Do I need a fishing license on the Myakka River? Good question! There are a number of factors that may offer special circumstances where a license is not required, but in most cases the answer is yes – you do need a license. The next question is typically – “Well do I need a Fresh Water or a Salt Water license?” And this is where the answer becomes dependent upon the location you wish to fish the river and species you wish to keep.
The majority of the Myakka River’s length is Freshwater. Beginning from it’s headwaters to about three quarters of its’ span. The area south of I-75 is officially regarded as salt water. So it would seem that North of I-75 a Fresh Water license would be needed, South of I-75 you would need a Salt Water license, and in most cases that is fairly accurate. However – a recent call to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and first hand knowledge from a local Department of Natural Resources officer elicited the friendly advice that the ultimate decision of licensing compliance rests with the judgment of the official issuing a citation. In layman’s terms – there’s a gray area about where exactly you stop requiring a fresh water license and begin to require a salt water license.
Brackish water is that gray area, and it’s considered the mix between fresh and salt waters. On the Myakka River it comprises that approximate area between I-75 and CampVenice Retreat. But again – gray area it is. Good intentions and knowledge of the actual terms and conditions of your license can go a long way toward compliance with current regulations.
Common sense plays a large part therein. For instance – If you are holding only a salt water license you should be using salt water gear, baits & lures, and keeping only species that are covered under the license you carry. Holding a salt water only license and using a bait caster with 6lb test and a plastic worm is somewhat questionable. That along with a freshwater fish on board will get you fines, penalties, and headaches you don’t want! If you’re not sure exactly what area you’ll be fishing or what species you’ll want to keep, consider purchasing a dual-use license covering both fresh and salt water.
Keep in mind that your purchase of a fishing license puts most all the monies involved in the hands of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision. The research and management provided by the commission has bouyed back the populations of many fish species that were at times in danger of extinction. Those funds also help to safeguard against all of the environmental impacts that can effect our fishing resources.
Copies of the official FLORIDA FISHING REGULATIONS are available in a pdf format at the links below.
Florida Fishing Regulations – Fresh Water Edition (approx 7 mb)
Florida Fishing Regulations – Salt Water Edition (approx 6mb)
Now lets go fishing!