Marine Fisheries items to be discussed
Information: The FWC Commission will listen to public testimony on and discuss several marine fisheries management items at the April 20 meeting in Tallahassee.
Regulation changes (final decisions on these topics will be made at this meeting):
• Red snapper: Considering a recreational season in Gulf state waters that would be similar to the 2016 season and result in 78 fishing days for 2017. To comment on this season, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments no later than April 12.
• King mackerel: Federal consistency item that would revise the management boundary between the Gulf/Monroe County and the Atlantic king mackerel fisheries, streamline commercial king mackerel fishery regulations, and increase the Gulf and Monroe County recreational bag limit from two to three fish per person.
• Warren Bayou (Bay County): A proposal to allow harvest in the waters of Warren Bayou year-round, by repealing the current November through February closure.
Draft regulation changes (all items in this section are slated to be brought back to a Commission meeting at a later date for final decision):
• Gag grouper: The Commission expressed interest in making changes to the recreational gag grouper season in Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. Staff have received stakeholder requests for a longer season in this area, which is currently open yearly from April 1 through June 30. Gulf state waters outside of that area and all Gulf federal waters are open June 1 through Dec. 31. Staff are gathering public input on this topic and held public workshops in the region. Comment at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments by April 12. This item will be brought back for a final public hearing at the July Commission meeting.
• Federal fishery management updates
• Gray triggerfish: Update and discussion of possible limited fall 2017 recreational season in Gulf state waters. Staff are gathering public input on this topic. Provide comments online at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments by April 12 to have them considered at the April Commission meeting.
• Lionfish Challenge 2017: Review and discussion on a proposed 2017 Lionfish Challenge removal and incentive program. The proposed challenge this year will be statewide and will include commercial and recreational categories.
• 2017-18 Marine Fisheries Management Workplan
Links for more information: