RECREATIONAL REGULATIONS - as of January 1998 (last modified - April 1, 1998)

Species

Minimum Size Limit
(unless otherwise indicated)

Closed Season

Recreational Daily Bag
and Possession Limit

SHELLFISH

Stone Crab

Minimum 2 3/4" claw

5/16 - 10/14


Spiny Lobster

More than 3" carapace. Divers must measure in water.

4/1 - 8/5

There is a special 2 day non-trap recreational season, to be the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July.

6/person, and no transfer at sea between boats. (During the 2-day special recreational season, 12/person off Florida except 6/person for Monroe County - Florida Keys)

COASTAL MIGRATORY PELAGICS

Cobia (ling)

Minimum 33" fork length

none

2/person

King Mackerel

Minimum 20" fork length

none

2/person for all vessels.

Spanish Mackerel

Minimum 12" fork length

 

none

Same as state limit but not to exceed 10/person.*

REEF FISH

Snappers

Red Snapper


Vermilion
Lane



15" total length

10" total length
8" total length



Season opens January 1 and closes when recreational quota is projected to be reached.

none
none



5/person


(included in aggregate reef fish limit)
(included in aggregate reef fish limit)

Gray
Mutton
Yellowtail
Queen
Schoolmaster
Blackfin
Cubera
Dog
Mahogany
Silk
Wenchman

12" total length
12" total length
12" total length
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none

none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none



10/person in Aggregate
(includes all snappers except red, vermilion and lane).

Groupers

Red
Yellowfin
Black
Gag
Scamp
Yellowmouth
Rock Hind
Red Hind
Speckled Hind
Misty
Snowy
Yellowedge
Warsaw

Protected Groupers

Jewfish
Nassau grouper



20" total length
20" total length
20" total length
20" total length
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none

Harvest prohibited
Harvest prohibited



none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none
none




5/person in aggregate of all groupers

Greater Amberjack

(recreational)
28" fork length

none

1/person

Aggregate Reef Fish Bag Limit Species

Vermilion Snapper Lane Snapper




10" total length
8" total length




none
none

20/person of all listed species in aggregate (i.e., all reef fish species not otherwise subject to a bag limit, except for sand perch and dwarf sand perch).

( Note: effective January 29, 1998, sea basses, grunts and porgies were removed from federal management, and from the aggregate reef fish bag limit. Sand perch and dwarf sand perch were also removed from the aggregate reef fish bag limit.

Minor amberjacks
Lesser Amberjack, Banded Rudderfish, Almaco Jack

Triggerfishes
Gray Triggerfish, Queen Triggerfish


Wrasses
Hogfish


Tilefishes
Goldface Tilefish, Blackline Tilefish, Anchor Tilefish, Blueline Tilefish, Tilefish

OTHER SPECIES

Red Drum

Harvest prohibited in federal waters.



Species

Size Limit

Closed Season

Recreational Daily Bag
and Possession Limit

HIGHLY MIGRATORY SPECIES

Tuna

Bluefin

Size Categories

curved fork length - see below

school - 27" to <47"
large school - 47" to <59"
small medium - 59" to <73"
large medium - 73" to <81"
giant - 81"+

 

Bag limits are subject to sub-quotas by size and permit categories, change seasonally, and are reduced to zero when sub-quotas are filled. Telephone the NMFS Highly Migratory Species Management Division's toll-free 24 hour information line for updates on bag limits and quotas: 1-888-USA-TUNA (1-888- 872-8862).

Bigeye
Yellowfin
Albacore
Skipjack
Blackfin
Atlantic Bonito

27" CFL
27" CFL
none
none
none
none

none
none
none
none
none
none

none
none
none
none
none
none

Billfish


Blue Marlin
White Marlin
Sailfish
Longbill spearfish

Minimum size lower jaw to tail fork

96"
66"
57"
none




none
none
none
none




none
none
none
none

Swordfish

29" carcass length or 33 lbs. dressed weight

none

none

SHARKS

Atlantic sharpnose
other sharks

Protected Sharks

Basking shark
White shark
Bigeye sand tiger
Sand tiger
Whale shark



none
none



Harvest prohibited
Harvest prohibited
Harvest prohibited
Harvest prohibited
Harvest prohibited



none
none



2/person
2/vessel in aggregate

CORAL AND CORAL REEFS

Allowable Octocorals

Attached substrate within 1 inch of octocoral is allowed.

Season closes when quota of 50,000 colonies is reached

6 colonies per day

Live Rock

Harvest and possession of live rock is prohibited (except for permitted aquaculture operations).

Other Marine Life Organisms

Marine life organisms from the EEZ harvested or possessed by Florida residents or landed in Florida are subject to Florida’s Marine Life Rule. Contact Florida Marine Fisheries Commission for more information.

ADDITIONAL REMARKS:Persons on qualified charter or headboat trips in excess of 24 hours may possess 2 days' bag limits of reef fish species, king mackerel and Spanish mackerel.

Stone Crab

Claws may not be removed from egg-bearing females. Illegal to land whole crab. Measures apply off Florida's west coast and the Keys

Spiny Lobster

Removal of tail prohibited at sea. See commercial regulations for trap use. No spears, hooks, or piercing devices. No taking of spiny or slipper lobsters that are berried (egg-bearing).

Cobia (ling)

The 2 day bag limit allowance for charter vessels and headboats does not apply to cobia

Red snapper

Red snapper have a recreational quota of 4.47 million pounds, and the red snapper fishery will close when the recreational quota is projected to be reached.

Allowable Octocorals

Allowable octocoral means an erect, nonencrusting species of the subclass Octocorallia, except the seafans Gorgonia flabellum and G. ventalina, plus the attached substrate within 1 inch of an allowable octocoral. Note: An octocoral with attached substrate exceeding 1 inch is considered to be live rock and not allowable octocoral.

Tuna - Bluefin

Tuna permit holders are required to report by telephone all recreationally caught bluefin tuna. Call 1-888-USA-TUNA (1-888-872-8862) and select the catch reporting option. For information about fishing under the NMFS tag and release program when bag limits are closed, call 1-800-437-3936.

Tuna - others

All tunas must be landed in round or eviscerated form with one pectoral fin intact. Head removal allowed. Caudal fin must be intact on bluefin.

Billfish

No retention unless taken by rod and reel. Sale prohibited. Head, fins and bill must be intact through landing. Those people conducting a tournament involving score keeping or awards for Atlantic highly migratory species (whether or not retained), must register their tournament with the Fisheries Service's Southeast Fisheries Science Center: attn: "Tournament Registration", 75 Virginia Beach Drive, Miami, FL 33149. The registration must be in writing, at least four weeks prior to commencement of tournament fishing. A tournament registration form is available upon request from the above address or can be requested by FAX (305-361-4219).

Swordfish

dressed = gutted, headed and finned.

Sharks

Dogfish are not included in the shark limits. See commercial regulations for complete list of sharks under management. Sale prohibited without permit; sharks not retained must be released uninjured. Limits allowed in both groups. Illegal to remove the fins and return remainder of shark to sea.

Fork length: Tip of snout to fork of tail]]

Curved fork length: Tip of the upper jaw to fork of tail measured along the contour of the middle of the body

Carcass length: Curved measure from posterior edge of gill opening to anterior portion of caudal keel

Total length: Tip of snout to tip of tail