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Update: Blue Heron Bridge

All collection of Marine Life (aquarium species) at the Blue Heron Bridge dive site in Palm Beach County is prohibited (see below for species that are considered to be Marine Life). Prohibitions will not apply to other fishing activities, such as hook-and-line fishing.

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Marine life Collage

Requirements for Recreational Marine Life Harvest

  • Recreational saltwater fishing license
  • Organisms must be landed and kept alive
  • A continuously circulating live well, aeration or oxygenation system of adequate size to maintain these organisms in a healthy condition
  • State regulations for marine life apply in federal waters

Allowable Gear†:

  • Hand collection
  • Hand held net: a landing or dip net. A portion of the bag may be constructed of clear plastic material rather than mesh.
  • Drop net: a small, usually circular net with weights attached along the outer edge and a single float in the center, used by a diver to enclose and concentrate tropical fish.
  • Barrier net (fence net): a seine used beneath the surface of the water by a diver to enclose and concentrate tropical fish. The net may be made of nylon or monofilament.
  • Slurp gun: a self-contained, handheld device that captures tropical fish by rapidly drawing seawater containing such fish into a closed chamber.
  • Use of quinaldine is prohibited.
  • Use of power tools for harvest of octocorals is prohibited

Bag Limit: 20 organisms per person per day; only 5 of any one species allowed within the 20-organism bag limit unless otherwise noted. See charts below for more details.

Possession Limit: 2-day possession limit, 40 total organisms, no more than 10 of any one species allowed.

Allowable substrate: see species specifications in tables.

 

Blue Heron Boundry

Closed areas: Various closed areas exist. See regulations for Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Everglades National Park, Biscayne National Park, national wildlife refuges and Florida's State Parks before collecting in these areas. NEW: The Blue Heron Bridge dive site is closed to marine life harvest (see image at right for boundaries.)

Sale of recreationally caught marine life organisms is prohibited.

† Some organisms have additional gear limitations.  See charts below for more details.

Additional rules apply to the collection of shells containing live organisms in Lee and Manatee counties.

Can I feed sharks and other fish?

Regulated Marine Life Species, Size Limits, and Other Restrictions:

Remarks

5 angelfish per person per day within 20-organism aggregate

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Angelfish (Pomacanthus family) including hybrids: 1 1/2 -8" slot limit Angelfish (Holacanthus family) except rock beauty: 1 3/4 -8" slot limit Rock Beauty (Holacanthus tricolor): 2-5" slot limit

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

1-4" slot limit

Remarks

Except Gray Triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), Ocean Triggerfish (Canthidermis sufflamen) and unicorn filefish

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

None

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit: 2"

Remarks

Except reef fish and Longtail Bass (Hemanthias leptus); such as groupers, snappers, seabass and amberjacks. Must abide by regulations for these species in Rule 68B-14 F.A.C.

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

None

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit: 4"

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit: 12"

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Minimum size limit: 1 1/2"

 

Remarks

None

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Maximum size limit (fork length): 9"

Remarks

Except Hog Snapper (Lachnolaimus maximus)

Size Limits (total length unless otherwise noted)

Spanish Hogfish (Bodianus rufus): 2-8" slot limit Cuban Hogfish (Bodianus pulchellus): 3-8" slot limit

  • Basslets (Family Grammatidae)
  • Batfish (Family Ogcocephalidae)
  • Blackbar Soldierfish (Myripristis jacobus)
  • Blennies (Families Clinidae and Blenniidae)
  • Black Brotula (Stygnobrotula latebricola)
  • Key Brotula (Ogilbia cayorum)
  • Spotted Burrfish (Chilomycterus atringa)
  • Striped Burrfish (Chilomycterus schoepfi)
  • Cardinalfish (Family Apogonidae)
  • Clingfish (Family Gobiesocidae)
  • Cornetfish (Family Fistulariidae)
  • Damselfish (Family Pomacentridae)
  • Moray Eels (Family Muraenidae)
  • Snake Eels (Genera Myrichthys and Myrophis of the Family Ophichthidae)
  • Frogfish (Family Antennariidae)
  • Hawkfish (Family Cirrhitidae)
  • High-hat/Jackknife-fish/Spotted Drum/Cubbyu (Genus Equetus of the Family Sciaenidae)
  • Porcupinefish (Diodon hystrix)
  • Sharpnose Puffer (Canthigaster rostrata)
  • Reef Croakers (Odontoscion dentex)
  • Seahorses and Pipefish (Family Syngnathidae)
  • Sleepers (Family Eleotridae)
  • Yellow Stingray (Urobatis jamaicensis)
  • Sweepers (Family Pempheridae)
  • Toadfish (Family Batrachoididae)
  • Trumpetfish (Family Aulostomidae)
  • Trunkfish/Cowfish (Family Ostraciidae)

*Unless otherwise noted, combined bag limit of 20 marine life fish and invertebrates per person per day, only 5 of any one species allowed. A 2-day possession limit also applies (40 total organisms, only 10 of any one species).

