The purpose of these rule amendments is to clarify that the harvest of mullet by snagging or snatch hooking is allowed and to implement the standardized rule formatting consistent with the Marine Fisheries Rule Cleanup process to clarify, streamline,...  

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    FISH AND WILDLIFE CONSERVATION COMMISSION

    Marine Fisheries

    RULE NOS.:RULE TITLES:

    68B-39.002Definitions

    68B-39.003Size Limit; Exception

    68B-39.004Bag Limit

    68B-39.0041Commercial Limits: Seasonal, Regional, and Weekend Limits

    68B-39.0045Seasonal Bag Limit for Portion of Pinellas County

    68B-39.0046Seasonal Night Closure for Portion of Charlotte County (Punta Gorda)

    68B-39.0047Allowable Harvesting Gear

    68B-39.005Commercial Harvest, Statewide Regulations

    68B-39.006Allowable Gear; Prohibited Gear

    68B-39.007Prohibited Purchase and Sale

    68B-39.008Pasco-Lee Region; Seasons; Closed Areas

    PURPOSE AND EFFECT: The purpose of these rule amendments is to clarify that the harvest of mullet by snagging or snatch hooking is allowed and to implement the standardized rule formatting consistent with the Marine Fisheries Rule Cleanup process to clarify, streamline, and reorganize the regulations found in Rule Chapter 68B-39, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.).

    The effect of these rule amendments is to provide clarification and standardized language for the Commission’s current mullet regulations and improve consistency across marine fisheries rules.

    SUMMARY: These rule amendments will clarify that snagging or snatch hooking is an allowable method of harvest for mullet. Additionally, these rule amendments will make a few clarifying changes needed to convey the original intent of the existing regulations. These changes will specify that certain limitations on the harvest of mullet also apply to possession and landing and modify the boundary where a seasonal commercial limit applies in the Peace River so that it is easier to reference on the water. Additional proposed changes are either organizational or an adoption of previously approved standardized language that improves consistency across marine fisheries rules.

    SUMMARY OF STATEMENT OF ESTIMATED REGULATORY COSTS AND LEGISLATIVE RATIFICATION:

    The Agency has determined that this will not have an adverse impact on small business or likely increase directly or indirectly regulatory costs in excess of $200,000 in the aggregate within one year after the implementation of the rule. A SERC has not been prepared by the Agency.

    The Agency has determined that the proposed rule is not expected to require legislative ratification based on the statement of estimated regulatory costs or if no SERC is required, the information expressly relied upon and described herein: the nature of the rule and the preliminary analysis conducted to determine whether a SERC was required.

    Any person who wishes to provide information regarding a statement of estimated regulatory costs, or provide a proposal for a lower cost regulatory alternative must do so in writing within 21 days of this notice.

    RULEMAKING AUTHORITY: Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution

    LAW IMPLEMENTED: Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution

    IF REQUESTED WITHIN 21 DAYS OF THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE, A HEARING WILL BE SCHEDULED AND ANNOUNCED IN THE FAR.

    THE PERSON TO BE CONTACTED REGARDING THE PROPOSED RULE IS: Jessica McCawley, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 2590 Executive Center Circle East, Suite 201, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, and (850)487-0554.

     

    THE FULL TEXT OF THE PROPOSED RULE IS:

     

    68B-39.002 Definitions.

    As used in this rule chapter:

    (1) “East Rregion” means all Florida state Wwaters of the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast of Florida lying between the Florida-Georgia border and the Monroe-Dade county line, and adjacent federal Exclusive Economic Zone waters.

    (2) “Fork length” means the length of a fish as measured from the tip of the snout to the rear center edge of the tail.

    (3) “Harvest” means the catching or taking of a fish by any means whatsoever, followed by a reduction of such fish to possession. Fish that are caught but immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed are not harvested. In addition, temporary possession of a fish for the purpose of measuring it to determine compliance with the minimum size requirements of this chapter shall not constitute harvesting such fish, provided that it is measured immediately after taking, and immediately returned to the water free, alive, and unharmed if undersize.

