The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also approved proposed management regions and regulation changes for redfish in state waters. 

FWC Updates Fishing Rule Changes, Modifications For Florida Waters

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also approved proposed management regions and regulation changes for redfish in state waters. 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved regulation changes and modifications for the 2022 fishing season.

At its May meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved a temporary modification to the 2022 recreational blueline tilefish season in Atlantic state waters.

The 2022 recreational season for blueline tilefish will be open May 1 – July 25 in state waters, closing July 26. 

Typically, the blueline tilefish season is open May 1 – Aug. 31 in Atlantic state and federal waters. However, NOAA Fisheries projects that the recreational catch limit will be met by July 26 and is closing the fishery to prevent overfishing. 

The FWC approved regulation changes for cobia in state waters.

Changes effective July 1, 2022, include: 

  • Increasing the minimum size limit from 33 inches to 36 inches fork length for all state waters.
  • Reducing the commercial bag limit from two to one fish per harvester per day for Atlantic state waters.
  • Reducing the recreational and commercial vessel limit from six to two fish per vessel per day for Atlantic state waters. 

These changes are consistent with pending regulations in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic federal waters. 

A recent stock assessment determined the cobia stock is undergoing overfishing, and as a result, reductions in current harvest are needed. These changes for commercial and recreational harvesters in state and federal waters are necessary to end overfishing, improve stock abundance and ensure future cobia fishing opportunities.  

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also approved proposed management regions and regulation changes for redfish in state waters. 

The proposed rule changes would: 

  • Modify the redfish management regions. (See figure below)
  • Prohibit captain and crew from retaining a bag limit when on a for-hire trip.
  • Reduce the off-the-water transport limit from six to four fish per person.
  • Increase the bag limit for the Big Bend region from one to two fish per person
  • Reduce the eight-fish vessel limit in each of the proposed management regions:
    • Panhandle, Big Bend, Northeast: four fish.
    • Tampa Bay, Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor, Southwest, Southeast: two fish.
  • Allow only catch-and-release fishing for redfish in the Indian River Lagoon region. 
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) also approved proposed management regions and regulation changes for redfish in state waters. 

“With this new management approach, this agency is committed to continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders in finding solutions for redfish,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. 

Staff plans to continue gathering input on the proposed rules and return to the Commission for a Final Rule Hearing later this year. 

As part of the new management approach, the modification of redfish management regions and regulations will better capture regional differences and improve angler satisfaction. 

For more information, including the May 2022 Commission meeting presentation, visit MyFWC.com/Commission and click on “Commission Meetings.” 

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