Welcome to 2023 Florida Saltwater Fishing
Message from the FWC by Chairman Rodney Barreto
Each new year brings with it a chance to look back and look ahead. As I reflect on the past year as Chairman of the Commission that is responsible for managing and protecting fish and wildlife, I am proud of all our staff who continue to work hard every day to provide residents and visitors numerous opportunities to enjoy Florida’s outdoors. I am also proud of our law enforcement officers who are dedicated to protecting fish and wildlife as well as the public.
I am always impressed by Florida’s conservation-minded anglers who deeply care for our fisheries and their habitats. Anglers that care both about catching a big fish and about protecting the resource for future generations of anglers. This past year, we saw it in the way you fished, and increased your use of best fishing practices that help ensure released fish go on to live, reproduce, and fight another day. When concerns arise about a fishery, you took action and turned out for important issues at our workshops, Commission meetings, and on our online commenting portal at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments. We saw it in your valuable feedback and support as we developed new, adaptive management approach for the redfish fishery, which is the first of its kind in the nation. We saw it in the way you contributed to conservation efforts like Sport Fish Restoration, a national user-pay, public-benefit program that supports the creation of artificial reefs, boat ramps, educational programs, research and more through funds gathered when anglers purchase tackle, fishing licenses and motorboat fuel. We saw it when you took the time to talk to researchers at the dock and return surveys that inform fishery stock assessments and management.
We are grateful for your dedication to our fish and wildlife, and your partnership in working towards our mission of conservation. Florida’s anglers are FWC’s eyes and ears on the water, letting us know when and where concerns may be. We hear from anglers all the time about how important it is not only to be able to have access to fishing, but to have healthy and abundant fisheries. And for that, we thank you Florida anglers. It is because of your efforts and support that Florida is and will continue to be the Fishing Capital of the World.