The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is trying to determine the popularity of reef fishing. The move is in response to a request from fishermen for a better idea of what’s happening in the water.
The FWC is asking anglers to sign up for a survey, which is similar to a fishing license. Those fishing on land do not need to apply.
“This isn’t just for every recreational angler out there, it is for recreational anglers who are fishing from private boats for the specific species that we have listed on our website, considered reef fish,” says FWC Spokeswoman Amanda Nalley.
Some examples of reef fish listed on the FWC’s website include red snapper, gag, amberjack, grouper and gray triggerfish.
Anglers may choose to begin participating in the program right away, but signup will be mandatory beginning April first. Registration is free and participants can apply online or in person at the tax collector’s office.
According to Nalley, “This will put you basically in a data base where we can reach out to you later and ask you further questions about your fishing experiences.” Those contacted by the FWC who provide additional information will be entered into a drawing to win an annual, five-year or lifetime recreational saltwater fishing license.