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Tag: management

Successful red drum (redfish) management prompts FWC to up bag limit, November 16, 2011

by on Nov.20, 2011, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

News Release

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943

(Back to Commission meeting news)

Recreational anglers targeting red drum in northern Florida can soon take home more of the popular fish, thanks to a change approved Nov. 16 by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).

The decision came during the first day of the two-day November Commission meeting in Key Largo.

The changes take effect Feb. 1, 2012, and include the following:

  • Create three management areas for red drum (the northwest, the northeast and the south) instead of one statewide management area;
  • Increase the number of red drum that a recreational fisherman can take per day in the northeast and northwest regions of the state from one to two red drum;
  • Establish a statewide vessel limit of eight red drum;
  • Limit the number of red drum that can be transported on land to six red drum per person.

These rule changes are the result of a successful management strategy that began in 1989, when the species was considered severely overfished.

“This is our version of having a listed protected species and being able to take it off that list. This is a success story,” said Commissioner Brian Yablonski about the increased recreational fishing opportunity. “If ever there was a moment to give back, this is it.”

A 2009-10 red drum stock assessment completed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute showed that red drum escapement rates (the proportion of fish surviving through age 4 relative to the number that would have survived to that age if there were no fishery) have been consistently above the FWC’s 40-percent management goal in the northern regions of the state.

Other recreational red drum rules will remain the same, including a slot limit of 18 to 27 inches and a one-red-drum bag limit in the southern part of the state.

To learn more about red drum recreational fishing visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing” and then “Recreational Regulations.”

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November 16, 2011–Gag and Red Grouper Management Changes

by on Nov.20, 2011, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST, TAMPA BAY AND SOUTHWEST FLORIDA

FWC changes gag, red grouper management in Gulf, soon achieving consistency with federal protections

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) voted Nov. 16 to change how gag and red grouper are managed in Gulf of Mexico state waters.

The decision came during day one of the two-day November Commission meeting in Key Largo.

The changes, which include additional protections for gag grouper while increasing the bag limit for red grouper, will make state protections consistent with gag and red grouper federal rules in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We are listening and are very concerned about the economy, jobs and managing resources for longevity as well,” Commissioner Ron Bergeron said following stakeholder conversation.

Changes for red grouper will take effect Dec. 23 in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) and will include increasing the recreational bag limit from two to four fish.

Commissioners also voted to continue the current gag grouper closure in Gulf of Mexico state waters (excluding Monroe County) into 2012. The closure was set to expire at the end of 2011.

This measure will help the state achieve consistency with gag grouper management efforts affecting federal Gulf waters.

The FWC believes applying the same recreational open and closed harvest seasons for gag grouper in Gulf state waters as in federal offshore waters would maximize fishing opportunities for anglers and charter boat operators along Florida’s Gulf coast.

Federal managers are currently working on a plan to further protect gag grouper, which is overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Gulf. The FWC will revisit state gag grouper management efforts in February 2012, once federal rules are solidified.

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