FWC News Release

Contact: Lee Schlesinger, (850) 487-0554

Recreational harvest seasons for spotted seatrout in North Florida and for Gulf Coast snook reopen on March 1. This means all Florida waters will be open to the sport harvest of spotted seatrout and snook beginning in March.

Spotted seatrout harvest is not allowed in February each year in Florida Atlantic Coast waters north of the Flagler-Volusia county line to the Florida-Georgia border and in Gulf Coast waters north of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco county line, to the Florida-Alabama border. This one-month closure helps maintain the abundance of spotted seatrout.

The maximum daily bag limit for spotted seatrout in reopened waters north of the established boundaries is 5 fish per person. In waters south of these boundaries, the daily limit is 4 fish per person.

The statewide slot limit for spotted seatrout is 15-20 inches total length. However, anglers may keep one spotted seatrout larger than 20 inches as part of the daily bag limit.

Spotted seatrout may not be harvested by any multiple hooks with live or dead natural bait; and snagging or snatch-hooking spotted seatrout is not legal. Fishermen may take spotted seatrout with hook-and-line gear and cast nets and must land them in a whole condition.

Harvest of snook is not legal in Florida’s Gulf, Everglades National Park and Monroe County coastal and inland waters in December, January and February each year to help protect snook populations during colder months, when snook are most vulnerable.

Anglers may harvest one snook between 28 and 33 inches total length per day from these reopened waters. In Florida’s Atlantic coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River, anglers may keep one snook between 28 and 32 inches total length per day.

Licensed saltwater anglers must purchase a $2 permit to harvest snook. Snatch-hooking and spearing snook are prohibited, and it is illegal to buy or sell snook. Snook regulations also apply in federal waters.