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Like fishing in The Keys? Might want to weigh in on FWC’s virtual meeting

Capt Don Dingman's kids fishing show, Hook The Future, catching hogfish in The Keys
Capt Don Dingman's kids fishing show, Hook The Future, catching hogfish in The Keys

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you like fishing in The Keys, you may want to join a virtual meeting with FWC. The first of three online workshops to gather public input on a seasonal fishing closure in a 1-square-mile area near Western Dry Rocks will be tonight starting at 6 p.m.

Instructions on how to join the meeting will be posted online at MyFWC.com/Marine. Click on “Rulemaking: Submit a Comment/Attend a Workshop” and “Upcoming Public Workshops.”

If you can’t make tonight’s workshop, other workshops are scheduled for the following dates:

  • Jan. 14: Statewide webinar (6 p.m. ET)
  • Jan. 21: Statewide webinar (2 p.m. ET)

The area being discussed is about 10 miles southwest of Key West and is an important spawning location for many recreationally and commercially important species such as snapper, grouper and permit. It is also a popular fishing location.

At its December meeting, the Commission approved a draft proposal for a 2-month May 1 – June 30 annual closure but directed staff to also gather input on other options including a 4-month closure of April 1 – July 31.

The protection of spawning aggregations, in combination with traditional management approaches (e.g., size limits, bag limits and vessel limits), represents a comprehensive conservation strategy aimed at sustaining and enhancing fish populations.

If you cannot attend one of these workshops, a recorded workshop presentation will be posted online soon.

You can also submit your comments online at MyFWC.com/SaltwaterComments.

Learn more at MyFWC.com/Marine by clicking on “Rulemaking: Submit a Comment/Attend a Workshop” and “Upcoming Public Workshops.”

Areas FWC considering seasonal closure
Areas FWC considering seasonal closure

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