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Florida Freshwater Fishing: Regulations

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Florida Freshwater Fishing: Regulations Powered By Docstoc
					2008-2009
Valid from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

FRESHWATER EDITION

MyFWC.com/Fishing

Tips from the Pros 6 page

CONTENTS

Web Site: MyFWC.com
Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing for up-todate information on fishing, boating and how to help ensure safe, sustainable fisheries for the future.

Fish and wildlife alert reward program
Report fishing, boating or hunting law violations by calling toll-free 1-888-404-FWCC (3922); on cell phones, dial *FWC or #FWC depending on service carrier; or report violations online at MyFWC.com/Law.

Fishing Capital of the World– Welcome ......................................... 2 New regulations ............................... 4
Introduction Major changes FWC contact information and regional map

Special bag and length limits ........... 12 Fish identification chart ................... 13 Black bass fishing zones ................... 14 Florida Bass Conservation Center .... 15 Recreational fishing and licenses — Why and what for? ................16-17 Angling ethics ................................. 17 General regulations for fish management areas ........................ 20 Specific fish management area regulations ................................20-25
Northwest Region North Central Region Northeast Region Southwest Region South Region

Freshwater fishes & bass tips from the pros ...................6-7 Fishing license requirements and fees ...................... 8
Resident fishing licenses Nonresident fishing licenses Lifetime and 5-year licenses Freshwater license exemptions

Instant license privileges
Obtain license privileges, 24 hours a day, via MyFWC.com/License or by calling toll-free 1-888-FISHFLORIDA (1-888-347-4356). Processing fees will apply on sales via telephone and Internet. A unique license number allows you to begin fishing immediately after the transaction.

Methods of taking freshwater fish .... 10 Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration . 10 Game and nongame freshwater fish ......................... 10-11
Grass carp and alligator gar restrictions

“Big Catch” Angler Recognition ....... 26 Butterfly Peacock — Breaking with Tradition ................................ 27 Fish consumption advisory ...........28-29
Florida safe eating guidelines

Prohibited gear for taking marine fish in fresh water ................................... 11

Stop the spread of non-native species
It is illegal to release any nonnative fish or any other non-native organism into the waters of the state. To find out more visit MyFWC. com/Fishing/Fishes/non-native.html

Methods of taking bait ................... 11 Use of fish for bait .......................... 11 Taking mussels and clams ............... 11 Statewide bag and length limits ....... 12
How to measure your catch

Frequently answered questions ....29-30

Florida Wildlife magazine
Articles and tips for hunters, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts. Order your subscription today online at FloridaWildlifeMagazine.com or call toll-free 1-866-967-5600.

This publication is developed by the FWC’s Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management and designed and produced by J.F. Griffin Publishing LLC, 430 Main St., Suite 5, Williamstown, MA 01267. For inquiries regarding advertisement in this publication, call (413) 884-1001.

On the cover
This lunker of a Florida largemouth bass was caught on a soft plastic salamander before being released for another lucky angler. Photo Courtesy of: Dusan Smetana

e

J.F. Griffin Publishing, LLC is proud to print the official Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations summary on postconsumer recycled paper.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

1

FISHING CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Welcome to Florida

Chairman Barreto (white shirt) assists in dedicating the new Florida Bass Conservation Center by placing the first broodfish into the spawning raceways. Dear Florida angler: Freshwater fishing is the most popular type of fishing in the United States, and Florida’s 7,700 lakes and 10,500 miles of rivers and streams were some of the most popular places anglers spent their days fishing in 2006. Over 1.4 million U.S. anglers above the age of 16 spent an average of 17.5 days freshwater fishing in Florida for a total of 24.5 million days of fishing. In 2006, your fishing also added $2.4 billion in economic impact to Florida’s economy and created 23,500 Florida jobs. Anglers are strong advocates for fish and wildlife conservation in our great state and your voices and actions, which include buying fishing licenses, help protect our aquatic resources. All revenue from fishing license sales must go to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for conservation uses. This revenue, along with matching dollars from the Sport Fish Restoration Program (see page 10), helps maintain sustainable freshwater fishing opportunities and contributes to making Florida the “Fishing Capital of the World.” I am glad you have chosen to fish in Florida’s fresh waters, and I encourage you to know the regulations, practice good aquatic stewardship and promote ethical fishing practices. We all want fishing to have a bright future in Florida so that people of all ages and backgrounds can continue to experience nature and the great outdoors. In that regard, I encourage those who can to support programs that introduce families and young people to the outdoors and to freshwater fishing. The FWC has a simple way for you to donate directly to youth hunting and fishing programs. Ask about it the next time you purchase your hunting or fishing license, or visit MyFWC.com/Youth. Enjoy Florida’s great outdoors by always fishing safely and ethically. Good Luck and Good Fishing,

Rodney Barreto, Chairman Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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MyFWC.com

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

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BP322560

INTRODUCTION

Introduction

This free publication is provided as a guide to Florida fishing laws and regulations. The Florida Wildlife Code is the final authority on fishing laws (www.FLrules.org). The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) strives to ensure information in this booklet is accurate but assumes no liability for typographical errors that may occur in this publication. Contact the FWC if you have questions not adequately covered in this booklet; see contact list and map below. This publication is valid only from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

Major changes

■ A new rule prohibits taking of fish or wildlife with firearms on 38 fish management areas (FMAs), rather than completely prohibiting firearms on those areas. ■ The following lakes associated with the Fish Orlando! project have been removed from the fish management area system: lakes Lorna Doone (Orange County); Richmond (Orange County); Kirkman Pond (Orange County); and Lake Dot (Seminole County). The rule also prohibits possession and use of cast nets in lakes Ivanhoe (Orange County) and Santiago (Orange County), which remain part of the Fish Orlando! project. ■ The dates Joe Budd Pond FMA (Gadsden County) are open to public fishing will be established by executive order to allow changes to be tailored to changing conditions related to fish camp dates and classroom activities at Joe Budd Aquatic Education

Center. For 2008, Joe Budd Pond will be closed to fishing, except as authorized by permit for Commission-sanctioned events. Open to fishing during daylight hours on July 4, 2008 and Saturdays and Sundays from July 5th through August 31, and Labor Day (Monday, September 1) 2008, as specified by order of the Executive Director. ■ At Tenoroc FMA (Polk County), visitors may check in and out at additional designated entry points and permitted alligator hunters are exempt from the requirement to enter at designated entry points. The rule also renamed lakes East Pasture and West Pasture to Pine Lakes and increased angling opportunities in these two lakes to include licensed anglers when accompanied by a child under 16 years old. Other changes at Tenoroc include limiting discharge of firearms to the firing range or at FWC-sponsored events and requiring dogs to be leashed, except as authorized by FWC. ■ Another rule change redefined species that may be taken with a dip net, cast net (1-inch maximum stretched mesh), trap or minnow seine for use as bait. Those species are golden shiners of any size and other freshwater nongame fish (including catfish) less than 8 inches total length, unless specifically prohibited. This replaces lessspecific language that previously referred to minnows of nongame fish.

■ Nongame freshwater fish may be taken with cast nets of any mesh size in the South and Northeast regions, in Citrus County, and in most of the Southwest Region. The exception is that possession or use of cast nets in waters adjoining Saddle Creek FMA (in Polk County) is prohibited. This rule removes the size limit on cast nets in the South Region. ■ A new rule requires fishing gear such as hoop nets, wire traps, slat baskets, trotlines, bush hooks and setlines to be clearly and legibly marked with the fisherman’s name and address. This enables better enforcement and removal of abandoned gear or improperly positioned gear, such as gear that is in too shallow water, which would create a navigation hazard. ■ The black bass length regulation on Lake Okeechobee is now an 18-inch or greater minimum length limit. Also, a new rule establishes a 10-inch or greater minimum length for black crappie on the lake. Bag limits remain unchanged. ■ In addition, the boundary definition for Lake Okeechobee now includes that portion of the C-41-A Canal from the intersection of the C-38 Canal upstream to the S-84 structure. ■ The black bass regulation on Lake Trafford was changed and specifies that all bass must be 18 inches or greater in total length and only one bass may be 22 inches or greater in total length.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian Street Farris Bryant Building Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 (850) 488-4676 (800) 955-8771 TDD

FWC regional offices Northwest Region
3911 Highway 2321 Panama City, FL 32409-1658 (850) 265-3676

Commissioners
Rodney Barreto, Chairman, Miami Brian S. Yablonski, Vice Chairman, Tallahassee Kathy Barco, Jacksonville Ronald M. Bergeron, Ft. Lauderdale Richard A. Corbett, Tampa David K. Meehan, St. Petersburg Dwight Stephenson, Delray Beach Kenneth W. Wright, Winter Park

North Central Region
3377 East U.S. Highway 90 Lake City, FL 32055-8795 (386) 758-0525

Northeast Region
1239 Southwest 10th Street Ocala, FL 34471-0323 (352) 732-1225

Staff
Ken Haddad, Executive Director Nick Wiley, Assistant Executive Director

Southwest Region
3900 Drane Field Road Lakeland, FL 33811-1299 (863) 648-3200

South Region
8535 Northlake Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33412-3303 (561) 625-5122

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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Jay Yelas Dean Rojas Glen

Tips from the Pros
locating Florida Bass
By JAy yelAs, 2002 Bassmaster Classic Champion, 2007 FLW Angler of the Year

Because many Florida lakes have little or no bottom contour changes, the key to finding fish here often lies in interpreting weedlines and bottom composition. I look for places where the hydrilla thins out into patchy, scattered clumps. I stay away from the thick hydrilla beds. Bass prefer hydrilla that is not too thick. If you know how to interpret a good sonar unit, you will be able to find areas of the bottom that are harder than others. Some of these hard bottom spots are shell beds. Bass always prefer a hard bottom. Hard bottom areas adjacent to the outside edge of hydrilla are very good.

