The information below is provided by:
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
For Additional information go to http://myfwc.com/marine/Fishing_Measurement.htm
How to Measure Florida Saltwater Fish
Most finfish size limit regulations of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) use either Fork Length or Total Length.
These measurement methods provide a consistent, well defined measurement technique. These methods encourage angler compliance with fishery management regulations.
For more information please visit theFish Length Measurement FAQs.
Watch a Public Service Announcement about Measuring Fish. (wmv 1MB)
Florida Total Length Measurement
Total Length is now measured from the most forward point of the head, with the mouth closed, to the farthest tip of the tail with the tail compressed or squeezed, while the fish is lying on its side.
Fork Length Measurement
Florida Fish regulated by fork length are measured from the tip of the jaw or tip of the snout with closed mouth to the center of the fork in the tail.
Lower Jaw Fork Length Measurement
Florida Fish regulated by lower jaw fork length are measured in a straight line from the anterior most part of the lower jaw (tip of the lower jaw) to the fork in the tail.
Florida Stone Crab Measurement
Stone Crab claws must measure at least 2 3/4-inches in length measured by a straight line from the elbow to the tip of the lower immovable finger. The forearm (propodus) shall be deemed to be the largest section of the claw assembly that has both a moveable and immovable finger and is located farthest from the body of the crab.