Posted by: stiltsville | December 13, 2009

Bonefish granted Gamefish status

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted on Thursday to elevate public awareness of the importance of Florida bonefish by declaring it a saltwater game fish.

“Bonefish are one of the major reasons Florida is ‘The Fishing Capital of the World,'” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.  “We took this action today to emphasize how important the bonefish fishery is to Florida anglers, visitors and South Florida’s recreational fishing industry.”

It is illegal to commercially harvest and sell bonefish in Florida, and sport anglers are allowed to keep only one bonefish 18 inches in fork length or greater per day.

To further protect bonefish populations in Florida, the Commission also directed staff to develop a draft rule for consideration in February that would add all species of bonefish found in Florida waters to FWC rules, extend FWC bonefish regulations into federal waters, and require that bonefish be landed in whole condition.

“Bonefish are one of the premier sport fisheries in Florida and are known as ‘grey ghosts of the flats’ because they are stealthy, fast-swimming fighters that are challenging to catch,” said Barreto.

“That’s why we recognize that conserving Florida’s bonefish resources will ensure that anglers worldwide can continue to enjoy fishing for this special species.”


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