Florida Snook Fishery Has Rebounded Significantly Since 2010 Freeze

Florida Snook Photo by Jim Mullhaupt
Photo by Jim Mullhaupt Some rights reserved.

There are no recommendations, only cold hard numbers in the state’s 2015 assessment of the Florida Snook fishery, which was decimated during 11 consecutive days of freezing temperatures in January 2010. Estimates at the time were that one third of the snook population perished during those shivering days. The assessment numbers, cold and objective as they seem, are by all accounts encouraging. The fishery has rebounded remarkably, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico coast, which is where the species took its biggest hit five years ago. During those freezing days, snook by the tens of thousands floated belly-up along the estuaries from Cedar Key to the Florida Keys. Florida’s waters, and particularly the waters around the Tampa Bay area, represent the northernmost reaches of the species, which is sensitive to the cold.

Source: Florida snook fishery has rebounded significantly since 2010 freeze, state says

Florida Snook Regulations

Snook is managed by two regions in Florida: Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Regulations apply in state and adjacent federal waters. No commercial harvest or sale of snook is permitted.

License Requirements:  Snook permit and recreational fishing license

Allowable Gear: Hook and line only

 Atlantic (state and adjacent federal waters)Gulf of Mexico, Monroe County, and Everglades National Park (state and adjacent federal waters)
Closed Harvest SeasonDec. 15 – Jan. 31; June 1 – Aug. 31Dec. 1-end of February; May 1-Aug. 31
Size LimitNot less than 28″  total length (TL) or more than 32″ TLNot less than 28″  total length (TL) or more than 33″ TL
Bag Limit1 per harvester per day1 per harvester per day

 Catch and release of Gulf coast snook is still permitted at this time. When snook is open in Gulf waters, the bag limit is one fish per person, per day; the slot size limit is 28 to 33 inches; and the season is closed from Dec. 1 through the end of February and May 1 through Aug. 31.