Shallow-water grouper begins again today
The recreational harvest of shallow-water grouper in state and federal gulf waters off Florida, except in all waters off Monroe County, reopens today. But the recreational harvest of gag grouper is still prohibited in gulf federal waters off Florida (beyond 9 nautical miles). Also, persons on federally permitted for-hire reef fish vessels may not harvest or possess gag grouper in both federal and state gulf waters (within 9 nautical miles). Recreational and commercial harvest of shallow-water grouper (including gag, black, red, scamp, red hind, rock hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, yellowmouth and tiger) in Atlantic and Monroe County waters remains closed until May 1
Spiny lobster finishes up today
A reminder that the recreational and commercial harvest season for spiny lobster in Florida waters closes today. The regular season reopens Aug. 6. The special two-day sport season for the recreational harvest of spiny lobster is July 27-28.
Downloadable App is now available
It is now much easier to keep up to date on regulations. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council announced the release of a regulations iPhone/iPad App available for immediate download. The App is free and allows users to access from their iPhone or iPad the most updated commercial and recreational federal fishing regulations for species managed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council. The App also provides information on fish identification, measurement guidelines, sanctuaries, closures and important telephone numbers. The council hopes to develop a similar App compatible with other smart phones. To download the new App, visit the App store from your iPhone or iPad, search for "Gulf Council" and click on the Council logo.
No license needed for this weekend
A reminder that residents and nonresidents in Florida can fish in public freshwaters across the state without a license Saturday and Sunday. All other rules apply. The Florida legislature and Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission designated the first full weekend in April each year as Florida's Free Freshwater Fishing Weekend. This coincides with Children and Nature Awareness Month.
Things to Do
Island Earth Days are April 16-17
Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin hosts the Friends of the Island Parks' annual Island Earth Days festival April 16-17 to raise funds for its many programs. Live music, kayak races, bungee jumping, rock wall climbing, fresh seafood, kids activities and crafts and environmental vendors are just a few of the things visitors will find from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The park entrance fee is $8 per car (up to eight passengers). For details, call (727) 738-2903 or go to islandearthdays.com.