    (2)(4) “Harvest for commercial purposes” means the taking or harvesting of any striped or silver mullet for purposes of sale or with intent to sell. Striped or silver mullet harvested in excess of the recreational bag limit, shall constitute harvest for commercial purposes.

    (5) “Land,” when used in conjunction with the harvest of fish, means the physical act of bringing the harvested fish ashore.

    (3)(6) “Silver mullet” means any fish of the species Mugil curema (white mullet), Mugil trichodon gyrans (fantail mullet), or Mugil rubrioculus gaimardianus (redeye mullet), or any part thereof.

    (4)(7)Striped Strip mullet,” also commonly known as black or striped mullet, means any fish of the species Mugil cephalus, or any part thereof.

    (8) “Spearing” means the catching or taking of a fish by bow hunting, gigging, spearfishing, or by any device used to capture a fish by piercing the body. Spearing does not include the catching or taking of a fish by a hook with hook and line gear, or by snagging (snatch hooking).

    (9) “Vessel” means and includes every description of water craft used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water, including nondisplacement craft or any aircraft designed to maneuver on water.

    (5)(10) “Weekend” means that portion of a week commencing at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday and ending at 12:01 a.m. the following Monday.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-19-89, Amended 10-1-90, 11-16-93, 7-15-96, 3-3-97, 1-1-98, Formerly 46-39.002, Amended 10-7-01, 7-1-03, _______.

     

    (Substantial rewording of Rule 68B-39.003 follows. See Florida Administrative Code for present text.)

    68B-39.003 Size Limit; Exception; Whole Condition Requirement.

    (1) Recreational size limit – There is no size limit for striped or silver mullet applicable to recreational harvesters.

    (2)(a) Commercial size limit – Except as provided in paragraph (b), a commercial harvester may not harvest or land from Florida Waters or possess in or on Florida Waters a striped mullet smaller than 11 inches fork length.

    (b) Exception – A commercial harvester may harvest and possess striped mullet smaller than 11 inches fork length, provided that the quantity of such fish does not exceed 10 percent of the total whole weight of all striped mullet in possession of the harvester at any time.

    (3) A commercial harvester shall land each striped or silver mullet in whole condition. A commercial harvester may not possess within or without Florida Waters a striped or silver mullet that has been beheaded, sliced, divided, filleted, ground, skinned, scaled, or deboned unless such striped or silver mullet has been previously landed. This provision will not be construed to prohibit the evisceration (gutting) of a striped or silver mullet or removal of gills from a striped or silver mullet.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-19-89, Formerly 46-39.003, Amended 7-1-03, _______.

     

    68B-39.004 Recreational Bag Limit; Seasonal Vessel Limits.

    Except as provided in Rules 68B-39.0045-.008, F.A.C.:

    (1) Recreational Bag Limit – Except as provided in 68B-39.0045 for portions of Pinellas County, and 68B-39.0046 for portions of  Charlotte County, a recreational harvester may not harvest or possess within or without Florida Waters or land No person shall harvest, within or without the waters of the state, more than a total of 50 striped and or silver mullet in aggregate per day,; in any combination of species; provided, however, that two or more harvesters aboard a single vessel in or on the waters of the state shall be subject to the vessel possession limits limit specified in paragraphs (2)(a) and (b) subsection (2).

    (2) Recreational Vessel Limits –

    (a) During the period beginning September 1 each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year, the possession of more than 50 striped and or silver mullet in aggregate aboard a vessel in or on Florida Waters the waters of the state at any time is prohibited.

    (b) During the period beginning February 1 and continuing through August 31 each year, the possession of more than 100 striped and or silver mullet in aggregate aboard a vessel with two or more recreational harvesters, in or on Florida Waters the waters of the state at any time is prohibited.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-19-89, Amended 9-1-91, 10-5-92, Formerly 46-39.004, Amended 3-30-00, 7-1-03, _______.

     

    68B-39.0041 Commercial Limits: Seasonal, Regional, and Weekend Limits.

