Snook to Remain Closed for Another Year in Gulf Waters

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. 

Angler-recognition revisited in Florida

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission before it, have sought since 1953 to help anglers document their big catches and to give them bragging rights. The antecedent of the evolving “Big Catch Angler Recognition Program” was a “fishing citation” program run by Florida Wildlife Magazine from 1953-1976. The actual Big Catch Angler Recognition Program began in 1990; at the time, a fish’s weight was required.

Request for Red Snapper Extension

We are working to gain an extension of the current recreational red snapper fishing season and action needs to be taken immediately. We are hoping to gain some extra days after the current projected closure of July 10. It may be possible to do so and we are providing this info so you can send your request for extra days to Dr. Roy Crabtree, Melissa Thompson (Rep Southerlands staff), and Pam Dana, Gulf Council member from Florida.

Please see the attached letters from Gulf Representatives and both Florida Senators:

Please send them a short email with your request and explain how many days you have lost to fishing since June 1 for red snapper as compared to last year. Here is their contact info:

  • Dr. Roy Crabtree, NOAA Fisheries Service (
  • Melissa Thompson, Rep Southerlands staff (
  • Pam Dana, Gulf Council member from Florida (


Atlantic Highly Migratory Silky Shark News

NMFS will publish a Proposed Rule tomorrow, June 22, 2012, to implement the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) recommendation 11-08, which prohibits retaining, transshipping, or landing silky sharks caught in association with ICCAT fisheries.

Gag Grouper Recreational Harvest Opening in Gulf State Waters; Closing in Florida 4-County Region

Gag grouper will be open for recreational harvest in most Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters July 1. The same day, however, the season will close in state waters off the coast of Franklin, Wakulla, Jefferson and Taylor counties. 

SEDAR 28 for Cobia & Spanish Mackerel

Fisheries of the South Atlantic; Southeast Data, Assessment, and Review (SEDAR); Gulf of Mexico and South Atlantic Spanish Mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus) and Cobia (Rachycentron canadum)

Four Assessment Workshops via webinars are being added to SEDAR 28. The webinars will be held July 10, 2012, July 24, 2012, August 9, 2012, and August 30, 2012. All webinars will begin at 1 p.m. (Eastern) and are expected to last four hours. The SEDAR 28 Review Workshop was originally scheduled for August 6-10, 2012 and will now be held October 29-November 2, 2012. This is the twenty-eighth SEDAR. See SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.

FWC to Meet June 27-28 in Palm Beach Gardens

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will meet June 27-28 at the PGA National Resort in Palm Beach Gardens to discuss the bear management plan, federal endangered species designations, changes in hunting and saltwater harvest opportunities and the newest phase of its anchoring and mooring pilot program, among other issues.

Reef Fish Season Openings and Closures

Red snapper, gag, greater amberjack, and gray triggerfish have season openings and closings.  Currently, red snapper and gray triggerfish are open.  Red snapper opened on June 1, 2012, and will close on July 11, 2012, at 12:01 a.m. Gray triggerfish is open, but will close on June 11, 2012, at 12:01 a.m.

Recreational Harvest of Gray Triggerfish Closing to Vessels Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico Federal Waters on June 11, 2012

The recreational harvest of gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico federal waters will close, effective 12:01 a.m. (local time) June 11, 2012, until 12:01 a.m. (local time) January 1, 2013. NOAA Fisheries Service has determined the 2012 recreational quota (annual catch target) of 217,100 pounds whole weight (ww) of gray triggerfish will be caught by this date. 

Impacts on the population brought about by recent reductions in the daily bag limit and an increase in minimum size to 14 inches were not fully included in the models used to produce the latest population estimates. A truer picture of the triggerfish population should become clearer when a full assessment scheduled for 2013 is complete. 

MRIP Talks with Anglers and Stakeholders in Florida

In their second stop on the MRIP Road Show, the Communications and Education team conducted a week-long series of meetings in Florida earlier this month to talk with recreational anglers and other stakeholders about the progress MRIP has made and its plans for the future.