Wake Baits
By AlTon Jones, 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champion

Pre-spawn Florida largemouth
By: FlW Pro BreTT HiTe, winner of The FLW Tour’s 2008 season opener on Lake Toho in March 2008

If you have a weak heart, don’t tie on a wake bait. Otherwise, take note: A true combination of a crankbait and topwater plug, a wake bait is a hard-kicking, noisy, in-your-face sort of lure that truly is one of the most unique lures that has been introduced in a long time. It won’t work all the time; the fish must be in an aggressive mode. But when the situation is right, this bait will prompt ferocious surface attacks. A real key to success with the wake bait is finding the right speed. Retrieved slowly, it will wobble widely on the surface, with its back out of the water and its rattle clicking methodically. Cranked hard, it will rattle loudly, kick erratically and run barely beneath the surface, pushing out a big bulging wake like a large baitfish swimming right at the top. Fish the wake bait on heavy line (at least 20-pound test) and hold on tight!
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

During the pre-spawn in Florida, water temperature will be the first factor in successful fishing. South-facing banks and protected areas will warm up first. The second key is looking for spots where stained water meets clear water. Vegetation will clear the water up, so look to fish where there are lily pads, hydrilla and hyacinth. Look for more than one type of vegetation in the area. Look for subtle bays or points in the lake and key on areas where the fish will move to spawn. They will move to the same areas after the spawn, too. Provoke a topwater bite with a plastic frog, and target depths of 2 to 5 feet with a swimming jig, soft stickbait or lipless crankbait.”

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n Lau Alton Jones

GP S

Chugging a Frog
By DeAn roJAs, 2007 Bassmaster Classic Qualifier, holds current BASS single-day five fish weight record of 45 lbs. 2 oz. caught on Lake Kissimmee

The type of retrieve most often used with a frog is a steady and fairly fast presentation across floating and matted vegetation. When I chug a frog across surface vegetation however, I use a very slow stop-and-go presentation rather than a fast one. I think this gives the fish a better strike opportunity and you get better hookups. With this retrieve, I do not trim the frog’s legs, and I still move the lure with the rod, not the reel. The rod tip is down and continually jerking. I think the thing to remember about frog fishing is that fish are going to relate to whatever cover and structure a lake has, so you can, and should, expect a strike on literally every cast. Because I have caught bass on rocks, sea walls, grass, laydowns, and even in open water without any visible cover, I want to put everything in my favor that I can when that strike comes.
Continues on page 14

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2008-2009
FL_FreshRegs08.indd 1

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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LICENSES

Fishing license requirements and fees
License, permit, and issuance fees and exemptions are established by the Legislature. In addition to the cost of licenses and permits specified in this section, license agents currently charge a 50-cent issuance fee for selling licenses or permits. Licensing requirements follow the species of fish you are fishing for, regardless of where you are fishing. For example, anglers fishing for and possessing largemouth bass in brackish water need a freshwater license; anglers fishing for saltwater species in fresh water (e.g., spotted sea trout, red drum, snook, or American shad) need a saltwater license to possess these species. An exception is that when fishing in fresh water with a freshwater license (or legal exemption) you may take mullet without a saltwater license (seasons and sizes follow the saltwater fishing rules).

Freshwater license exemptions:
■ Florida residents 65 years of age or older who possess either a Resident Senior Citizen Hunting and Fishing Certificate, or proof of age and residency. ■ Florida residents certified as totally and permanently disabled, who possess a Florida Resident Disabled Person Hunting and Fishing Certificate. Applicants need to provide a certification of total and permanent disability from the United States Armed Forces, Railroad Retirement Board, Florida Worker’s Compensation or the United States Veterans Administration. Alternatively, current documentation from the Social Security Administration for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Supplemental Security Disability Income (SSDI) benefits is accepted. ■ Any person who has been accepted as a client for developmental disabilities by the Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities upon submission of proof. ■ Children under 16 years of age. ■ Resident Freshwater Commercial Fishing License holders. ■ Any resident who is a member of the U.S. Armed Forces and is not stationed in Florida, home on leave for 30 days or less, upon submission of orders. ■ Any resident fishing in the county of his or her residence with live or natural bait, using poles or hand lines without a reel or other line retrieval mechanism (cane pole), for noncommercial purposes. ■ Anyone fishing in a private fishing pond less than 20 acres. A private pond is a manmade pond constructed for the primary purpose of fishing, entirely within the property lines of the owner and with no surface water connection to public waters. ■ Anyone fishing in a private pond of 20 acres or more where the pond owner has purchased a fish pond license at a fee of $3 per surface acre. ■ Any person fishing in their county of residence on the homestead of their spouse or minor child, or any minor child fishing on the homestead of their parent. ■ Anyone fishing in the St. Marys River or Lake Seminole (but not including tributary creeks in Florida), who has a valid Georgia fishing license. ■ Anyone fishing during Free Fishing Weekend, April 4-5, 2009. ■ Attention Florida and Georgia seniors (65 or older): Since 1988, Florida and Georgia have had a reciprocal agreement that honors exemptions for freshwater fishing license fees when seniors from one state fishes in the other state. Effective July 1, 2008, this reciprocal agreement will be discontinued, and you will be required to purchase a nonresident fishing license when Florida residents fish in Georgia or when Georgia residents fish in Florida. Visit MyFWC.com for further information on this issue.
NOTE: Any resident fishing for mullet in fresh water who has a valid Florida freshwater fishing license does not need a saltwater license.

Resident fishing licenses
For the purpose of fishing in Florida, a person is a resident if he or she has lived in Florida for six continuous months prior to applying for licenses and claims Florida as his or her primary residence. Active military personnel stationed in Florida, including their spouses and dependent children residing in the household, are considered residents when purchasing fishing licenses. Resident 12-Month Freshwater Fishing (Valid 12 months from specified beginning
date)

$17.00 $32.50 $32.50 $48.00 $13.50

Resident Freshwater Fishing/Hunting Combination (Valid 12 months from
specified beginning date)

Resident Freshwater/Saltwater Fishing Combination (Valid 12 months from
specified beginning date)

Resident Freshwater/Saltwater/Hunting Combination (Valid 12 months from
specified beginning date)

64 or Older Fishing/Hunting (Includes Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses; and Sportsman’s License (Includes Freshwater Fishing and Hunting licenses; and Wildlife
Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloading Gun, Turkey and Florida Waterfowl permits) Valid 12 months from specified beginning date.

Wildlife Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloading Gun, Turkey and Florida Waterfowl permits)

$80.50 $100.00 $20.00

Gold Sportsman’s License (Includes all licenses and permits in the Sportsman’s License
plus Saltwater Fishing, Lobster and Snook permits)

Military Gold Sportsman’s License *Available only to Florida residents who are active

or retired members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Armed Forces Reserve, Florida National Guard, Coast Guard or Coast Guard Reserve), upon submission of a current military identification card and military orders showing you are stationed in Florida or a Florida Drivers License. This license can only be purchased at county tax collectors’ offices.

Nonresident fishing licenses
3-Day Freshwater Fishing (Valid three consecutive days from specified beginning date) 7-Day Freshwater Fishing (Valid seven consecutive days from specified beginning date) 12-Month Freshwater Fishing (Valid 12 months from specified beginning date) $17.00 $30.00 $47.00

Lifetime and 5-year licenses

Lifetime and Five-Year licenses are available to Florida residents for hunting, freshwater fishing and saltwater fishing. The Lifetime and Five-Year licenses will remain valid for use in Florida even if you move out of state. The cost of these licenses is less than what would be spent on annual licenses, permits and fees. Purchasing long-term licenses is encouraged because it helps Florida to stabilize funding, generates interest revenue for fishing conservation and recovers more Federal Aid funds. Lifetime Sportsman’s License (Includes: Hunting, Freshwater and Saltwater Fishing licenses; and
Wildlife Management Area, Archery, Crossbow, Muzzleloading Gun, Turkey, Florida Waterfowl, Snook and Lobster permits)

4 years or younger 5-12 years 13 years or older Lifetime Freshwater Fishing License 4 years or younger 5-12 years 13 years or older Five-Year Freshwater Fishing License * A Best Buy!

$401.50 $701.50 $1,001.50 $126.50 $226.50 $301.50 $79.00

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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M E T H O D S O F TA k I N G F I S H
■ Nongame fish may be taken at night by bow and arrow and gigs. ■ Nongame fish may also be taken during daylight hours by manually operated spears, gigs, snatch hooks, crossbow or bow and arrow from a boat or from shore except at the spillways of the Eureka and Rodman dams on the Oklawaha River or on the spillway of the Jim Woodruff Dam on the Apalachicola River or in Dade County canals south of the C-4 and east of the L-31N and L-31W canals inclusively. ■ Nongame fish may be taken by the use of cast nets in the South and Northeast regions, in Citrus County, and in the Southwest Region, except that possession or use of cast nets in waters adjoining Saddle Creek Fish Management Area, Polk County, confined by Morgan Combee Road, U.S. Highway 92 and Fish Hatchery Road are prohibited. ■ Using a bow and light at night. Night bowfishing tournaments do not require a permit in the Northwest Region. ■ By netting and impounding at night from Sept. 1 to May 1 in specified waters in Northwest Florida. Nets used to take nongame fish in these specified waters must be less than 100 feet in length, have a minimum 3-inch stretched mesh and shall be continuously attended to ensure immediate release of any trapped game fish. Contact the Northwest Regional office for details. ■ Fishing gear such as hoop nets, wire traps, slat baskets, trotlines, bush hooks, and setlines must be clearly and legibly marked with the harvester’s name and address while being used or possessed in or upon the waters of the state.

Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program
The Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Program (SFR, Wallop-Breaux) is a user-pays, user-benefits program seeking to improve sport fishing and boating opportunities. SFR funds are collected by the federal government from excise taxes on fishing tackle, motor boat fuels and import duties on tackle and yachts. The money is returned to state agencies for sport-fishing research, management and development activities. For every $3 of federal funds received, the state adds $1. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission depends on these funds to continually improve Florida’s fisheries, and you will see the SFR logo on boat ramp signs, brochures or other products produced with these funds for the benefit of anglers. For every paid fishing license holder, the state receives approximately $7 in federal funds, which is one reason why we encourage exempt anglers to purchase a license. Not only is your license fee used for fish and wildlife conservation in Florida, but it also draws down that additional $7 in federal support. NOTE: A valid fishing license is required to fish by any method in a Fish Management Area. It is illegal to fillet or remove the head or tail fin of black bass, striped bass, white bass, sunshine bass, peacock bass, crappie and panfish (where special crappie or panfish size or bag limits are in effect) until you have completed fishing for the day.

Game and nongame freshwater fish
Game Fish – black bass, crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, warmouth, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, mud sunfish, longear sunfish, shadow bass, peacock bass, white bass, striped bass and sunshine bass. Nongame Fish – all freshwater fish are defined as non-game fish, except grass carp and fish defined as freshwater game fish. Note: Alligator gar require a scientific collector’s permit to take.

