes a June 1 - May 31 harvest season
  • Reduces the daily recreational bag limit for Atlantic black sea bass from 20 to 15 fish per person
  • Requires a minimum 2-inch mesh for the back panel of black sea bass traps in the Atlantic, and requires removal of black sea bass traps in the Atlantic when the commercial quota is reached
  • Decreases the Gulf commercial and recreational minimum size limit for vermilion snapper from 11 to 10 inches total length
  • Eliminates the April 22 through May 31 closed season for Gulf commercial harvest of vermilion snapper
  • Establishes a zero bag limit for Gulf gag, red and black grouper for captains and crew on for-hire vessels
  • Removes the requirement for Class I and Class II Gulf commercial red snapper licenses
  • Designates golden tilefish as a "restricted species"
  • Changes the minimum size limit of vermillion snapper imported into Florida from 11 to 10 inches total length
  • Prohibits commercial fishermen from harvesting or possessing the recreational bag limit of reef fish species on commercial trips

REEF FISH - BLACK SEA BASS TRAPS, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 12, 2008)

Allows the use of black sea bass traps to 8 cubic feet in volume.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER AND REEF FISH GEAR, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective April 1, 2008)

  • Reduces the Gulf recreational and commercial daily bag limit for red snapper from 4 fish to 2 fish per person
  • Establishes a zero Gulf red snapper daily bag limit for captains and crew of for-hire vessels
  • Reduces the minimum size for commercially harvested red snapper in the Gulf and for imported red snapper from 15 to 13 inches total length
  • Requires all commercial and recreational anglers fishing for any Gulf reef fish species to use circle hooks, dehooking devices and venting tools, beginning June 1, 2008

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2009)

  • Establishes a two-fish per person recreational daily bag limit for Gulf gag grouper within the five grouper aggregate limit
  • Prohibits the recreational harvest of Gulf gag grouper from Feb. 1 through March 31
  • Establishes a two-fish per person recreational daily bag limit for Gulf red grouper within the five grouper aggregate limit
  • Increases the recreational minimum size limit for Gulf greater amberjack from 28 to 30 inches fork length
  • Increases the commercial and recreational minimum size limit for Gulf gray triggerfish from 12 to 14 inches fork length

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective March 13, 2009)

Changes the recreational open harvest season for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state waters to June 1 through Sept. 30.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective August 7, 2009)

Changes the recreational harvest season for red snapper in Gulf of Mexico state waters from June 1 through September 30 to June 1 through August 14.

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective August 27, 2009)

  • Decreases the daily recreational aggregate bag limit for grouper from five fish to four per person in Gulf of Mexico state waters, except in Monroe Country
  • Establishes a February 1 - March 31 closed spawning season for all recreational harvest of shallow-water groupers (gag, black, red, yellowfin, scamp, yellowmouth, rock hind and red hind) in Gulf state waters, except in Monroe County
  • Reduces the commercial minimum-size limit for Gulf red grouper, and for all importation and sale of red grouper, from 20 inches to 18 inches total length

REEF FISH - VERMILION SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective October 16, 2009)

  • Reduces the daily recreational bag limit for vermilion snapper in Atlantic state waters from 10 fish to 5 fish per person
  • Prohibits the captain and crew on for-hire vessels in the Atlantic from keeping vermilion snapper
  • Establishes a November 1 - March 31 closed season to all harvest of vermilion snapper in Atlantic state waters

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 19, 2010)

  • Establishes a 3 fish per person aggregate daily recreational bag limit for all grouper in Atlantic and Monroe County state waters
  • Prohibits the captain and crew of for-hire vessels from retaining any species in the aggregate grouper bag limit
  • Allows anglers to keep no more than 1 gag or black grouper combined in Atlantic and Monroe County state waters
  • Prohibits all harvest of shallow-water groupers (including gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, and tiger grouper) from Jan. 1 - April 30 in Atlantic and Monroe County state waters
  • Requires dehooking tools to be aboard commercial and recreational vessels for anglers to use as needed to remove hooks from Atlantic reef fish

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 4, 2010)

Establishes a June 1 through July 23 recreational harvest season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective October 8, 2010)

Establishes eight Friday through Sunday recreational harvest weekends for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico from October 1 through November 21.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 2011)

Establishes a June 1 through July 18 recreational harvest season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico.

