We encourage a conservation ethic for all anglers. Consider the value of catch and release fishing. Don't harvest a species if you are not going to eat it. We encourage anglers to release all trophy fish that will not be consumed. It is possible to order a replica mount based only on the length and girth measurements of your trophy catch, so release it. Large individual fish contribute disproportionately to healthy fish populations.

We strongly encourage anglers to release all shark species in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.

We strongly encourage anglers to release all billfish in a manner that will ensure maximum probability of survival.

The Bahamas component of the Fish Rules app was created in collaboration with the Bahamas Reef Environmental Education Foundation (BREEF), with funding from The Nature Conservancy and The Summit Foundation.

Sport Fish Restoration

Your purchases of fishing equipment, motorboat fuel, and fishing licenses help improve fishing and boating opportunities in Florida through the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration program (SFR). SFR is a successful cycle of federal funding that includes anglers, the fishing and boating industry, and conservation agencies with the goal to restore and better manage America’s recreational fisheries. Funding is derived through an excise tax on fishing gear and motorboat fuel, paid by anglers through fishing and boating manufacturers. Through this “user-pay, public-benefit” system of conservation, millions of dollars in funding each year go toward fisheries research, habitat management, stock enhancement, artificial reefs, boating access improvements, angler outreach, and aquatic education. Learn more about how everyone benefits from enhanced fishing opportunities provided through the SFR program.

Fish Handling

Practice these proper fish handling techniques to help released fish survive:

  • Handle fish as little as possible and get them back in the water quickly.
  • Keep fingers out of eyes and gills. Support fish horizontally using wet hands.
  • Never use towels to handle fish, which will remove a fish’s protective slime layer.
  • Use non-stainless-steel, non-offset, barbless circle hooks when using natural bait.
  • Use barbless hooks since they are easier and faster to remove than barbed hooks.
  • Use a pair of pliers or a small hand crimper to flatten a circle hook’s barb; for larger hooks, a bench crimper can be used.
  • Use a dehooking tool to remove hooks.
  • Use a knotless, rubber-coated net and only gaff fish you intend to keep.
  • Do not remove large fish or prohibited species from the water.
  • Match your tackle to your targeted fish; using a light tackle when catching large fish can cause them to become exhausted and decrease their chance of survival upon release.
  • Teach others about these proper fish handling techniques and learn more at