FWC adds 2013 free fishing days, Sets future schedule
It just got a little easier for everyone to go fishing in Florida. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved more license-free fishing days at its meeting last week in Pensacola. This year's saltwater license-free fishing days were June 1 and Sept. 1, and anglers fished for free in the state's freshwater lakes and rivers on April 6 and June 8. This fall anglers won't need licenses to fish saltwater on Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 or to fish freshwater Nov. 29 and Dec. 28.
The commission also set dates for 2014 and beyond. All eight days will fall on the same day of the week from year to year, which allows anglers to plan in advance. For 2014 and beyond, the following dates will be license-free fishing days:
Saltwater — the first Saturday and Sunday in June, the first Saturday in September and the Saturday after Thanksgiving; freshwater — the first Saturday and Sunday in April and the second Saturday and Sunday in June. To make these events accessible to as many people as possible, the FWC set the dates around holiday weekends, national events and National Fishing and Boating Week.
Short red snapper season created
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a supplemental red snapper season from Oct. 1 to Oct. 21 in the state waters of the Gulf of Mexico and eliminated a Feb. 1 through March 31 closure for several species of grouper, including black, red, red hind, rock hind, scamp, yellowfin and yellowmouth. The action, taken last week at the commission's meeting in Pensacola, will make state regulations consistent with federal regulations. The October red snapper season is for 2013 only. The grouper closure was put in place to help protect gag grouper during the spawning season. Today, gag grouper are managed separately from other gulf grouper with its own harvest season that runs July 1 through Dec. 3 in most state and all federal waters.
Send your news to Outdoors Editor Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 892-8808.
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