What To Know Before You Go. . .
Spearfishing is defined as the taking of any saltwater fish through the
instrumentality of a spear, gig, or lance operated by a person swimming at or
below the surface of the water. The use of powerheads, bangsticks, and
rebreathers remains prohibited.

Possession of spear equipment:
Possession of spears and spearguns is prohibited in Everglades National
Park,
Dry Tortugas National Park and Florida State Parks.  Coral is protected from
damage and taking in state and federal waters.

Bag and Size Limits:
The federal bag limits cannot be combined with state bag limits. Remember to
abide by regulations regarding size limits. Objects underwater appear 25%
larger. Check with agencies for current regulations: http://www.myfwc.com or
http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/

License Requirements:
Recreational harvesters are required to possess a valid Florida Saltwater
Fishing License. Consult your license agent for purchasing and exemptions to
licensing requirements or visit http://www.myfwc.com.

Dive Flag: All divers and snorkelers in the water are required to prominently
display a diversdown flag. The minimum size for any divers-down flag
displayed on a buoy or float towed by the diver is 12” by 12”. The minimum size
for any divers-down flag displayed from a vessel or structure is 20” by 24”. Any
divers-down flag displayed from a vessel must be displayed from the highest
point of the vessel or such other location which provides that the visibility of the
divers-down flag is not obstructed in any direction.

State Waters are all salt waters surrounding the Florida Keys out to three (3)
nautical miles from the nearest point of land including islands on the Atlantic
side and out to nine (9) nautical miles from the nearest point of land including
islands on the Gulf side. Consult NOAA nautical charts. Information and chart
distributors can be found at http://chartmaker.ncd.noaa.gov/.
• Unincorporated Monroe County
It is unlawful for any person to use, fire or discharge any speargun on or below
the surface of the water in any man-made canal in the unincorporated areas of
Monroe County.
• Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
• Existing Management Areas (EMA’s)
Possession of spearfishing equipment within an Existing Management Area is
prohibited except while transiting through without stopping.
• Key Largo - adjacent to John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and extends
to the 300’ depth
• Looe Key
The following no-take areas are marked by 30" diameter round yellow buoys:
• Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA’s)
• Carysfort Reef • Cheeca Rocks
• Elbow • Alligator Reef
• Key Largo Dry Rocks • Coffins Patch
• Grecian Rocks • Sombrero Key
• French Reef • Looe Key
• Molasses Reef • Newfound Harbor
• Conch Reef • Eastern Dry Rocks
• Hen and Chickens • Rock Key
• Davis Reef • Sand Key
• Special-use Research Only Areas
• Conch Reef • Tennessee Reef
• Looe Key Patch Reef • Eastern Sambo
• Ecological Reserves
• Western Sambo
• Tortugas (not currently marked)
• State Waters from Long Key north to the Miami-Dade County line (including
the island of Long Key) State Waters are all salt waters surrounding the
Florida Keys out to three (3) nautical miles from the nearest point of land
including islands on the Atlantic side and out to nine (9) nautical miles from
the nearest point of land including islands on the Gulf side.
• Everglades National Park
• Dry Tortugas National Park
• State Parks
• The following state parks are within State Waters in the Upper Keys -
spearfishing is prohibited
• Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park
• John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
• Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park
• Lignumvitae Key Submerged Land Management Area
• Long Key State Park
• The following state parks boundaries extend out to 400 feet from the shoreline
- spearfishing and the possession of spearfishing equipment is prohibited in
these areas.
• Curry Hammock State Park
• Bahia Honda State Park
• Fort Zachary Taylor Historic Sate Park
• Beaches, Piers, Bridges
Within 100 yards of a public swimming beach, any commercial or public fishing
pier, or any part of a bridge from which public fishing is allowed.
• Jetties
Within 100 feet of any part of a jetty that is above the surface of the sea - except
for the last 500 yards of a jetty that extends more than 1,500 yards from the
shoreline.   
Spearfishing is Prohibited in the Following Areas of Monroe County
Species Prohibited for Harvest by Spearing:

• African Pompano • Red Drum
• Billfish • Sharks
• Bonefish • Snook
• Goliath Grouper (Jewfish) • Sturgeon
• Lobster • Spotted Eagle Ray
• Manta Ray • Spotted Seatrout
• Nassau Grouper • Tarpon
• Permit • Tripletail
• Pompano • Weakfish
• Families of Ornamental Reef Fish
(Surgeonfish, Trumpetfish, Angelfish, Butterflyfish, Porcupinefish, Cornetfish,
Squirrelfish, Trunkfish, Damselfish, Parrotfish, Pipefish, Seahorse, Puffers,
Triggerfish except gray and ocean)

Know Your Fish Before You Go
(These 2 fish are protected and often confused with similar looking
species.)

Goliath Grouper (Jewfish)
head and fins covered with small black spots; irregular vertical bars present on
the sides of body; pectoral and caudal fins rounded; eyes small
Nassau Grouper
color light background with brown or red-brown bars on sides; stripe in shape
of tuning fork on forehead; black dots around the eyes; large black saddle on
caudal peduncle
Spearfishing, Florida Keys