Nongame fish may be taken:
■ By bush hook, setline or trotline baited with cut bait or other substance; but not including live game fish or any part of any game fish; bush hooks, setlines or trotlines (limited to 25 hooks total) are permitted for taking nongame fish for personal use, but only in those areas where trotlines may be lawfully used in accordance with the Wildlife Code of the State of Florida. Refer to the “Commercial Freshwater Fisheries Rules and Regulations Summary.”

Methods of taking freshwater fish
Game fish and nongame fish may be taken with pole and line or rod and reel. There is no limit on the number of rods an angler may use. Freshwater fish may not be taken by use of any free-floating, unattached device, or by taking of fish or wildlife with firearms, explosives, electricity, spear gun, poison or other chemicals. The taking of fish by underwater swimming or diving is prohibited. It is unlawful to sell, offer for sale or transport out of the state any freshwater game fish unless specifically permitted by the FWC, except that licensed anglers may transport two days’ bag limit of legally harvested game fish. It is illegal to possess any freshwater fish along with gear that cannot legally be used to take freshwater fish, including gear types listed above and below for taking nongame fish or bait. An exception is game fish may be possessed together with cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch; minnow dip nets not more than 4 feet in diameter; minnow seines having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch, a length not more than 20 feet and a depth not more than 4 feet; and minnow traps not more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter, with a funnel entrance not more than 1 inch in spread.

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M E T H O D S O F TA k I N G F I S H

Prohibited gear for taking marine species in freshwater
■ Spearfishing: Use of any hand or mechanically propelled, single or multi-pronged spear or lance, barbed or barbless, to harvest or attempt to harvest any marine species while diving in freshwater is prohibited. ■ Spearfishing for mullet in fresh water is prohibited.

It is illegal to possess grass carp or alligator gar without a permit.
Triploid grass carp are used for aquatic vegetation control and may not be stocked or harvested without a permit. They grow to over 40 pounds.

Methods of taking bait
Freshwater shrimp and golden shiners of any size, or other freshwater nongame fish, including catfish, less than 8 inches total length may be taken for bait, unless specifically prohibited by the following methods: ■ Cast nets having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch in fresh waters of the state unless specifically prohibited. ■ Minnow dip nets not more than 4 feet in diameter. ■ Minnow seines having a stretched mesh size not greater than 1 inch, a length not more than 20 feet, and a depth not more than 4 feet. ■ Minnow traps not more than 24 inches in length and 12 inches in diameter, with a funnel entrance not more than 1 inch in spread. ■ Any game fish taken by these methods must be released immediately. ■ Taking of bait for the purpose of sale requires a commercial fishing license.
Grass carp illustration by Ted Walke; Alligator gar by Duane Raver, Jr.

Alligator gar are found only in the panhandle rivers and grow to more than 120 pounds. Their gator–like snout is distinct. Due to their limited numbers, harvest is restricted to individuals with a valid scientific collector’s permit.

Taking and possession of freshwater mussels
Certain families of freshwater mussels may be collected for personal use. The bag limit for freshwater mussels from these families is 10 per person (or 20 half shells). The possession limit is two days bag limit (see images to left and FAQ, page 30). Mussels shall be taken by hand-picking only. Use of brailles, crowfoot bars, or other mechanical methods is prohibited. Freshwater mussels, live or dead, may not be taken for later sale.

3 Inches Florida Spiney Spike

3 1/2 Inches Paper Pondshell

Use of fish for bait
■ Black bass, peacock bass or any part thereof may not be used as bait. ■ Live goldfish or carp may not be used as bait. ■ Whole pickerel or panfish (e.g., bluegill, redear sunfish, redbreast sunfish, spotted sunfish, flier, warmouth) or parts thereof may be used as bait for sportfishing by the angler who caught them. Whole pickerel or bream or parts thereof may not be used as bait for trotlines or bush hooks or any method other than by rod and reel or pole and line. 1 1/2 Inches

Other clams
Species of freshwater mussels from other families, such as the Asian clam, have no bag or possession limits.

Protect our natural resources.

Clown knifefish Native to Southeast Asia Art by Diane Peebles

Call 1-800-545-6021 or visit our Web site at
www.visithighlandscounty.com

Stop the release and spread of non-native species.
2008-2009 11

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Hooked on Lake County
Come enjoy the natural paradise of

Lake County, Florida

The Lake County Welcome Center is located at 20763 U.S. Highway 27, Groveland, Florida, 34736.

How to Measure Your Catch
Total Length is the straight line distance from the most forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail squeezed or compressed.

inches in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch); 50 total panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin). ■ Lake Talquin, Leon and Gadsden counties: Black bass less than 18 inches in total length and crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Lake Jackson, Leon County: Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Lake Kerr, including Little Lake Kerr: No person shall kill or possess any black bass that is 15 inches or more in total length and less than 24 inches in total length. No person shall take in one day more than three black bass of which only one may be 24 inches or longer in total length. ■ Wildcat Lake, Marion County (Ocala National Forest): Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Edward Medard Reservoir, Hillsborough County: Black bass caught from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three. ■ St. Johns River Water Management Area (Farm 13, including the Stick Marsh), Indian River and Brevard counties: Black bass must be released immediately. ■ S.N. Knight Tract, Indian River County (locally known as Kenansville Lake): Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Lake Weohyakapka (Walk-in-Water), Polk County: Black bass from 15 to 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. Black bass bag limit is three, only one of which may be 24 inches in total length or longer. ■ Lake Okeechobee, including Harney Pond Canal (C-41) north of S.R. 78 to water control structure S-71; Indian Prairie Canal (C-40) north of S.R. 78 to water control structure S-72; all of Taylor Creek and Nubbin Slough; C-38 Canal/ Kissimmee River south of water control structure S-65E to S.R. 78, and C-41-A Canal, from the intersection of the C-38 Canal upstream to the S-84 structure, Okeechobee County: Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately; crappie (speckled perch) less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Lake Trafford (Collier County): Five black bass, each must be 18 inches or greater in total length and only one fish may be 22 inches or greater in total length.

Statewide bag and length limits

Special bag and length limits apply to some lakes, rivers (this page) and Fish Management Areas (pages 20-25). Other fishes considered to be nongame fishes have no bag or possession limits, except as noted in individual Fish Management Area regulations. Possession limit is two days’ bag limit. It is illegal to transport or possess more than two days’ bag limit of fish per licensed angler without a commercial license. Exceptions are fish legally acquired from aqua culturists (fish farmers) for use in aquaria, for brood stock, pond stocking or properly marked for the market. Fish may not be filleted nor their head or tail removed until the angler is finished fishing for the day to allow confirmation of measurements. Non-native fishes, except for peacock bass and triploid grass carp, should not be returned to the water, and should be consumed or disposed of properly. No freshwater fish or their eggs may be taken or possessed except as permitted by these rules nor shall anyone wantonly or willfully waste the same. ■ 5 Black bass (largemouth, Suwannee, spotted, and shoal bass, individually or in total), only one of which may be 22 inches or longer in total length. —In south Florida (see page 14 for map): only one bass may be 14 inches in total length or longer. —South and east of the Suwannee River (see map): black bass less than 14 inches in total length must be released immediately. —In the Suwannee River (see map), areas north and west of the Suwannee River, and in any tributary river, creek or stream of the Suwannee River: black bass less than 12 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ 50 Panfish including bluegill, redear sunfish (shellcracker), flier, longear sunfish, mud sunfish, shadow bass, spotted sunfish (stumpknocker), warmouth and redbreast sunfish, individually or in total. ■ 25 Crappie (speckled perch). ■ 20 Striped bass, white bass, and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which only 6 may be 24 inches or longer in total length. —In the Suwannee River, areas north and west of the Suwannee River, and in any tributary, creek or stream of the Suwannee River: the bag limit for striped bass is 3, each of which must be at least 18 inches in total length (20 fish combined bag limit). ■ 2 Butterfly peacock bass, only one of which may be 17 inches or longer in total length. (NOTE: It is illegal to possess grass carp or alligator gar without a permit; these fish must be released immediately. See page 11.)

Special bag and length limits

See Fish Management Area regulations for bag and length limits for lakes in the Fish Management Area system (pages 20-25). ■ Jim Woodruff Reservoir, Lake Seminole: 10 black bass, each must be at least 12 inches or greater in total length; 15 striped bass, white bass and sunshine bass (individually or in total), of which no more than two may be 22 inches or longer in total length; 30 crappie (speckled perch), in total; 50 panfish (does not include crappie); 15 pickerel (chain, grass and redfin). Possession limit is 50 fish total, regardless of species. ■ St. Marys River and it tributaries: 10 black bass, all of which must be at least 12 inches in total length; two striped bass, sunshine bass or white bass, both of which must be at least 22

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Butterfly Peacock Bass

Largemouth Bass

Channel Catfish

Spotted Sunfish

Bluegill

Redear Sunfish

Warmouth

Redbreast Sunfish

Black Crappie

Striped Bass

White Bass

Sunshine Bass

Chain Pickerel

Blue Tilapia

Fish art by Duane Raver, Jr.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

13

F R E S H WAT E R

Black Bass Fishing Zones
northwest

Each bimonthly issue features . . .
■ Articles and tips for hunters, anglers and other outdoors enthusiasts ■ Breathtaking nature photography and wildlife art ■ Profiles of Florida’s wild places and creatures ■ Fish and wildlife resource management
Lee

Order your subscription today
Online at
FloridaWildlifeMagazine.com

Note: These are general black bass fishing zones, see the Specific Fish Management Area, and Special Bag and Length Limit sections for more local rules.

or call toll-free 1-866-967-5600

Continued from page 7

Jay Yelas Dean Rojas Glen Lau Alton Jones

Tips from the Pros
Vibration lures
By Glen lAu, Master cinematographer

Years ago there was a fishing lure made by the Heddon Company called the Sonic. It was a small vibrating lure that when reeled through the water made a noise. At that time it was my favorite lure. The only place you can buy them today is in the antique lure market....very expensive. Several companies now make small rattling lures that put out a vibration. My favorites are the ones you can crank fast that will go 2½- to 3½-feet deep. These lures work very well in areas where the weeds are approximately 4 feet below the surface as well as open water areas. It has become my favorite bait for late spring and early summer. I especially like the silver and gold color. (Note: Glen’s videos and art décor photo prints are available online at www.WildlifeFoundation.net. He is contributing the profit to the Florida Bass Conservation Center, so learn, enjoy and help make Florida bass fishing better all with a quick online purchase.)
14 2008-2009 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

FLORIDA BASS CONSERVATION CENTER
The Florida Bass Conservation Center (FBCC) is a modern freshwater fish research and production facility that opened in Spring 2007, tripling the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s stocking capability. New genetic, health and population management techniques will help ensure the future of Florida largemouth bass and other species. The FBCC is open to the public (visit MyFWC.com/Fishing or call (352) 732-1225 for times) and features a self-guided tour and displays, as well as a catch-andrelease fishing pond. Renowned cinematographer Glen Lau is offering his prints and videos including “Bigmouth” and “Bigmouth Forever” at www.WildlifeFoundation.net with the proceeds going to support the center. It’s a spectacular opportunity to get yourself one of the most exciting and informative bass videos available or a great wall hanging and at the same time help ensure a safe and sustainable future for bass fishing in Florida.

