Saltwater Public Comments
The following topics are either tentatively slated to be brought before the Commission in the near future or items FWC staff plan to begin working on.
This is not an all-encompassing list and topics may be moved to a later date or not discussed at all.
Visit the Commission meeting agenda page to see what FWC staff will be presenting to the Commission at an upcoming meeting.
Future Commission Meeting Items
FWC wants your feedback on a proposed rule to reduce impact of catch-and-release fishing on goliath grouper at spawning aggregation sites.
This rule would prohibit fishing within 1,000 feet of three goliath spawning aggregation sites off Martin and Palm Beach County from July 15 – October 15 each year. These three sites were identified by members of the recreational dive community as having the highest density of goliath in state waters during the spawning season.
These sites include:
- MG-111 and Warrior Reef - 26°58.637’N | 80°01.493’W
- Ana Cecilia and Mizpah Wrecks - 26°47.134’N | 80°00.954’W center point
- M/V Castor and Bud Bar Wrecks - 26°28.727’N | 80°02.275’W
Staff will present the proposed rule for final consideration at a future Commission meeting and would like your input.
Comment on this item using the form below.
High release mortality is a top management challenge for reef fish stocks throughout the southeastern U.S. FWC staff are requesting feedback on a proposed rule to improve survival of released reef fish, promote best fishing practices, and increase compliance with requirements in federal waters.
The proposed rule would require any person on board a vessel fishing for reef fish in state waters to possess a descending device or venting tool that is rigged and ready for use to quickly return a fish that is exhibiting signs of barotrauma back to depth.
Staff will present the proposed rule for final consideration at a future Commission meeting and your input is appreciated.
FWC wants your feedback on prohibiting the placement of commercial and recreational traps
within the boundary of the Legare Anchorage site within Biscayne National Park. The
implementation of this rule would protect vulnerable cultural resources from damage that may be
caused by this fishing gear.
Staff will present this as a proposed rule for the Commission’s consideration at their meeting.
A public hearing on the proposed rules will be held at FWC’s September Commission meeting. For more information on the September Commission meeting visit the FWC Commission Meetings page.
Comment on this item below using the commenting form.
FWC wants your feedback on a proposed rule to reduce the red porgy recreational bag limit and season in Florida’s Atlantic state waters consistent with pending regulations in adjacent Atlantic federal waters.
A recent stock assessment found the South Atlantic red porgy stock continues to be overfished and undergoing overfishing. Earlier this year, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council took action to reduce commercial and recreational harvest in order to rebuild the fishery. To help end overfishing, this proposed federal consistency action would reduce the recreational bag limit from 3 to 1 fish per person and establish a recreational harvest season from May to June for red porgy in Florida’s Atlantic state waters.
Staff will bring the proposed rule for final consideration at a future Commission meeting and would like your input.
Comment on this item using the form below.
Fishing-line entanglement of birds, primarily brown pelicans, has been occurring at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park (Skyway Pier) for many years. FWC and partners have conducted outreach and education and implemented multiple actions to reduce entanglements and improve bird rescue success. Despite these past actions, severe entanglements that cause harm to pelicans and other seabirds are still occurring in large numbers.
FWC staff requests feedback on potential proposed rules to reduce angler-seabird interactions and further seabird conservation at Skyway Pier. The potential proposed rules would:
- Prohibit the use and possession of the following gear if rigged for use:
- Hook and line gear with more than one hook (e.g., sabiki rigs, chicken rigs, and topwater plugs)
- Multiple hook (e.g., treble hook)
- Limit anglers to three sets of hook and line gear while fishing in the State Park
Public workshops will be held on this topic. For information about those workshops, visit: https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/rulemaking/workshops/.
To watch a recording of the Virtual Public workshop held on November 21, 2022, visit: YouTube.com/FWCSaltwaterFishing
The FWC will be reviewing several trap fisheries in the upcoming year including spiny lobster, blue crab, pinfish/baitfish, trap retrieval, recreational trap fisheries, and traps used for shellfish aquaculture leases.
Both the gag grouper stocks in the Gulf and South Atlantic are overfished and undergoing overfishing. This will require new rebuilding plans and lead to modifying current management regulations. Staff welcomes any management suggestions or feedback that could help better understand and improve gag grouper populations statewide.