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State Reef Fish Survey

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Florida Saltwater Fishing

Are You a State Reef Fish Angler?

Beginning July 1, the State Reef Fish Survey (SRFS) will replace the successful Gulf Reef Fish Survey and help provide more timely and precise data on important reef fish statewide.

As part of this program, recreational anglers and divers who fish for or possess certain reef fish from a private vessel will need to obtain the State Reef Fish Angler designation. This will help FWC collect information about recreational reef fish directly from the people that fish for these species.

Who needs to obtain the State Reef Fish Angler designation?

Anyone 16 and older on a private boat who intends to recreationally fish for or possess one or more of the following reef fish species:

  • mutton snapper (new)
  • yellowtail snapper (new)
  • hogfish (new)
  • red snapper
  • vermilion snapper
  • gag grouper
  • red grouper
  • black grouper
  • greater amberjack
  • lesser amberjack
  • banded rudderfish
  • almaco jack
  • gray triggerfish

This includes fishermen who are 65 and older. Learn more about exemptions and sign up requirements at MyFWC.com/SRFS.

How do I sign up?

Signing up for the State Reef Fish Angler designation is easy and no-cost. Beginning July 1, it is available anywhere saltwater fishing licenses are sold (GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, Fish|Hunt Florida mobile app, 1-888-FISHFLORIDA (347-4356), or at tackle shops, sporting goods stores, and tax collectors’ offices).

If you are a Gulf Reef Fish Angler, your designation will remain valid until it expires and will meet the new SRFS statewide requirement. You do not need a State Reef Fish Angler designation until your current Gulf designation expires.

Don’t forget to carry proof of your designation when fishing for reef fish from a private vessel.

How does SRFS and the State Reef Fish Angler designation improve recreational data?

SRFS relies on two methods to collect vital information on recreational fishing for reef fish: a mail survey and in-person interviews.

  • Each month, a group of State Reef Fish Anglers will be mailed a short survey about their fishing trips. If you receive a survey, please respond and return it ASAP, even if you did not fish that month.
  • FWC biologists conduct in-person interviews at offshore access points, such as boat ramps and marinas, to collect information on the numbers and types of fish caught during recreational trips.

This information helps improve recreational catch estimates, allow for improved reef fish stock assessments, and provide enhanced management opportunities. Better, more precise data will provide a clearer picture of the health of reef fish stocks throughout the state and help ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing in Florida. Your participation is crucial to the success of these efforts!

Visit MyFWC.com/SRFS to learn more.