Most finfish size limit regulations of the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) use either Fork
Length or Total Length.   

These measurement methods provide a consistent, well
defined measurement technique. These methods encourage
angler compliance with fishery management regulations.

For more information, click
Fish Length Measurement FAQs.

Total Length Measurement
Total Length is now measured from the most forward point of
the head, with the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail
with the tail compressed or squeezed, while the fish is lying on
its side.
Total Length Species Include:

  • Snapper Family
  • Tripletail
  • Grouper Family
  • Bonefish
  • Red Drum
  • Sheepshead
  • Black Drum
  • Flounder
  • Snook
  • Several ornamentals
  • Spotted Seatrout
  • (Angelfish, etc.)
  • Weakfish
Fork Length Measurement
Fish regulated by fork length are measured from the tip of the
jaw or tip of the snout with closed mouth to the center of the
fork in the tail.
Fork Length Species Include:

  • Amberjacks
  • Bluefish
  • Rudderfish
  • King Mackerel
  • Hogfish
  • Spanish Mackerel
  • Dolphin
  • Permit
  • Cobia
  • Pompano
  • Mullet African Pompano
  • Gray Triggerfish
Lower Jaw Fork Length Measurement (Billfishes)
Fish regulated by lower jaw fork length are measured in a
straight line from the anterior most part of the lower jaw (tip of
the lower jaw) to the fork in the tail.
Lower Jaw Fork Length Species Include:

  • Sailfish
  • Blue Marlin
  • White Marlin
How to Measure Stone Crab and Spiny Lobster

Stone Crab Measurement
Stone Crab claws must measure at least 2 3/4-inches
in length measured by a straight line from the elbow to
the tip of the lower immovable finger. The forearm
(propodus) shall be deemed to be the largest section of
the claw assembly that has both a moveable and
immovable finger and is located farthest from the body
of the crab
Spiny Lobster Measurement
Spiny Lobster must have a minimum carapace length of
greater than 3-inches and the measurement must take
place in the water. The carapace is measured
beginning at the forward edge between the rostral
horns, excluding and soft tissue, and proceeding along
the middle to the rear edge of the carapace.