FWC extends fish cleanup through the end of February

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission extended its order suspending certain saltwater fishing regulations that allow people to legally dispose of dead fish found in the water and shore due to the recent cold snap.

The order was set to expire Feb. 1, but was extended to Feb. 28 as the agency continued to receive reports of dead saltwater fish and a resulting stench in many areas around the state. The order removes specific harvest regulations for all saltwater fish that died as a result of prolonged exposure to cold weather in Florida waters.  The order also allows people to collect dead saltwater fish from Florida’s shoreline and from the water by hand, cast net, dip net or seine.People who take dead saltwater fish under the provisions of this order may not sell, trade or consume such fish, and the dead fish must immediately be disposed of in compliance with local safety, health and sanitation requirements for such disposal.In addition, people who collect these dead saltwater fish are not required to possess a saltwater fishing license.FWC scientists are actively monitoring and collecting information on the widespread fish-kill reports it has received from the field in order to analyze the impacts to fish populations caused by the cold weather.For more information about the 2010 cold-weather saltwater fish kills, go to MyFWC.com/Rules and click on “Fishing – Saltwater.”

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