Florida Fishing Gets a Boost With More License-Free Days
Around the State
Gov. Rick Scott teamed with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Monday to announce four new license-free fishing days. Fishing, including tourism from fishing, is an increasingly important part of Florida’s economy.
“Florida’s license-free fishing days are the perfect opportunity for people to try, or introduce a friend to, some of the finest fishing in the world,” Scott said. “Florida's recreational freshwater and saltwater fishing industry has an $8.9 billion economic impact and events like these help grow the industry even more. I'm excited that the FWC has adopted four more license-free fishing days for a total of eight days per year. These days are a great way to introduce more Floridians to the lifetime sport of fishing.”
The FWC also plans eight license-free fishing days in 2014 and beyond. Saltwater fishers won’t need a license on the first Saturday and Sunday in June, the first Saturday in September and the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Freshwater fishers won’t need a license on the first Saturday and Sunday in April and the second Saturday and Sunday in June. Besides holidays like the Thanksgiving weekend, the FWC selected some of those dates based on events like National Fishing and Boating Week which is held in early June. National Fishing and Boating Week, which usually garners some media attention and an advertising campaign, is set to be held from June 1-8 in 2014.
Last month, Florida TaxWatch released an economic study which found angler expenses leads to $5 billion annually for the Sunshine State and supports more than 80,200 jobs. The study showed that more than half of that comes from indirect sales and expenses. More than 1.2 million tourists have already come to Florida to fish so far in 2013
The Florida TaxWatch study also found that the state government made $36.2 million in fiscal year 2011-2012 from freshwater and saltwater fishing licenses.