New rules drafted for spotted sea trout


Harry Carcieri

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has recently approved multiple draft rule changes for spotted sea trout. 

The new Florida fishing rules include modifying the recreational slot size limit from 15 to 20 inches to 15 to 19 inches, allowing one sea trout over 19 inches per vessel, and re-establishing the February recreational closure in the Western Panhandle zone and the November-December recreational closure in the Central East zone.

“I don’t like the rules because personally I would go fishing for them when they were in season and we would take home the limit and we would use that to eat instead of buying food,” Zane Korfhage (10) said. “The fish have a decent population, so I don’t see why they needed to lower the limit.”

Recently, Commercial landings in Florida waters have indicated a drop-off in catches of fish. In the Central East region, such as Brevard County, the commercial fishing catches went from 54,501 pounds in 2012 to 9,727 pounds in 2017, or a catch decline of 82 percent.

“I think that although the new rules for trout may make some fisherman upset overall, it is a good idea for the trout population,” Trenton Burrows (10) said. “I have heard recently about the drop of fish catches in the past couple of years and I don’t think it’s good. I’ve also lately have not been catching as many trout in the river as I used to be catching. In the future with this new rule in place, I hope to expect the trout population to have a large increase and there will be much more trout mating.” 

The FWC has also advised its staff to continue to accept public comment to update the proposal for consideration at future meetings, possibly as soon as December in Panama City.

By Harry Carcieri