Saltwater Public Comments

The following topics are either tentatively slated to be brought before the Commission in the near future or items FWC staff plan to begin working on.

This is not an all-encompassing list and topics may be moved to a later date or not discussed at all.

Visit the Commission meeting agenda page to see what FWC staff will be presenting to the Commission at an upcoming meeting.

The FWC welcomes comments on any species, even those not featured on this page, at any time via the comment form, email at or phone at 850-487-0554.

Visit the Marine Fisheries Workshops page for other public comment opportunities.

Sign up to receive email or text notifications External Website when changes to this webpage are made by checking “Public Comment Opportunities – Saltwater Fishing” on FWC's GovDelivery subscription system.

Commission Meeting Items

To learn more about Commission proposals and to view presentations, visit the meeting agenda. To have comments considered at the April 2018 Commission meeting, please submit them no later than April 8, 2018.


Gulf Red Snapper

FWC discussed the management of recreational red snapper in Gulf state and federal waters at the Feb. 7-8 Commission meeting.

This discussion focused on a fishery-management pilot program (also referred to as an Exempted Fishing Permit) that would allow the FWC to manage all recreational red snapper harvest caught in Gulf state and federal waters off Florida in 2018 and 2019.

The pilot program would include landings of red snapper harvested by recreational anglers fishing from private vessels in state and federal waters of the Gulf.  This program would also include for-hire/charter operations who do not have a federal reef fish permit and are limited to targeting reef fish in Gulf state waters only. For-hire/charter operations who do not have a federal reef fish permit will continue to be limited to targeting reef fish in Gulf state waters only. This pilot program would not apply to commercial fishermen or for-hire/charter vessels with a valid federal reef fish permit.

As part of this program, FWC will have to track and monitor recreational landings of Gulf red snapper in Florida. In an effort to create a mechanism to gather this data, the Commission, on Feb. 8, approved a draft proposal to require state-licensed for-hire operations that target or harvest certain reef fish in Gulf of Mexico state waters to report their intention to harvest reef fish. This proposal will return for a final public hearing at the April meeting in Fort Lauderdale.

View Florida's Exempted Fishing Permit Adobe PDF

View other states Exempted Fishing Permits External Website (located under Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018).

Comment here


Sheepshead and Tripletail

FWC is collecting feedback on Florida’s sheepshead and tripletail fisheries. A draft proposal was approved at the February meeting, and will be brought in April for final decision. Proposed changes include extending regulations for both species into federal waters, increasing the recreational and commercial size limit for tripletail from 15 to 18 inches total length, reducing the recreational daily bag limit for sheepshead from 15 to 5 fish per person, and creating a recreational vessel limit for sheepshead of 50 during the peak spawning months of March and April. 

View the February Commission meeting presentation on this topic. 

Comment here


Future topics

This is a list of general topics that staff may begin collecting additional public comments on soon.

Check back for updates and more information on the focus of these topics. This is not an all-encompassing list and topics may be moved to a later date or not discussed at all.

The FWC welcomes comments on any species, even those not featured on this page, at any time via the comment form, email at or phone at 850-487-0554.

Goliath Grouper

Staff is discussing management strategies for this species that could be considered in the future. This topic is anticipated to be brought before the Commission in April.

Attend an online workshop on this important topic.

Comment here


Bay Scallops

At its February meeting in Tallahassee, the FWC approved regionally-specific bay scallop open season dates for 2018 ONLY. 

The FWC is very interested in understanding whether the public prefers regional differences in the season dates or if a consistent season across the harvest area is of greater value, as well as what season dates work best for various regions. Public feedback will be important for determining whether further changes are needed when making a decision about the long-term season dates.

View the 2018 bay scallops season dates and regulations.

View the Commission presentation.

Comment here

Spotted Seatrout

Staff have heard concerns about spotted seatrout in recent years and is collecting public input on this fishery. Several workshops were held in late July and early August. 

Comment here


FWC is collecting feedback on Florida’s flounder fishery. If you fish for this species, we’d like to know more about:

  • Your thoughts on how these fisheries are doing – compared to the past and/or compared to other fisheries
  • Your thoughts on current management of these species

Read a presentation Adobe PDF on this topic 

Comment here

Trap Fisheries

The FWC will be reviewing several trap fisheries in the upcoming year including spiny lobster, blue crab, stone crab, pinfish/baitfish, lionfish traps, trap retrieval, recreational trap fisheries, and traps used for shellfish aquaculture leases.  

Comment here


FWC will be looking at cleaning up and reevaluating the shrimp rule External Website in the near future. These discussions may include talks on live food shrimp and the northeast shrimp fishery. 

Comment here

Charlotte Harbor

Staff has been hearing concerns about the status of various fisheries in Charlotte Harbor and is gathering feedback on the fisheries in that area.

Comment here


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FWC Facts:
Smalltooth sawfish have been reliably measured at 18 feet, but they may grow to over 20 feet long.

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