The fisheries management folks in Florida have added four additional free fishing days to the existing ones. The announcement was made as a joint decision by Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Governor Scott said, “Florida’s license-free fishing days are the perfect opportunity for people to try, or introduce a friend to, some of the finest fishing in the world. Florida's recreational freshwater and saltwater fishing industry has an $8.9 billion economic impact and events like these help grow the industry even more. I'm excited that the FWC has adopted four more license-free fishing days for a total of eight days per year. These days are a great way to introduce more Floridians to the lifetime sport of fishing.”
The new standard of eight days per year doubles the previous free fishing days in Florida. In the specified days the requirement to have a recreational fishing license is waived for residents and visitors. Saltwater license-free fishing days this year were on June 1 and Sept. 1 and freshwater’s were April 6 and June 8.
The additional saltwater license-free fishing days will be Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 and additional freshwater license-free days will be Nov. 29 and Dec. 28.
The regulators also set dates for 2014 and beyond. All eight days will now fall on the same day of the week from year to year, allowing potential anglers to plan fishing trips in advance.
For 2014 and beyond, the following dates will be license-free fishing days:
o First Saturday and Sunday in June
o First Saturday in September
o Saturday following Thanksgiving
o First Saturday and Sunday in April
o Second Saturday and Sunday in June
To make these events accessible to as many people as possible, the FWC planned these dates around holiday weekends and national events and National Fishing and Boating Week. Highlighted by significant national media coverage and public events, National Fishing and Boating Week promotes boating and fishing across the country as fun and healthy outdoor activities.
For those anglers wanting to give Florida fishing a try, plan your trips now and don’t worry abut having a license on the designated days. Anglers will, however, have to keep fishing regulations in mind. All other regulations such as seasons, size limits and bag limits must be adhered to every day of the year.
Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing to learn more about saltwater and freshwater fishing in Florida
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Angler Alert: Don’t forget to log you catch online at the Angler Action Program