Welcome to “The Great Indoors for those who love the Great Outdoors.” ™

www.sportsmanswarehouse.com

TALLAHASSEE • 4059 Lagniappe Way • (850) 681-6300 OPENS SUMMER 2008

F R E S H WAT E R

Recreational Fishing and Licenses

Why & what for?
Fishing has provided recreation for at least 3,000 years going back to a time when Pharaohs enjoyed the sport for recreation and the challenge, not just for food. Anglers still tell researchers they fish to relax and to get away from everyday stresses; to spend time with family and friends; and to enjoy the outdoors. Reasons such as to be challenged, to catch a limit of fish or to try to catch a trophy are typically secondary reasons. In other more eloquent words, Henry David Thoreau said, “Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.” Something else that many anglers don’t know is the “why” and “what for” of fishing. Thaddeus Norris, in his 1864 publication “The American Angler’s Book,” was among the first to specifically refer to the need for conservation. Even then it was obvious that without careful management and stewardship, our fisheries resources could not withstand the changes in habitat and various forms of fishing pressure, both commercial and recreational. Consequently, the public started calling for government management of these shared resources and turned to fishing licenses to pay for scientific management and enforcement. In Florida, counties independently collected their own fishing license fees until 1925 when the State Department of Game and Fresh Water Fish sold the first statewide fishing licenses to support conservation. The prices were $2 for out-of-county residents, free for county residents, and $5 for out-of-state anglers. Back then $2 could buy what $23 buys today. As of October 2007, the $15.50 fee resident anglers pay for a fishing license remains below the national average cost for a fishing license. Their license enables anglers to fish as often as they want (on average about 17 trips per year), for as long as they want, to harvest their own meal (in many

by Bob Wattendorf

F

cases) and to help ensure the safe, sustainable future of their sport. In comparison, the average court fee for playing tennis in 2006 was $16-$20 (nonpeak; RacquetSportsIndustry.com) and a membership typically cost $768 per year. A round of golf costs $45-64 per game, which lasts about four hours whereas bowling costs about $3.50 per game and lasts 20 minutes. So by most any standards, fishing is still an outstanding recreational value. It is made all the more worthwhile because your purchase of a license is an investment in the safe and sustainable future of a lifetime recreation that is an American tradition connecting us back to our roots and to nature. Maybe that helps explain why recreational fishing is enjoyed by more Americans than play both golf and tennis combined. Florida remains the “Fishing Capital of the World,” with more anglers than any other state--2.8 million, of whom 1.4 million fish in freshwater (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, 2006). Anglers enjoyed 46.3 million days of recreational fishing in Florida in 2006 (the second highest state was Texas with 41.1 million days), and 24.5 million of the days spent fishing in Florida were in fresh water (vs. 23.1 million in salt water). The recreational fishing impact to Florida’s economy in 2006 was $7.5 billion (the second highest state was California with $4.8 billion). In addition, Florida is the number one fishing destination for tourists with 885,000 anglers visiting and spending over $1 billion (No. 2 was Wisconsin with 381,000 anglers spending $0.6 billion). To almost all of us though, it isn’t the numbers or dollars that matter, it is the quality of life and living that is associated with recreational activities and living in a healthy environment that is most important. To conserve our natural aquatic resources for their own well– being and for the pleasure of our residents and tourists,

16

2008-2009

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

“Fishing Capital of the World.”
the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) uses the best scientific management possible. To fund those efforts, the Legislature sets fishing license fees and exemptions, as well as penalties for violating fish and wildlife conservation laws. A state law guarantees all money from sale of fishing licenses goes to the FWC to help fulfill its mission of “managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term well-being and the benefit of people.” Moreover, in 1950, congressmen Dingell and Johnson, at the request of anglers and the outdoor industry, created the original Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration (SFR) program wherein fishing tackle was assessed an excise fee with the monies returned to the states for fish restoration projects. The “WallopBreaux” amendment in 1984 expanded the act by adding import duties on sport fishing equipment, pleasure boats and yachts as well as tax revenue from motorboat fuel sales. As a result, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reimburses states using these funds at the rate of $3 for every $4 spent on qualifying projects. The result is one of the most successful “user-pays, user-benefits” programs in the world, with taxes from sale of outdoor recreation supplies directly enhancing and promoting the resource. The amount of money Florida receives from SFR is based on the size of the state and the number of paid licensed anglers, not licenses and permits, but the people who hold them. As an example, an angler having a freshwater license, a saltwater license and a snook permit counts only once. Since Florida does not charge license fees for youths under 16, adults over 65, or resident saltwater anglers fishing from shore, Florida recovers a somewhat smaller proportion of these funds than other states do. This is becoming an increasing problem as other states adjust their license structures to maximize the number of paid license holders they certify for federal aid and thus recover a greater proportion of the excise taxes on tackle and motor boat fuel taxes paid by our anglers. Each certified holder generates approximately $7 more for sport fish restoration, providing $13 million for Florida in 2008. Of those monies, 15 percent went to boating access building and repairing ramps and courtesy docks. The remainder went to fresh and saltwater fisheries conservation projects such as habitat restoration, fish stocking, conservation law enforcement, artificial reefs construction and youth fishing clinics. Consequently, the FWC encourages all anglers to buy a license (MyFWC.com/ License). Even if you are legally exempt, you can contribute to the future of our fisheries resources and the health of our habitat by buying a license and helping us obtain the matching $7 contribution from the federal SFR program. Recreational fishing often is portrayed in advertising because it is an enjoyable, wholesome experience that reflects a happy and healthy lifestyle. The FWC is working hard to ensure safe and sustainable recreational fishing for all of our residents and guests and depends on your license fees to make sure there are fish for tomorrow.

Florida

is the

Angler’s Code of Ethics
1. Supports conservation efforts. 2. Practices effective catchand-release of fish that are unwanted or prohibited to retain. 3. Doesn’t pollute; recycles and disposes of trash. 4. Practices safe angling and boating, including hook awareness and use of personal flotation devices (PFDs). 5. Learns and obeys fishing and boating rules and regulations, and purchases appropriate licenses. 6. Respects other anglers’ and boaters’ rights. 7. Respects property owners’ rights and does not trespass. 8. Shares fishing knowledge and skills. 9. Doesn’t release live bait into waters or spread exotic plants and fish. 10. Promotes ethical sport fishing and encourages others to reconnect on the water.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

17

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Griffin’s Gear Guide

SP E C IAL ADV E RT ISING SE CTION

Griffin’s Gear Guide is a special product section for essential gear & new product announcements.
Evinrude E-TEC 250 H.O. BRP’s 2008 model year line-up is headlined by its largest, most powerful outboard yet – the 250-hp High Output. With 3.4 liters of displacement, the additional power and low weight of the 250 H.O. allows boaters to plane heavy loads, make faster hole shots and increase top speed on a variety of recreational boat applications. Like all Evinrude E-TEC outboards, the 250 H.O. is compact and lightweight – an amazing 128 pounds (58 kg) lighter than competitive engines at the same horsepower. With less weight comes improved fuel efficiency, less draft and improved boat handling, superior visibility while planing the boat quicker, and less stress on the boat transom. The 250 H.O. tops-off the Evinrude E-TEC line-up in horsepower and advanced innovative features including the high-speed, nose cone Lightning™ gear case, manufactured from the toughest grade metals and alloys for increased strength and performance. Find more at Evinrude.com

NEW HotMaps Premium 2008 Edition Lake Maps Now with over 12,000 lake maps, more underwater structure than ever before, major roads and county lines; enhanced positioning and pro staff local knowledge on select lakes; plus, more than 460 exclusive high-definition lake maps to 1’ contours from Navionics’ own on-the-water surveys. Available in 5 huge regions on preprogrammed CF (CompactFlash) and SD (SecureDigital) media cards that are ready to use, just plug-and-play into compatible Eagle, Fugawi, Furuno, Humminbird, Lowrance, Murphy, Northstar and Raymarine chartplotters. $149 MSRP Plotter compatibility, lakes lists, dealer locator and more at www.navionics.com

2008 – Salina Bait Feeder Okuma Fishing Tackle is pleased to announce the release of the ALL NEW Salina Bait Feeder line of spinning reels. Based on Okuma’s top selling Salina saltwater spinning series, the Salina Bait Feeder incorporates our patented bait feeding system with our time tested and proven “ALC” AlumiLite construction, patented “EOS” Elliptical Oscillation system and our legendary Dual Force Drag System to make the ultimate bait feeding saltwater spinning reel. All of these features and more are now encompassed within the revolutionary Okuma Blade Body Design which narrows the reel’s frame, reducing the weight and overall mass, thereby giving the reel a great look and more balanced “feel”. For more information visit www.okumafishing.com

Learn More FishingCapital.org

Instant Licenses MyFWC.com/License or 1-888-FISH FLORIDA

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

19

F M A R E G U L AT I O N S
Lake Piney Z, Leon County: open to Joe Budd Pond, Gadsden County: Closed to fishing, except as authorized by permit for Commission-sanctioned events. Open to fishing during daylight hours on July 4, 2008 and Saturdays and Sundays from July 5th through August 31, and Labor Day (Monday, September 1) 2008, as specified by order of the Executive Director. No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Sunshine bass bag limit: 10 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately

fishing. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Watercraft shall be allowed only as authorized by the City of Tallahassee. ■ Access is prohibited from sunset until sunrise.

