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FWC approves new black crappie fishing regulations

At its July meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) unanimously approved changes to size and bag limits for black crappie on specific Florida waterbodies.

The regulatory changes remove waterbody-specific length and bag limits to revert to the statewide regulations of no minimum length limit and a 25-fish bag limit. These changes occur at the following Fish Management Areas:

Bobby Hicks Park Pond
Gadsden Park Pond
Hardee County Park
Lake Jackson (Osceola County)
Largo Central Park Nature Preserve
Middle Lake
Montgomery Lake
Suwannee Lake
Walsingham Park Lake
Watertown Lake

“This is an excellent example of how we have been working to improve fishing access to the public,” said FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto. “We applaud the agency for efforts to expand opportunities like these.”

FWC staff completed a Black Crappie Management Plan in 2019 that called for a comprehensive review of black crappie regulations. The team reviewed the biological aspects of regulations and gathered stakeholder input. Biological data indicated that minimum length limits would not improve most fisheries across the state and would unnecessarily restrict angler harvest opportunities on many waterbodies. Therefore, no statewide length limit was proposed.

If you have questions about the proposed rules or the Black Crappie Management Plan, send an email to Crappie@MyFWC.com. Visit MyFWC.com/CrappieManagement for more information.

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