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The FWC proposed a draft rule that

would raise the recreational daily redfish bag limit from one fish to two per person in large areas of northern Florida.

The FWC also is proposing to create three regional management areas for redfish to better target its management approaches for this popular Florida fish.

“We’ve come a long way since the early 1990s, when redfish stocks were largely depleted, but the management of redfish in Florida is turning out to be a success story,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto.

“The fishery is holding its own in southern Florida, and numbers of redfish in northern parts of the state are now at a point where it’s safe to give back some fish to anglers.”

The FWC has strictly managed redfish (also called red drum, channel bass and red bass) for more than 20 years to help rebuild overfished populations. A 2008 FWC stock assessment now indicates that annual management goals for redfish are consistently being exceeded in areas of northeastern and northwestern Florida.

As a result, the FWC is proposing establishment of three management areas for redfish in Florida (which are the same as established management areas for spotted seatrout). In all waters in the northwest management area (Escambia through Pasco counties) and in the northeast management area (Flagler through Nassau counties), the

FWC proposal would raise the daily recreational bag limit for redfish from one fish to two. The Commission also directed staff to develop a possible redfish vessel limit in areas where a two-fish limit would apply. The current one-fish daily limit would still apply in all waters in the south management area (south of Pasco and Flagler counties).

The FWC has scheduled a series of workshops this fall to hear what people think about its redfish proposals. Information regarding these workshops and additional background regarding the FWC’s redfish rule proposals is available online at MyFWC.com/Rules (click on “Fishing – Saltwater).

A final public hearing on the FWC’s redfish rule proposals is scheduled for the Commission’s February public meeting in Apalachicola.

Upcoming Public Workshops

Red Drum Possible Rule Change

Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

Date, Time, Location

Sep. 8, 2010

6:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. (CDT)

Gulf Coast Community College

5230 W. US Hwy 98

Student Union East, 2nd Floor Conference Room Panama City, FL 32401

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September 9, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m (EDT)

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

620 S. Meridian Farris Bryant Building,

2nd Floor Conference Room

Tallahassee, FL 32399

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September 20, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

Brevard Agricultural Center

3695 Lake Drive

Cocoa, FL 32926

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November 23, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

Jacksonville Public Library Southeast Branch

10599 Deerwood Park Blvd.

Jacksonville, FL 32256

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November TBA, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

Fish and Wildlife Research Institute

Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium

100 Eighth Ave. SE

St. Petersburg, FL 33701

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December TBA, 2010

6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. (EDT)

City Hall Council Chambers

123 N.W. Hwy 19

Crystal River, FL 34428

The purpose of these workshops is to review the Commission’s recent regional analysis of the red drum stock assessment. Possible rule changes will be discussed including creating regional management areas for red drum and raising the bag limit to two red drum per person per day in the two northern regions of the state.

Possible rule changes will also be discussed for the southeast region of the state.

Pursuant to the provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act, any person requiring special accommodations to participate in this workshop/meeting is asked to advise the agency at least 5 days before the workshop/meeting by contacting: the ADA Coordinator, at (850) 488-6411.

If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency by calling (850) 488-9542

If you are hearing or speech impaired, please contact the agency using the Florida Relay Service, 1(800)955-8771 (TDD) or 1(800)955-8770 (Voice).