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.)

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

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