Monday, July 28, 2008

Lake Okeechobee Fishing Rules Change

New Fishing Rules For Lake Okeechobee

CLEWISTON, FL. -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reminds the public about new Lake Okeechobee freshwater fishing rules.  The rules went into effect on July 1.

Largemouth bass in Lake Okeechobee must be 18 inches or greater in total length to be harvested.  Anglers can keep only one bass 22 inches or greater in total length as part of their daily bag limit.  Also, a new rule establishes a 10-inch minimum length for black crappie on the lake. Bag limits remain unchanged.

Sampling over the last few years has shown a decline in the numbers of small largemouth bass and black crappie. 

"The new size limits protect younger largemouth bass and black crappie from being harvested," said Jon Fury, FWC freshwater fisheries biologist.  "The new rules also reduce pressure on the current populations."

The Commission approved the new rules in February, after several public workshops. 

Violating fish and wildlife rules is illegal.  To report violations, please call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 1-888-404-FWCC (3922).

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