The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission recently approved changes to the management of Florida’s flounder fishery. All changes are statewide, there is no regional management in the flounder fishery.
Most anglers acknowledge that flounder have become tough to find for both rod and reel fishing and gigging and agree that changes need to be made to the current regulations.
According to the FWC a stock status update suggested that the flounder fishery statewide has been in a general declining trend in recent years and is likely overfished and undergoing overfishing in certain parts of Florida.
FWC worked with stakeholders to gather input on the fishery through workshops, online commenting and more.
Changes effective March 1, 2021, include:
• Extending all FWC flounder regulations into federal waters.
• Increasing the minimum size limit from 12 inches to 14 inches total length (recreational and commercial).
• Reducing the recreational daily bag limit from 10 to five fish per person.
• Establishing an October 15 – November 30 recreational closed season.
• For commercial harvesters using allowable gear: Establishing a commercial trip and vessel limit of 150 fish from December 1 – October 14, and 50 fish from October 15 – November 30.
• Modifying the incidental bycatch limit for commercial harvesters using non-allowable gear from 50 pounds to 50 fish / trip.
• Creating a federal waters trawl bycatch limit of 150 flounder/trip from December 1 – October 14, and 50 fish / trip from October 15 – November 30.