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Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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Dec 5, 2023

FWC approves modifications to two freshwater fisheries permits

At its December meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved two
rule modifications to the Black Bass Tournament Exemption Permit and the Scientific Collector’s Permit.
These two freshwater fisheries permits are required for specific activities related to freshwater fishing
and scientific research activities, respectively. Updated rule language will provide a more detailed and
understandable rule framework and better guidance for both permitting processes. 

The Black Bass Tournament Exemption Permit allows tournament participants to temporarily possess live
black bass that may be over the recreational length limit. The FWC issues Freshwater Fisheries Scientific
Collector’s Permits for research, management or exhibition purposes and allow for the collection of fresh-
water fish in excess of existing recreational size limits, bag limits, and with otherwise restricted gear. The
Scientific Collector’s Permit will change to the Freshwater Fisheries Special Activity Permit and formally
add three specific permitting categories: research, management and exhibition. Revisions also clarify
eligibility and evaluation considerations issuing either permit.

FWC staff engaged with stakeholders through four virtual meetings that resulted in overall support for
updates to the rule language and permitting criteria. Stakeholder input largely focused on suggestions
related to after-action reporting for Special Activity Permits as well as a request for additional tournament
schedule information within the online permit system. 

For more information on freshwater fishing, visit the FWC Freshwater Fishing webpage at

For more information about Commission Meetings, including the December 2023 Commission Meeting
presentations, visit and click on “Commission Meetings.”

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QUESTIONS? Contact the FWC
Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission ·
620 S. Meridian Street ·
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600 ·
(850) 488-4676 GovDelivery logo
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