GADNR Board Approves Minimum-Size Regulation Increase for Spotted Seatrout

Brunswick, GA (December 16, 2015) – Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner, Mark Williams has announced that during the October 2015 meeting, the Board of Natural Resources approved an increase in the minimum-size limit for spotted seatrout from 13 inches to 14 inches, total length with an effective date of January 1, 2016. The vote was taken after considering public comment provided through two public hearings and email.   In 2012, the Finfish Advisory Panel (FAP) was created to advise DNR on saltwater finfish management. Membership includes a commercial fisherman, saltwater fishing guides and anglers from the coastal area and inland. The FAP members met with DNR staff over the past three years learning about the biology, population trends, and management goals for spotted seatrout.   A majority of the FAP members, in concurrence with DNR staff, recommended that the Board of Natural Resources consider changing Georgia’s saltwater fishing regulations to increase the spotted seatrout minimum size.   Each year, thousands of anglers take to Georgia’s coastal waters in search of spotted seatrout, or speckled trout as they are known to many. The popularity of the species stems from its tenacious fight when hooked, superb quality as table fare, and accessibility to anglers fishing from shore and boat. However, this popularity makes the species vulnerable to overharvest so there are harvest regulations for spotted seatrout to ensure that adequate numbers of juvenile fish, especially females, reach adulthood and spawn at the level necessary to perpetuate the species. Each year, Georgia Department of Natural Resources biologists monitor spotted seatrout populations through surveys of angler catches and direct sampling with specialized nets to provide a solid foundation of science-based information on the status of the species.   More information on the spotted seatrout minimum-size change regulation is available on the DNR web site at:   CoastalGaDNR.org/Trout

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