FWC PROPOSES RULES
TO CLARIFY SALTWATER FISH MEASUREMENT
April 15, 2005
CONTACT: Lee Schlesinger (850) 487-0554
The Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) today proposed a series of rule amendments
to clarify how fishermen should measure saltwater finfish. The Commission
is developing these rules to standardize the way that total length is
FWC’s saltwater fishing
rules express size limits of marine fish in either fork length or total
length. Size limit measurements for fish expressed in fork length, such as
Spanish mackerel, pompano, and cobia, are considered to be easily
understood by fishermen and do not need further clarification.
However, FWC rules do not
clearly specify how to measure fish that have total length size limits,
such as red drum, spotted seatrout, and snook, subjecting the measurement
of total length to interpretation by fishermen and law enforcement
In order to clarify how total
length size limits for marine fish should be measured, the FWC has
proposed a series of rule amendments specifying that total length means
the straight line distance from the most forward point of the head with
the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed
or squeezed, while the fish is lying on its side.
The Commission is also
proposing to clarify the measurement for triggerfish by changing its
measurement from total length to fork length.
The goal of these proposals
is to provide a standard measurement procedure that is understood by
resident and visiting anglers, and that may be uniformly enforced by
officers in the field.
The FWC will conduct
stakeholder meetings and public workshops on its proposed fish measurement
rules before holding a final public hearing on the rules during its
September 21-23 meeting in Sarasota. If the proposed rules are approved by
the Commission, the rules are anticipated to take effect Jan. 1.
More information about
measurement of saltwater fish can be accessed on-line at MyFWC.com/marine/Fishing_Measurement.htm.