Regulations for fish management areas
1. A fishing license is required for residents from 16 to 64 years of age, and for nonresidents 16 or more years of age, to fish by any method, including cane poles, on a Fish Management Area. Refer to Fishing License Fees for exemptions (page 8). 2. The possession of fishing tackle is prohibited on any Fish Management Area that is closed to fishing. 3. Bag limits and methods of taking freshwater fish apply except as provided for a particular Fish Management Area. 4. The possession of nets (other than legal minnow seines, cast nets or dip nets), fish traps, trotlines or setlines is prohibited unless specifically authorized by rules established for a particular Fish Management Area. 5. Persons entering or leaving Fish Management Areas that have designated entry points shall enter or leave only at such designated points. 6. Any vehicle, boat or other transportation device may be searched while in, entering or leaving a Fish Management Area. 7. Fish Management Areas may be temporarily closed to accommodate management projects (e.g., drawdowns), or if unsafe conditions exist, or as otherwise specified in a specific Fish Management Area rule. 8. Intentional release of wildlife or freshwater fish on Fish Management Areas is prohibited.

Lake Victor, Holmes County: open to

fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers.

North Central Region
(see map on page 4 for regions)

Merritt’s Mill Pond, Jackson County: open
to fishing. ■ The taking of fish and wildlife with rifles is prohibited. ■ Gigs are prohibited. ■ Trotlines may be used. ■ Redear sunfish (shellcracker) bag limit: 10 ■ Redear sunfish less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

St. Augustine Road ponds (North and South), Duval County: open to fishing from

Hurricane Lake, Okaloosa County: open to fishing. ■ Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers. karick Lake, Okaloosa County: open to
fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers.

30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Oceanway Pond, Duval County: open to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. Hanna Park ponds, Duval County: open to
fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Lake Stone, Escambia County: open to
fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers.

Northwest Region

(see map on page 4 for regions) fishing. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Juniper Bay Lake, Walton County: open to

Bear Lake, Santa Rosa County: open to fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ No motor vehicles on dams, spillways and fishing fingers.

Wildlife alert!
Report fishing, boating or hunting law violations by calling toll-free 1-888404-FWCC (3922); on cell phones, dial *FWC or #FWC depending on service carrier; or report violations online at MyFWC.com/Law.

before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Pope Duval East and West ponds, Duval County: open to fishing from 30 minutes

20

2008-2009

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

F M A R E G U L AT I O N S
Bethesda Pond, Duval County: open to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. Huguenot Pond, Duval County: open to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. Crystal Springs Park, Duval County: open
to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ No person over 16 years shall fish unless accompanied by an angler less than 16 years of age or by an angler 65 years of age or older, by a disabled angler or by an angler who is a client of the Florida Department of Health. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages, and use of cast nets are prohibited. ■ Boats are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Alligator Lake, Columbia County: open to fishing. ■ Fishing is prohibited in Ponderosa Pond except for authorized groups permitted by FWC. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Eagle Lake, Hamilton County: open to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Swimming and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms are prohibited. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ No bag limit on channel catfish.

koon Lake, Lafayette County: open to

fishing. ■ taking of fish or wildlife with firearms is prohibited. ■ No bag limit on channel catfish.

Montgomery Lake, Columbia County:
open to fishing. ■ Boats are restricted to idle speed - no wake. ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Ronnie Vanzant Park, Clay County: open

to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Boats or any floating vessel apparatus are prohibited. ■ No swimming or camping. ■ No person 16 years of age or older shall fish unless accompanied by an angler less than 16 years of age. ■ Fishing permitted only with hook and line or rod and reel. ■ Nets are prohibited, except for dip nets. ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Watertown Lake, Columbia County: open
to fishing. ■ taking of fish or wildlife with firearms is prohibited. ■ Watercraft shall be operated only at idle speed before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m. daily. ■ Black bass less than 16 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Lake Lochloosa, including Tadpole and Lochloosa creeks; Orange Lake, including Orange Lake proper, and waters south and east of CR 346, and west of U.S. Highway 301; and Cross Creek; Alachua and Marion counties: open to fishing.

Camp Blanding area, Clay County: Indefinitely closed by the Army National Guard for security reasons. If the area is reopened to fishing, the following rules are in effect: Magnolia and Lowry Lakes will be open to fishing on days and times determined by Camp Blanding Post Commander. Openings may be changed at discretion of Post Commander to accommodate military training. All anglers will be required to check into and out of area at a manned check station. ■ Guns are prohibited for taking of fish or wildlife except during designated hunting seasons for Camp Blanding Wildlife Management Area. ■ Boat launching permitted only at designated areas. ■ Camping is prohibited. ■ During periods closed to hunting, vehicles may be operated only on roads to designated access areas. ■ Use of all-terrain vehicles is prohibited. ■ All watercraft shall be operated at idle speed only. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

■ Black bass 15 inches or more in total length and less than 24 inches must be released immediately. ■ Black bass bag limit: 3 ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Trotlines having a gallon-sized plastic float at each end may be used, provided that such lines are sunk to the bottom or to a minimum depth of 4 feet.

Newnans Lake, Alachua County: open to fishing. ■ Trotlines having a gallon-sized plastic float at each end may be used, provided that such lines are sunk to the bottom or to a minimum depth of 4 feet. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. Suwannee Lake, Suwannee County: open to fishing. ■ No camping. ■ No motor vehicles on dam and fishing fingers. ■ taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. ■ Access to the area from 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise for any use other than fishing and launching and loading of boats is prohibited. ■ Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Lang Lake, Hamilton County: open to fishing from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sunset. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass less than 18 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Taking of fish or wildlife with firearms is prohibited, except by written permission of the landowner.

Northeast Region

(see map on page 4 for regions)

East Lake Tohopekaliga, Osceola County:
open to fishing. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Minnow lift nets and trotlines may be used.

Lake Jackson, Osceola County: open to fishing. ■ Cast nets, minnow lift nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Crappie less than 12 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

(Continued on page 22)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

21

F M A R E G U L AT I O N S

(Continued from page 21)

Lake Marian, Osceola County: open to fishing. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Minnow lift nets, fish traps and trotlines may be used. Lakes Tohopekaliga (West Lake Tohopekaliga), Cypress, Hatchineha, and kissimmee, Osceola and Polk counties:
open to fishing. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Minnow lift nets, fish traps and trotlines may be used.

Hal-Scott Lake, Orange County: open to
fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately.

Lake Underhill, Orange County: open to fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately. Secret Lake, Seminole County: open to fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Personal watercraft are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately. Lake Blue Cypress, Indian River County:
open to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

Bear Creek Park, Orange County: open
to fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Lake Panasoffkee, Sumter County: open
to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

Chain of Lakes, Lake County (Cook, Winona, Palatlakaha, Crescent, Louisa, Minnehaha, Hiawatha, Minneola, Wilson, Susan and Cherry): open to fishing.
■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. ■ No bag limit on channel catfish.

Lake Griffin, Lake County: open to fishing.

■ Trotlines are prohibited from 9 a.m. Friday until one hour before sunset on Sunday. ■ Trotlines are prohibited from 9 a.m. until one hour before sunset Monday through Thursday from May 1 through October 31. ■ No trotline may be secured to or fished within 50 yards of a private pier or dock. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

Shadow Bay Park, Orange County: open to fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Bluegill bag limit: 5 ■ Bluegill less than 12 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 1 ■ Channel catfish less than 30 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. Clear Lake, Orange County: open to
fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Southwest Region

(see map on page 4 for regions)

Lake Tarpon, Pinellas County: open to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. Lake Seminole, Pinellas County: open to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. Bobby Hicks Park Pond, Hillsborough County: open to fishing.
■ Cast nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Swimming and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms are prohibited. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Pellicer Pond, Flagler County: open to
fishing. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Lake Dias, Volusia County: open to fishing.
■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

Fox Lake, Brevard County: open to fishing.
■ No airboats for fishing or frogging. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

South Lake, Brevard County: open to fishing. ■ No airboats for fishing or frogging. ■ Trotlines may be used. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. Lake Ivanhoe, Orange County: open to
fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Cast nets are prohibited.

Lake Lawne, Orange County: open to fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Starke Lake, Orange County: open to fishing. ■ Cast nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.
fishing. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Except for sanctioned events, gasoline motors may not be used on boats.

Turkey Lake, Orange County: open to

Gadsden Park Pond, Hillsborough County:
open to fishing. ■ Cast nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Swimming and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms are prohibited. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Lake Santiago in Demetree Park, Orange County: open to fishing.
■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Boats are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Cast nets are prohibited.

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F M A R E G U L AT I O N S
Lake Thonotosassa, Hillsborough County:
open to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. Sunday through Thursday. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. and deposit their valid fishing or hunting license with the custodian unless otherwise instructed. Permitted alligator hunt participants are exempt from the requirement to enter at designated points. ■ Days and hours of operation and quotas shall be as designated by the FWC and posted at area headquarters (currently Friday through Monday only). Quotas will be established for each lake, and fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. Lakes may be closed to public access for management purposes or if access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the Tenoroc check station office. Quotas for open lakes may be temporarily increased to accommodate anglers during times when other lakes are closed due to management construction projects, road repair, unsafe access or special recreational events. ■ Discharge of firearms is limited to the FWC firing range or at FWC sponsored events, ■ All dogs must be leashed, except as authorized by FWC.

Picnic Lake:

■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Black bass bag limit: 2 ■ Black bass 15 inches in total length or longer must be released immediately.

Lake Parker, Polk County: open to fishing.
■ Wire traps may be used for nongame fish. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish.

Pine (formerly East and West Pasture Lakes) and Derby Lakes:

Saddle Creek Park, Polk County: open to
fishing. ■ Cast nets are prohibited. ■ Black bass 15 inches or more in total length and less than 24 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Black bass bag limit: 3 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

Lakes Tohopekaliga (West Lake Tohopekaliga), Cypress, Hatchineha, and kissimmee), Polk and Osceola counties:
open to fishing. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Minnow lift nets, fish traps and trotlines may be used.

Manatee Lake, Manatee County: open to fishing. ■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. ■ Outboard motors more than 20 h.p. may not be used. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. Webb Lake, Charlotte County: open to fishing during posted hours. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Vehicles may be used only on designated roads. Marl Pits 1 and 3, Charlotte County: open
to fishing. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately.

Unless otherwise specified, Tenoroc FMA harvest restrictions are:

■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Sunshine bass bag limit: 6 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Fish may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fins removed, until the angler has checked out at the area headquarters. ■ Cast nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ No person shall have any gun under his/ her control while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. ■ Public access is prohibited in areas posted as “Restricted” for protection of threatened or endangered species, or environmentally sensitive areas. ■ Motor vehicles may be operated only on named roads, designated parking areas, and fishing ramps as designated in the area use brochure. ■ Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps, gates or fire lanes. ■ Swimming and float tubes are prohibited.

