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Fishing Education Event License Exemption Permit

Those planning a fishing education event for youth and families that are conducting FWC or FWC-approved educational programs may apply for a Fishing Education Event License Exemption Permit.  This permit will exempt event participants, staff and volunteers from Florida's recreational fishing license and permit requirements while participating in the event and as specified in the terms of the permit.

The permit is issued to the sponsoring organization and is valid only for the duration of the event.  The sponsoring organization must have a list of all registered participants, staff and volunteers for the event.  The permit does not exempt individual event participants, staff or volunteers from fishing license and permit requirements when fishing outside of the permitted event.

Who qualifies for the exemption:  Registered participants, staff and volunteers of an event in which one of the following is conducted:

  1. An FWC education program including, but not limited to, summer camps, school field trips, kids fishing clinics and Project WILD.
  2. An FWC-sanctioned education program wherein partners are implementing an FWC fishing education program as trained by FWC staff, an FWC program staff member is on-site to assist with the event, or the requester implements their own fishing program that has been pre-approved by the FWC as meeting criteria.

Who does not qualify for exemption:

  1. Tournaments, derbies or events wherein fees are charged or funds are raised as part of the event.
  2. Any group that cannot meet FWC criteria for an education exemption.

What this permit authorizes:  This permit authorizes event participants, staff and volunteers to fish without individual recreational saltwater fishing licenses and permits, freshwater fishing licenses or management area permits during the dates specified on the event permit.

What this permit does not authorize:  This permit does not authorize fishing without a license or permit by anyone other than the Fishing Education Event participants, staff and volunteers who are directly participating in the permitted event.  It does not exempt individual event participants, staff or volunteers from  license and permit requirements when fishing outside of the permitted event.  The permit exemption DOES NOT apply to tarpon tags.

Criteria needed to apply for this permit:  During fishing education programs, the following topics must be covered prior to the hands-on activity:

  • Importance of becoming an ethical angler; an overview of fishing including equipment, fishing knots, and casting; fish health and habitat; fishing regulations (to include bag and size limits) and licensing; and fish identification;
  • Information about license fees being essential to species conservation and management by the FWC; and, as appropriate, promotion of license sales and voluntary donation to youth fishing programs.

The following information should be available when applying for this permit:

  1. Event contact and sponsoring organization information, including a daytime telephone number.
  2. E-mail address to send requests for additional information and notification of approval or denial of the permit application.
  3. A printer and Adobe Reader.

How to apply for this permit:

  1. Applications for a Fishing Education Event License Exemption Permit must be made at least 20 (but no more than 365) days in advance of the scheduled event date(s).  Permits must be renewed annually if applicable.
  2. Click on Apply for a Fishing Education Event Permit.
  3. Returning applicants (who have previously applied online for an FWC permit or certification) may enter their username and password, or other identifying information, to login.  Those who have not previously applied for an FWC permit should click on Register to create an account.
  4. Once logged in, returning permit holders should click on the permit and Renew.  Those who have not previously applied should choose Apply for a New Permit/Registration.
  5. Enter and upload all requested information for the application. 
  6. Submit the application. 

What happens next:

  1. The application will be reviewed by FWC staff.
  2. Email notifications will be sent, including approval or requests for additional information.  If you do not supply an email address, please return to the site periodically to determine your status.
  3. Once the permit is approved, you will be emailed a copy of the permit.  You may also use the link below to access and print the permit.
  4. After printing the document, read and sign the permit.  
  5. The named event contact, or an individual designated by the event contact, must have possession of the permit on-site for the duration of the event.

Apply for a Fishing Education Event Permit