Changes in Mutton Snapper Rules for 2017
Fishing enthusiasts should note Florida is making some changes to mutton snapper regulations that kick in January 1.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says the species is not overfished, but says data indicates the population may be lower than previously estimated.
The recreational limit for mutton snapper is essentially being cut in half. Currently there is a 10-snapper per person bag limit, and that's most kinds of snapper. But beginning in January, only five of those snappers can be mutton snapper.
Commercial fisherman will also see the same change in Atlantic waters from April to June, as the mutton snappers begin to spawn.
Amanda Nalley, spokesperson with the Florida FWC, says, "We did have this conversation with the commercial industry as well as the recreational industry to determine what would work best for them. Based on those conversations, we determined that these were numbers that would be okay."
The commission is also increasing the size limit for mutton snapper from 16 inches to 18 inches. For a full outline of the new regulations, check out the Florida FWC website.