FWC extends catch-and-release ban due to red tide

Red Tide Florida_1556807459636

In this Monday Aug. 6, 2018 photo, a dead Snook is shown along the water’s edge in Bradenton Beach, Fla. From Naples in Southwest Florida, about 135 miles north, beach communities along the Gulf coast have been plagued with red tide. Normally crystal clear water is murky, and the smell of dead fish permeates the […]

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – After red tide devastated marine populations last year, Florida wildlife officials have decided to extend the catch-and-release order currently in place for red drum (redfish), snook and spotted sea trout. 

An executive order was issued in August 2018 to prohibit the harvest of snook and redfish in red tide affected waters. The order was later extended to cover the waters of Tampa Bay north to Pasco County. More restrictions were put in place in February to ban the harvest of spotted seatrout larger than 20 inches.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the FWC decided to extend the catch-and-release orders in place through May 31, 2020. The order includes spotted sea trout, but fishermen have until May 11 to catch and keep trout between 15 to 20 inches. 

The red tide organism, Karenia brevis, has not been observed in samples collected statewide in recent weeks. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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