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April 06, 2011

FWC enhances bonefish management

The new FWC rules will eliminate the one-fish daily bag limit for bonefish

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.