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FWC orders temporary catch and release rules for snook and redfish in Southwest Florida

Posted at 11:17 AM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-31 07:37:03-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- As a response to the devastating effects of red tide in Southwest Florida this summer, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has ordered two popular sports fish to be catch and release only.

FWC announced Thursday that the catch and release Executive Order is in effect from the northernmost point of Anna Maria Island to Gordon Pass in Collier County. (Boundary Map)

Regulations outside of those counties remain unchanged.

Snook are catch and release only through the summer months anyway, but the harvest season is set to reopen on September 1st. 

Redfish have no closed season in Florida.

This order began on August 30th and will expire at 11:59 p.m. on October 12th, unless rescinded or extended by subsequent order.

“We’ve seen the devastation to the redfish and snook populations in southwest Florida, and we support the catch-and-release initiative taken by FWC,” said Brian Gorski, Executive Director of Coastal Conservation Association Florida. “In working with the FWC on this initiative, we’ve heard support from members and guides throughout the state who also understand the need for such a change, to ensure that generations to come can enjoy the thrill of catching one of these iconic species.”