What Determines Fish Limits & Harvesting Rules In Florida?

By: Joseph Simonds on June 4, 2019
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fish conservation

“Fisheries science and management don’t exist because there are fish…

They exist because there are fishermen.”

Have you ever wondered how the FWC determines whether or not they should allow fishermen to keep a certain species?

Sometimes it feels like they’re just scientists and lawmakers sitting behind a desk, telling us we can’t keep fish for no apparent reason.

Well, guess what?

That’s not true!

In fact, the FWC is on the water gathering data about our fisheries over 100 times per month using several different techniques…

And that’s not just for the whole state.

That’s for each region!

In each region, they’re out on the water about 100 times per month collecting data to help make informed decisions about how to manage our fisheries.

Now, you might be wondering, “How do they collect the data?”

Eric Weather is a fisheries biologist for the FWC and is one of the people out there collecting this data, and he’s on the podcast today to answer this question and many more.

Check out the podcast below to for the inside scoop from the FWC on managing our fisheries and leave a comment if you have any questions for them!

P.S. listen to the end to hear him drop this crazy fact about snook fishing!

How Science Helps Determine Fish Harvesting Rules & Regulations [VIDEO]

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How Science Helps Determine Fish Harvesting Rules & Regulations [PODCAST]

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Conclusion

The FWC is working to help our fisheries for generations to come, and conversations like this one with biologists such as Eric help unite recreational anglers, science, and the fishery managers.

Another way we can all work together is by us recreational anglers participating in the FWC meetings.

They want to hear our input and experiences on the water so that they can make the most accurate decisions for our fisheries.

We can give our input by attending the meetings (see the meeting schedule here), signing up for their email list and staying up to date on the latest events (sign up here), or reaching out to our regional contacts, which Eric has provided their info for us:

Region Office Location Rulemaking Staff Email Office Phone
NW Panama City, Regional Office Mike Norberg Michael.Norberg@MyFWC.com (850) 767-3609
SW FWRI, St. Petersburg Nancy Sheridan Nancy.Sheridan@MyFWC.com (727) 502-4725
S West Palm, Regional Office Mason Smith Mason.Smith@MyFWC.com (561) 882-5727
NE Titusville, Merrit Island Nat. Wildlife Refuge Hannah Hart Hannah.Hart@MyFWC.com (321) 861-5058
NC FWRI, Jacksonville University * Erika Burgess Erika.Burgess@MyFWC.com (904) 513-5415
* primarily works on South Atlantic federal waters issues
Outreach Staff
SW FWRI, Stock Enhancement Research Facility Gina Russo Gina.Russo@MyFWC.com (941) 723-4505
NC FWRI, Jacksonville University Jill Christoferson Jill.Christoferson@MyFWC.com (904) 745-3002
NC Suncoast Youth Conservation Center, Apollo Bch. Rebecca Lucas Rebecca.Lucas@MyFWC.com (813) 922-7962

Another thing that Eric mentioned is that bait is not an unlimited supply.

If you want to learn more about catching fish using artificial lures, download our free ebook, the Inshore Manifesto, here.

Have any questions about how biologists like Eric help manage our fisheries?

Let us know down in the comments!

P.S. Know someone who should hear this episode? TAG or SHARE it with them!

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