REEF FISH - GREATER AMBERJACK AND GAG GROUPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 17, 2011)

  • Prohibits recreational harvest of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico from June 1 through July 31, each year
  • Prohibits recreational harvest and possession of gag grouper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, excluding Monroe County, during the following closed periods in 2011: June 1 through September 15 and November 16 through December 31

REEF FISH - EXECUTIVE ORDER -GAG GROUPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective January 1, 2012)

  • Continues prohibition of harvest from January 1 - January 31, 2012

REEF FISH - RED GROUPER, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective December 23, 2011)

  • Increases the red grouper bag limit from 2 fish to four fish

REEF FISH - RECREATIONAL BAG LIMITS EXCEPTION LANGUAGE UPDATE, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2012)

  • Updates exception paragraph to reflect numbering changes that have occurred within the reef fish recreational bag limits rule
  • Excludes red porgy harvested from the Atlantic Ocean from the exception paragraph

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C.

Change the recreational fishing season for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico to June 1 through July 10 (40 days)

REEF FISH - EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 12-10, RED SNAPPER (Effective July 11, 2012)

Extended the 2012 red snapper season an additional 6 days, setting the closure date to July 17, 2012.  

REEF FISH – BLACK SEA BASS Ch 68B- 14, F.A.C. (Effective February 1, 2013)

  • Increased the minimum size limits for commercial and recreational harvest to 11 inches TL and 13 inches TL respectively in the Atlantic
  • Decreased the recreational bag limit from 15 to five fish per person per day in the Atlantic
  •  Required anyone fishing with black sea bass traps in Atlantic state waters to have a federal South Atlantic black sea bass pot endorsement and a commercial snapper grouper unlimited permit
  • Changed the Atlantic state trap requirements to match federal trap specifications and requirements (this would include trap construction requirements, requiring traps to be set in waters north of Cape Canaveral, and requiring traps to be removed from the water and brought back to shore at the conclusion of each trip)

REEF FISH – GAG GROUPER, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective May 9, 2013)

  • Established the recreational gag grouper harvest season for Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties, Indian Pass Apalachicola Bay and the Steinhatchee river to be April 1 through June 30
  • Established the recreational gag grouper harvest for the rest of the Gulf of Mexico excluding Monroe County to be July 1 through Dec.

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective May 31, 2013)

  • Set the recreational red snapper season in Gulf of Mexico state waters to June 1 through July 14 (44 days)

REEF FISH – GRAY TRIGGERFISH, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective June 10, 2013)

  • Established a recreational and commercial closure of June 1 through July 31
  • Established a recreational two fish daily bag limit
  • Established a commercial trip limit of 12 fish

REEF FISH – RED SNAPPER, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective Sept. 13, 2013) Executive Order 13-34

  • Set the recreational red snapper supplemental season for 2013 only in Gulf of Mexico state waters from Oct. 1 through 21

REEF FISH – VERMILION SNAPPER, ATLANTIC, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective Oct. 31, 2013)

  • Eliminated the November 1 through March 31 recreational closure in Atlantic State Waters 

REEF FISH –  GROUPER, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, F.A.C. (Effective Oct. 31, 2013)

  • Eliminated the November 1 through March 31 recreational closure in Gulf State Waters 

REEF FISH , GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 24, 2014)

  • Eliminated the requirement to possess and use venting tools when fishing for reef fish in the Gulf of Mexico 

REEF FISH, ATLANTIC, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective March 13, 2014)

  • Eliminated language that prohibited captain and crew or for-hire vessels from retaining recreational bag limits of vermilion snappers, groupers and golden tilefish on for-hire trips in state waters of the Altantic (including Monroe County for grouper and golden tilefish) 

REEF FISH, GULF OF MEXICO, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective May 24, 2014)

  • Set the recreational harvest season for red snapper in all state waters of the Gulf of Mexico to begin the Saturday before Memorial Day and end July 14.

