NACO

National Association of Charterboat Operators

Red Snapper Season in the Gulf of Mexico Gulf-Wide Season Set at 28 Days

Earlier this year, NOAA Fisheries published an emergency rule giving the agency the authority to adjust seasons off each Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) state based on whether their state-water seasons and bag limits were consistent with federal regulations. On May 31, 2013, the U.S. District Court in Brownsville, Texas, set aside that emergency rule.   

As a result of this Court decision, the federal recreational red snapper season must be the same in federal waters off all five Gulf states. Considering the catches expected later in the year during the extended state-water seasons off Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, NOAA Fisheries projects the Gulf-wide federal recreational red snapper season can be 28 days long. Federal waters of the Gulf will close to recreational red snapper harvest at 12:01 a.m., June 29, 2013. 

 

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FWC to Meet June 11-13 in Lakeland

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet June 11-13 in Lakeland at the Hilton Garden Inn, 3839 Don Emerson Drive. The meeting is open to the public, and all interested individuals may speak within the guidelines established by the Commission.

The June 11 workshop starts at 1 p.m. with the consideration of 11 consent agenda items, among which include eliminating the requirement for a recreational fishing license when targeting the nonnative, invasive lionfish with certain gear, and not imposing recreational or commercial limits on harvesting.

 

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Anatomy of a Fish Kill

 

Recently, north Florida anglers and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) fishery biologists were heartbroken to see the white bellies of numerous fish floating in Lake Victor. Lake Victor is a popular, 130-acre FWC-managed impoundment in Holmes County. Since the impoundment was constructed, the FWC has stocked fish, managed vegetation, provided boating access, created fish attractors and spawning beds and otherwise strove to create quality fishing.

So, what happened, and could it happen to a lake near you? Unfortunately, it seems like a case of nature taking its course and, yes, it happens throughout the state each summer. In this case, it appears that heavy rainfalls flushed organic matter into the lake and the organic matter began to decompose, resulting in a low-dissolved-oxygen (DO) fish kill. As in most such cases, the die-off did not kill all of the fish, and when the water cleared and the sun came out, oxygen levels recovered and biologists observed numerous surviving fish.

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Gag Grouper

NMFS implements management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP), as prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This final rule establishes a closure date for the 2013 recreational sector for the harvest of gag based on the projected annual catch target (ACT), and reduces the geographic extent of the recreational shallow-water grouper (SWG) fixed seasonal closure. In the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), SWG consists of gag, red grouper, black grouper, scamp, yellowfin grouper, and yellowmouth grouper.

    The purpose of this rule is to help achieve optimum yield (OY) for the Gulf gag and other SWG resources and prevent overfishing from the stocks in the SWG complex.

This rule is effective July 5, 2013.

 

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NMFS Corrects Date for SEDAR 33 & Adds Webinar

Recently, we sent an alert regarding the stock assesment for Gag Grouper and Greater Amberjack giving the dates for the SEDAR 33, NMFS published a correction to the date. July 22 should have been July 23, 2013. All other information remains unchanged. For corrected dates please click below. The Post-Data Workshop webinar will be held on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.  

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Gulf Gray Triggerfish Season (Florida)

Gulf gray triggerfish season, bag limit changes effective June 10 in state, federal waters

Changes to how Gulf of Mexico gray triggerfish are managed in state and federal waters will go into effect June 10. These changes include a recreational and commercial season closure and the implementation of recreational and commercial bag limits.

Earlier this year, state and federal fishery managers approved a recreational and commercial season closure for June 1 through July 31. Because this season closure does not go into effect until June 10, for 2013 only, the closure will start June 10 and run through July 31, with harvest reopening Aug. 1 in state waters. In future years, the closure will start June 1 and run through July 31. 

 

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Red Snapper Management Measures

NMFS issues this final rule to implement management measures described in a framework action to the Fishery Management Plan for the Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico (FMP) prepared by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council). This rule revises the commercial and recreational quotas for red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf) reef fish fishery for the 2013 fishing year and announces the quota closure dates in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) off each Gulf state for the 2013 red snapper recreational fishing season. This final rule is intended to help achieve optimum yield for the Gulf red snapper resource without increasing the risk of red snapper experiencing overfishing.

This rule is effective May 29, 2013.

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Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council Releases Draft Comprehensive Plan

Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council releases Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy

Council also names Executive Director to lead planning and implementation efforts

The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council marked significant progress today with the public release of the Draft Initial Comprehensive Plan: Restoring the Gulf Coast’s Ecosystem and Economy and accompanying Draft Environmental Assessment for formal public comment. The Draft Plan provides a framework to implement a coordinated region-wide restoration effort in a way that restores, protects, and revitalizes the Gulf Coast region following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

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