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To Conserve Popular Saltwater Fish, FWC Encourages Anglers To Target Different Species

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Jeff Naylor
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Lily Naylor adds a spotted seatrout to her Saltwater Fish Life List, with brother Peyton cheering her on.

Florida wildlife officials are encouraging marine fishers to participate in three Saltwater Angler Recognition programs for prizes. The programs are meant to engage anglers and build on conservation efforts.

Melissa Crouch is with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Outreach and Education. She says Saltwater Recognition Programs encourage anglers to target a diversity of species, which reduces pressure on the most sought after saltwater fish.

“These programs include the Saltwater Grand Slam program, which are groups of three fish—that if you catch them in one 24-hour period, you can get recognition,” she said, in a promotional video. “There are nine categories of Grand Slams from In-Shore all the way to Blue Water, and even a small prize slam for the kids.”

There’s also two new programs.

“The Saltwater Fish Life List program allows you to track your progress at catching 71 species of saltwater fish and there’s the Saltwater Reel Big Fish, which gives you recognition for catching an extraordinarily sized fish out of 30 different species that’s not quite a record, but still worth bragging about,” Crouch added.

The FWC will reward anglers in different ways, like recognition in its publications and website, T-shirts, fishing gear, and kayaks. These free programs are open year-round for all experience levels.

And, you don’t have to harvest your fish for these programs, but we do suggest releasing your catch, if possible,” Crouch continued.

For more information, visit CatchAFloridaMemory.com.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.