NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Spearfishing is now allowed in state waters in Collier County for the first time in more than 60 years.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says saltwater species can be targeted starting on Sunday with a spearing device. Among the species that can be speared is the nonnative invasive lionfish, which researchers say are having a major impact on Florida's native fish and wildlife.
The FWC recently repealed rules that prohibited spearing and using an artificial light while spearfishing or gigging in Florida state waters off Collier County.
The Collier Board of County Commissioners sent a letter to the FWC in February requesting these repeals after a lionfish was captured Jan. It was the first lionfish to be documented in state waters off the county.