The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites Florida residents and visitors to go freshwater fishing during license-free weekend, June 10-11. Last weekend was the state’s free saltwater fishing weekend.
License-free fishing weekends offer a great opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and experience the many fishing opportunities the Fishing Capital of the World has to offer. The FWC encourages everyone to take advantage to spend time enjoying the beautiful Florida waters.
“Fishing is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and experience Florida’s abundant fishing opportunities,” said Roger Young, FWC’s Executive Director. “License-free fishing weekends allow Floridians and visitors to get outdoors, connect with nature and create lasting memories with family and friends.”
During the license-free weekends, all bag limits, size limits and fishing regulations still apply. Anglers must also follow all other fishing rules, such as gear restrictions, seasons and closures. To help ensure a fun and safe fishing experience, the FWC encourages all anglers to review the regulations before heading out on the water. For current recreational fishing regulations, visit MyFWC. com/about and click on “Rules & Regulations” or download the Fish Rules App to stay up to date on saltwater and freshwater regulations in your area.
Find a location to go fishing through the pier finder tool or visit a Fish Management Area. Launch your vessel at a local boat ramp or access point. View the quarterly FWC’s Freshwater Fishing Forecasts by region.
For more information about license-free fishing weekends, including fishing tips and regulations, visit MyFWC.com/ LetsGoFishing.
Boating accident report Fol lowing a successful National Safe Boating Week and a Memorial Day weekend with zero boating fatalities, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has released the 2022 Boating Accident Statistical Report.
“We had fewer boating accidents in Florida in 2022 than we did in 2021 but fatalities statewide were up,” said Lt. Col. Brian Smith, Acting Director for the FWC Division of Law Enforcement. “I am proud of the effort our officers and boating and waterways staff put into getting boating safety messaging out to the public throughout the year and my hope is we will see both of these statistics decrease next year.”
Florida had 735 boating accidents in 2022, 16 fewer than in 2021. A total of 65 people lost their lives in these accidents, five more than the previous year. Since 2003, falls overboard has been the leading type of fatal accident, with drowning as the leading cause of death. Of the drowning victims, 81% were not wearing a life jacket.
The primary causes of all reported boating accidents (almost half, at 43%) were improper lookout or attention and operator inexperience. All vessel operators are responsible for always keeping 360-degree awareness since dangers are not always located ahead. Operator inexperience can be attributed to the operator’s limited time or experience with the vessel, the area or the weather. Lack of boater education was also a contributing factor in accidents.