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What do you want to say to FWC

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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby procraftwes » February 6th, 2019, 12:19 pm

Rather than a Jan/feb closure i'd rather see the over 20" done away with and maybe even move to a limit of 3.

Let's face it trout bears the burden as an "eating fish" and IMO they need a break. Only reason I would like to see Jan/Feb kept open is that I like river fishing but can see how sitting over one trout hole could pressure them but no matter how it's done i'm on board for a reduction of some sort.

I see too many guys treat the flats like a grocery store keeping every single thing they can get their hands on. I think most of us here are pretty responsible but if we had 1/4 as much catch/release as the bass guys we'd all benefit.

If I had a "complaint" it would be to spend some time @ any particular boat ramp on the weekends(especially around 4-5 on saturday). Too many drunks loading boats and driving drunk. Would be easy enough to send a trooper down or even pull a guy from the woods when hunting season is over rather than use a boat crew. I'm all for fun but shouldn't have to worry about getting killed by one of these jokers.

Also want to say thanks to the FWC guys.. We're lucky to have them and IMO the most professional law enforcement organization in FL. I come from a state where marine enforcement are feared to the likes of the FBI.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby Salty Gator » February 6th, 2019, 12:52 pm

ugadawg wrote:Every year it seems like people bring up that too many trout are caught in the winter in the rivers and that the trout season should be shut down. Sure, a lot of fish are caught, but it seems that the fishery is still sustainable. If the fishery wasn't sustainable, the solution is to change the slot size and the limit, not to shut the season down during the winter. I would bet that 3 or 4 times as many trout are caught during the month of April or October than are during January or February. As for the comment about a rule where you can fish if you have a limit: that is silly and unenforceable. Anyone with a limit could just say they are targeting another species and keep fishing.


Why do you believe changing the slot is the solution over closing in feb? The difference between spring and winter is, they are spread out and a little harder to catch in spring. In winter, they are starving stacked up in deep holes with boats sitting on top of them hammering them. Whenever fishing/ catching gets too easy, lazy people take advantage of it. Not saying everyone that fishes for them in winter is lazy, but the people that like easy catching are often the ones getting 2 limits in a day. The other thing is in winter you often have to wade through a bunch of shorts to get a limit, poor fishermen will kill a lot more shorts than someone that is a good fisherman. A good fisherman usually doesn’t care to wade through shorts anyway. Easy fishing brings out poor fishermen imho.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby ugadawg » February 6th, 2019, 6:22 pm

Maybe this is just my experience, but in the winter I have to really work sometimes to catch any keeper trout. Some days I easily catch my limit on the river (last year was this way) and others I have the fish hard, all day to find any keepers. Come April to May, 4 feet of water out of Econfina or Keaton and I can usually catch a limit within a couple hours, if not sooner.

For example, last Sunday I went to St. Marks and it took a while to find the fish. When I found them, they only wanted one particular lure, in one particular color. I was able to catch my limit in a couple hours, but few people around me were catching fish. At the ramp, I talked to several people that didn't catch many keepers at all. During April or October, every person I talk to the ramp was able to keep a limit if they wanted one.

The key to any fishery should be sustainability. I believe that the NW Florida Trout fishery is sustainable, if not increasing. Someone who is a guide and fishing everyday would obviously have a better idea of the health of the fishery than I would. I think I read on the University of Southern Miss. website that seatrout reach maturity at 11", so the trout in Florida can breed at least once before they are harvested. If the FWC biologists saw the need to increase the fishery, I think the better method would be to reduce the limit and raise the minimum length to allow fish more breeding seasons before they are harvested.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby John21:6 » February 7th, 2019, 9:12 am

I'd like fish management decisions to be based on good data, not too many anecdotal experiences. And if closed seasons or more restrictions are necessary for sustainability, which I hope they are not, I hope FWC doesn't schedule the closings or impose restrictions in a way that hurts the mom and pop tackle shops that we all need. Maybe there can be more talk about fish habitat enhancements and less talk about fishing restrictions.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby silverking » February 7th, 2019, 11:19 am

IMO, the Commission does a good job of blending strong scientific data with input from the various stakeholders. NGOs like CCA, OAR and the Mexico Beach Artificial Reef Assoc. (before the hurricane) are also contributing to habitat enhancement by sinking ships and artificial reefs, creating oyster reefs and re-planting sea grasses. There's always room for more, though.

The Big Bend/Forgotten Coast is unique. We have the least-developed/populated coast in the state and healthy grass flats/oyster bars that serve as nursery grounds for juvenile fish/bait. There seems to be a consensus on here that trout numbers are declining despite prime habitat and the most likely culprit is a combination of harvest and increasing pressure. Part of that is due to strict limits on offshore game fish as more big center consoles are replaced by anglers transitioning to bay boats to fish inshore and nearshore.