■ Boats may not be used. ■ Closed to fishing unless authorized by FWC permit for agency-sanctioned events except for anglers who have been certified by the U.S. Veterans Administration, U.S. Social Security Administration, by a branch of the U.S. Armed Services, or by a licensed Florida physician to be totally and permanently disabled and has obtained a permanent license issued pursuant to 373.561 (5)(b),F.S. or unless that person presents proof of acceptance as a client for retardation services by the Department of Children and Family Services. One properly licensed person may fish if accompanying or assisting a permitted individual as described above. ■ Other than anglers described above, no one 16 years or older shall fish on Pine or Derby lakes unless accompanied by a child under 16 years of age. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Anglers may keep no more than 5 bluegill and redear sunfish 8 inches or longer in total length per day.

Cemetery Lake:

■ Boats may not be used. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Anglers may keep no more than 5 bluegill and redear sunfish 8 inches or longer in total length per day.

Lake Crago:

■ Largemouth bass, crappie and sunshine bass: statewide size and bag limits apply. ■ Wire traps may be used for nongame fish. ■ Trotlines may be used from sunset until 9 a.m. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Boats are restricted to idle speed – no wake. (Continued on page 24)

Marl Pit 2, Charlotte County: open to

fishing. ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 10 inches must be released immediately. ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish combined bag limit: 10 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Black bass must be released immediately.

Regulations for Tenoroc lakes are as follows: Lakes A, Butterfly, C, F, Fish Hook, G, Half-Moon, Horseshoe, Hydrilla, Legs Lost, Lake East, Lost Lake West, Tern, 2, 3, and 4 (primitive launch only on Butterfly, F, Fish Hook, G, Half-Moon, Lost Lake East, Lost Lake West, and Tern): Lakes B and 5:
■ Boats are restricted to idle speed–no wake. ■ Black bass 15 inches in total length or longer must be released immediately. ■ Black bass bag limit: 2

■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats.

Tenoroc Fish Management Area, Polk County

■ Fishing, hunting or trapping is allowed only by FWC permit. All anglers and hunters must check in and out at the Tenoroc Fish Management Area headquarters

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

23

F M A R E G U L AT I O N S

(Continued from page 23) ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Motor vehicles may be operated only on designated roads, parking areas and boat ramps. ■ Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps, gates or fire lanes. ■ Swimming and float tubes are prohibited. ■ Rough fish may be removed from designated lakes by cast nets and minnow seines by permission of the landowner. ■ Outboard motors more than 10 h.p. may not be used.

Freedom Lake Park, Pinellas County:
open to fishing. ■ Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Middle Lake, Pasco County: open to

Dover District Park Lake, Hillsborough County: open to fishing.
■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately. Panfish bag limit: 20 Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

fishing. ■ Watercraft shall be operated at idle speed only. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms, camping or open fires at the boat launch site are prohibited. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Regulations for individual Mosaic FMA lakes are as follows: Haul Road Pit:
■ Black bass 15 inches in total length or longer must be released immediately. ■ Black bass bag limit: 2

Steven J. Wortham Park Lake, Hillsborough County: open to fishing.
■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. Black bass must be released immediately. Panfish bag limit: 20 Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited.

Al Lopez Park Lake, Hillsborough County:
open to fishing. ■ Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms are prohibited.

Lake Istokpoga, Highlands County: open to fishing. ■ No bag limit for channel catfish. ■ Black bass 15 inches or more in total length and less than 24 inches must be released immediately. ■ Black bass bag limit: 3 ■ Only 1 black bass may be 24 inches or greater in total length. ■ Nongame fish may be taken by cast nets, dip nets, seines, trotlines, set lines, bush hooks and wire traps. Refer to the Florida Commercial Freshwater Fisheries brochure. Mosaic Fish Management Area (formerly Cargill Fort Meade Mine), Polk and Hardee counties: open to fishing.

Long Pond (LP2 West):
■ No boats permitted.

Hardee County Park, Hardee County:
open to fishing. ■ All anglers shall enter at the Park main entrance, the designated entry point, unless otherwise instructed. ■ Angling from a boat is allowed by entry pass issued by Hardee County. ■ Angling from shore does not require an entry pass unless otherwise posted at the Park main entrance. ■ Days and hours of operation and quotas for freshwater fishing are posted at the Park main entrance. Fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. Any lake may be closed to public access by Hardee County for management purposes, or in the event that access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the Park main entrance. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Sunshine bass bag limit: 6 ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Crappie bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Fish may not be filleted, nor their head or tail fin removed, until the angler has left the Park. Disposal of fish remains within Hardee County Park is prohibited. ■ Taking of fish and wildlife with guns is prohibited. ■ Motor vehicles may be operated only on designated roads, parking areas, and boat ramps. ■ Vehicles may not obstruct designated roads, boat ramps and fire lanes. ■ Swimming and float tubes are prohibited. ■ Watercraft are restricted to idle speed – no wake.

Largo Central Park Nature Preserve, Pinellas County: open to fishing.

■ Cast nets and minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Swimming, taking of fish or wildlife with firearms and possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Crappie daily bag limit: 10 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Panfish daily bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish daily bag limit: 6.

■ Fishing is allowed only by daily permit issued by the FWC. ■ All anglers must check in and out at the Mosaic creel station, the designated entry point, unless otherwise instructed. ■ Days and hours of operation and quotas shall be as designated by the FWC and posted at the Mosaic creel station (currently Mosaic is open Friday through Monday). Fishing is permitted in designated lakes only. All other lakes and restricted areas, so posted, are closed to public fishing. Any lake may be temporarily closed to public access for management purposes, or in the event that access to the lake exposes the public to danger, by posting notice at the creel station.

Walsingham Park Lake, Pinellas County:
open to fishing. ■ Cast nets or minnow seines are prohibited. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Swimming, and taking of fish or wildlife with firearms or possession of alcoholic beverages are prohibited. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Sunshine bass bag limit: 4 ■ Sunshine bass less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Unless otherwise specified, Mosaic FMA harvest restrictions are:
■ ■ ■ ■ Black bass must be released immediately. Sunshine bass bag limit: 6 Crappie bag limit: 10 Crappie less than 10 inches in total length must be released immediately. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Fish may not be filleted, nor their heads or tail fins removed, until the angler has checked out at the Mosaic creel station. Disposal of fish remains within Mosaic property is prohibited. ■ Taking of fish and wildlife with guns is prohibited.

South Region
(see map on page 4 for regions)

Palm Lake, St. Lucie County: open to

fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6

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F M A R E G U L AT I O N S
Caloosa Park Lake, Palm Beach County:
open to fishing. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Make sure there are fish for tomorrow
Only half of Florida’s anglers are required to buy a license, but their license fees are a vital source of funding for fish and wildlife conservation. Seniors, youths, saltwater shoreline anglers and others that are exempt can contribute to fish and wildlife conservation simply by voluntarily buying a fishing license. License fees help with scientific management, habitat restoration, fish stocking, fishing and boating access, law enforcement and outreach programs. Each license bought also captures more Federal Aid in Sportfish Restoration (see page 10) money and brings tackle and motor boat fuel taxes home to Florida. In addition, when you buy your license, you may now make a voluntary donation to youth fishing and hunting programs in Florida (MyFWC.com/License).

Lake Okeeheelee, Palm Beach County:
open to fishing. ■ Gasoline motors may not be used on boats. ■ Black bass must be released immediately. ■ Panfish bag limit: 20 ■ Channel catfish bag limit: 6 ■ Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately.

The northern-most Tropical Park Lake, Miami-Dade County: open to fishing.
■ ■ ■ ■

Black bass must be released immediately. Panfish bag limit: 20 Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately.

Plantation Heritage Park Lake, Broward County: open to fishing.
■ ■ ■ ■

Black bass must be released immediately. Panfish bag limit: 20 Channel catfish bag limit: 6 Bluegill and redear sunfish less than 8 inches in total length must be released immediately.

ANGLER RECOGNITION

“Big Catch” Angler Recognition Program
QUALIFYING SIZES SPECIES TOTAL LENGTH Adult Largemouth Bass Suwannee Shoal, or Spotted Bass Striped Bass Sunshine Bass White Bass Black Crappie Bluegill Redbreast Sunfish Redear Sunfish Warmouth Spotted Sunfish Flier Channel Catfish Flathead Catfish White Catfish Blue Catfish Brown Bullhead Yellow Bullhead Longnose Gar Florida/Spotted Gar Alligator Gar Chain Pickerel Redfin Pickerel Common Carp Butterfly Peacock Bass Oscar Blue Tilapia Bowfin 24” 16” 30” 24” 15” 14” 11” 10” 12” 10” 8” 9” 31” 36” 22” 34” 16” 14” 50” 28” 68” 27” 12” 30” 18” 11” 18” 30” Youth 18” 12” 22” 18” 11” 10” 8” 7” 9” 7” 6” 6” 23” 27” 16” 25” 12” 10” 37” 21” 51” 20” 9” 22” 13” 8” 13” 22” TOTAL WEIGHT Adult 8.00 2.00 12.00 7.00 2.50 2.00 1.25 0.75 2.25 0.75 0.50 0.75 15.00 25.00 5.00 20.00 2.00 1.50 20.00 5.00 70.00 4.00 0.63 20.00 5.00 1.25 5.00 10.00 Youth 6.00 1.50 9.00 5.25 1.75 1.50 0.75 0.50 1.50 0.50 0.40 0.50 11.25 18.75 3.75 15.00 1.50 1.00 15.00 3.75 52.50 3.00 0.50 15.00 3.75 0.75 3.75 7.50 WAS FISH RELEASED? TYPE OF AWARD: [ ] ANGLER RECOGNITION [ ] YOUTH AWARD [ ] SPECIALIST AWARD [ ] MASTER AWARD [ ] ELITE AWARD Yes ______ No ______

OFFICIAL “Big

Catch” PROGRAM APPLICATION

NAME:________________________ DATE OF BIRTH:___/___/___ ADDRESS: __________________________________________________ CITY, STATE, AND ZIP CODE: ___________________________________ PHONE: (____) ____-_________ E-MAIL: _______________________ DATE FISH WAS CAUGHT: ___/___/___ WHERE FISH WAS CAUGHT: ___________________________________ COUNTY IN WHICH FISH WAS CAUGHT: _________________________ TIME OF CATCH: ____:____ [ ] AM [ ] PM

