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Saltwater Public Comments

The FWC welcomes comments on any species, even those not featured on this page, at any time via the comment form below, email at Marine@MyFWC.com or phone at 850-487-0554.

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.

Public Workshops

Share your input in person by attending a public workshop.

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 modify recreational regulations for red porgy, snowy grouper and blueline tilefish in Florida’s Atlantic state waters to be consistent with approved and pending federal regulations. 

Last year, the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council approved management changes to help rebuild the red porgy and snowy grouper stocks, which are overfished, and help prevent the risk of overfishing for blueline tilefish.   

Consistent regulations between state and federal waters can help improve these fisheries, ease regulatory compliance, and help with enforcement. Therefore, FWC is proposing the following recreational changes in Atlantic state waters:  

  • Reducing the red porgy bag limit from 3 to 1 fish per person/day and establishing an open season of May- June. 
  • Reducing the snowy grouper bag limit from 1 per person/day to 1 per vessel/day and establishing an open season of May- June. 
  • Reducing the blueline tilefish bag limit from 3 to 2 fish per person/day and prohibiting for-hire captain and crew from retaining a bag limit. 

Staff will present the proposed rule for final consideration at the February Commission meeting for these three species 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 seeks feedback on potential changes to fishing regulations at Skyway Pier to reduce angler-seabird interactions and further seabird conservation.

Public workshops will be held on this topic. For information about those workshops, visit: https://myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/rulemaking/workshops/.

 

The Commission is developing a regional management approach for snook, similar to the changes recently implemented for redfish.  Although the 2020 stock assessment indicated that snook is meeting management goals on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, stakeholders have requested that FWC take a more holistic approach to management that considers angler desires and environmental concerns at a smaller, regional scale. 

Staff will present an introduction to this new management approach for snook at the February 2023 Commission Meeting and would like your input.

To learn more about Snook Symposium VII visit the FWC Snook Symposium Page.

Public workshops will be held on this topic in 2023.  For information about those workshops, visit the FWC Workshops page.

Comment on this item below using the commenting form.

Other topics

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.

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