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Bringing federally regulated fish back into state waters / FWC 30 miles out patrol

beachsideandybeachsideandy Senior MemberIHBPosts: 925 Officer


  • Mako254Mako254 Member Posts: 64 Deckhand
    FWC has entered into a joint enforcement agreement with NOAA, which allows FWC officers to patrol federal waters and enforce federal regulations. In fact, NOAA paid for the boat in the picture, as well as several others, and funds their patrols as part of the agreement. In that area, they were patrolling the Oculina Bank, where there are strict regulations on bottom fishing and trawling. As far as the fishing license question: if you are leaving from, and returning to Florida, then you need a Florida fishing license while fishing in federal waters.
  • beachsideandybeachsideandy Senior Member IHBPosts: 925 Officer
    Thanks man, all cleared up.
  • FLCoyoteFLCoyote Senior Member Panama CityPosts: 271 Deckhand

    Join Date:Jun 2011
    Location:Panama City
    Posts:47 The confusing part for me is that I've been checked by the FWC 20 miles off Panama City and by the Coast Guard in St Andrews bay. Wouldn't it be simpler for them to enforce the law in their own jurisdictions? Now one more thing about possession as its been beat to death in this forum on a regular basis. If you are in federal waters federal limits apply. If you have fish on board that exceed the state limit you cannot fish in state waters on the way back in. That includes trolling or catching bait. For example, the reef fish limit off Panama city in Federal waters is 20 fish. That means I can keep 20 Vermillion Snapper (Beeliners) in federal waters as long as I don't fish in state waters where the limit is 10 Vermillion Snapper. It also works in reverse, if a particular fish is legal in state water but not federal, then you can't cross into federal waters with the fish on board. I've talked with FWC about this and the above interpretation is correct. So if you have a federal limit and you are cruising back in and you spot a Cobia in state waters and you cast at it, all of your fish will be assumed to have been caught in state waters if you get checked. If you are engaged in fishing, all of the fish on board will be assumed to have been caught at the location where you are checked. For all of the naysayers, check with FWC before you dispute/disagree with the above.

  • Fear KnotFear Knot Senior Member Palm Beach GardensPosts: 151 Officer
    Can't wait for the Predator drones to start patrolling the Florida Straits........Catch an illegal swordfish and whammmo a Maverick missile comes down on you, you enviro- terrorist
  • snake birdsnake bird Banned Thuggin' it worldwidePosts: 1,023 Officer
    go stopped by that exact boat about 30 miles off cedar key

    they explained they were out of destin i think(this was 6 months ago)
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