METHOD USED TO CATCH FISH: [ ] Rod and Reel with Artificial Lure, Lure Used: ___________________ [ ] Rod and Reel With Natural Bait, Natural Bait Used: ____________ [ ] Cane Pole With Natural Bait, Natural Bait Used: ________________ [ ] Fly Rod and Reel with Artificial Fly, Fly Used: ___________________ [ ] Other Fishing Method (Describe): ____________________________ IDENTIFICATION AND WEIGHT/LENGTH OF FISH: *SEE CHART ON THIS PAGE FOR ELIGIBLE FISH SPECIES AND MINIMUM QUALIFYING WEIGHTS AND LENGTHS. SPECIES: ________________ WEIGHT:___________________________ GIRTH:___________________ LENGTH: __________________________

The fish described in the application was legally caught in the state of Florida, by myself, and the above information is true and correct. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may use this information and any photos for research, informational and other public purposes. Applicant’s Signature: ________________________________________ Fishing License Number: _____________________________________ IF EXEMPT, CHECK ONE: [ ] Younger than 16, [ ] Older than 65, [ ] Permanently disabled, [ ] Used Cane Pole in County of Residence, [ ] Military Home on Leave, [ ] Other: __________________________ Witness Signature: ___________________________________________ MAIL COMPLETED APPLICATION TO: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission “Big Catch” Program 620 South Meridian Street Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

The “Big Catch” Angler Recognition Program rewards anglers who catch a memorable-sized fish. Qualifying anglers receive a colorful citation showing the type fish they caught and a window sticker to proudly display their prowess. In addition, anglers who release their fish get special recognition. An angler catching five “Big” fish of the same species will be recognized as a “Specialist,” fish of five different species qualifies as a “Master Angler,” and 10 different species as an “Elite Angler.” A special youth citation and pin is given to an angler under age 16 for catching a fish that is at least 75 percent of the qualifying size (see table above for specific sizes). Total length is maximum length in inches; weights are in pounds. Participants are encouraged to submit photographs. To qualify, the fish must be legally caught and exceed the minimum qualifying length or weight. The catch must be witnessed and a “Big Catch” form completed.

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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Butterfly Peacock

— Breaking with Tradition
By FWC Biologist, Paul Shafland
In 1984, FWC staff released the first butterfly peacock into the coastal canals of Southeast Florida in a bold effort to help control undesirable exotic fishes and to create an exciting urban canal sportfishery in this densely populated area. The butterfly peacock is the first and only exotic fish ever introduced by FWC that was intended to establish permanent and self-perpetuating populations, but

this introduction occurred only after carefully evaluating this species and the fish communities into which it was introduced. This research clearly indicated butterfly peacock would thrive and have desirable effects in these highly altered, man-made canals, yet not establish permanent populations outside of canals in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. And now, nearly a quarter of a century later, the success of the butterfly peacock introduction has proven to exceed even the most optimistic of predictions made prior to its release. Not only has the butterfly peacock helped reduce the abundance of some undesirable exotic fishes, but also it has had no detrimental effects on native fish populations. At the same time, it has generated millions of hours of fishing pleasure for thousands of urban anglers who

spend nearly $10 million annually just to catch this fish. Thousands of articles in magazines and TV shows have featured this fishery, helping to renew interest in inner-city fishing opportunities that encourage young people to learn conservation ethics and partake in healthy outdoor recreational activities. This is an incredible success story especially given that many professional biologists and ecologists had long dismissed these canal fish communities as being “biological cesspools of introduced life.” Nonetheless, the history of unauthorized exotic species introductions is replete with bad experiences; and for this reason, it is not only unwise, it is illegal for anyone to transfer or release any exotic species in Florida without a special FWC permit … and this includes catching and releasing butterfly peacock into waters where they don’t already exist.

Ch se
Kissimmee

a great fishing destination.

Choose Kissimmee for an exceptional Central Florida vacation. FloridaKiss.com - 800.333.KISS
© 2008 Kissimmee Convention and Visitors Bureau

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A DV I S O R I E S

Fish consumption advisories for freshwater anglers
Florida’s freshwater and marine fishes are generally considered safe to eat. Fish is an excellent source of protein and nutrients. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least twice a week to help maintain cardiovascular health. However, certain fish can be potentially unhealthy to eat, because they can take up contaminants from the water and from the food they eat. At low to moderate levels found in most Florida fish, mercury poses little danger, and fish can be consumed safely in reasonable amounts. However, higher levels of mercury can damage the human brain and nervous system. The developing fetus is most sensitive to mercury. Young children are more sensitive than adults. Therefore, women of childbearing age and young children should consume fish with low or no mercury levels. By choosing a variety of fish low in mercury from different water bodies and not eating only one type, anglers can enjoy health benefits without appreciable risks. Consumption advisories have been issued to help anglers choose fish lower in mercury while limiting consumption of some species of fish from certain waters.

COUNT ALL FISH MEALS FROM ALL WATER BODIES
Fish eaten from different water bodies count toward the consumption guidelines. For example, a woman of childbearing age should not eat more than six ounces of cooked largemouth bass, combined, from all water bodies per month. Any additional fish meals eaten during the recommended time period should have low or no mercury levels.

OTHER DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORIES
Lake Apopka (Lake and Orange counties): brown bullhead should not be eaten due to pesticide contamination. Lake Munson (Leon County): Largemouth bass 19 inches or more should not be eaten more than one time per month due to PCBs.

What types of fish contain the least methyl mercury? Small, short-lived species such as sunfish (bream), brown bullhead, and black crappie tend to have lower concentrations of mercury. In addition, smaller largemouth bass often contain less mercury than larger individuals. Many lakes, rivers, and canals have largemouth bass with very low levels of mercury. Other fishes with low to moderate levels of mercury in Florida waters include catfish and some exotic species. It is important to consult the Florida Safe Eating Guidelines (updated quarterly on the Web site and printed annually; doh.state. fl.us/floridafishadvice/) for specific water body recommendations.

EPA/FDA ADVICE FOR WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE AND YOUNG CHILDREN

MERCURY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Where does mercury come from? Mercury is released into the environment from natural deposits in rocks, volcanoes and soils. It is also released into the environment when power plants burn coal, incinerators burn mercury-containing wastes, and during production of other industrial chemicals. Airborne mercury attaches itself to dust and water particles and enters Florida waters with rain and runoff. How does mercury get into fish? Mercury is found in virtually all waters in the state, usually at extremely low concentrations. Naturally occurring bacteria, which decompose dead plant and animal material in lakes and wetlands, convert mercury into a form called methyl mercury. Methyl mercury accumulates primarily from organisms eaten by fish. Fish may contain different levels of contaminants based on their location, size, age, and feeding habits. Where is mercury found in fish? Mercury accumulates in the muscle tissue of fish, the part you eat. Therefore, trimming excess fat and skinning do not reduce the amount of mercury you consume. The only way to reduce mercury consumption is to eat fish from less contaminated water bodies and to select species that are lower in mercury.

Women of childbearing age and children are more sensitive to mercury, and should take special precautions. Guidelines have been established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to protect this segment of the population. Please refer to the joint FDA and EPA advice: www. epa.gov/waterscience/fish/. By following these three recommendations when selecting and eating fish, women and young children can reduce their exposure to the harmful effects of mercury. 1. Do not eat shark, swordfish, king mackerel, or tilefish because they contain high levels of mercury. 2. Eat up to 12 ounces (two average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury, such as shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Albacore (“white”) tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces of albacore. 3. Check Florida Safe Eating Guidelines about the safety of fish caught by family and friends in Florida lakes, rivers, and coastal areas. The Florida statewide consumption advisory provides general guidelines for consumption of largemouth bass, bowfin and gar. For other fish from local water bodies that are not listed, consume no more than 6 ounces per week.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

Check the FWC Web site: research.MyFWC.com/Mercury.

Florida safe eating guidelines
Fish and shellfish have been tested for mercury in many Florida waters. For these, the Florida Department of Health (DOH) Web site offers specific consumption advice: doh.state.fl.us/floridafishadvice or call DOH at (850) 245-4250 In a few locations, some species have high mercury levels and should not be eaten, while others are recommended for limited consumption (one meal per week or one meal per month).

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F. A .Q.

Florida statewide consumption advisory
Based on extensive testing over many years, DOH recommends limited consumption of bass, bowfin and gar from all Florida waters not listed on the Web site: ■ Adults, except women of childbearing age and young children, should not eat more than ONE 6-OUNCE MEAL OF COOKED FISH PER WEEK. ■ Women of childbearing age and young children should not eat more than ONE 6-OUNCE MEAL OF COOKED FISH PER MONTH. Top level predators tend to have more mercury.

Bowfin

Largemouth Bass

Gar

Smaller, shorter-lived species that feed lower on the food chain tend to have less mercury.

Black Crappie

Bluegill

Redear Sunfish

Redbreast Sunfish

Warmouth

Spotted Sunfish

Catfish

Frequently answered questions
Do I need a freshwater or saltwater fishing license or both? Answer: In general, you need a freshwater license to take freshwater fish and a saltwater license to take saltwater fish, unless one of the exemptions specified on page 8 applies. If you are fishing in fresh water where no saltwater species live, you need a freshwater license and likewise if you are fishing in the ocean or gulf you need a saltwater license. However, when you get into estuarine areas where salt and fresh water mix and fish of both types can be found the issue becomes less clear. The interpretation of the rule is: You need either a freshwater, saltwater or combination license, or appropriate exemption, to take fish (take is legally defined as taking, attempting to take, pursuing, molesting, capturing, or killing any fish, or their nests or eggs by any means whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such fish or their nests or eggs). If you are using species specific gear, your license should be appropriate (e.g., freshwater or saltwater) to the species you are targeting. Otherwise you need an appropriate type license to keep your catch and must immediately release any species for which you are not licensed. License requirements follow the species of fish, regardless of where they are caught. For example, if you only have a freshwater license and are primarily fishing for largemouth bass or bream (freshwater species) in a river, but happen to catch a red drum (a saltwater species), you must immediately release the red drum. An exception is you may take mullet from fresh water with only a freshwater fishing license. What regulations apply to frogs? Answer: There are no seasons, bag or size limits for frogs and a recreational license is not needed. To sell frogs or take frogs to sell a commercial fish dealers license is required. Frogs may be taken in accordance with the provisions outlined in 68A-26.002, Florida Administrative Code (FAC), including the use of gigs–provided that gigs are not specifically prohibited in the area. What regulations apply to freshwater crayfish? Answer: There are no seasons, gear, bag or size limits for freshwater crayfish and neither a recreational nor commercial license is needed. It is illegal to take Florida’s imperiled crayfish (Panama City, Sims Sink and Black Creek crayfishes) and all cave-inhabiting crayfish. What regulations apply to freshwater turtles? Answer: Wildlife regulations (68A-25.002 FAC) allow turtles to be taken manually or by baited hooks, bow, dip nets, traps so designed that any freshwater fish taken therein may escape, or by spearing only during daylight hours. They prohibit bucket traps, snares, and shooting with firearms for taking turtles. No person shall buy, sell, or possess for sale any alligator snapping turtle, box turtle, Barbour’s map turtle, Escambia River map turtle, diamondback terrapin, river cooter, or loggerhead musk turtle, or parts thereof. No person shall possess more than two Barbour’s map turtles, two Escambia River map turtles, two diamondback terrapins, two river cooters, two box turtles, two loggerhead musk turtles, or one alligator snapping turtle unless authorized by permit from the Executive Director. River cooters may not be taken (continued on page 30)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

