• 17 Nov 2016 3:05 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At its November meeting in St. Petersburg, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set new barracuda size limits.

    These changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only and include:

    • Creating a recreational and commercial slot limit of 15 to 36 inches fork length.
    • Allowing the harvest of one fish larger than 36 inches per person or vessel per day, whichever is less.

    “I’m grateful to south Florida stakeholders for bringing this item forward and to staff’s efforts in gathering public input on this important Florida species so that these reasonable management actions could be taken today,” said Commissioner Robert Spottswood....

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  • 27 Oct 2016 3:02 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    et again, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued the 2015 Fisheries of the United States and under reports the value of good fisheries management to the United States economy. While groups such as Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have advocated for the inclusion of the economic footprint of the recreational fishery alongside the economic footprint of the commercial industry, NMFS has only responded to this request by ignoring it....

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  • 08 Sep 2016 9:59 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several mutton snapper management changes at the September meeting in St. Augustine.


    Changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and include:

    • Increasing the recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits to 18 inches.
    • Reducing the recreational bag limit to five fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit.
    • Replacing the May through June commercial trip limit in all state waters with a five-fish per person, per day limit from April through June in Atlantic state waters.
    • Establishing 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. The Commission discussed but did not pursue special management actions for Western Dry Rocks, a well-known and popular mutton snapper spawning area southwest of Key West.


    Though mutton snapper is not overfished or undergoing overfishing, the 2015 stock assessment indicated that the population is smaller than previously estimated. These regulation changes are intended to prevent exceeding the updated federal quota, or number of fish that can be harvested, and to also avoid potential early season closures.


    To learn more, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

  • 08 Sep 2016 9:58 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Following a request from Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has expanded the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters by adding an additional seven days in November. The expanded open season dates will be Nov. 5 and 6; Nov. 11 and 12, which is Veteran’s Day weekend; and Nov. 25, 26 and 27, which is the Thanksgiving holiday. The Nov. 26 date is also a saltwater license-free fishing day. Recreational fishing in Gulf waters adds $7.6 billion annually to Florida’s economy.


  • 08 Sep 2016 9:57 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to gray triggerfish management in Atlantic state waters.


    Temporary gray triggerfish changes were put into effect in November 2015 via an Executive Order set to expire in October 2016. The approved changes for gray triggerfish will put these temporary changes into rule as long-term management measures. Gray triggerfish changes include:

    • Reducing the recreational and commercial minimum size limit in Atlantic state waters to 12 inches fork length.
    • Reducing the statewide importation and sale minimum size limit to 12 inches fork length.
    • Creating a recreational bag limit of 10 fish per person in Atlantic state waters.

    To learn more about gray triggerfish, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

  • 08 Sep 2016 9:53 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) expanded recreational fishing opportunities for black sea bass caught in Atlantic state waters and approved several other management changes.


    Recreational anglers will soon be able to take seven black sea bass per person, per day. The bag limit is currently five.


    The Commission also approved a management change requiring the buoy line attached to a commercial black sea bass trap fished or possessed in or on Atlantic state waters to meet federal seasonal marking requirements.


    These management measures are similar to recently approved and pending changes for Atlantic federal waters. The bag limit change went into effect on Aug. 12 in Atlantic federal waters.


    The effective date for changes to state waters is yet to be determined. A press release will be issued and the FWC website will be updated before these changes go into effect.


    To learn more about black sea bass, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Black Sea Bass.”

  • 19 Jan 2016 10:53 AM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Mutton snapper workshops scheduled for February


    Fish for mutton snapper? Attend one of the upcoming mutton snapper workshop hosted in February by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). At these workshops, FWC staff will gather public input on the management of mutton snapper. Some workshops will be co-hosted by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC).

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  • 01 Oct 2015 6:02 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)
    The 29th annual Hell's Bay Boatworks CCA Orlando Banquet presented by Carl Black Orlando begins at 6:00 PM on Thursday, October 1st!
    We have a great venue, the Winter Park Community Center, conveniently located in downtown Winter Park, with free valet parking! Plus a terrific  meal by Arthur's Catering. Add in open bar all night and this is going to be one party you do not want to miss!
    We will also be giving away a brand new Hell's Bay Glades Skiff that night!

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  • 04 Sep 2015 6:11 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Chris Dembinsky has been visiting the nearshore sites on a weekly basis and recording amazing evidence of ecological succession at these brand new reefs.
    Juvenile Gray Triggerfish, i.e, < 8" in length were observed and near legal size Gray (Mangrove) Snapper were abundant.
    Attached are images from the Flagler reef construction area.
    The Triggerfish are perhaps grazing on the barnacle growth on the reef structures.
    Thanks for the photos Chris.

  • 02 Sep 2015 5:56 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At its September meeting in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) amended its stone crab trap regulations for stone crab traps used in Collier, Monroe and Miami-Dade counties.

    Beginning this year’s stone crab season, the use of round entrances (also known as throats or funnels) will no longer be allowed for stone crab traps used in state or federal waters off these three counties. The changes will also require that the rectangular or rounded rectangular entrances typically used in stone crab traps be no larger than 5½ by 3 1/8 inches at the most narrow portion of the opening.

    The changes will bring the gear regulations for these three counties more closely in line with the way the stone crab fishery has traditionally operated in the region and prevent the use of stone crab traps to target lobster. The FWC did not adopt any changes to the allowable size of the overall trap, although that had been considered previously.

    The new measures related to configuration of the stone crab trap entrance will be effective Oct. 5.

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