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Fishing Lines: New fishing rules

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By Capt. Dennis Voyles

Oh the times they are a changin...and you need to be aware of what's going on.

First off, the season for recreational red snapper fishing is now closed (as of August 5) and apparently will remain closed until June 1 of 2009. Wow, that is a long time for a fishery to be closed. It seems that the Red Snapper fishing season is less than 3 months long. Our area is not really known for our Red Snapper fishing, but some of our guides do come across a few now and then.

Next, the minimum size for Gray triggerfish has been moved to fourteen inches. There is no change in the daily bag limit yet. However, for reasons that I do not understand the commercial quota will increase each of the next two years. kind of makes you go "hmm mm." Oh well.

Another change for you offshore types...Greater Amberjack now must be 30 inches and a zero bag limit for the Captain and crew on "for hire" vessels.

Each year we seem to get a few straggler Snook in our nearshore waters around Cedar Key, so to avoid a big fine we all need to know the laws. Here in the gulf, Snook season opens September 1 and ends December 1. The bag limit is one per day (per angler) and the slot limit is 28 inch minimum and 33 inch maximum.

It seems that there are a lot of changes this year, and the big change in the grouper limits is still undecided to the best of my knowledge (which isn't saying much). It is your responsibility to know the rules when you go out on the water, saying "I didn't know" will not work well with those who protect our resources.

Capt. Dennis Voyles is a fishing guide working out of Cedar Key.