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The recreational harvest season for trout...

will open in southern Florida on Jan. 1.

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Spotted seatrout harvest has been closed since Nov. 1 in this part of the state to help maintain an abundant fishery.

The reopened areas include Atlantic coast waters south of the Flagler-Volusia county line and Gulf coast waters south of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas-Pasco county line.

The maximum daily bag limit for spotted seatrout in these areas is four fish per person. In all other Florida waters north and west of these areas, the daily limit is five spotted seatrout per person.

The statewide slot limit for spotted seatrout is 15-20 inches total length, and anglers may keep one spotted seatrout larger than 20 inches as part of the daily bag limit.

Spotted seatrout may not be harvested by any multiple hooks with live or dead natural bait, and snagging or snatch-hooking spotted seatrout is not allowed. Spotted seatrout may be taken only with hook-and-line gear and cast nets and must be landed in whole condition.

The harvest of spotted seatrout will close during the month of February in northeast and northwest Florida waters.