[BAG LIMIT] [SPEARFISHING REGS] [FLORIDA DIVE FLAG REGS] [COLLECTING TROPICALS] [FISHING CHARTERS]
As much as we all love to
SCUBA dive, thousands of people come to Florida to fish. Over the years, as development
began its encroachment on the coastline, marine habitats were threatened. In 1989, to
provide funds for marine enhancement, enforcement and research, the Florida Legislature
enacted a law requiring saltwater anglers to have a valid fishing license.
This went into effect at the beginning of 1990. Just a few years ago,
not one southern state required a saltwater fishing license. Today, six of the nine
coastal states in the southern U.S. require them. If you're not sure
weather you need a saltwater fishing license, this should help end your confusion.
According to Florida law, you must posses a Florida Saltwater Fishing License, "if
you take, attempt to take, or posses marine fish for
In addition size and bag limits along with closed seasons, have been put into effect to allow species to effectively spawn and maintain the fish population.
There are about a dozen exemptions to the fishing license requirements:
If you are a Florida resident and are certified as totally and permanently disabled, you are entitled to receive, without charge from the county tax collector, a permanent saltwater fishing license.
Now, some definitions:
While we try to keep up to date, license requirements and fees may change. Contact the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) or the local tax collector's office for the most current requirements and fees.
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|Size and Bag Limit Restrictions|
|FISH||CLOSED SEASON||SIZE LIMIT¹||BAG LIMIT²||OTHER|
(Greater Amberjack only)
|none||28" fork||3||R, W|
Blue Marlin 86"
White Marlin 62"
|Black Durm||none||14" (24" max.)||5 / only 1 over 24"||R, W|
|Black Mullet||none||none||50 per person or vessel ³||R|
|one 5 gal. bucket
2 per vessel ³
|Crab(Blue)||none||none||10 gal. whole
|Crab(Stone)||May 15 - Oct. 15||2 ¾" claw||1 gal. claws
2 per vessel ³
|Crawfish||April 1 - Aug. 5||none||24 per vessel
6 per person
|Grouper [Black, Gag, Red,
Yellowmouth and Scamp]
|none||20 inch minimum||5 per day aggregate||G,R,W|
|Jewfish & Nassau Grouper [Harvest is Prohibited]|
|Mackerel (King)||none||20" fork||2||R,W|
|Oysters||call FMP||3"||2 bags|
|Permit||none||10 inch minimum||10 per day less than 20 inches
one 20 inches or more
10 aggregate with Pompano
|Pompano||none||10 inch minimum||10 per day
sale prohibited greater than 20 inches
10 aggregate with Permit
|Redfish||none||Slot limit: no smaller than 18 inches
or larger than 27 inches
|1 per person per day||G,W|
|Sea Bass||none||8"||no limit||G,W|
|Shad||Mar. 15 - Nov. 15||none||10|
|Shark||none||none||1 per person
2 per vessel
|Shrimp||none||none||5 gal. head on|
|Snapper [Queen, Mutton, Blackfin,
Cubera, Dog, Mahogany,
Silk, Yellow Tail]
|none||16"||10 aggregate per day||G,R,W|
|Snapper [Mangrove & School Master]||none||10"||5 Mangrove||G,R,W|
|Snapper [Lane and Vermillion]||none||8"||none||G,R,W|
|Snook||Dec. 15 - Jan. 31
June 1 through August 31
|24 inch minimum||2 per day aggregate
only one 34 inches or longer per day
|Spotted Sea Trout Call FMP - restrictions vary by region||G,R,W|
¹ overall length unless specified - ² per person per day unless
specified - ³ whichever is less
|It is unlawful to harvest, possess, land, purchase, sell or exchange
the following species:
Nassau Grouper, Jewfish, Sawfish, Sawshark, Basking Shark, Whale Shark, Spotted Eagle Ray, Sturgeon
|ORNAMENTAL TROPICAL FISH AND PLANTS|
|FISH||MAXIMUM SIZE||BAG LIMIT|
|Angelfish (except Rock Beauty)||8"||5|
|Spanish Hogfish||2" Minimum - 8" Maximum||20|
|Plants||none||1 gallon per person per day|
|Live landing and live well requirements. Harvest in Biscayne National Park prohibited. Unlawful to harvest or posses Longspine Urchin and Bahama Starfish, Harvest of live rock in state waters is prohibited.|
|If you have any questions or want to report any violations of harvest restrictions or are unsure of a particular law, call the Florida Marine Patrol - 1-800-342-5367.|
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SPEAR FISHING REGULATIONS
First, Florida law defines spear fishing as, "the taking of any saltwater fish,...through the instrumentality of a spear, gig, or lance operated by a person swimming at or below the surface of the water."
Under Florida statewide regulations, Spear fishing is prohibited:
DIVE FLAG REGULATIONS
The size of divers-down flags displayed on vessels has been increased form 12" x 12" to 20" to 24" and requires a stiffener to keep the flag unfurled. (Note: Dive flags carried on floats may still be 12" x 12").
Dive flags on vessels must be displayed so that visibility to the flag is not obstructed.
Vessel operators must make reasonable efforts to maintain a distance of 100 feet from any divers-down flag while on a river, inlet, or navigation channel; divers must make a reasonable effort to stay within 100 feet of the divers-down flag on rivers, inlets, or navigation channels and within 200 feet on all waters other than rivers, inlets, or navigation channels; vessel operators must make a reasonable effort to maintain a distance of 300 feet from vessels displaying dive flags on these waters.
Vessels may approach within 100 feet or 300 feet of a divers-down flag at idle speed.
"Buzzing" a dive flag has been added to the description of reckless operation of a vessel, which is a first degree misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail
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