So following up on the Gag discussion

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doomtrpr_z71
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So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

When I bought a bay boat, I had high hopes of being able to fish state waters in FL in the winter and catch some shallow gags and not burn 40 gallons of gas to do it. But according to NOAA we majorly exceeded catch limits in 2023 or did we?


I will preface this by saying I am not a NOAA data scientist, my data science background is far more applied and grounded in the real world than they ever hope to be.


So the NOAA original numbers:


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FL Reef Survey:


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So after considerable outcry, NOAA crunched the numbers again:


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So I became curious about their model and data since it has so many people riled up. 


The MRIP data is available to the public with the warning that it is raw data blah blah blah.


So the data for 2023 we have 734 samples for Gag's, of which only 235 samples were taken within grouper season. Of those 235, 56 were actually offshore, IE greater than 3 miles so roughly 8% of the dataset is actually relevant to the real world. Not looking real good to begin with.


Moving on, I'm going to ignore the fact the majority of the data collected was out of season etc.


Out of that dataset and looking at unadjusted Catch A which was:


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We have a grand total of 194 fish caught in 81 sample events which averages a whopping 2.4 fish per sample.


Moving on to the second part of their statistical equation B1, which is:

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Which comes up to 0


Which is funny because even when its 0, the model still assigns weighted values for statistical calculation, so I wondered where that those numbers are calculated from, it comes from releases:


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So even when we are good sportsmen and release our out of season fish, statistically we are still counting towards a catch limit.


Speaking of a catch limit, 106000 lbs caught by shore anglers according to the model, right?


That was extrapolated out because one guy got lucky and caught a 3kg keeper in Region 3, doesnt matter that the average catch rate of a keeper from shore was 0.022.


So going back to the original math, 1.7 million lbs total caught:


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      Based on data that amounts to an average size grouper caught was 159.767mm or about 6.5ins, whcih is really odd since the average weight is 1.07 kgs which is almost 2.5lbs. 

 

Which seems a bit odd, dont you think?


So breaking it down per month....


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So Jan-April claimed harvest is adjusted to 0 but yet there is claimed harvest in the unadjusted counts than amounts to 0 length  and weight which is strange enough, but we have catch data for May, June, July, and August when the season is closed. In fact the highest average weight was in May, so where is this coming from in the harvest data? The season was closed, are the people doing MRIP so dumb they dont even know what species they are looking at and just filling in blanks?  How is the average size grouper caught in August 44mm? Thats 1.7in on AVERAGE and weighs 0.397kg (0.875lbs) on Average.



So the conclusion that I come to is this, the model they use in SAS may be well enough done to calculate harvests, I don't know, I never even looked at the model since the input data is GARBAGE. Frankly it is ridiculous to even try to use this data for anything worthwhile. I would be ashamed to even have my name attached to it, I'm sure the NOAA will say we used the best available dataset which is junk.


I will say this one of my takeaways from this boils down to this realization, if you are being surveyed for MRIP, do not mention any short grouper you catch out of season, in fact dont mention the shorts at all even during season. If we are being penalized for catching shorts that are being released, the best thing you can do is not mention it at all.



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Last edited by doomtrpr_z71 on February 17th, 2024, 5:40 pm, edited 3 times in total.
rockyg
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by rockyg »

My buddy said the "Shore Based" data came from a handful of gags caught from the bridge in Tampa Bay. Once they applied the "Fairy Dust" that became 106,000 pounds caught from shore. Total BS.
“It's hard to measure almost.....because almost doesn't matter”
― John Dutton
doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

rockyg wrote:My buddy said the "Shore Based" data came from a handful of gags caught from the bridge in Tampa Bay. Once they applied the "Fairy Dust" that became 106,000 pounds caught from shore. Total BS.
They only had a single keeper caught from shore, one that's it.

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boomhauer
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by boomhauer »

If gags are so scare, it’s funny we busted the quota in 8 weeks where 1 year prior we didn’t bust it in 8 months.
doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

boomhauer wrote:If gags are so scare, it’s funny we busted the quota in 8 weeks where 1 year prior we didn’t bust it in 8 months.
Or how if you run the model for by catch I'm 99% sure it would be over the quota by April.

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Red Beard
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by Red Beard »

At this point the information isn’t worth considering. A volunteer with a clip board taking down subjective fish stories as the gospel is hard to conceive as a reputable source. They take into consideration the part where people who think they know what’s best and give them more bait shop gossip about the water they haven’t fished on months.

No where in the data does it show a variable to show dates that weren’t fishable due to the weather that sat on us for the first two to three weeks.

This commercial quota talk is just as ridiculous. The state of FL know’s exactly how many commercial permits they issue and how many are active at any given time. So they are well aware of what the numbers would be in a perfect situation; when all boats catch max quotas every trip. Definitely not the case for every boat.

If the gags really are hurting; it’s from the red snappers and goliath eating them out of house and home. We over protect until it affects something else just to swing far out and repeat the cycle it seems. Or years of poor water management causing populations to move or die off.

Until the state takes back power of their fishery I don’t believe there is a solution. Councils for this and that middle manning the whole thing to death. Yet to see any follow up science of where these numbers given come into play for conservation through the years.
doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

Red Beard wrote:At this point the information isn’t worth considering. A volunteer with a clip board taking down subjective fish stories as the gospel is hard to conceive as a reputable source. They take into consideration the part where people who think they know what’s best and give them more bait shop gossip about the water they haven’t fished on months.

No where in the data does it show a variable to show dates that weren’t fishable due to the weather that sat on us for the first two to three weeks.

This commercial quota talk is just as ridiculous. The state of FL know’s exactly how many commercial permits they issue and how many are active at any given time. So they are well aware of what the numbers would be in a perfect situation; when all boats catch max quotas every trip. Definitely not the case for every boat.

