THE LAW AND PENALTIES



The 2022 Florida Statutes — 


🐟  Over 65 — No License Needed  — But There are Some Rules  —  

  • FLORIDA IS A GREAT STATE FOR OLDER FISHERMAN, sport, catch and release people.  Bonus:  If you are a resident over 65 no permit or license is needed, either for fresh or salt water.  At times for research there might be a registration period for a certain specie.   Just register, no fee but they would like for you to report what is harvested or released. 
    FWC does a great job in the state protecting and building inventory in our protected species.  We have one of the largest Bass breeding and Ocean Species regulating seasonal generating programs.


  • BUT YOU MUST HAVE VALID FLORIDA ID OR if you are a tourist go to the state website and get the tourist card with you.  Certain other collectibles in the water, scallops, etc you might consult the regulations.  

  • AGAIN SOME SPECIES, YOU MAY CATCH BUT  you cannot retain them, thats called “ Harvesting”  in this state,  then there are many seasonal species. And even over sixty-five you might have to register for certain fish, it’s not a cost to you, its more for the specie watchers who determine the heath of our fish populations. get the APP from Apple or Google and put it on your cellphone — We recommend a waterproof case and lanyard.


Florida Fishing License - Official FL FWC License Site

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FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION 

Title XXVIII —  NATURAL RESOURCES; CONSERVATION, RECLAMATION, AND USE

Chapter 379  —  FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION


379.363 Freshwater fish dealer’s license.

(1) No person shall engage in the business of taking for sale or selling any frogs or freshwater fish, including live bait, of any species or size, or importing any exotic or nonnative fish, until such person has obtained a license and paid the fee therefor as set forth herein. 

The license issued shall be in the possession of the person to whom issued while such person is engaging in the business of taking for sale or selling freshwater fish or frogs, is not transferable, shall bear on its face in indelible ink the name of the person to whom it is issued, and shall be affixed to a license identification card issued by the commission. 

Such license is not valid unless it bears the name of the person to whom it is issued and is so affixed. The failure of such person to exhibit such license to the commission or any of its wildlife officers when such person is found engaging in such business is a violation of law. The license fees and activities permitted under particular licenses are as follows:

(a) The fee for a resident commercial fishing license, which permits a resident to take freshwater fish or frogs by any lawful method prescribed by the commission and to sell such fish or frogs, shall be $25. The license provided for in this paragraph shall also allow noncommercial fishing as provided by law and commission rules, and the license in s. 379.354(4)(a) shall not be required.

(b) The fee for a resident freshwater fish dealer’s license, which permits a resident to import, export, or sell freshwater fish or frogs, including live bait, shall be $40.

(c) The fee for a nonresident commercial fishing license, which permits a nonresident to take freshwater fish or frogs as provided in paragraph (a), shall be $100.

(d) The fee for a nonresident retail fish dealer’s license, which permits a nonresident to sell freshwater fish or frogs to a consumer, shall be $100.

(e) The fee for a nonresident wholesale fish dealer’s license, which permits a nonresident to sell freshwater fish or frogs within the state, and to buy freshwater fish or frogs for resale, shall be $500.

(f) The fee for a nonresident wholesale fish buyer’s license, which permits a nonresident who does not sell freshwater fish or frogs in Florida to buy freshwater fish or frogs from resident fish dealers for resale outside the state, shall be $50.

(g) Any individual or business issued an aquaculture certificate, pursuant to s. 597.004, shall be exempt from the requirements of this part with respect to aquaculture products authorized under such certificate.

(2) Each boat engaged in commercial fishing shall have at least one licensed commercial fisher on board.

(3) It shall be unlawful for any resident freshwater fish dealer, or any nonresident wholesale or nonresident retail fish dealer, or any nonresident wholesale fish buyer to buy freshwater fish or frogs from any unlicensed person.

(4) A person who violates this section commits a Level Two violation. 


Level Two FWC Violations — 

Pursuant to Section 379.401(2), a person commits a Level Two violation if he or she violates any of the rules or orders of the commission relating to:

  1. seasons or time periods for the taking of wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish.
  2. establishing bag, possession, or size limits or restricting methods of taking wildlife, freshwater fish, or saltwater fish
  3. prohibiting access or otherwise relating to access to wildlife management areas or other areas managed by the commission
  4. the feeding of saltwater fish
  5. landing requirements for freshwater fish or saltwater fish
  6. restricted hunting areas, critical wildlife areas, or bird sanctuaries
  7. tagging requirements for wildlife and fur-bearing animals
  8. the use of dogs for the taking of wildlife
  9. the unlawful use of traps, unless otherwise provided by law
  10. requiring the maintenance of records relating to alligators
  11. the return of unused CITES tags issued under an alligator program other than the Statewide Alligator Harvest Program or the Statewide Nuisance Alligator Program.


