FWC establishes license-free fishing weekends, expanding bay scallop season
Florida is the fishing capital of the world, bringing more than $5.4 billion to our economy. Today at the Cabinet meeting in Panama City with the support of Governor Rick Scott and the Cabinet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) announced an exciting resource for anglers.
FWC announced two weekends in June when a saltwater fishing license will not be required statewide. The license free weekend of June 4 and 5 is the first weekend red snapper season opens in the Gulf, and the second weekend of June 18 and 19 is Father’s Day weekend.
FWC also announced that it will expand bay scallop season to open a week early on June 25 and extend the season by two weeks to end on September 25. Small Gulf Coast communities from Steinhatchee to St. Marks to St. Joe Bay will have three extra weeks for visitors and residents to explore and enjoy this low cost, fun family activity.
In addition, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida State Parks will offer half off admission on both Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 8, and Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19.
There are 160 parks throughout the state and 74 unique saltwater fishing facilities, including piers, boardwalks and jetties. Shore fishing at St. George Island, Big Lagoon and St. Joseph Peninsula state parks yields redfish, trout and whiting. Boat ramps at St. Joseph Peninsula and St. Andrew state parks allow fisherman to head out for a day of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico to catch red snapper, grouper and amberjack, to name a few. For more information, visit www.FloridaStateParks.org.
“Florida’s beaches and waters are beautiful, pristine and ready for visitors to enjoy, whether you are here for business or a family vacation,” stated Governor Scott. “I encourage Floridians and visitors to our state to make plans now to enjoy Florida fishing and seafood during the upcoming free-fishing weekends in June. Whether you catch it yourself or get it from a market or restaurant, our seafood is the best in the nation.”
For more information, visit myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater .