• 14 Mar 2017 11:33 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    March 14, 2017 – Alexandria, Va. – Due to an effort by Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will provide a competitive grant toward innovative Gulf of Mexico reef fish survey assessments and technologies.  The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) today praised this new program, which it believes will result in a more accurate estimate of the Gulf red snapper and lead to improved fishing access. This $9.5 million grant program was authored by Senator Shelby and directed by the Congress in the 2016 Appropriations Act.

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  • 30 Jan 2017 8:34 AM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Letter from Dr. Walters, (UCF):

    Thank you everyone for a great shoreline stabilization day on Saturday!

    We had 62 people present, including 8 boats, to stabilize severely eroded shoreline at Canaveral National Seashore’s Oyster Bay site that is culturally and historically important to all of us.

    In addition to being a prehistoric shell midden of unique importance, it was also the location of a 16th century shipwreck of French explorers.

    We completed 200 meters of stabilization on Saturday – a new record for us for a site only accessible by boat!

    Funding for this effort came from the National Park Service, CCA, the Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, with in-kind support from the Marine Discovery Center, the Indian River Lagoon National Estuary Program, and, of course, everyone with boats. Thank you all! Science-based stabilization is essential to protecting our lagoon into the future!

    Finally – we thank CCA and Frank Gidus for providing lunch for everyone and Greg Harrison, also CCA, for the amazing brownies!

    We have ongoing Oyster Bay stabilization work days planned for: February 25, March 25, and April 22. Please join us if you can – we especially hope to make April 22 our next BIG volunteer event day (it is also Earth Day)!

    Best wishes,

    Linda Walters

  • 17 Jan 2017 3:10 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    NEWS RELEASE  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 17, 2017 (PDF - click here) Download AP application CONTACT:  Kim Iverson/Public Information Officer/843-571-4366/ [hr] Council Seeks Applicants for Federal Fishery Advisory Panels The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is currently soliciting applicants for open advisory panel seats. Working at the grass roots level, advisory panel members provide information…

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  • 17 Nov 2016 3:05 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At its November meeting in St. Petersburg, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) set new barracuda size limits.

    These changes will apply in state and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only and include:

    • Creating a recreational and commercial slot limit of 15 to 36 inches fork length.
    • Allowing the harvest of one fish larger than 36 inches per person or vessel per day, whichever is less.

    “I’m grateful to south Florida stakeholders for bringing this item forward and to staff’s efforts in gathering public input on this important Florida species so that these reasonable management actions could be taken today,” said Commissioner Robert Spottswood....

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  • 27 Oct 2016 3:02 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    et again, the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has issued the 2015 Fisheries of the United States and under reports the value of good fisheries management to the United States economy. While groups such as Coastal Conservation Association, American Sportfishing Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership have advocated for the inclusion of the economic footprint of the recreational fishery alongside the economic footprint of the commercial industry, NMFS has only responded to this request by ignoring it....

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  • 08 Sep 2016 9:59 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several mutton snapper management changes at the September meeting in St. Augustine.


    Changes will go into effect Jan. 1, 2017, and include:

    • Increasing the recreational, commercial, importation and sale minimum size limits to 18 inches.
    • Reducing the recreational bag limit to five fish per person within the 10-fish snapper aggregate bag limit.
    • Replacing the May through June commercial trip limit in all state waters with a five-fish per person, per day limit from April through June in Atlantic state waters.
    • Establishing a 500-pound commercial trip limit for the remainder of the year (July through March) in Atlantic state waters.

    Public input from several workshops in February and August 2016 was considered by the FWC when making these changes. The Commission discussed but did not pursue special management actions for Western Dry Rocks, a well-known and popular mutton snapper spawning area southwest of Key West.


    Though mutton snapper is not overfished or undergoing overfishing, the 2015 stock assessment indicated that the population is smaller than previously estimated. These regulation changes are intended to prevent exceeding the updated federal quota, or number of fish that can be harvested, and to also avoid potential early season closures.


    To learn more, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snappers.”

  • 08 Sep 2016 9:58 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    Following a request from Gov. Rick Scott, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has expanded the recreational red snapper season in Gulf state waters by adding an additional seven days in November. The expanded open season dates will be Nov. 5 and 6; Nov. 11 and 12, which is Veteran’s Day weekend; and Nov. 25, 26 and 27, which is the Thanksgiving holiday. The Nov. 26 date is also a saltwater license-free fishing day. Recreational fishing in Gulf waters adds $7.6 billion annually to Florida’s economy.


  • 08 Sep 2016 9:57 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several changes to gray triggerfish management in Atlantic state waters.


    Temporary gray triggerfish changes were put into effect in November 2015 via an Executive Order set to expire in October 2016. The approved changes for gray triggerfish will put these temporary changes into rule as long-term management measures. Gray triggerfish changes include:

    • Reducing the recreational and commercial minimum size limit in Atlantic state waters to 12 inches fork length.
    • Reducing the statewide importation and sale minimum size limit to 12 inches fork length.
    • Creating a recreational bag limit of 10 fish per person in Atlantic state waters.

    To learn more about gray triggerfish, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

  • 08 Sep 2016 9:53 PM | Scott Sampson (Administrator)

    At the September meeting in St. Augustine, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) expanded recreational fishing opportunities for black sea bass caught in Atlantic state waters and approved several other management changes.


    Recreational anglers will soon be able to take seven black sea bass per person, per day. The bag limit is currently five.


    The Commission also approved a management change requiring the buoy line attached to a commercial black sea bass trap fished or possessed in or on Atlantic state waters to meet federal seasonal marking requirements.


    These management measures are similar to recently approved and pending changes for Atlantic federal waters. The bag limit change went into effect on Aug. 12 in Atlantic federal waters.


    The effective date for changes to state waters is yet to be determined. A press release will be issued and the FWC website will be updated before these changes go into effect.


    To learn more about black sea bass, visit and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Black Sea Bass.”

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