SPECIES IDENTIFICATION - GET TO KNOW YOUR FISH!

 
 

FISHING THE FLORIDA GULF WATERS IS SECOND TO NONE!

SALTWATER CONSERVATION PROGRAMS

Artificial Reefs
An artificial reef may be described as one or more objects of natural or human origin deployed purposefully on the seafloor to influence physical, biological, or socioeconomic processes related to living marine organisms. The more than 2,400 carefully planned artificial reefs constructed in state and adjacent federal waters off both Florida coasts have been built to provide recreational fishing and diving enhancement, a socio-economic benefit to adjacent coastal communities, and to increase structural habitat for reef associated or reef dependent fishes and invertebrates.

Catch and Release
Managers of Florida's fisheries use a combination of traditional measures to control harvests and protect fish stocks. These measures include bag limits; minimum and maximum sizes; closed seasons and areas; and in some cases, no harvest is allowed unless a special permit is purchased. Bag limits reduce the number of fish that are harvested and allocate the catch over time so that the year's total harvest is not taken in one season.

Coral Reefs
Coral reefs can be described as the rain forests of the sea. One census found 3,467 species of algae, plants, and animals associated with coral reefs. Protection and wise use of Florida's coral reef habitat is our primary concern. The long-term Coral Monitoring Project (CRMP) is the most comprehensive coral assessment program ever established in the Florida Keys.

Fish Handling Guidelines
Florida's anglers should be proud of their conservation efforts.  They have helped to restore or sustain valuable fisheries, including snook, red drum and spotted seatrout.  As the number of anglers continues to grow and our coastal habitats come under increasing stress, it becomes more important than ever to release those fish that cannot be harvested in as good a condition as possible.  The next angler will thank you for it.

Grouper Catch and Release
Goliath grouper are a prohibited species; therefore the species receives greater protection to ensure its continued health, which makes proper catch and release techniques all the more important.

Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program
Every day, improperly discarded monofilament fishing line causes devastating problems for marine life and the environment.  Marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds become injured from entanglements, or might ingest the line, often dying as a result.  Human divers and swimmers are also at risk from entanglements and the line can also damage boat propellers.

Seagrasses
Conservation and restoration of seagrass is the primary focus of program staff in aquatic vegetation. Seagrass research helps supply resource managers with the data necessary to make effective decisions about the preservation, management, and restoration of these communities.

Sport Fish Restoration
Do you: Buy fishing gear? Fuel up your boat? Purchase a fishing license? Every time you do these things, you are helping to improve your fishing experience. You are among the many anglers and boaters who support the Sport Fish Restoration Program. This national program, managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), collects money from excise taxes on fishing equipment, import duties on fishing equipment and boats, taxes on motorboat and small-engine fuels. The revenue collected is used to create future fishing and boating opportunities.

 

For more information, visit:  http://myfwc.com/conservation/saltwater

SALTWATER FISH MEASUREMENT GUIDELINES

Most finfish size limit regulations of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) use either Fork Length or Total Length.

These measurement methods provide a consistent, well defined measurement technique. These methods encourage angler compliance with fishery management regulations.

Using a flexible measuring tape and following the contour of the fish will result in an inaccurate measurement that is greater than the actual straight line measurement.  

Total Length Measurement

Total Length is now measured 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.

How to measure a Red Drum fish      How to measure a Mutton Snapper      How to measure a Yellowmouth Grouper

Total Length Species Include:

Snapper Family Tripletail
Grouper Family Bonefish
Red Drum Sheepshead
Black Drum Flounder
Snook Several ornamentals
Spotted Seatrout (Angelfish, etc.)
Weakfish

Fork Length Measurement

Fish regulated by fork length are measured from the tip of the jaw or tip of the snout with closed mouth to the center of the fork in the tail.

How to measure a Spanish Mackerel      How to measure a Hogfish      How to measure a Gray Triggerfish

Fork Length Species Include:

Amberjacks Bluefish
Rudderfish King Mackerel
Hog Fish Spanish Mackerel
Dolphin Permit
Cobia Pompano
Mullet African Pompano

For More Information, Please Visit MyFWC.com

AN ESTUARY OF NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE

Tampa Bay, Florida's largest open-water estuary, stretches 398 square miles at high tide. Popular for sport and recreation, the bay also supports one of the world's most productive natural systems. Estuaries like Tampa Bay, where salt water from the sea and fresh water from rivers and uplands mix, are nurseries for young fish, shrimp, and crabs.

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