Running a guide business in Florida involves more than leading clients to fish. It also means steering through the complicated world of licenses, permits and safety regulations.
Recently, Betty Staugler, a UF/IFAS Extension Florida Sea Grant agent based in Charlotte County, worked with Ralph Allen, charter captain with King Fisher Fleet, and Edward Camp of the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation to create a quick-reference guide to regulations for Florida’s charter captains.
“This guide is for new and veteran fishing guides, as well as those thinking about establishing a guide business,” Staugler said. “It is will help them learn about and access local, state and federal requirements related to operating a for-hire fishing business.”
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, regional fisheries management councils, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, and local governments are just some of the entities that have requirements related to fishing-guide businesses. The four-page guide — broken down by fishing location, target species and vessel type — lists the rules and where they can be found.
The guide was developed as part of the Florida Friendly Fishing Guide Certification program, an online class established by UF/IFAS, Florida Sea Grant and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to recognize fishing guides who are committed to preserving Florida’s fisheries through sustainable boating and fishing techniques.
To access the guide, visit the “Program Materials” section of the Florida Friendly Fishing Guide Certification program webpage at: www.flseagrant.org/florida-friendly-fishing-guide-certification