Florida is getting four additional license-free fishing days, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission announced Monday.
From now on, the state will offer eight license-free fishing days a year.
"Florida's license-free fishing days are the perfect opportunity for people to try, or introduce a friend to, some of the finest fishing in the world," Gov. Rick Scott said in a news release. "Florida's recreational freshwater and saltwater fishing industry has an $8.9 billion economic impact and events like these help grow the industry even more."
Florida already offers four license-free fishing days a year. Saltwater days this year were on June 1 and Sept. 1, and freshwater days were April 6 and June 8. FWC commissioners voted last week to hold additional saltwater license-free fishing days Oct. 12 and Nov. 30 and additional freshwater license-free days Nov. 29 and Dec. 28. The Florida Legislature approved this increase earlier this year.
"I'm excited that the FWC has adopted four more license-free fishing days for a total of eight days per year," Scott said. "These days are a great way to introduce more Floridians to the lifetime sport of fishing."
Commissioners also set dates for 2014 and beyond. All eight days will now fall on the same day of the week from year to year, allowing potential anglers to plan fishing trips in advance. Starting next year, saltwater days will be the first Saturday and Sunday in June, the first Saturday in September and the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Freshwater days will be the first Saturday and Sunday in April and the second Saturday and Sunday in June.
Florida residents and visitors normally need a license to fish in state waters. The FWC sells annual saltwater and freshwater fishing licenses to residents for $17 each or $32.50 for a combo license. Non-residents pay $47 for each annual license, but three-day and seven-day licenses sell for less.