New hook regulations in Atlantic state waters effective Jan. 1 empower anglers to conserve fisheries
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, anglers using hook-and-line with natural bait to target reef fish like snapper or grouper from a vessel in Atlantic state waters will be required to use non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks north of 28 degrees north latitude (near Melbourne) and non-stainless steel hooks south of 28 degrees north latitude.
These changes are consistent with requirements in Atlantic federal waters that recently took effect and, along with emphasizing best fishing practices through educational resources and strategic messaging, will help empower anglers to conserve fisheries for the future.
Non-stainless steel, non-offset circle hooks are already required when fishing for reef fish in Gulf state waters and have been a successful tool in increasing the number of fish that survive release.
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