Florida State wildlife regulators have closed fishing for snook, bonefish and tarpon because of damage to fish stocks caused by last week’s freezing temperatures.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission on Friday banned fishing for snook until Sept. 1, 2009. The commission also banned fishing for bonefish and tarpon until April 1, 2009. All three are popular Florida game fish.
The bans are intended to let fish populations recover from cold-related fatalities. It will also give researchers time to assess the scope of damage caused by the weather, FWC Chairman Rodney Barreto said in a written statement.
Last week’s freezing temperatures caused widespread fish kills in rivers, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.
The order also lets people remove cold-killed fish from the water and from shorelines without buying a permit. The fish can’t be eaten and must be disposed of properly.