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Speargun on boat in river while traveling to Saltwater

The DaveThe Dave Posts: 486 Deckhand
this is from the FWC website -

You may NOT spearfish (excluding bowhunting and gigging) as described below:
Spearfishing of marine and freshwater species in freshwater is prohibited. Possession of a spear gun in or on freshwater is also prohibited.

I have been spearfishing several times in areas where you have to put in on the river to reach the Gulf, and have even had FWC check the boat with no concern about us having the guns on board.

I realize the law is written and is to be interpreted literally, but this part is BS as there are some areas (Homoesassa, Crystal River) where the only way to access saltwater is to go through the river.

Is this part of the law ever enforced? How would one go about trying to change this. Simply having a speargun on board should not be prohibited in my opinion.
I'll think of something witty to put here.....


  • beyondhelpbeyondhelp Posts: 371 Deckhand
    I had a similar question about the legality of carrying a spearfish on the boat while fishing for species you aren't allowed to spear. I contacted them via their website and they answered promptly. I figured having a printed copy of the exact question and answer (in my case) with a case number assigned would be the easiest way to clear up any doubt. Maybe they can answer and clarify your question as quickly and clearly.
  • The DaveThe Dave Posts: 486 Deckhand
    Thanks John, I think I will do that as well.

    On the same day that FWC checked us, a passing boater asked us about having the spearguns on the river. We were polite and told him that we were on our way back to the ramp from the gulf, but the concern from another boater that felt he had to ask us about it had me a bit concerned. I think most FWC officers would understand that there is no other way to get from the Gulf to the ramp, but you never know if today is the day they need to issue a ticket, and the law is written in stone. (this is by NO MEANS trying to talk bad about the officers, they have a job to do, and giving tickets is sometimes part of that job)
    I'll think of something witty to put here.....
  • beyondhelpbeyondhelp Posts: 371 Deckhand
    Yep that's exactly why I wanted it in writing. I appreciate the work that they do, and I am also a believer in personal responsibility. It's that whole "know before you go" thing.
  • Mako_OneMako_One Posts: 216 Officer
    For as long as you do not make any stops in the river or get in the water while on the river there should not be any problems. If the equipment is put away or properly stored there should not be any question if they were being used on the river. Just like when your coming from an area where you are allowed to spear fish, then you have traveled back towards shore over a closed area, for as long as you do not stop in that area- no problems. Once you have stopped it raises the eye brows.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,964 AG
    Can't spearfish in St. Martins Marsh Aquatic Preserve either. You can gig though.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
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