    (1) Striped mullet –

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(b) and 68B-39.0045, 68B-39.0046, or 68B-39.008, a commercial harvester is not subject to a daily bag limit for striped mullet.

    (b) During the period beginning November 1 each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year, a commercial harvester may not harvest striped mullet in excess of the recreational bag and vessel limits established by 68B-39.004 from the following waters:

    1. In Manatee County, all waters of the Manatee River upstream of a line extending from a point at the eastern side of the mouth of Warner East Bayou (27°30.588’N, 82°37.098’W) in a northeasterly direction to a point at the eastern side of the mouth of Snead Island Cut (27°31.424’N, 82°36.637’W).

    2. In Charlotte County, on the Peace River, upstream of a line extending from Mangrove Point (26°53.590’N, 82°05.510’W) in a northwesterly direction to a point on the shoreline at the northern bank of the eastern mouth of Myakka Cutoff (26°56.018’N, 82°08.018’W).

    3. In Charlotte County, all of Coral Creek upstream of its mouth on Gasparilla Sound, defined as a straight line between a point at 26°49.797’N, 82°15.742’W and a point at 26°49.797’N, 82°15.661’W.

    (2) Silver mullet –

    (a) Except as provided in paragraph (2)(b) and in 68B-39.008, a commercial harvester is not subject to a daily bag limit for silver mullet.

    (b)1. On any weekend during the period beginning July 1 each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year, the harvest for commercial purposes of silver mullet is prohibited. On any such weekend all harvesters are subject to the recreational bag, possession, and landing limits specified in 68B-39.004.

    2. A commercial harvester who has lawfully harvested silver mullet prior to the beginning of any such weekend may possess, aboard a vessel, silver mullet in quantities greater than the recreational bag limit after the weekend begins, if the vessel is tied up to the docking facilities of a licensed wholesale saltwater products dealer, the vessel was docked at the facility prior to the beginning of the weekend, and the person is in the process of landing the silver mullet at the dealer’s facility.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New  _______.

     

    68B-39.0045 Striped Mullet: Seasonal Recreational and Commercial Bag Limit for Portion of Pinellas County.

    (1) During the period beginning October 1 each year and continuing through the following January 31 of the following year each year, no recreational or commercial harvester person, including those harvesting pursuant to Rules 68B-39.005 and 68B-39.008, F.A.C., shall may harvest or possess within the areas described in subsection (2)(3), more than five striped mullet per day. During this period, the possession of more than five striped mullet aboard a vessel in these areas is prohibited, regardless of the number of recreational or commercial harvesters aboard However, if there are two or more harvesters aboard a single vessel in the areas described in subsection (3), the vessel possession limit specified in subsection (2) shall apply.

    (2) The possession of more than 5 striped mullet aboard a vessel in the areas described in subsection (3) is prohibited.

    (2)(3) The closure area shall include all of the following waters:

    (a)1. Riveria Bay and Bayou Grande, commonly known as Papy’s Bayou, together with their interconnecting waters.

    2. Placido Bayou, commonly known as Smack’s Bayou, Snell Isle Harbour, and Coffee Pot Bayou, together with the portion of Tampa Bay lying between said Bayous.

    (b) All connecting waters west of the following line: Beginning at the easternmost point of Second Avenue NE and extending 1,013 feet (338 yards) into Tampa Bay to 27°46.417'N, 82°37.347'W, then proceeding north to Coffee Pot Bayou Daybeacon 3 (27°47.117'N, 82°36.931'W); then proceeding north to Smacks Bayou Daybeacon 3 (27°47.407'N, 82°36.377'W); then proceeding in a northerly direction along a line 200 yards east of the shoreline and running parallel to the shoreline to a point approximately 750 feet north of the southern edge of Weedon Island at 27°49.643'N, 82°35.444'W.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-5-92, Formerly 46-39.0045, Amended 7-1-03, 4-13-17, _______.

