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Capt. Tommy Thompson's Saltwater Angler's Guides

Tag: closure

Gag Grouper Season Opens Soon! April 1-June 30 in state waters off of Franklin, Wakulla, Taylor and Jefferson counties

by on Mar.26, 2014, under Apalachicola, Carrabelle and St. George Island, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Shell Point to Lanark, Ochlockonee Bay, St. Marks, Aucilla and Econfina, Steinhatchee

GPS Boundaries: Franklin-Taylor Regional Season

Location Longitude Latitude
Indian Pass 85 degrees 13.76 minutes west 29 degrees 40.71 minutes north
Offshore Indian Pass 85 degrees 13.71 minutes west 29 degrees 30.32 minutes north
Offshore Steinhatchee 83 degrees 34.52 minutes west 29 degrees 31.62 minutes north
Steinhatchee River 83 degrees 24.53 minutes west 29 degrees 40.03 minutes north

Gag Big Map Lat Long.

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Snook to reopen in Gulf state waters, March 1, 2014

by on Feb.25, 2014, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The recreational harvest season for one of Florida’s premier game fish, snook, reopens on March 1 in Florida’s Gulf of Mexico state and adjacent federal waters, including Everglades National Park and Monroe County. The season will remain open through April 30.
In the Gulf, anglers may keep one snook per day that is not less than 28 or more than 33 inches total length, which is 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. A snook permit is required to keep snook, along with a saltwater fishing license unless exempt from the license requirements. Only hook-and-line gear is allowed when targeting or harvesting snook.
It is illegal to buy or sell snook.
Snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World. The FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home, even during the open season. When choosing to release a fish, the FWC encourages anglers to handle it carefully to help the fish survive upon release. Proper handling methods can help ensure the species’ abundance for anglers today and generations to come. To learn more about fish handling, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Fish Handling.”

Researchers ask anglers who harvest the fish to save their filleted carcasses and provide them to the FWC by dropping them off at a participating bait and tackle store. These donations allow researchers to better determine the age groups that are being harvested, which makes stock assessments more precise. For the county-by-county list, go to MyFWC.com/Research and click on “Saltwater,” “Saltwater Fish,” “Snook,” and “Snook Anglers Asked to Help with Research.”
In Atlantic state and federal waters (including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River) the season is open through May 31, and one snook may be kept per person, per day. The size limit in Atlantic waters is no less than 28 inches total length and no more than 32 inches total length.
For more information visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”

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Gray triggerfish, greater amberjack recreational season to open in Gulf of Mexico, August 1, 2013

by on Jul.24, 2013, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

Gray triggerfish and greater amberjack will open for recreational harvest in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters Aug. 1. The commercial harvest of gray triggerfish will also reopen Aug. 1 in Gulf state and federal waters.

The gray triggerfish season closed on June 10 this year, when new management measures went into effect. In future years, it will close June 1 in state and federal waters. Recreational harvest of greater amberjack also closes June 1 in state and federal waters.

When the gray triggerfish season reopens, new bag and trip limits will also be in effect in Gulf state and federal waters. The recreational bag limit will be two fish per person, per day, and the commercial limit will be 12 fish per trip.

Gray triggerfish have a unique spawning behavior that makes them vulnerable during the peak spawning season, usually during June and July. Male triggerfish coax females to nesting areas, where they all care for and guard their eggs after spawning. Closing gray triggerfish during their peak spawning time and implementing a recreational bag limit and a commercial trip limit should help rebuild the gray triggerfish population.
The minimum size limit for gray triggerfish in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is 14 inches fork length, which is measured from the tip of the fish’s closed mouth to the center of the fork in the tail. The minimum size limit in Atlantic state waters is 12 inches fork length.
The minimum size limit for recreationally caught greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters is 30 inches fork length. In Atlantic state waters, the recreational size limit is 28 inches fork length. Recreational anglers may take one greater amberjack per person, per day.

Reef-fish gear rules apply when fishing for gray triggerfish and greater amberjack. In all Gulf waters, this means anglers must use circle hooks, and have a dehooking device and a venting tool on their vessel.

Using these tools will help increase a fish’s chance of survival if it is caught and returned to the water.
State waters in the Gulf extend from shore to 9 nautical miles and in the Atlantic from shore to 3 nautical miles; federal waters extend from those boundaries to about 200 miles from shore.

Learn more about saltwater fishing by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater.”

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Snook to remain closed for another year in Gulf waters: FWC Rules on 8/28/12

by on Jun.28, 2012, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted to keep the recreational harvest of snook in Gulf of Mexico waters closed for another year to offer the species additional protection after a 2010 cold kill detrimentally affected the population.

The decision came at the June 28 Commission meeting in Palm Beach Gardens after staff presented an updated stock assessment that showed snook populations are improving in the Atlantic and are not in biological jeopardy in the Gulf. The next assessment is due in 2015.

“If we have a bad winter this year, we will benefit from this caution; if we don’t have a bad winter, we will let all these breeding fish come through the slot,” said Vice Chairman Kenneth Wright, referring to the snook slot limit of 28 to 33 inches in Gulf of Mexico waters. “We’ll really have done something good and we’ll have protected some of these fish.”

The recreational snook season was closed in Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic waters by executive order on Jan.16, 2010, after the cold kill. The FWC manages snook in both state and federal waters, though the species tends to inhabit the shallower, near-shore state waters. The effects of the cold kill were less severe on the Atlantic coast, where the normal season reopened for harvest Sept. 1, 2011.

