Limited snook harvest opens Sept. 1

Published: Saturday, August 31, 2013 at 11:41 PM.

Recreational harvest season for snook, Florida’s premier game fish, opens Sept. 1 statewide.

While the fishery is more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether to take a snook home.

Seasonal closures to help protect the species during vulnerable times such as cold weather begin Dec. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters, including Monroe County and Everglades National Park, and Dec. 15 in Atlantic state and federal waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River.

The one-fish-per-person-per-day bag limit, annual closed seasons and size limits help rebuild snook populations on both coasts. In the Atlantic, snook must be between 28 and 32 inches long. In the Gulf, they must be between 28 and 33 inches long. A snook permit and a recreational saltwater license are required unless the angler is exempt from having a license. Snagging and spearing snook are prohibited. It is illegal to buy or sell snook.

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store.

Click here for a list of participating bait and tackle stores that collect filleted snook carcasses for research. Click "Saltwater,” “Saltwater Fish,” “Snook” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.” 

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