REEF FISH, REPORTING REQUIREMENT, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective Aug. 26, 2014)

  • Create a Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System for private recreational reef fish anglers to improve data collection.

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH, EXECUTIVE ORDER 15-06, Recreational Harvest Closure in Gulf of Mexico State Waters (Effective Feb. 7, 2015-Dec. 31, 2015)

REEF FISH, CH 68B-14.0036, F.A.C.  (Effective May 7, 2015)

  • Reduces the red grouper bag limit from 4 fish to 2 fish per person within the grouper aggregate in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico, excluding Monroe County.

REEF FISH, 68B-14.0035, F.A.C. (Effective July 7, 2015)

Sets a 14-inch fork length minimum size limit for gray triggerfish in Atlantic state waters

REEF FISH, 68B-14.00355, F.A.C. (Effective July 7, 2015)

Raises the minimum size limit for the importation and sale of gray triggerfish to 14 inches fork length

REEF FISH, 68B-14.0038, F.A.C. (Effective May 23, 2015)

Modifies the recreational harvest season for red snapper in the Gulf. Set to begin the Saturday before Memorial Day through July 12, Saturdays and Sundays in September and October, and Labor Day

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH, EXECUTIVE ORDER 15-33, Atlantic size limits changed to 12 inches fork length and recreational bag limit changed to 10 fish and statewide size limit for importation and sale of 12 inches FL (Effective Nov. 21, 2015-Nov. 1, 2016)

REEF FISH - GREATER AMBERJACK, EXECUTIVE ORDER 15-35, Recreational Harvest Closure in Gulf of Mexico State Waters (Effective Nov. 21, 2015-Dec. 31, 2015)

REEF FISH, 68B-14.0035, F.A.C. (Effective Jan. 24, 2016)

Increases the greater amberjack minimum size limit for recreational harvest from 30 inches to 34 inches fork length for Gulf state waters

REEF FISH, 68B-14.0035, F.A.C. (Effective June 1, 2016)

  • Increases the recreational minimum size limit for black groupers from 22 to 24 inches total length in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Increases the recreational minimum size limit for gag groupers from 22 to 24 inches total length in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico
  • Establishes the recreational season for gag grouper as June 1 through December 31 each year, consistent with Federal Standards

REEF FISH - TIGER GROUPER, 68B-14.001, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2016)

  • Removes tiger grouper from state management

REEF FISH, 68B-14.0045, F.A.C. (Effective July 1, 2016)

  • Requires a valid transferable commercial permit or a trip-limited commercial permit for South Atlantic snapper-grouper shall not apply to the harvest of black snapper, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, schoolmaster, or wenchman for commercial purposes in the Atlantic Ocean.
  • The requirement of a valid commercial vessel permit for Gulf reef fish shall additionally not apply to the harvest of coney, graysby, misty grouper, red hind, rock hind, black snapper, dog snapper, mahogany snapper, and schoolmaster for commercial purposes in the Gulf of Mexico.

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH, EXECUTIVE ORDER 16-23, Recreational Harvest Closure in Gulf of Mexico State Waters (Effective Aug. 1, 2016-Dec. 31, 2016)

REEF FISH - RED SNAPPER, EO 16-33 (Effective Sept. 8, 2016)

Due to the reduction in recreational fishing opportunities caused by hurricane Hermine, extends recreational season of red snapper in Gulf state waters to Nov. 5-6, 11-12, and 25–27.

