Florida Fishing Rules and Regulations

By: Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Staff (FWC)

Help protect one of Florida's vital resources -- follow these simple rules and regulations.

Fishing is like everything else in life – it is full of rules and regulations. Florida’s rules and regulations are designed to help ensure the safety of all the people in Florida, visitors and residents alike, and to help make sure that one of the state’s most important economic engines is protected and maintained for future generations.

Anglers are estimated to contribute more than $4 billion annually to the state’s coffers directly, which has a $7.5 billion economic impact. In return, almost 4 million people who fish in Florida have some of the best recreational fishing opportunities in the world – year round. While some anglers do not have to be licensed, all anglers should know the rules. Not knowing the rules puts people at risk of seriously damaging everyone’s current and future fishing opportunities. Not knowing the rules also puts people in the position of breaking them, and that can mean incurring a fine or, in extreme cases, imprisonment.

Florida has separate rules and regulations for freshwater fishing and for saltwater fishing, which can be reviewed at www.MyFWC.com/Fishing. See the handy links below for online summaries of both. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also strongly recommends that anglers planning to fish from boats be familiar with Florida’s boating regulations, also found in the list of links below. As with fishing, some boats and operators must be licensed.

All anglers are legally required to be familiar with the rules and regulations governing the type of fishing they are doing. If the rules are violated, ignorance is not a defense.

If you have questions or need clarifications, contact the FWC online at MyFWC.com/Contact, by telephone at 850-488-4676 or by postal mail at the address listed below. Do not hesitate to get the information you need to make your Florida fishing experience a great one.

Postal address

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
Farris Bryant Building
620 S. Meridian St.
Tallahassee, FL  32399-1600

Handy links

Freshwater rules & regulations

Saltwater rules & regulations

Boating regulations

Contact the FWC

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