Other types of Level Two violations relate to  — 

  • prohibiting the intentional harassment of hunters, fishers, or trappers under Section 379.105
  • fishers and equipment under Section 379.2421
  • spearfishing under Section 379.2425
  • the contamination of fresh waters under Section 379.29
  • the use of explosives and other substances or force in fresh waters under Section 379.295
  • prohibiting the loan or transfer of a license or permit and the use of a borrowed or transferred license or permit under Section 379.3502
  • false statements in an application for a license or permit under Section 379.3503
  • entering false information on licenses or permits under Section 379.3504
  • the sale of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses and permits by subagents
  • the taking, killing, or possession of tarpon without purchasing a tarpon tag under Section 379.3511
  • freshwater fish dealer licenses under Section 379.363
  • fur and hide dealer licenses under Section 379.364
  • the theft of stone crab trap contents or trap gear under Section 379.365(2)(b)
  • the theft of blue crab trap contents or trap gear under Section 379.366(4)(b)
  • the theft of spiny lobster trap contents or trap gear under Section 379.3671(2)(c), except s. 379.3671(2)(c)5
  • licenses for the taking and possession of alligators under Section 379.3751
  • tagging requirements for alligators and hides under Section 379.3752
  • the unlawful taking of bonefish under Section 379.413


The Penalties For A Level Two Violation Depend On The Number And Timing Of Any Prior Designated Convictions — 

  • For a first offense, a Level Two violation is charged as a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
  • For a second offense within 3 years of a designated prior offense, the Level Two violation can be charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine with a $250 minimum fine.
  • For a third violation within 5 years after two previous designated convictions, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine with a minimum mandatory fine of $500 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 1 year.
  • For a fourth violation within 10 years, the crime is charged as a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable by up to 12 months in jail and a $1,000 fine with a minimum mandatory fine of $750 and a suspension of any recreational license or permit issued under s. 379.354 for 3 years.


KUDOS TO FWC ENFORCEMENT


31 Knots — 3200 Hp Marine Diesels  — Up To 12 Crew

3,000 Gallon Fuel Tanks — “ The Bad Boy Chaser — The Gulf Sentry" 


FWC Officers Intercept Commercial Vessel With More Than 11,000 Pounds Of Illegally Harvested Shrimp —  
On Thursday, March 3, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation (FWC) officers onboard the newest FWC’s Gulf Sentry, an offshore patrol vessel, conducted a resource inspection on a commercial shrimping vessel that was determined to be operating illegally just south of MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa Bay. The vessel, named the Dona Lupa, and its crew were from Port Isabel, Texas. 

During their inspection, officers discovered more than 11,000 pounds of shrimp, valued at more than $30,000, and several pounds of cobia fillets in the vessel’s freezer. Upon further inspection, officers also discovered turtle-excluder device (TED) violations.  Their fine should be the equivalent of their theft, hit them where it hurts, hold their boat as ransom.


FWC Cites Vessel Captain: 2,611 Pompano Over The Limit — 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has charged a vessel captain with the unlawful use of a monofilament entanglement net (gill net) to take pompano outside of the Pompano Endorsement Zone in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Officers with the FWC’s Offshore Patrol Vessel Program stopped a 48-foot commercial vessel, named Legacy, approximately 5.5 nautical miles south of the endorsement zone. The vessel’s captain was in possession of a gill net with a substantial amount of pompano in the net and on the deck of the vessel. 

Officers began a fisheries inspection and quickly realized the vessel possessed well over the allowable bycatch limit of 100 pompano outside of the endorsement zone. Officers escorted the vessel back to Everglades City for further inspection and discovered a total of 2,711 pompano on board, weighing just under 4,000 pounds. In addition, 76 of the pompano measured less than the minimum size of 11 inches to the fork.   


Commercial Fishing Captain Pays $22,300 To NOAA Federal Fisheries Case 

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) today announced a settlement agreement with a commercial fishing captain. Darrell York of the commercial fishing vessel, Watch Out, agreed to pay $22,300 restitution for resource-related crimes dating back to 2015. 

“This case is a great example of our commitment to working with our state and federal partners in bringing those who show complete disregard for Florida’s natural resources and are actively evading officers to justice,” said Col. Roger Young, FWC Division of Law Enforcement.  

Officers with the FWC’s offshore patrol vessel program first encountered York in 2015 when he and his crew discarded their catch of illegal red snapper and grouper during a pursuit. Through multiple encounters and tips from the public, officers determined the captain had constructed a hidden compartment on the vessel. During a stop in January 2021, officers discovered 13 red snapper and one gag grouper in the hidden compartment. Case information was presented to special agents with NOAA and, in April 2022, York and prosecutors with NOAA reached a settlement agreement for a restitution payment of $22,300.

*-07/16/2022