At its February meeting in Gainesville, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced a proactive change to conserve spotted seatrout impacted by the prolonged red tide in southwest Florida while continuing to offer quality fishing opportunities.
Currently, anglers may harvest a single spotted seatrout per day that is larger than 20 inches. Starting Friday, Feb. 22, recreational anglers will no longer be allowed to harvest any spotted seatrout over 20 inches total length when fishing in state or federal waters from the Pasco-Hernando county line south to Gordon Pass in Collier County. This rule change will remain in effect through May 10, 2019. Red drum and snook are currently catch-and-release only in this region through May 10 as well.
While these species need additional time to recover, the red tide that was impacting southwest Florida has subsided.
Send your comments about the spotted seatrout fishery by visiting MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.