How To Measure Spanish Mackerel?


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) most frequently uses “fork length” or “total length” when describing finfish size limits. ”.

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

The length of a stone crab’s claw, measured in a straight line from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable finger, must be at least 2 7/8 inches. The forearm (propodus), which is the largest portion of the claw assembly and is situated the furthest from the crab’s body, has both movable and immovable fingers.

Please take a straight line measurement when using a flexible measuring tape; following the contour of the fish will yield an inaccurate measurement that is greater than the straight line measurement. The best way to measure fish is to lay flexible measuring tapes flat on a hard surface.

Since 1925, the state of Florida has struggled with how to measure saltwater fish. The first length regulations for marine finfish were passed by the legislature in 1925. Over the years (1925-1973), numerous techniques, such as tip of nose to fork of tail, tip of nose to tip of tail, tip of nose to end of tail, and tip of nose to rear center edge of tail, have been employed. One or more of these definitions were applied at once. For some species, a size limit for both the total length and the fork length was listed in a rule in the late 1980s. By the middle of the 1990s, most species had only one measurement, mostly because of how federal regulations defined how the species should be measured. The FWC changed its definition of total length in 2006 to include having a closed mouth and a pinched tail. Before that, FWC regulations did not consistently specify how to calculate total length, leaving anglers and law enforcement officials free to interpret this measurement.

This chapter establishes restrictions on the harvest of king mackerel and Spanish mackerel, including trip, minimum size, and possession restrictions. These chapters were established along the Atlantic Coast to help Spanish mackerel and king mackerel recover further from overfishing and to prevent overfishing. This chapter is promulgated pursuant to authority contained in §§28. 2-201 of the Code of Virginia. This chapter amends previous Chapter 4VAC20-540-10 et seq. which came into effect on September 1st after being adopted on August 28th 2018 The effective date of this chapter is September 1, 2020.

As set forth in §28. Any person who violates a provision of this chapter is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor under Virginia Code Section 2-903, and a Class l misdemeanor for a second or subsequent violation of a provision of this chapter committed by the same person within a year of the first violation.

“Total length” refers to the length of a fish measured in a straight line, not over the curve of the body, from the tip of the longer caudal fin, measured with the tail compressed along the midline, to the most forward projection of the snout, with the mouth closed.

B. When the National Marine Fisheries Service announces a commercial closure in federal waters for the Northern Zone Atlantic Migratory Group Spanish Mackerel, it is forbidden for anyone to possess or land Spanish mackerel in Virginia from any vessel in excess of 500 pounds in any given day. The Marine Resources Commission website will post this federal closure and the state water possession limit per trip.

B. When fishing from a boat or vessel, the possession limits must be for the boat or vessel and must equal the number of people on board who are legally allowed to fish multiplied by 15 for Spanish mackerel or multiplied by three for king mackerel. Any boat or vessel possession restrictions must be handled by the boat or vessel’s captain or operator.


How do you measure Spanish mackerel in Texas?

Place the fish on its side with the jaw closed. Squeeze the tail fin together for soft-tailed fish to get the longest possible tail. For hard-tailed fish, turn the tail to obtain maximum length. From the extreme tip of the tail fin to the tip of the snout, draw a straight line.

How is the length of a fish measured?

When a fish is lying on its side, the total length is calculated from the furthest forward point of the head with the mouth closed to the furthest back tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed.

What size do Spanish mackerel have to be to keep?

Minimum Size Limit 12 inches fork length, with the exception that a vessel fishing under a Spanish mackerel quota may not have more than 5% of undersized Spanish mackerel in its cargo.

What does fork length mean when measuring fish?

Fish are measured from the tip of their snout to the fork of their tail to determine their fork length (FL). Fish length is measured along a line that follows the body’s contour from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail. This measurement is known as the “curved fork length” (CFL).

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