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FWC proposes rule to modify fishing regulations at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park

At its Feb. 21 meeting, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) proposed a rule to modify fishing regulations at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park but also directed staff to consider other options and refine the proposal before the final hearing. The proposed rule is designed to address ongoing entanglement, injury and mortality of seabirds that continue to occur at this location, reduce angler-seabird interactions and further seabird conservation while continuing to allow the tradition of fishing to continue. 

“We are grateful for the engagement and feedback from our stakeholders who are continuing to work collaboratively with us to address brown pelican entanglements at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park,” said FWC Commissioner Robert A. Spottswood. “It’s our job to balance the interests of both fish and wildlife as well as anglers. We face this all the time. We’ve always limited or closed access only as a last resort, and we have approved this proposed rule with the understanding that modifications will likely occur at the final hearing.”

Input and engagement from all interested stakeholders are critical to determine a suitable course of action to address this complex issue. The FWC encourages management partners, anglers, pelican rescue organizations and other interested stakeholders to come to the table and work together to develop a solution for pelicans and anglers. Options under consideration are education requirements, seasonal gear restrictions, limiting number of sets of hook and line fishing gear, gear restrictions on a portion of the pier, and deterrents.

A final rule hearing for fishing regulations at Skyway Fishing Pier State Park will occur at a future Commission meeting. If approved, the FWC would utilize an adaptive management approach while evaluating the effects of the rule.

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