Florida Seeks to Improve Data Collection on Reef Fish

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Photo courtesy of Brice and Bear Williamson

Photo courtesy of Brice and Bear Williamson

The state of Florida is expanding a Gulf reef fish survey to the entire state in an effort to garner more accurate data on fish like snapper, grouper, amberjack, triggerfish and more. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission program had previously excluded the Atlantic coast and Monroe County.

“The FWC is so thankful to be able to expand this already successful program. The State Reef Fish Survey provides a great opportunity for FWC to work with recreational fishers to improve data for reef fish statewide,” said FWC Chairman Robert Spottswood in a statement.

Spottswood continued: “Accurate recreational fisheries data provides part of the foundation needed for realistic stock assessments and well-informed fisheries management decisions that promote conservation while meeting the needs of anglers.”

Starting July 1, all anglers fishing for popular reef fish on a private recreational vessel within the state of Florida will be required to get the State Reef Fish Angler designation. Gulf reef fish anglers are then required to sign up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey.

“The process is easy, no-cost and will help the FWC paint a clearer picture of how many people are targeting Gulf reef fish like red snapper and gag and what they are seeing and harvesting,” the FWC said on their website.

Click here for an FAQ or to obtain a State Reef Fish Angler license.