**Such as groupers, snappers, seabass and amberjacks. Must abide by regulations for these species in Rule 68B-14 F.A.C.

Marine Life - Invertebrates

Bag Limits/Remarks

Recreational harvest prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

Giant anemone (Condylactis gigantea) prohibited; Corallimorphs and Zoanthids: No more than 5 single polyps of each may be landed per person per day within 20-organism aggregate, must be harvested with a flexible blade no wider than 2" such as a putty knife, razor blade, or paint scraper.

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

No more than 6 octocoral colonies per person per day within 20-organism aggregate or 70,000 colonies annually; harvest of attached substrate within 1" of base is permitted as long as substrate remains attached to the octocoral; harvest closes in response to federal octocoral closures; harvest of Venus Sea Fan (Gorgonia flabellum) and Common (Purple) Sea Fan (Gorgonia ventalina) prohibited. Areas closed to octocoral harvest in Atlantic federal waters off Florida: Atlantic federal waters north of Cape Canaveral, Stetson-Miami Terrace Coral Habitat Area of Particular Concern (CHAPC) and Pourtales Terrace CHAPC

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except land hermit crabs (Family Coenobitidae); default limit of land hermit crabs is 100 lbs or 2 individuals of each species per person, per day, whichever is greater; 5 individuals of each species per person per day within 20-organism aggregate

 

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

Recreational harvest prohibited (includes rock made by sabellarid tubeworms)

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except Common Octopus (Octopodus vulgaris); 5 individuals of each species per person per day within 20-organism aggregate; bag limit of 2 live shells of any single species per harvester per day in Manatee County; harvest prohibited in Lee County

 

Bag Limits/Remarks

Harvest of Fire Coral (Family Milleporidae) prohibited; 5 individuals of each species per person per day within 20-organism aggregate

Bag Limits/Remarks

Except Sheepswool, Yellow, Grass, Glove, Finger, Wire, Reef, and Velvet Sponges; 5 sponges per harvester per day within 20-organism aggregate; harvest of substrate within 1" of base permitted north and west of the southernmost point of Egmont Key, no substrate allowed south of Egmont Key

Bag Limits/Remarks

No more than 5 individuals of each species per person per day in 20-organism aggregate; bag limit of 2 live shells (includes Echinoderms) of any single species per harvester per day in Manatee County; harvest prohibited in Lee County; harvest of Bahama Starfish (Oreaster reticulatus) prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

No more than 5 individuals of each species per person per day within 20-organism aggregate; bag limit of 2 live shells (includes Echinoderms) of any single species per harvester per day in Manatee County; harvest prohibited in Lee County; harvest of Longspine Urchin (Diadema antillarum) prohibited

Bag Limits/Remarks

No more than 100 lbs or 2 individuals of each species per person per day, whichever is greater; bag limit of 2 live shells (includes Echinoderms) of any single species per harvester per day in Manatee County; harvest prohibited in Lee County

  • Brittlestars (Class Ophiuroidea)
  • Decorator (Furcate Spider) Crab (Stenocionops furcatus)
  • False Arrow Crab (Metoporhaphis calcarata)
  • Green Clinging (Emerald) Crab (Mithraculus sculptus)
  • Nimble Spray (Urchin) Crab (Percnon gibbesi)
  • Red Mithrax Crab (Mithraculus ruber)
  • Red Ridged Clinging Crab (Mithraculus forceps)
  • Spotted Porcelain Crab (Porcellana sayana)
  • Yellowline Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis)
  • Fileclams (Genus Lima)
  • Upside-down Jellyfish (Genus Cassiopea)
  • Nudibranchs/Sea Slugs (Subclass Opisthobranchia)
  • Sea Cucumbers (Class Holothuroidea)
  • Sea Lilies (Class Crinoidea)
  • Cleaner/Peppermint Shrimp (Genera Periclimenesor Lysmata)
  • Coral Shrimp (Genus Stenopus)
  • Snapping Shrimp (Family Alpheidae)
  • Nassarius Snails (Genus Nassarius)
  • Starsnails (Lithopoma americanum, Lithopoma tectum, Astralium phoebium)
  • Featherduster Worms/Calcareous Tube Worms (Families Sabellidae and Serpulidae).

*Unless otherwise noted, combined bag limit of 20 marine life fish and invertebrates per person per day, only 5 of any one species allowed.   A 2-day possession limit also applies (40 total organisms, only 10 of any one species).

Marine Life - Plants

Species

Algae, Coralline Red (Family Corallinaceae)

Caulerpa (Family Caulerpaceae)

Halimeda/Mermaid's Fan/Mermaid's Shaving Brush (Family Udoteaceae)

Remarks

One gallon of tropical ornamental marine plants per day in any combination; 2 gallon maximum possession limit

Recreational collection of up to 100 pounds or 2 organisms per person per day (whichever is greater) of unregulated species is permitted with a recreational saltwater fishing license. To collect greater quantities of unregulated species, a saltwater products license is required.