FWC Lifts Snook & Redfish Ban in Manatee County and Most of Sarasota County
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced the change this week; it covers waters from Pasco County south through Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and through Gordon Pass in Collier County.
An exception is the Charlotte Harbor area, where snook will remain catch-and-release only through Dec. 1, 2022. FWC cites the severity and length of red tide in the area and resulting seagrass loss as the reason for the extension.
Anglers should also be aware of new rules on redfish harvest that went into effect on Thursday September 1st, 2022, including a reduction in the limit of fish per person and per vessel.
Temporary regulation modifications for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in a portion of southwest Florida expired August 31, 2022.
A series of Executive Orders were filed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for snook, redfish and spotted seatrout in response to a severe red tide event from 2017-2019.
Currently, snook and redfish are catch-and-release only and spotted seatrout has a six-fish vessel limit in southwest Florida from Pasco County through Gordon Pass in Collier County.
These temporary regulations expired on Aug. 31, 2022, and normal regulations for redfish, snook and spotted seatrout resumed on Sept. 1, 2022.
As a reminder, new state regulations for redfish went into effect on Sept. 1, 2022, and are listed below:
·Nine new management regions in Florida with three of those regions in southwest Florida (Sarasota Bay, Charlotte Harbor and Southwest Regions).
·The three southwest Florida regions have the same regulations:
o Slot limit: 18–27 inches.
o Daily bag limit: one per person.
o Vessel limit: two per vessel.
Charlotte Harbor Region: Snook remains catch-and-release through Nov 30, 2022. These regulations are for all state waters south of a point near the Venice Municipal Airport (27°04.727' North Latitude), and extends south to Vanderbilt Beach Road in Collier County (26°15.255' North Latitude).