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Date of Issue: June 21, 2007

Snook rule change goes into effect in July

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has approved changes to snook bag and size limits and harvest seasons.

For linesider anglers off Anna Maria Island, the "slot limit" for snook will shrink from 28 to 33 inches. There will also be a closed season expansion which will now run from  Dec. 1 to Jan. 31, as well as May through August.

Rules are different in the Atlantic Ocean.

"These rule changes are intended to provide additional protection for Florida's valuable snook populations, which are considered to be fairly healthy on the state's Atlantic and Gulf coasts," said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. According to the FWC, "The latest FWC snook stock assessment concluded the management goal of a 40 percent spawning potential ratio for this fishery is not being met, and increasing fishing effort and habitat loss are contributing to the decline. Spawning potential ratio is the ratio of the egg production of mature fish in a fished population to the egg production that would exist if the population were not fished."

The new snook rules take effect in July and will be implemented when the snook harvest season reopens Sept. 1.