REEF FISH - GREATER AMBERJACK, EO 16-30 (Effective Sept. 10, 2016)

Due to the closure of federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico effective August 1, 2016, closes the recreational season for greater amberjack in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico

REEF FISH - BAHAMAS, 68B-14.006, F.A.C. (Effective Sept. 13, 2016)

Creates an exception allowing recreational anglers to land reef fish as fillets instead of as whole fish, provided the reef fish were recreationally harvested in The Bahamas and specific conditions are met

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH, EXECUTIVE ORDER 16-50, Atlantic Gray Triggerfish Size Limits and Recreational Bag Limit, and Statewide Size Limit for Importation and Sale (Effective Nov. 9-17, 2016)

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH , 68B-14, FAC (Effective Nov. 17, 2016)

  • Reduces the recreational and commercial minimum size limits to 12 inches fork length for harvest in the Atlantic Ocean and statewide importation and sale           
  • Creates a recreational bag limit of 10 fish in Atlantic state waters

REEF FISH - MUTTON SNAPPER, 68B-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 2017)

  • Increases the recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits to 18 inches
  • Reduces the recreational bag limit to five fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit
  • Replaces the May – June commercial trip limit in all state waters with a five fish per person/day limit from April – June in Atlantic state waters
  • Establish a 500-pound commercial vessel limit for the remainder of the year (July – March) in Atlantic state waters

REEF FISH - HOGFISH, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective Jan. 1, 2017)

  • Sets the state management boundary for Gulf and Atlantic hogfish regulations at 25°09’ North Latitude in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Increases Gulf minimum size limit to 14 inches FL and Atlantic minimum size limit to 16 inches FL
  • Sets minimum size limit for importation and sale at 14 inches FL
  • Sets recreational bag limit of one fish in the Atlantic
  • Sets May 1 – Oct. 31 recreational harvest season in the Atlantic

REEF FISH - GRAY TRIGGERFISH, EXECUTIVE ORDER 16-55, 2017 Recreational Harvest Closure of Gray Triggerfish in State Waters of the Gulf of Mexico (Effective Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2017)

REEF FISH - YELLOWTAIL SNAPPER, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective March 15, 2017)

Exempts commercial harvesters in the Gulf of Mexico south of 25 degrees 09 minutes north latitude from the requirement to use stainless steel circle hooks when fishing for yellowtail snapper on hook-and-line gear with natural baits.

REEF FISH – BLACK SEA BASS, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective May 30, 2017)

  • Increases the black sea bass recreational bag limit in the Atlantic from 5 to 7 fish
  • Requires buoy line marking for commercial Atlantic black sea bass traps

REEF FISH – GAG GROUPER, CH 68B-14, FAC (Effective Aug. 31, 2017)

  • Adds Sept. 1 – Dec. 31 to the recreational harvest season for gag grouper all waters of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor counties, including Indian Pass, Apalachicola Bay, and the Steinhatchee River (Big Bend region)

RESTRICTED SPECIES LICENSE ENDORSEMENT 68B-2, FAC (Effective Nov. 11, 2012)

Waives the income requirements on a restricted species endorsement for the first full license year for:

  • Resident veterans honorably discharged from September 11, 2001, through June 30, 2014
  • Resident veterans who apply within 4 years following an honorable discharge
  • Veterans with service-related disabilities

Reduces the income requirements for veterans with service related disabilities to $2,500 in subsequent years.

RESTRICTED SPECIES LICENSE ENDORSEMENT 68B-2, FAC (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

  • Chapter now named General chapter
  • Language corrected to reflect original intent and clarify that the FWC would issue the endorsement whenever all the necessary conditions are met.

RULE CLEANUP (Effective Sept. 1, 2013)

19 species chapters reformatted for consistency, including Bay Scallops 68B-18, Billfish and Swordfish 68B-33, Black Drum 68B-36, Calico Scallops 68B-53, Cobia 68B-19, Dolphin and Wahoo 68B-41, Flounder and Sheepshead 68B-48, Hard Clams 68B-17, Jellyfish 68B-51, Queen Conch 68B-15, Sardines 68B-29, Seatrout 68B-37, Shad and River Herring 68B-52, Snook 68B-21, Sponges 68B-28, Sturgeon 68B-15, SW Florida Shells 68B-26, Tripletail 68B-49 and Weakfish 68B-47.



FWC Facts:
Sailfish live for about 5 years.

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