FWC Considering New Regs for Tarpon and Bonefish

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering new regulations for tarpon and bonefish. The draft regulations would make bonefish and tarpon catch and release only. The Commission will discuss these draft regulations at their meeting on April 17-18, in Tallahassee. We are interested in your comments.

At present, bonefish is catch and release only except for an exemption for tournaments that allows for retention of bonefish in a livewell for transport to a weigh-in station. The new draft regulations would remove that exemption, meaning that all bonefish would have to be released at the site of capture (temporarily possessing a fish for weighing, photography, scientific sampling would be OK).

At present, up to two tarpon can be harvested per day if an angler possesses a Tarpon Tag (cost = $50). The new draft regulations would make tarpon entirely catch and release, with the exception of harvesting a fish for an IGFA World Record. Tarpon could be temporarily possessed for photographs, measuring, scientific sampling, and must be released at the site of capture.  In the future, the cost of the harvest tag might be increased to help pay for tarpon research and to deter illicit use of the tag.

Please click here to access the entire document.

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