     

    68B-39.0046 Striped Mullet: Seasonal Night Harvest Prohibition Closure for Portion of Charlotte County (Punta Gorda)

    (1) During the period beginning November 1 each year and continuing through the last day of February of the following year, no recreational or commercial harvester person, including those harvesting pursuant to Rules 68B-39.005 and 68B-39.008, F.A.C., shall harvest or attempt to harvest, within the area described in subsection (2), any striped mullet within the area described in subsection (2), during the period beginning 6:00 p.m. each evening and continuing until 6:00 a.m. the following morning. No person may shall possess any striped mullet in, or on, or above the waters of the area during this nightly closure.

    (2) The provisions of subsection (1), shall apply within the following described area of Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida:

    Beginning at 26°55.578’N, 82°04.232’W, then proceeding due north to 26°55.618’N, 82°04.232’W, then proceeding westerly, southerly, and easterly along a line parrallel to and 300 feet seaward of the shoreline to 26°52.437’N, 82°03.618’W, then proceeding easterly to 26°52.405’N, 82°01.427’W, then proceeding northerly to 26°53.466’N, 82°01.394’W at the western right-of-way of U.S. Highway 41, then proceeding northwesterly along the western right-of-way of U.S. Highway 41 to 26°55.455’N, 82°02.847’W, then proceeding westerly to 26°55.473’N, 82°03.751’W, then proceeding due north to 26°55.578’N, 82°03.751’W, then proceeding due west to the point of beginning Commence at a point 300 feet north of the intersection of the eastern boundary of Section 11, T41S, R22E, with the mean high water line of the Peace River; thence, run westerly, southerly, and easterly along a line parallel to and 300 feet waterward of the mean high water line of the Peace River and Charlotte Harbor to the intersection of said line with the southern boundary of Section 25, T41S, R22E; thence, run easterly, along the southern boundary of said Section 25 and the southern boundary of Sections 30 and 29, T41S, R23E, to the southeast corner of said Section 29; thence, run northerly, along the eastern boundary of said Section 29 and the eastern boundary of Section 20, T41S, R23E, to its intersection with the westerly right-of-way line of US Highway 41; thence, run northwesterly, along said right-of-way line, to its intersection with the northern boundary of the south half of Section 7, T41S, R23E; thence, run westerly, along the northern boundary of the south half of said Section 7 and the northern boundary of the south half of Section 12, T41S, R22E, to the southeast corner of the northwest quarter of said Section 12; thence, run northerly, along the eastern boundary of the northwest quarter of said Section 12 to a point due east of the point of beginning; thence, run west to the point of beginning.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 2-24-98, Formerly 46-39.0046, Amended 7-1-03, _______.

     

    68B-39.0047 Allowable Harvesting Gear

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 3-3-97, Amended 1-1-98, 11-16-98, 12-31-98, Formerly 46-39.0047, Amended 12-2-99, 7-1-01, 7-1-03, Repealed _______.

     

    (Substantial rewording of Rule 68B-39.005 follows. See Florida Administrative Code for present text.)

    68B-39.005 Silver Mullet: Commercial Closed Season Harvest, Statewide Regulations.

    During the period beginning February 1 and continuing through the last day of February each year, the harvest for commercial purposes of silver mullet in the East Region is prohibited. During this period in this region, all harvesters are subject to the recreational bag, possession, and landing limits specified in Rule 68B-39.004.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-19-89, Amended 10-1-90, 9-1-91, 11-16-93, 3-3-97, 11-16-98, Formerly 46-39.005, Amended 7-1-03, 7-13-08, 4-13-17, _______.

     

    68B-39.006 Allowable Gear; Prohibited Gear.

    (1) A person may harvest or attempt to harvest striped mullet or silver mullet only by or with the use of the following gear:

    (a) Cast net with a stretched length (the distance from the horn at the center of the net, with the net gathered and pulled taut, to the lead line) no greater than 14 feet, provided that no more than two such nets shall be fished from any vessel at any time.

    (b) Beach or haul seine with a total area (the mesh area plus the area of any other attached material that adds to the fishing surface of the net) no larger than 500 square feet, provided that no more than two such nets unconnected shall be fished from any vessel at any time.

    (c) Hook and line gear.

    (d) Snagging or snatch hooking.

