Friday, April 23, 2021

Hogfish conservation measures

A new management boundary and several conservation measures for hogfish will go into effect in state and federal waters starting Aug. 24.

Because most hogfish off the Keys and east Florida are taken in Florida state waters, consistency with regulations approved in Atlantic federal waters is necessary to rebuild the stock.

Other approved conservation changes effective Aug. 24 include: • Lowering the Atlantic recreational daily bag limit from five to one fish per harvester. • Setting an Atlantic recreational harvest season of May 1 through Oct.

31. • Increasing the Atlantic recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length. • Increasing the Gulf recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 14 inches fork length. • Setting the minimum importation and sale size limit to 14 inches fork length statewide.

The size limit change for Gulf state waters is also consistent with regulations for federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf stock is healthy, but stakeholders requested an increase in the minimum size limit as a conservation measure to give hogfish additional spawning opportunities.

Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational

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