2008-2009

29

F. A .Q.

(continued from page 29) How do I use total length and girth to estimate bass weight? Answer: When you don’t have a scale, you can use total length and girth to get a rough estimate of a bass’ weight. See the figure on page 12 for how to measure total length and girth, then use the following formula: Total Length (in inches) – squared, times girth (in inches) divided by 1200. For example, a 22” long bass with a girth of 15” would weigh about 6.1 pounds (22 x 22 x 15 / 1200 = 6.1). What is the penalty for fishing without a license, keeping too many fish or illegal sized fish? Answer: Generally, noncriminal infractions involve license or permit violations, motor size issues or measurement violations related to fish. Second degree misdemeanors are criminal acts and typically involve taking fish it is illegal to take, fishing in areas that are closed, using illegal gear or counting violations (more than the bag limit). Failure to pay a noncriminal penalty (similar to a traffic ticket) within 30 days also escalates the charge to a second degree misdemeanor. Forgery of a license or use of a forged license is a third degree felony. Florida Statutes outline the range of penalties; for instance a second degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to $500 and/or 60 days imprisonment at the discretion of the court. What is the economic value of freshwater fishing in Florida? Answer: In 2006, the U.S. Census Bureau did a “National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Related Recreation” to determine the amount of participation and economic impact of these outdoor activities nationwide. Freshwater fishing in Florida was estimated to generate $1.4 billion in retail sales, which produced an economic impact of $2.4 billion. This economic boon to the state of Florida sustains 23,480 jobs and provided recreation for 1.4 million anglers (resident and nonresident), who spent 24.5 million days fishing. Overall (freshwater and saltwater combined) Florida ranks number one in In-State Anglers (2.8 million vs. #2 Texas with 2.5 million), Days of Fishing in State 46.3 million vs. #2 Texas with 41.1 million), Days of Fishing by Nonresidents (4.8 million vs. #2 Wisconsin with 3.8 million), Number of Nonresident Anglers (885 thousand vs. #2 Wisconsin with 381 thousand) and total angler expenditures ($4.4 billion vs. #2 Texas with $3.4 billion). No wonder Florida is the “Fishing Capital of the World!”

from 15 April to 31 July. In addition, no softshell turtles nor their eggs may be taken from the wild during the period 1 May to 31 July, and no person shall possess more than 50 eggs taken from the wild in the aggregate of species of freshwater turtle native to Florida except as authorized by permit from the Executive Director. What regulations apply to clams, mussels and other mollusks? Answer: Regulations governing taking and possession of freshwater mussels are covered by 68A-23.015 FAC. In summary, “Taking” live or dead freshwater mussels for the purpose of sale, as well as “selling”, is prohibited. Bag Limit: No person shall take more than 10 freshwater mussels, or 20 half-shells of the families Unionidae and Margaritiferidae (phylum Mollusca, Class Pelecypoda) per day. Additionally, no person may possess more than two days’ bag limit (20 individual, 40 half-shells) of any mussels of these families. Any deviation to these restrictions requires a permit from the Executive Director, in accordance with 68A-9.002 FAC (see illustrations, page 11). ■ Freshwater mussels from families other than the two mentioned above, such as the Asian clam, may be taken for bait or personal use. No recreational license needed. ■ Mussels may only be taken by “hand-picking”. Use of brailles, crowfoot bars, or other mechanical methods is prohibited. What regulations apply to harvesting fish for home aquaria? Answer: The rules and regulations for recreational take and possession apply. You cannot be in possession, or your aquarium be in possession, of more than these limits. Legal methods of collecting and license requirements also apply. You need a freshwater fishing license to take (defined as “taking, attempting to take, pursuing, hunting, molesting, capturing, or killing any freshwater fish, their nests or eggs, by any means, whether or not such actions result in obtaining possession of such freshwater fish or their nests or eggs”). Avoid taking Florida’s endangered species. A list of them can be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing/Fishes/threatened.html.

A Five-Year Fishing License Is Five Years of Fun!

•Save money ($6-20 or more depending on where you buy your license). •Contribute to resource conservation−all of your money goes to FWC for fish and wildlife conservation and is spread over the next five years to help stabilize agency funding for habitat management, stocking, boating access, boating safety, outreach and education, fisheries law enforcement, artificial reefs and more. •Lock in the price−future fee increases won’t impact you for at least five years.

•Get tax money you paid on tackle and motor boat fuels back from the Feds−each paid license counts for five-years and recovers more money for sportfish restoration in Florida. •Added convenience−no need to wonder if your license is active for five years. We will try to contact you via mail or e-mail when it expires. •Buy your 5-year license anywhere licenses are sold including online at MyFWC.com/License.html or by calling 1-888-FISH-FLOrida.

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2008-2009

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

New lure’s catch rate may be too high for some tournaments.
Out-fishes other bait 19 to 4 in one contest. Uses aerospace technology to mimic a real fish.
ORLANDO, FL– A small company in Connecticut has developed a new lure that mimics the motion of a real fish so realistically eight professionals couldn’t tell the difference between it and a live shad when it “swam” toward them on retrieval. The design eliminates wobbling, angled swimming and other unnatural motions that problem other hard bait lures. It swims by Charlie Allen upright and appears to propel itself with its tail. Curiously, the company may have designed it too well. Tournament fishermen who have used it said it’s possible officials will not allow it in contests where live bait is prohibited. They claim it swims more realistically than anything they have ever seen. If so, that would hurt the company’s promotional efforts. Winning tournaments is an important part of marketing a new lure. Fish would probably prefer to see it restricted. I watched eight veteran fishermen test the new lure (called The KickTail®) on a lake outside Orlando FL for about four hours. Four used the KickTail and four used a combination of their favorite lures and shiners (live bait). The four using the KickTail caught 41 fish versus 14 for the other four. In one boat the KickTail won 19 to 4. The KickTail also caught bigger fish, which suggests it triggers larger, less aggressive fish to strike. You can see why Inventor Scott Wilson the company needs lands a 10-pounder. to get it into tournaments. An almost 3 to 1 advantage can mean thousands of dollars to a fisherman, and hundreds of thousands in sales to the company. The KickTail’s magic comes from a patented technology that breaks the tail into five segments. As water rushes by on retrieval, a little-known principle called aeronautical flutter causes the tail

NEW SPORTS TECHNOLOGY

Swims with its tail.

New lure swims like a real fish--nearly triples catch in Florida contest.
to wag left and right, as if the lure were propelling itself with its tail. Unlike other hard baits, the head remains stationary—only the tail wags. A company spokesman told me this. “Fish attack live things, and they determine if something is alive by watching its movements. Marine biologists will tell you that the more a lure swims like a real fish, the more fish it will catch. Well, the only live thing the KickTail doesn’t do is breathe. It’s better than live bait! It lasts longer and it never hangs half-dead from a hook. It’s always swimming wild and free. Fish can’t stand it. We’ve seen fish that have just eaten go for the KickTail. It’s like having another potato chip. (I said no.) Neither can the fish. “The flutter technology also allows the KickTail to swim at the water’s surface. Other top water lures must be worked to have any live action, or have a bill that makes them dive on retrieval. Our diver version is the only deep crank bait that let’s you do tricks like ‘walk the dog.’ Twitch it at deep levels and it gives an irresistible, lifelike action. Other lures ‘dig.’ And there’s no need for rattles. The five tail segments click together as you pull it through the water, calling fish from a distance.” Whether you fish for fun or profit, if you want a near 3 to 1 advantage, I would order now before the KickTail becomes known. The company even guarantees a refund, if you don’t catch more fish and return the lures within 30 days. There are three versions: a floater for top water, a diver and a “dying shad” with a weed guard for fishing lily pads and other feeding spots. The company says it’s the only hard bait of its kind in existence. Each lure costs $9.95 and you must order at least two. There is also a “Super 10-Pack” with additional colors for only $79.95, a savings of almost $20.00. S/h is only $7.00 no matter how many you order. To order call 1-800-873-4415 (Ask for item # kts), or click www.ngcsports .com/gear anytime or day or send a check or M.O. (or cc number and exp. date) to NGC Sports (Dept. KT-1418) 60 Church Street, Yalesville, CT 06492. CT add sales tax. The KickTail is four inches long and works in salt and fresh water.
KTS-8 © NGC Worldwide, Inc. 2008 Dept. KT- 1418

Increases catch almost 3 to 1.
“To make the KickTail even more lifelike, we gave it a natural shad color and shaped it like the most prevalent bait fish of all, the threadfin. Game fish gobble up more threadfin shad than any other baitfish. “We knew the KickTail would outfish other lures. It had to. Other lures wobble their heads and swim on an angle. But 41 fish to 14? That’s huge! I tell you, in ten seconds anyone who has fished a day in his life knows this little swimmer’s a home run. Fishermen reserved thousands of KickTails before we produced it! Here, reel it in and watch it swim toward you. Can you tell the difference between it and a live fish?

A N G L E R S H OW P L AC E

R & J OUTFITTERS
Trophy whitetail hunts in N.W. Missouri

Get Discounted Hunting and Fishing Books and DVD’s at HoosicPress.com

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A simple phone call is all it takes to get the catch of your dreams!

Ray: 786-319-1367 John: 786-394-3536

About underage drinking.

What a great time to have the talk.
You’re out fishing with your kid. There are no distractions. So you can take your time. Ease into it. Remember, it’s a conversation, not a lecture. Tell him how alcohol impairs judgment. That it can lead to dependence, risky behavior and even fatal consequences. Talk about peer pressure and how it takes a real individual to not do what everyone else is doing. Stuff like that. Have that talk, because it’s the number one way to convince your kids not to drink under the age of 21. For helpful tips go to www.fypd.org

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