    (e) Spearing; except spearfishing is prohibited in fresh water.

    (2) The simultaneous possession of any species of mullet (genus Mugil) in excess of the recreational bag limit specified in 68B-39.004, and any gill or entangling net is prohibited. Simultaneous possession shall include possession of mullet and gill or entangling nets on separate vessels or vehicles where such vessels or vehicles are operated in coordination with one another, including vessels towed by another vessel.

    (3) A person may not harvest or attempt to harvest any striped mullet or silver mullet with gear not expressly permitted in subsection (1).

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New _______.

     

    68B-39.007 Prohibited Purchase and Sale. 

    (1) A person may not purchase or sell any silver mullet harvested on any weekend during the period beginning on July 1 each year and continuing through January 31 of the following year.

    (2) A person may may not purchase or sell any silver mullet harvested from waters of the East Region during the period beginning February 1 and continuing through the last day of February each year.

    (3) A person may not purchase or sell any striped or silver mullet harvested in waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico offshore of the three nautical mile line or offshore of the Everglades National Park Line, as described in 68B-39.008.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New _______.

     

    (Substantial rewording of Rule 68B-39.008 follows. See Florida Administrative Code for present text.)

    68B-39.008 Striped and Silver Mullet: Areas Closed to Commercial Harvest Pasco-Lee Region; Seasons; Closed Areas.

    A person may not harvest or possess striped or silver mullet for commercial purposes in waters of the Atlantic Ocean or Gulf of Mexico offshore of the three nautical mile line (formerly known as the territorial sea line) or offshore of the Everglades National Park Line, which shall commence at a point on the three nautical mile line at 25°47.342'N, 81°33.184'W, thereafter going due northeast to 25°49.209'N, 81°31.099'W, thereafter going in a southerly direction following the Western boundary of the Everglades National Park to the lighted buoy #2 at 24°52.294'N, 80°53.184'W, thereafter going in a southwesterly direction to a point on the three nautical mile line at 24°51.664'N, 80°53.836'W, at which point it shall terminate.

    Rulemaking Authority Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. Law Implemented Art. IV, Sec. 9, Fla. Const. History–New 10-19-89, Amended 10-1-90, 10-5-92, 9-1-93, 11-29-93, 3-3-97, Formerly 46-39.008, Amended 7-1-03, _______.

     

    NAME OF PERSON ORIGINATING PROPOSED RULE: Jessica McCawley, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 2590 Executive Center Circle East, Suite 201, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, (850) 487-0554.

    NAME OF AGENCY HEAD WHO APPROVED THE PROPOSED RULE: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    DATE PROPOSED RULE APPROVED BY AGENCY HEAD: February 20, 2019

    DATE NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULE DEVELOPMENT PUBLISHED IN FAR: January 23, 2019

Document Information

Comments Open:
3/1/2019
Summary:
These rule amendments will clarify that snagging or snatch hooking is an allowable method of harvest for mullet. Additionally, these rule amendments will make a few clarifying changes needed to convey the original intent of the existing regulations. These changes will specify that certain limitations on the harvest of mullet also apply to possession and landing and modify the boundary where a seasonal commercial limit applies in the Peace River so that it is easier to reference on the water. ...
Purpose:
The purpose of these rule amendments is to clarify that the harvest of mullet by snagging or snatch hooking is allowed and to implement the standardized rule formatting consistent with the Marine Fisheries Rule Cleanup process to clarify, streamline, and reorganize the regulations found in 68B-39, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.). The effect of these rule amendments is to provide clarification and standardized language for the Commission’s current mullet regulations and improve ...
Rulemaking Authority:
Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution
Law:
Article IV, Section 9, Florida Constitution
Contact:
Jessica McCawley, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries Management, 2590 Executive Center Circle East, Suite 201, Tallahassee, Florida 32301, and (850) 487-0554.
Related Rules: (11)
68B-39.002. Definitions
68B-39.003. Size Limit; Exception
68B-39.004. Bag Limit
68B-39.0041.
68B-39.0045. Seasonal Bag Limit for Portion of Pinellas County
More ...