Changes to Mutton Snapper Fishing Rules Are Upcoming
The rules are changing because the population of mutton snapper is smaller than previously estimated.
TAMPA BAY – Changes to mutton snapper fishing rules go into effect on New Year’s Day, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The changes were approved at the FWC’s September meeting. Public comment from several workshops in February and August was considered when making the changes.
Though mutton snapper is not overfished or undergoing overfishing, the 2015 stock assessment indicated that the population is smaller than previously estimated. Atlantic federal fishery managers recently approved measures that would make Atlantic federal regulations similar to the recent state changes. Gulf federal fishery managers are also considering making similar measures for Gulf federal waters. These changes are intended to prevent harvest from exceeding the planned federal quotas, or number of fish that can be harvested.
Starting Jan. 1, the following changes will be in effect:
- Recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits will be 18 inches in all state waters.
- Recreational bag limit will be five fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit in all state waters.
- Commercial trip limit will be five fish per person, per day or per trip from April through June in Atlantic state waters (this will replace the May through June commercial trip limit that was effective for all state waters).
- A 500-pound commercial trip limit for the remainder of the year (July through March) in Atlantic state waters.
- Public input from several workshops in February and August 2016 was considered by the FWC when making these changes.
For information about the FWC, go to myfwc.com.
Floridan Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission | Mutton Snapper | Fishing | TB Reporter
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