The Gulf of Mexico recreational season was to reopen Sept. 1, 2012, and now is expected to reopen Sept. 1, 2013. Catch-and-release of snook will be allowed during the closure. In the Atlantic, the season will remain unchanged. Annual closures in the Atlantic are from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31 and from June 1 through Aug. 31.

There is no commercial harvest for snook in Florida.

Snook are one of Florida’s premier game fish, and anglers often practice catch-and-release techniques when targeting this species. When planning to release snook, proper handling techniques ensure the best chance of survival. This includes returning the fish to the water as quickly as possible; using wet hands to handle the fish; supporting its weight in a horizontal position when the fish is out of the water; not holding the fish by the gill plate, eye or jaw; and reviving the fish if necessary by running it through the water head-first to allow water to flow over its gills.

Learn more about snook by visiting MyFWC.com/Fishing and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Snook.”

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NOAA Fisheries Service Seeks Public Comment on a Proposed Rule to Establish a Fixed Closed Season for the Recreational Harvest of Greater Amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico

by on Jan.25, 2011, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

NOAA Fisheries Service has published a proposed rule that, if approved and implemented, would establish a June 1 through July 31 seasonal closure for recreational harvest of greater amberjack in or from the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) federal waters. The intended effect of the proposed rule is to maintain the rebuilding plan targets for the overfished greater amberjack resource, reduce the likelihood of exceeding the recreational quota for greater amberjack, minimize in-season quota closures for greater amberjack during peak recreational fishing months, and increase social and economic benefits for Gulf recreational fishers by maximizing the number of fishing days available to the recreational sector.

Background: In 2009, the recreational sector exceeded its greater amberjack quota. The recreational sector was closed on October 24 after NOAA Fisheries Service projected the recreational quota was met. Final landings indicated the recreational quota was exceeded by 9 percent. In accordance with established accountability measures, the recreational quota for 2010 was reduced to account for this overage.

In response to this quota closure, the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council (Council) developed a regulatory amendment to establish a fixed closed season to the harvest of greater amberjack by the recreational sector. Based on public input, the Council selected to have a seasonal closure during June and July. These are peak recreational harvesting months of greater amberjack; closing federal waters during this time frame is expected to allow recreational fishing for greater amberjack to occur in all other months of the year, without exceeding the quota before year’s end.

This two month closure coincides with the open recreational seasons for other managed reef fish species, including red snapper, and provides recreational fishers the opportunity to fish for at least one of the targeted species year round (provided the recreational quota for greater amberjack is not exceeded). A closed season for Gulf greater amberjack that overlaps with an open season for Gulf red snapper is intended to minimize the social and economic impacts to recreational fishers in the Gulf.

Dates: Comments must be received no later than 5 p.m., eastern time, on February 23, 2011.

Addresses: You may submit comments, identified by “0648-BA48”, by any one of the following methods:

• Electronic Submissions: Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal http://www.regulations.gov.
See instructions below.

• Mail: Rich Malinowski, Southeast Regional Office, NOAA Fisheries Service, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.

Instructions for electronic submissions: No comments will be posted for public viewing until after the comment period is over. All comments received are a part of the public record and will generally be posted to http://www.regulations.gov without change. All Personal Identifying Information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit Confidential Business Information or otherwise sensitive or protected information.

To submit comments through the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov, enter “NOAA-NMFS-2010-0281” in the keyword search, then check the box labeled “Select to find documents accepting comments or submissions,” then select “Send a Comment or Submission.” NOAA Fisheries Service will accept anonymous comments (enter N/A in the required fields, if you wish to remain anonymous).

National Marine Fisheries Service, Southeast Regional Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
Attachments to electronic comments will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

Comments received by February 23, 2011, will be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service in its decision to approve, disapprove, or partially approve the proposed action. Comments received after that date will not be considered by NOAA Fisheries Service in this decision. All comments received by NOAA Fisheries Service will be addressed in the final rule.

Copies of the regulatory amendment, which includes an environmental assessment, an initial regulatory flexibility analysis, and a regulatory impact review, may be obtained from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council, 2203 North Lois Avenue, Suite1100, Tampa, Florida 33607; telephone 813-348-1630; fax 813-348-1711; e-mail gulfcouncil@gulfcouncil.org; or may be downloaded from the Council’s Web site at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/.

This bulletin provides only a summary of the information regarding the proposed rule. Any discrepancies between this bulletin and the proposed rule published in the Federal Register will be resolved in favor of the Federal Register.

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Just a Reminder-Gulf gag grouper recreational harvest in federal waters closes January 1, 2011

by on Dec.31, 2010, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

The recreational harvest of gag grouper in Gulf of Mexico federal waters off Florida will be prohibited beginning Jan. 1.  Federal fisheries managers recently announced a temporary rule that closes Gulf federal waters to recreational fishing for gag grouper for six months while they develop long-term measures to improve gag grouper populations.  Gulf federal waters extend beyond nine nautical miles from Florida’s shoreline.

Gulf state waters (from shore out to nine nautical miles) will remain open for recreational gag grouper harvest until Feb. 1.  However, people on federally permitted for-hire reef-fish vessels may not harvest or possess gag grouper in state waters during the temporary federal closure.

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