ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — Grab your fishing poles, the recreational harvest season for snook starts Sept. 1 across Florida.
However, anglers in the area of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, including Tampa Bay, south to Gordon Pass in Collier County, must practice catch-and-release for snook due to impacts from red tide.
For those who will be releasing snook back into the water, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) encourages anglers to use proper handling methods to help released snook survive and promote high species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come.
Normal regulations are in effect for snook in Pasco County north of the Pinellas County line, including all waters of the Anclote River and its tributaries, according to the FWC.
For fishermen in the Sarasota Bay through Gordon Pass in Collier County, snook remains catch-and-release through May 31, 2022.
In addition, snook, redfish and spotted seatrout are catch-and-release only in Tampa Bay due to recent impacts from red tide from July 16 until Oct. 11, the FWC says.
Before harvesting snook this season, there are requirements for anglers. A snook permit, as well as a recreational saltwater license, is required to harvest snook unless the angler is exempt from the recreational license requirements.
The FWC says researchers are collecting data on the harvest of snook.
"If approached by a biologist or if you see a donation cooler marked with “Snook Carcass” at your favorite fishing access point, please provide your filleted snook carcasses," the FWC asks.
Snook carcasses provide biological data, including the size, age, maturity and sex of the catch. This information is important to the FWC in completing stock assessments, officials say.
Snook season lasts from Sept. 1 until Dec. 14 and the daily bag limit is one per harvester per day. The season begins again Feb. 1.
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