Red tide snook casualty on Bradenton Beach

A restriction on fishing for red drum and snook was extended to next spring and will stretch north to Pasco County, as the state continues trying to limit impacts from a red-tide outbreak along the Gulf Coast.

Meeting in Havana, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission agreed Wednesday to extend until May 10 an executive order that imposed a mandatory catch-and-release rule on red drum and snook. The order has been in place for a month from Anna Maria Island to Naples.

The commission also announced a new executive order immediately ending the scallop season in Northwest Florida’s Gulf County, where red tide has recently appeared, and said it plans to pursue “innovative testing” to reduce often-annual outbreaks of red tide.

“I know we’re in a reactive mode right now, but we’re planning to transition into a proactive mode with these issues,” said Commissioner Joshua Kellam of Palm Beach Gardens.

“We’re putting our best foot forward to learn what we can from it and be better prepared next time,” Chairman Bo Rivard of Panama City added during the commission meeting, held in the Gadsden County community of Havana.

The catch-and-release order, which

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