Bonefish Tournament Exemption Permits

    As of July 1, 2011, a tournament exemption permit is required for bonefish tournament
    anglers to temporarily possess and transport bonefish to a weigh station for tournament
    purposes.  To be eligible for a bonefish tournament exemption permit, tournaments must
    involve 10 or more participants, have written rules and regulations, require an entry fee and
    award prizes to competitors.

    A Bonefish Catch, Hold and Release Tournament Exemption Permit may only be issued to
    the director of a catch-and-release fishing tournament that agrees to the following permit
    conditions:

    1.Tournament anglers and tournament staff must release all bonefish free, alive, and
    unharmed, including those fish that are weighed-in.
    2.Bonefish may be transported to shore only to be weighed, measured, and recorded at a
    certified scale.
    3.No tournament angler shall possess more than one bonefish at any one time and no
    more than two bonefish may be possessed aboard a vessel at any one time.
    4.All vessels used in the tournament must contain recirculating or aerated live wells that
    are at least 2.67 cubic feet or 20 gallons in capacity. Any bonefish that are possessed or
    transported in association with tournament related activities must be transported in such a
    live well.
    5.Organized tournament staff shall maintain at least one recirculating or aerated recovery
    tank at each certified scale and tournament check-in location. Tournament staff may hold
    up to one bonefish per 10 gallons of seawater in a recirculating or aerated recovery tank
    prior to release.  Bonefish must be released by official sunset each day of the tournament,
    as established and published by the U.S. Weather Service, and may not be possessed
    longer than 16 hours.  Recovery holding tank requirements will be specified in the
    tournament exemption permit by the FWC in a manner to ensure increased survival of
    released bonefish.
    6.The tournament must provide the FWC in the tournament exemption permit application
    with a description of the recirculating or aerated recovery holding tank(s) used to maintain
    bonefish alive after weigh-in.
    7.Dead bonefish possessed by a tournament angler may not be discarded.  Tournament
    anglers shall report and surrender any bonefish that die after capture or during transport to
    tournament staff. The disposition of dead bonefish may be specified in the tournament
    exemption permit at the FWC's discretion.
    8.The organized tournament must suggest to the FWC in the tournament exemption permit
    application a location where tournament-caught bonefish will be released after they are
    weighed-in.  In order to increase survival of released bonefish, release locations shall be
    approved or specified in the tournament exemption permit.
    9.The tournament must allow FWC staff the opportunity to collect research data and
    conduct research and monitoring during the tournament.
    10.The tournament must submit a post-tournament report to the FWC indicating the
    number of fish weighed-in each day of the tournament, the number of fish weighed-in dead
    each day, and the number of fish that died after being weighed-in, but prior to release each
    day.  The FWC may specify additional tournament reporting requirements as a condition of
    the tournament exemption permit.
    11.Permits are subject to the provisions of Rule 68A-5.004, F.A.C., such as denial of future
    tournament exemption permits.   

    Source:
    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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Bonefish Catch, Hold, and Release Tournament Exemption Permit
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