Closed by the Cold: Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish Fishing

The aftereffects of our unseasonable cold snap over the last two weeks are still rolling in here in Florida.  I have not seen a lot of dead fish in the Lagoon system on my outings but significant fish kills have been reported from saltwater estuaries as well as freshwater lakes and canals due to the freezing temperatures.  The fish kills were so widespread for some species that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission decided yesterday to temporarily soft-close the saltwater fisheries for some of Florida’s most sought-after species: tarpon, bonefish, and snook.

Anglers will still be able to catch and release these fish, but will not legally be allowed to keep any size animal of the three affected fisheries.  I’m actually rather surprised that redfish were not also included in the decision.  Redfish are a prized species from the IRL system in particular.

I’m interested to see, during my shore cleanup planned for tomorrow, if I run across carcasses in the mangroves.  Here’s hoping that the pelicans, osprey, hermit crabs, crown conch, black vultures, and other members of nature’s cleanup crew have been hard at work keeping the shorelines from being overrun with rotting frozen fish.

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One Comment to “Closed by the Cold: Snook, Tarpon, Bonefish Fishing”

  1. One of my students went fishing during the recent cold week and reported lots of dead and dying snook in the waters around Cedar Key. Snook are pushing their limits up here anyway, and the severe cold exacted a heavy toll.