Share your input on an proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries by attending an upcoming workshop or webinar. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Marine Fisheries Management is hosting three regional public workshops the first week of April and a statewide webinar on April 8 to gather input on this important issue.

The proposal, which will be discussed by the Commission as a draft rule at the April 17 meeting in Tallahassee, will include the following possible changes for tarpon and bonefish management in state and federal waters off Florida:

  • Eliminating the tarpon bag limit and allowing the harvest and possession of a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag only when in pursuit of an IGFA record,
  • Modifying the tarpon tag program, including reporting requirements and calendar year, and
  • Discontinuing the bonefish tournament exemption permit that allows tournament anglers to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.

All four public events will be from 6-8 p.m. EDT. Dates and locations of the workshops are:

  • April 1: St. Petersburg at Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Ave. S.E.
  • April 2: Dania Beach at IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame and Museum, 300 Gulf Stream Way
  • April 3: Key Colony Beach at City Hall, Mile Marker 53.5, 600 W. Ocean Drive

To learn more or to attend the webinar and telephone conference call, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Rulemaking” and “Workshops.”

Image courtesy Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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