The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved rules on Wednesday that will allow only catch-and-release fishing for bonefish, a premier saltwater game fish in Florida. The new rules also establish provisions regarding the possession of bonefish by anglers, and the possession and transport of bonefish during bonefish fishing tournaments.
"Bonefish is one of Florida's 'Rock Star' species," said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. "These new rules will elevate the status and protection of bonefish in South Florida and make it easy for anglers to document a record catch and enjoy bonefish fishing tournaments."
The new FWC rules will eliminate the one-fish daily bag limit for bonefish and only allow catch-and-release fishing. Most anglers already release the bonefish they catch as a conservation measure.
The rules will also allow anglers to temporarily possess a bonefish where it is caught so they can photograph and measure or weigh the fish to document a possible record catch. In addition, the rules will allow anglers participating in specially permitted tournaments to temporarily possess and transport bonefish to tournament check-in stations for weigh-in under specified conditions. These fish will still have to be carefully handled and released.
The new bonefish rules approved by the FWC take effect on July 1. More information regarding bonefish <http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/fish/saltwater-fish/bonefish/> is available online at MyFWC.com/Fishing.