Florida Moves Closer To Tighter Seatrout Rules

Angler comment sought about proposed reduced bag limits, tighter slot limits for Florida seatrout.

FWC Press Release | October 3, 2019

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has approved several draft rule changes for spotted seatrout.

Based on public comment at the meeting in Cape Canaveral, the Commission also directed staff to continue considering public input and update the proposal as needed prior to bringing this back at a future meeting for final approval.

Approved Draft Changes Include:
• Splitting the Northwest spotted seatrout management zone into two separate zones including the Western Panhandle (Escambia County through most of Gulf County, not including Indian Pass/Indian Lagoon) and the Big Bend (Franklin County, plus Indian Lagoon, through Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas County).

• Moving the boundary between the southern management zones to create the newly renamed South Florida zone (Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas County near the Pasco County line through Broward County) and Central East zone (Palm Beach through Volusia counties).

Western Panhandle:
five to three fish
Big Bend: five to four fish
South Florida: four to three fish
Central East: four to two fish
Northeast: six to five fish

Other seatrout regulation changes being proposed include:
• Modifying the recreational slot size limit from 15-to-20 inches to 15-to-19 inches total length.
• Allowing one seatrout over 19 inches per vessel (currently, per harvester).
• Changing the current daily commercial limits to 50 per harvester and 100 per vessel.
• Prohibiting captain and crew from keeping a bag limit on a for-hire trip.
• Re-establishing the February recreational closure in the Western Panhandle zone and the November-December recreational closure in the Central East zone.

FWC staff will bring a final proposal to a future Commission meeting that will incorporate public feedback gathered at today’s meeting and through other input gathering processes.

Provide online comments about these draft changes at

Become a GON subscriber and enjoy full access to ALL of our content.

New monthly payment option available!


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.