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Public input being sought on management of spotted seatrout

By Staff | Aug 21, 2019

FWC Seatrout zones map.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is seeking the public’s input on spotted seatrout management.

Potential changes staff are gathering input on include:

– Splitting the northwest spotted seatrout management zone into two separate zones including the Western Panhandle (Escambia through Gulf counties) and the Big Bend (Franklin County through Fred Howard Park Causeway in Pinellas County near the Pasco County line).

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

– Reducing bag limits:

FWC Spotted seatrout

– Western Panhandle: Five to three fish

– Big Bend: Five to four fish

– South Florida: Four to three fish

– Central East Coast: Four to two fish

– Northeast: Six to five fish

– Changing the current recreational and commercial slot limits to 15 to 19 inches:

– Current recreational slot limit is 15 to 20 inches (with one over 20 inches allowed)

– Current commercial slot limit is 15 to 24 inches

– Prohibiting all harvest of spotted seatrout 19 inches and larger.

– Prohibiting captain and crew from keeping a personal bag limit on a for-hire trip.

– Re-establishing the February closure in Western Panhandle.

To provide comments and feedback, visit MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.