When people visit the Dry Tortugas National Park, they often wonder about fishing rules. Merchants and business owners in Key West, where tourists set off from to spend the day in the Dry Tortugas can impress customers by knowing a lot about the area. Tourists will often ask their waiters, bartenders, innkeepers and other merchants questions as though everyone with a business in Key West is a tour guide. The more you know, the more you’ll impress them.
So, if are about to rent a commercial space in Key West, you should know that fishing is allowed in only designated areas of the park.

Designated Fishing Areas In The Dry Tortugas National Park In Garden Park

Fishing is not allowed in most areas of Garden Key, but designated fishing areas in the Dry Tortugas National Park include the following locations:

  • Outside the Reseach Natural Area and Historic Use Area
  • The seaplane beach located east of the main dock in Garden Key, but only when the seaplane is not present.
  • The main dock at Garden Key,  but only when the Yankee Freedom is not present.
  • The two westernmost finger piers of Garden Key, but only if not vessels are there.
  • Both dinghy beaches on Garden Key as long as you don’t fish within 50 feet of the wall by the historic docs and the ruins that were once used for loading coal.

Fishing Laws At The Dry Tortugas National Park

Any anglers you talk to also need to know that they have to have a Florida Saltwater fishing license. Only children younger than 16 or Florida residents over 65 can fish without this license. Anglers should also know that you aren’t allowed to collect lobsters and you can engage in spearfishing at the park.
It is important to know that Dry Tortugas National Park is almost exclusively in Gulf of Mexico waters, but is part of Monroe County, Florida. Therefore, all Florida state fishing laws and regulations apply. A Florida Saltwater fishing license is required unless you are under the age of 16 or a Florida resident over the age of 65.

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