There are two snook harvest season closures coming up in December. The first snook closure starts on Dec. 1 in all of Florida’s Gulf of Mexico, Everglades National Park and Monroe County coastal and inland waters. The harvest season for snook will remain closed until March 1 in these areas.
All other Florida waters will close to the harvest of snook beginning on Dec. 15. This includes all Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The harvest season for snook will remain closed until Feb. 1 in these areas.
Snook regulations apply to snook harvested within or without state waters, and no person shall possess any snook caught within or without the state during snook closed seasons.
These closed harvest seasons protect Florida’s valuable snook populations during the colder months when snook are most vulnerable and help sustain and improve the fishery for the future.
Shoreline fishing license requirement starts Aug. 1
Time’s up. Florida’s new shoreline fishing license requirement takes effect Aug. 1, so resident anglers who fish for saltwater species from shore or a structure affixed to shore must have a $9 shoreline fishing license or a $17 regular saltwater fishing license.
Nonresident anglers need a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license to fish from shore or from a vessel. Short-term and annual nonresident fishing licenses cost between $17 and $47. Additional fees may apply, depending on where the angler purchases the license.
The requirement does allow exemptions for resident anglers who fish in their home county, using live or natural bait, on a line or pole without a line-retrieval mechanism. This exemption does not apply to anglers who use nets, traps, gigs, spears or who gather seafood by hand or any type of gear other than hook and line.
Other exemptions apply for anglers who qualify for temporary cash assistance, food stamps or Medicaid. Also, resident anglers who are age 65 or older and children under age 16 may fish without a license. Active-duty military personnel may fish without a license while home on leave in Florida.
Licensed fishing piers have licenses that cover everyone who fishes from them.
The FWC suggests the $17 regular saltwater fishing license may be the best option for most resident anglers unless they are certain they will fish only from shore or a structure affixed to shore all year.
By creating the shoreline fishing license, the Florida Legislature arranged for Florida anglers to be exempt from a more-expensive federal angler registration requirement that will take effect in 2011.
A list of FAQs about the new shoreline fishing license is available at MyFWC.com. Click on “Newsroom” and “Media Resources.”
Shoreline anglers need to buy license by Aug. 1
Florida's resident saltwater anglers who fish from shore or a structure affixed to shore will need to buy a $7.50 (plus administrative and handling fees) shoreline fishing license by Aug. 1, unless they have a regular resident saltwater fishing license.
The new license applies only to Florida resident saltwater anglers who fish from shore. Resident anglers may prefer to purchase the regular recreational saltwater license that covers them, no matter where they fish for saltwater species in Florida.
Florida has always required nonresidents to have a license when fishing from shore, and they will still need to purchase a regular nonresident saltwater fishing license.
The new shoreline saltwater fishing license for residents goes on sale July 15. It provides all of the same exemptions as a regular license, including senior citizens, children, disabled people who meet certain qualifications, active-duty military personnel while home on leave, and anglers who fish from a licensed pier. In addition, the shoreline license requirement includes two new exemptions: anglers drawing food stamps, temporary cash assistance or Medicaid; and anglers fishing in their home counties who use cane poles or other gear that does not depend on mechanical retrieval.
At the request of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), the Florida Legislature passed the new license requirement to head off a federal license requirement that will go into effect Jan. 1, 2010, and will have a $15-$25 fee beginning in 2011. Florida's new shoreline license exempts this state's anglers from the federal license requirement.
Several hunting, fishing and conservation organizations requested other permit fee changes, which do not take effect until July 2010. They include increases in the state waterfowl stamp, from the current $3 to $5; in the resident turkey permit, from $5 to $10; the nonresident turkey permit, from $100 to $125; the wildlife management area permit for hunting, fishing and other recreational uses, from $25 to $30; the limited-entry or special-opportunity hunt fee, from $100 per day to $150 per day and $250 per week to $300 per week, as determined by FWC Commissioners; the snook permit, from $2 to $10; and the lobster permit, from $2 to $5.
Also, new laws create a $5 annual deer permit (in addition to the current hunting license requirement for deer hunters) and allow the agency to charge up to $5 per day for non-hunting and non-fishing recreation on certain wildlife management areas.
The FWC will evaluate areas where it is the lead manager to determine where to charge the fees and how much to charge. In addition, the state will use up to 10 percent of the hunting and sport-fishing fees to promote those sports, with emphasis on youth participation.
For more information about outdoor recreation and FWC programs, go to MyFWC.com.