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Spotted Seatrout

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Lookout fishermen! Florida’s favorite speckled fish is about to be on the recreational fishing radar year-round. On February 1, 2012, recreational fishing for spotted seatrout will no longer close during certain months.

Since 1996, recreational fishing for spotted seatrout has been closed to anglers in the north parts of Florida in February and in the south parts of Florida in November and December. These closed months were part of a batch of regulations established in the early 1990’s to improve the spotted seatrout population in Florida, which had been damaged by overfishing and loss of habitat.

Because of the strict regulations in place for the last several decades, the spotted seatrout population in Florida is healthy and stable.

Spotted Seatrout.psd

Opening the closed months for recreational fishermen should increase economic and fishing opportunities for spotted seatrout around Florida.

In addition, because the spotted seatrout population in the Northeast region of Florida is thriving and exceeding management goals, the bag limit will be raised from five to six fish starting
February 1, 2012.

In Florida, spotted seatrout can be found in seagrass flats, shell and rocky bottoms, or even muddy waters. In colder months, they gather in deeper water, such as rivers and channels. Popular for recreational anglers around Florida, spotted seatrout are fun to catch, are attracted to a variety of gears and lures, and are also good quality seafood. The fish has many nicknames, including speckled trout, spotted weakfish, and speck, but any angler skilled enough to catch a six pounder knows all too well how they got the name “gator trout.”

Spotted Seatrout Regions


  • “Northwest Region” means all state waters north and west of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway (28E9.350’N 82E48.398’W), which is approximately 1.17 nautical miles south of the Pasco-Pinellas County line to the Florida-Alabama border, and adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters.
  • “Southwest Region” means all state waters lying south and west of the Miami-Dade-Monroe County Line at Card Sound and south of the southern boundary of the Northwest Region on the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County, and adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters.
  • “Southeast Region” means all state waters lying south of the Flagler-Volusia County Line and north of the Miami-Dade-Monroe County Line at Card Sound, and adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters.
  • “Northeast Region” means all state waters lying north of the Flagler-Volusia County line to the Florida-Georgia border, and adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) waters.

 

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