There are no easy answers and rebuilding stocks often requires sacrifices like the reduced redfish bag limits. Personally, I'd still would like to see lots of action with slot trout and the opportunity to catch (and release mostly, in my case) a big gator trout on a more consistent basis.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby MIAcanes44 » February 7th, 2019, 11:25 am

Thank you John for mentioning the impact this would cause local businesses. I was just about to say that myself. It's already hard enough to convince yourself to catch a couple of fish and fight new regulations. Why do we always think making changes to rules and regulations will help things? If people continue to catch trout with the limits we have, then I don't see a reason to change anything. Louisiana allows anglers to keep 25 trout per person with a minimum of 12". They don't seem to have a problem with that. So there you go! I want you to tell FWC to increase our trout and redfish limits. Make it just like Louisiana.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby Redfin » February 7th, 2019, 11:36 am

I agree with MIAcanes44.

I remember when everyone was up in arms about the possible decrease in the mullet population. All we heard was "50 fish per person is too much - who can eat all that". "Who needs to keep that many" "Why are you killing 50 fish" I can go on and on. Saw 2 dudes get in an actual fight at the ramp over this in 93'. Boy was that something. With science, data, and input from stakeholders, (as well as just tasting good) the decision at the time was made to keep everythign the same. Well Im glad to say they still thrive and are as thick as ever on our beautiful gulf coast.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby silverking » February 7th, 2019, 11:42 am

Don't know your experience with Louisiana MIAcanes44, but on double-digit trips there to several locations I have yet to catch a trout bigger than 17 inches. Redfish are another story. That's because every legal trout goes into the cooler with the large bag limits and they don't have a chance to grow. Just sayin'

I agree with considering impacts on small local businesses. But there are periods in the not-too-distant past where poor management lead to a collapse in stocks which directly had a negative impact on those same businesses, as well as boat manufacturers, coastal restaurants, hotels, etc.

Wonder how many forum members have actually attended a FWC meeting to see how the process works? It is an eye-opening education. The Commission often holds their bi-monthly meetings in the greater Tallahassee area and I'd encourage anyone interested in the process to attend. They usually spend one day on hunting/land management issues and the next day on marine-related stuff. You can learn about the meetings/agenda and management options at www.myfwc.com
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby MIAcanes44 » February 7th, 2019, 11:50 am

Well let me tell you silverking. Been 2 times and loaded the cooler with trout and redfish on both trips. We caught so many trout I was tired of catching them. Let me know if you need help silverking and I can send you a private message with location and lures used.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby MudDucker » February 7th, 2019, 12:31 pm

Close the trout in January, I'm duck hunting anyway. February, leave alone. I'm not duck hunting. :-D

Shut off all over-sized fish, but do away with anything but a number limit for all fish under that size. This slot junk has lead to a lot of fish that will die being thrown back.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby Salty Gator » February 7th, 2019, 12:51 pm

Lousianna has much more habitat with a fraction of the pressure
Last edited by Salty Gator on February 7th, 2019, 1:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby cotton » February 7th, 2019, 12:57 pm

I think a good trade off would be:
No minimum size limit on trout. Or bring it down to 12-13”.
No harvesting of trout over 20”.

The point of both of these is to encourage the harvesting of smaller inferior fish and eliminate the harvest of bigger ones. They’ve already done something similar with bass. Trophy fish bring tourist and $$$.

Over time, I believe this should improve the genetics and the fishery.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby silverking » February 7th, 2019, 12:57 pm

Loaded the cooler with trout... How many were over 20 inches?

Thanks for the generous offer, but I was fishing with some of the top guides in the state. Pretty sure they knew what to use and where to fish. Not saying we didn't catch good numbers of trout, just that none were bigger than our slot fish. We also caught plenty of reds, too. It's an incredible fishery over there, for sure, but even die-hard Cajuns are starting to see changes to the fishery. Again, various factors at play such as less pressure per acre of water, saltwater intrusion into the marsh, erosion and the most generous bag limits along the Gulf Coast. Contrary to historical beliefs, marine life is a finite resource.
Last edited by silverking on February 7th, 2019, 1:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby Redfin » February 7th, 2019, 1:03 pm

MIAcanes44 wrote:Let me know if you need help silverking and I can send you a private message with location and lures used.

Very nice gesture. Good folks on here.
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Re: What do you want to say to FWC

Postby Salty Gator » February 7th, 2019, 1:29 pm

Shut off all over-sized fish, but do away with anything but a number limit for all fish under that size. This slot junk has lead to a lot of fish that will die being thrown back.[/quote]


That does make sense if it will stop people from wading through 100 shorts to get s limit, killing a bunch. But I’m afraid it would lead to a 3 man limit of dinks in the live well to be culled all day, in which case, most would probably die.
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