Fishing Tips - How to Measure Fish 

    By Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission Staff (FWC)

    Measuring Your Fish

    MEASURING A SALTWATER FISH

    Most finfish size limit regulations of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) use either “fork length” or “total length.”   

    These fish measurement methods provide a consistent, well-defined measurement technique. These methods encourage angler compliance with fishery management regulations.

    Total length measurement

    Total Length is now measured from the most forward point of the head, with the mouth closed, to the furthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed, while the fish is lying on its side.

    Total length fish species include:

    Snapper family

    Tripletail

    Grouper family

     

    Red Drum

    Sheepshead

    Black Drum

    Flounder

    Snook

    Several
    ornamentals

    Spotted Seatrout

    Weakfish

    Fork length measurement

    Fish regulated by fork length are measured from the tip of the fish jaw or tip of the snout with closed mouth to the center of the fork in the tail.

     Fork length fish species include:

    Amberjacks

    Bluefish

    Rudderfish

    King Mackerel

    Hog Fish

    Spanish Mackerel

    Dolphin

    Permit

    Cobia

    Pompano

     

    African Pompano

    Lower jaw fork length measurement (Billfishes)

    Fish regulated by lower jaw fork length are measured in a straight line from the anterior most part of the lower jaw (tip of the lower jaw) to the fork in the tail.

    Lower jaw fork length species include:

    Sailfish

    Blue Marlin

    White Marlin

    Measuring Stone Crab and Spiny Lobster

    Stone Crab measurement

    Stone Crab claws must measure at least 2¾ inches in length measured by a straight line from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable finger. The forearm (propodus) shall be deemed to be the largest section of the claw assembly that has both a moveable and immovable finger and is located farthest from the body of the crab.

    Spiny Lobster measurement

    Spiny Lobster must have a minimum carapace length of greater than 3 inches and the measurement must take place in the water. The carapace is measured beginning at the forward edge between the rostral horns, excluding any soft tissue, and proceeding along the middle to the rear edge of the carapace.   

     

    For this and more Fishing tips please go to VISIT FLORIDA'S Official Fishing Guide.

    measuring fish
    Measuring Fish - Fork Lenght Measurement
    Masuring Lobsters and Crabs
    Measuring Fish - Total Lenght Measurement

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