If the gags really are hurting; it’s from the red snappers and goliath eating them out of house and home. We over protect until it affects something else just to swing far out and repeat the cycle it seems. Or years of poor water management causing populations to move or die off.

Until the state takes back power of their fishery I don’t believe there is a solution. Councils for this and that middle manning the whole thing to death. Yet to see any follow up science of where these numbers given come into play for conservation through the years.
I agree completely, the out of season release data shouldn't even be considered since it's WAG, the trip/effort data may take into consideration weather but since this data alone was so bad I haven't even looked at the trip/effort data. I do have it downloaded and I may tinker with it while I'm bored in a hotel in Statesboro next week.

States should definitely be managing the fisheries for sure.

If I get really bored I may fire SAS up and run their model with only the relevant data and see what it predicts the harvest at.

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Red Beard
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by Red Beard »

I hope you don’t find that level of boredom.. but await such findings as a fruit of boredom labor.
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fishinfool
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by fishinfool »

My curiosity is well beyond peaked. Who is collecting the data from recreational anglers? Are there Fed. scientists roaming the waters? Are they collecting data from the USCG? I hear of FWC regularly inspecting anglers, but USCG? Not often enough to produce any data.
If the average length of Gags is 160mm or 6.3in how many 1-2inch fish are being caught in order to produce that average? And who and how are these 1-2 inch fish being caught?
The data from NOAA is way too flawed to even be considered. The fact that they published Shore Based Angler catches of 12 times that of Headboat anglers should automatically make their report null and void.
doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

Red Beard wrote: February 19th, 2024, 12:16 am I hope you don’t find that level of boredom.. but await such findings as a fruit of boredom labor.
I had time during my teams meeting today to kill, they do not take weather into account, I honestly have no idea where that data is even coming from as they don't split the effort data out by species.
Ken_80
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by Ken_80 »

Interesting statistics and thanks for posting this up. Someone asked "who is collecting the data"... If I may offer up what i encountered this year, which my data reflects merely 1 individual. I keep a "google spreadsheet" on my phone that i enter my trips (date, species caught, gps location, weather, etc) and I just pulled it up. From June 16 through the end of October i launched 14 times from Indian Pass and 9 from Port Saint Joe. Twice i was checked on the water off the Cape by FWC for the normal stuff but vividly remember not being asked anything more than checking measurements and fish count. Only one time was i ever approached at the St Joe ramp by someone with a clipboard-and they were only interested in scallop data. Does this mean anything-no not really, and my 23 launches are just a drop in the bucket compared to the total # of launches in the Gulf. But with that being said, i am curious how many other people on here were ever approached to have data collected from them? Not trying to derail your thread.
boomhauer
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by boomhauer »

I apppreciate the effort and discussion guys…. Some of my buddies are almost at the point of giving up.

I started a thread on this same column about rethinking harvest expectations….
We were not surveyed one time last season. As divers, we can tell them what is really down there….
The quotas and catch data really are irrelevant….
What matters is what fish are actually out there year to year.
Currently, as of November, gags are like fleas in our area…. Best year for us in the last 15…
Gags on spots they’ve never been on. All size classes.
Even public spots are loaded… there is a YouTube video of rose city tripods…. Covered with gags.

As per my last thread…. I would try a setup that looks at gag , red gr, red snapper, and AJ as aggregate….
Catch your 2 keepers and you’re done…. More anglers would have “successful “ trips and there is no way that 2 fish aggregate per day would ever hurt the fishery….
Way less bycatch from separated seasons….
Lastly, fish that are hurting , red tide hitting red grouper etc, would be targeted less…. Most people would fish for what is most abundant….
Seems like a win win….. longer season, more trips for same fish… better for economy….
No catch data needed…. Just have discussion with fisherman and divers input , online etc, about what they are seeing…..
It wouldn’t hurt to try it or offer it as option.
boomhauer
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by boomhauer »

It’s a punch in the gut when the fish are everywhere and we can’t even keep one!
doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

fishinfool wrote:My curiosity is well beyond peaked. Who is collecting the data from recreational anglers? Are there Fed. scientists roaming the waters? Are they collecting data from the USCG? I hear of FWC regularly inspecting anglers, but USCG? Not often enough to produce any data.
If the average length of Gags is 160mm or 6.3in how many 1-2inch fish are being caught in order to produce that average? And who and how are these 1-2 inch fish being caught?
The data from NOAA is way too flawed to even be considered. The fact that they published Shore Based Angler catches of 12 times that of Headboat anglers should automatically make their report null and void.
I agree, I'm under the impression that the fwc is paid to collect the data for NOAA, I have been interviewed for mrip once for inshore fish at ecofina, it is not a quick deal.

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doomtrpr_z71
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Re: So following up on the Gag discussion

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

So following up, the reason the average length of gags is 160mm is because they count the releases as 0 so that reduces the total length. And it's total length in the data, so adjusting the data to actual catches and averaging the length to per fish instead of total length the data shows an average harvest length of 638mm which is 25in. All of the releases they still count really throws the data all out of whack.

If you break it down to just the samples of grouper season:

10 are ocean greater than 3 miles off shore
657mm average length

16 are west Florida less than 10 miles off shore
611mm average length

11 are west Florida greater than 10miles off shore
504mm average length

So far the samples are all a mix of charters and private boats

Then when you select for inland it gets stupid....

We have our one lucky guy that catches one from shore, but then we have 5 surveys of charters and private boats with catches inland, 508mm average
length.....


It's almost like they are even counting people catching shorts and getting busted with them in the data as a survey.....

The reason the head boat catch estimate was so low is because they only had 2 samples, both were shorts so they were only releases and have a catch of zero.


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