Thursday, September 16, 2010
9/16 - I'm on the fence........
Public Hearings on FWC Redfish Management Proposals
Volunteers Needed to Attend Hearings and Support CCA
CCA FLORIDA DOES NOT SUPPORT ANY OF THE PROPOSED CHANGES FOR FLORIDA’S REDFISH MANAGEMENT PROGRAM WHICH HAS BEEN A HUGE SUCCESS UNDER THE CURRENT SET OF REGULATIONS.
IT DOES NOT NEED ANY CHANGES!
CCA Florida recommends that the Commission continue current regulations of one fish bag limit, 18 – 27 inch slot, open year round season, no commercial take to continue one of Florida’s most successful and valuable management plans. CCA Florida does not support the FWC staff recommendation to create north and south management zones and to increase north zones to 2 fish bag limit.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is proposing a bag limit change for North Florida redfish to two fish per person and create four management areas which would be the same as those used for Spotted Sea Trout.
-Dividing the state into 4 regions in order to increase the bag limit to two fish in the North regions places the redfish management plan at risk.
-Dividing redfish into two regions on the west coast and two regions on the east coast is not based on any biological information. Genetic and tagging information shows that redfish move and mix along both coasts. The west coast is one stock of fish and the east coast is one stock of fish. SW Florida may be dependent on movement of fish from the Big Bend and Panhandle areas to maintain population levels.
-Increasing the bag limit on redfish will have a significant impact on take. Those anglers who catch and keep one legal redfish normally catch more legal size fish on the same trip. Therefore an increase to 2 fish will double the take of redfish. The FWC must investigate the impact of increasing effort and such doubling of increase in take on the management plan escapement goals before proposing any changes.
-Creating and dividing redfish into regions causes the Northern regions to have higher escapement rates; however, in the southern areas escapement rates decline. The NE region has a 74 percent escapement rate? It is simply not a believable number and is probably a result of sample size and data deficiencies caused by the regional division.
-In all regions, except NE, the redfish escapement rates are continuing to decline and fishing effort on redfish continues to increase in all areas of the state.
The Commission is interested in providing more opportunities and more fish for recreational anglers. We encourage and support the Commission in that regard; however; we urge them to look at spotted sea trout instead of redfish. Spotted sea trout are currently closed in February in the NW region and November and December in all other regions. A new stock assessment will be completed in December 2010. The anticipated increases in abundance could allow for the elimination of some or all of the closed months. Opening those closed months provides increased opportunities for anglers and allows more sea trout to be taken.
Public Hearing Locations
All hearings are from 6pm – 8pm
Monday, Sept. 20 - Brevard Agricultural Center
3695 Lake Drive Southeast Branch Cocoa 10599
Tuesday, Nov. 23 - Jacksonville Public Library
Deerwood Park Blvd Jacksonville
Date – TBA Date - TBA
FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute City Hall Council Chambers
100 Eighth Ave. SE 123 NW Highway 19
Karen A. Steidinger Auditorium Crystal River
If you are unable to attend please send your email comments which can be very simple to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida’s redfish program does not need any changes. CCA Florida does not support any increases in bag limits.
For more information contact – Ted Forsgren CCA Florida at (850)224-3474 or email email@example.com
Posted by Capt. Dave Sipler