Black Sea Bass Changes Affect Florida Atlantic Waters

The recreational daily bag limit drops from 15 to five fish per person; minimum length bumps up from 12 to 13 inches total length.

Several changes to black sea bass regulations in Florida’s Atlantic state waters went into effect this week. These changes were made by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission at its Dec. 5 meeting.

Changes include:

Increasing the minimum size limit for commercial harvest from 10 to 11 inches total length, and for recreational harvest from 12 to 13 inches total length

Changing the recreational daily bag limit from 15 to five fish per person

Requiring federal commercial endorsements and permits for the harvest of black sea bass using traps;

Matching federal trap specifications and requirements, including requirements for trap construction, requiring traps to be set only in waters north of Cape Canaveral and requiring traps to be removed from the water and brought back to shore at the conclusion of each trip.

Black sea bass populations in the Atlantic are improving but are undergoing overfishing, says state and federal agencies. Federal fishery managers made several recent changes to Atlantic black sea bass populations. The FWC-approved changes will align state regs with most current federal regulations for black sea bass.