Anglers can comment on Florida’s proposed change to largemouth bass management by filling out an online survey or attending a local meeting.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is currently considering a five-bass daily bag limit, only one of which may be 16 inches in total length or longer.
Each angler would be allowed to keep up to five largemouth bass less than 16 inches, or four largemouth bass less than 16 inches and one largemouth bass 16 inches or longer each day.
This change would replace current length limits, but not the statewide bag limit of five bass. For the most part, this would become a statewide regulation, but limited exceptions for fisheries with special needs or opportunities would be possible and generally associated with fish management areas.
Currently, south and east of the Suwannee River there is a 14-inch minimum length limit, and in the Suwannee River and north and west of it there is a 12-inch minimum length limit for bass. Biological data show that protecting these smaller fish is not necessary. Furthermore, different size limits complicate regulations.
The proposed regulations are aimed at protecting bigger fish, hence the proposed harvest limit of only one bass 16 inches or longer per day. The regulation would be more lenient in the south fishing zone (east of Highway 441 and south of State Road 80), which currently allows only one bass over 14 inches.
To take the Florida Bass Management survey, visit www.myfwc.com.
source: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission