Have you harvested a permit?

If so and you would like to continue to do so, I highly recommend you tell the FWC Commissioners. At next month's meeting the FWC staff will be presenting draft definitions of "sport fish" and "game fish". After those definitions are approved, staff will be presenting which fish they recommend to add to those lists. As of today here are the draft definitions:

Game Fish:
No or limited commercial harvest
No sale or limited sale
Hook and line only

Sport Fish:
No commercial harvest
No sale
Hook and line only
NO RECREATIONAL HARVEST

Per the Sept 2012 Commission meeting here are the potential candidates for each of the lists:

Game Fish - Snook and Redfish

Sport Fish - Bonefish, Tarpon, and PERMIT

Yep, they're trying to backdoor a harvest closure on permit after all the **** we went through the last two years. Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright has made it clear that he would like additional protections for permit. Specifically he would like to see permit be designated to the sport fish category and make it catch and release only. According to FWC staff biologists, permit stocks are not even remotely in trouble per the most recent data. There is zero evidence that they have not been subject to an increase in pressure, nor have they been found to be endangered in any way.

So tell me, how is it justified for a single person to force their personal preference on all of Florida’s fishermen regardless of sound science?

In fact, this issue continues to be fueled primarily by a group of catch and release only fishermen (and now apparently Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright) who would like the FWC Commissioners to force their personal preference on all of Florida’s fishermen regardless of the lack of true need, which I believe, is unfair to the citizens and tourists of Florida. I hope you will too.

The FWC resources being spent on this permit sport fish issue would be, in my opinion, better spent on other fisheries which have documented problems, not catering to the personal preferences of Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright and a small group catch and release only fishermen.

If you feel the same way please let the Commissioners know by emailing them your thoughts via this link:

http://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-staff/senior-staff/commissioners/


At the beginning of next year we will need to come together and show up at the FWC Commission meetings and tell them in person.

Spread the word through your dive/fishing/spearfishing clubs.

Thank you!!

Replies

  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    Here's a letter you can use to copy and paste. Feel free to change/modify but stay professional.
    Dear Commissioners,

    Thank you for your sound management of Florida’s fish and wildlife. I am contacting you regarding the future discussions pertaining to the concept of creating saltwater game fish and sport fish designations for Florida.

    There are obvious benefits to the species that potentially could land on either of those lists. Florida is the fishing capital of the world and by creating additional protection for some of the potential species this would help preserve and protect the superb tourism and fishing industry-related communities all around our great state.

    In June 2011 the Commission approved a series of modifications to the Permit, Florida Pompano, and African Pompano rules after your staff experts did an outstanding job of gathering public input through a series of statewide workshops and video-conferences for over a year and a half. The resulting draft rule revisions indicate that a majority of Florida’s permit fishermen approve of allowing individuals to harvest their legal bag limit of permit by hook and line or spearfishing gear.

    Now I understand that Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright has made it clear that he would like additional protections for permit. Specifically he would like to see permit be designated to the sport fish category and make it catch and release only. According to FWC staff biologists, permit stocks are not even remotely in trouble per the most recent data. There is zero evidence that they have not been subject to an increase in pressure, nor have they been found to be endangered in any way.

    So tell me, how is it justified for a single person to force their personal preference on all of Florida’s fishermen regardless of sound science?

    In fact, this issue continues to be fueled primarily by a group of catch and release only fishermen (and now apparently Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright) who would like you to force their personal preference on all of Florida’s fishermen regardless of the lack of true need, which I believe, is unfair to the citizens and tourists of Florida. I hope you will too.

    The FWC resources being spent on this permit sport fish issue would be, in my opinion, better spent on other fisheries which have documented problems, not catering to the personal preferences of Commissioner Chairman Ken Wright and a small group catch and release only fishermen.

    Respectfully,
  • It is my understanding that the guides in the keys have been the ones pushing for this.
    Permit is very good eating and I've kept one whenever I caught one.


    Just dropped them a note:

    It has come to my attention that The FWC is considering Game Fish status for Permit.
    I believe this is unwarranted and this agenda is being pushed by guides in the Keys who target permit on their charters.
    Here off the West Central coast there is a very robust permit fishery and closing it down to harvest would be wrong.

    Respectfully,
    Jerry Cummings
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • FS Karl SnapperFS Karl Snapper Posts: 285 Officer
    What a wordplay jungle. Beyond dumb, drafted by non-anglers with little background in the subject...
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    What a wordplay jungle. Beyond dumb, drafted by non-anglers with little background in the subject...

    Where's CCA on this? They were very supportive of Aaron and his "rock star" fish status in Weston.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    What a wordplay jungle. Beyond dumb, drafted by non-anglers with little background in the subject...

    That's funny Karl because I don't remember you being at any of the scoping or stakeholders meeting about this issue over the past 2.5 years. I was at each of them.

    Can you show us any data or information that refutes what was stated? I didn't think so.

    I've spoken with Ted F. and as of now CCA doesn't have a "position". Previously they were in support of allowing harvest of permit. I've reached out to Aaron A. but have not heard back from him.
  • FS Karl SnapperFS Karl Snapper Posts: 285 Officer
    We've published thousands and thousands of words that refute the notions being considered, though it's true I don't attend as many meetings personally any more after 40 years on the soapbox. I do, however, stay up to date with many advocates who represent the recreational fishing community. I'd like to talk with you personally any time. Give me a ring.

    Anyway, I think the definitions listed are far off base and ignorant of what other jurisdictions are doing. For e.g., the mention of "gamefish" to include sale, is counter to all that we worked on for so long, and achieved, for redfish. In Florida, the term gamefish is accepted to mean no-sale, though in some states it refers more to the game qualities of a fish rather than the sale aspect.

    Generally, I don't think it is helpful to force rigid definitions in the state law on terms that mean different things in different jurisdictions. Better to just state the provisions as they apply. When and if there is confusion, you could give clarifying words.
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    The FWC staff presentation identifies other jurisdiction's definitions (within the SE US and along the GOM).

    I agree with you that having a "limited sale" definition under game fish would be off base with respect to the potential candidates (snook and redfish).

    What is your position with having permit listed under sport fish and no recreational harvest?

    BTW, I'm fairly certain it was Barreto who coined "rock star".

    Regardless, it still doesn't change the fact that now that Mr. Wright has been promoted to Chairman of the Commission he is now attempting to ignore all the FWC staff researchers, the data, and almost all the anglers and divers of Florida by trying again to ban harvest of one of Florida’s fishes simply because he personally does not like people eating them.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer

    BTW, I'm fairly certain it was Barreto who coined "rock star".
    That was Aaron.

    This is a continuing BTT initiative. CCA members heavily populate BTT, so it is going to be interesting where they come out on the issues.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • FS Karl SnapperFS Karl Snapper Posts: 285 Officer
    I haven't used the term rock star and don't know how it fits into this...

    But I favor leaving the permit rule as it is for now. We've never advocated zero take. We do favor no-sale of any size.

    I believe Ken Wright has been basicaly on the side of rec anglers and is a good man for sportfishing conservation. I'll give him a call on the permit question.
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    I'd love to hear his off-record response.

    Thank you for your position, I hope common sense prevails.

    Rick Scott is running for a re-election, I'm sure he'd hate to hear how his hand-picked man is going against FWC staff researchers, the data, and almost all the anglers and divers of Florida to push his personal preference.

    Gary - I too believe that BTT is the driving force as they were previously however, staff has told me that BTT does not support zero take. I've reached out to Aaron....we'll see.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer

    I believe Ken Wright has been basicaly on the side of rec anglers and is a good man for sportfishing conservation.

    I do not share that belief having I observed him parroting Aaron and Baretto enthusiastically twisting staff's arms to justify unnecessary rule making at Weston.

    I also see him supporting BTT on similar tarpon initiatives in Boca Grande and on the state and federal level.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    I'll give him a call on the permit question.

    Any luck reaching Mr. Wright?
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    And the propaganda is starting to hit the docks.

    http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20121126/SPORTS05/311260020/New-tougher-fishing-rules-could-way

    If you would like to continue to have the right to harvest a permit let the Commissioners know that you're not in favor of a sport fish designation for permit. That they need to give us reason why the limited, regulated, and sustainable harvest of permit should forever be banned in Florida.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,757 Captain
    I just received a notice from my CCA rep for south Florida about this controversy. Since he requested comment I replied as soon as I read the request. I think this issue is important enough that my reply (like many others) deserves as wide a dissemination as possible so I'll be copying it to any forum that's appropriate. As a strong supporter of the CCA (and sometime fundraiser for the Broward chapter among others) who donates time and money to more than one state's CCA... I was very to see the CCA was interested in gathering a response to this issue... At any rate, here's what I had to say....


    Thanks for the heads up... I've been following the early info on this particular proposition with interest and I think every portion of it is flawed and it deserves to be rejected, period.

    Here's my reasoning. We already have in place entirely satisfactory rules that protect each specie from over-fishing as well as the opportunity for the FWC, with its rule making authority, to designate any specie as "Not for sale", the way redfish and snook are now.... I'm aware that this is being driven by activist groups coming from the Keys who seek to provide "additional protections" for fish that they consider to be under stress. This particular movement completely ignores the real problem with every flats fish in the Keys... which is simply that the fishing pressure on them in that area is darned nearly overwhelming and growing every year. Let me put it more simply... in the Keys there are just as many bonefish, permit, and tarpon as there ever were - but they are under such fishing pressure that every year flats anglers in that area will have less and less success. This attempt to "protect" them completely ignores that basic fact. By the way, that's the main reason I do my best not to fish in that area any more - the fishing pressure down there is just overwhelming, and getting worse....

    In contrast permit along the west coast of Florida (including offshore of the Everglades and Ten Thousand Islands) are under no particular stress, are in great abundance, and usually considered to be a great table fish as well as a great fighting sport fish. I do not want to see permit allowed for sale in this state - but just as equally, I do not want to see any angler denied the opportunity to keep one for the table if so desired (this would be sacrilege in the Keys....). These attempts to do just that ---to accomplish a local agenda down in the Keys are difficult to accept. It seems to be dishonest to claim that local desires are more important than the actual condition of that species in the rest of the state.

    Lastly, some years ago there was a question asked of guides at a large meeting with the FWC about whether they'd agree not to keep any snook when they were working as guides. Most present agreed with that. It appears that this early agreement has morphed into licensed guides and crew not being allowed to keep any snook ever, even when they do not have any customers aboard.... Now it's being proposed for other species as well. I think it's high time that a specific statement was made by the FWC that this kind of rule only applies when a licensed captain or crew actually has customers aboard - and that the rest of the time we're no different than any other angler on the water, obeying the existing rules and regs....

    I'd be glad to appear in public at any forum to voice these views where all can hear them and decide if I'm on the right side of this issue. I can't say how much I disapprove of those with a private agenda that want to enforce their views on the majority of anglers around the state that don't face a similar situation at all...
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Very wise and well said Bob, as usual.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • Much more eloquent then my input.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    Bob, thank you so very much with sharing your thoughts. I hope you can attend the Orlando FWC meeting in Feb 2013 to share your opinion with the Commissioners. I can only hope that common sense prevails personal agendas.
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,757 Captain
    I just got a heads up from NACO that they'll be considering this foolish proposition at the NEXT meeting.... Of course that's in Appalachicola (about as far from me as you can get, and still be in Florida.....). If anyone knows otherwise - I'd like to hear about it....
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    So I wonder if the CCA will have a position prior to this week's meeting?
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    No alert was released. I suspect CCA is supporting BTT, as they did in Weston.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • lemaymiamilemaymiami Posts: 2,757 Captain
    My first involvement in this particular controversy was after a heads up from my local CCA rep... Don't think they'll be ignoring this issue and will be very, very surprised if they support BTT... Hope I'm not wrong.
    Tight Lines
    Bob LeMay
    (954) 435-5666
  • STRIPED MULLETSTRIPED MULLET Posts: 27 Greenhorn
    This thread has over 1,000 views but only like 4 people commenting. If you think for one second that this issue is strictly about permit you are mistaken!!

    THE issue here is that a certain commissioner, I believe the Chairman, has made this his pet project BECAUSE he wants it. He doesn't like that he spends big bucks to go out with a guide and chase this fish while at the same time someone can shoot one, even if the two events don't ever happen in the same location. There is no biology in this push, just some guy's pet peeve. In the early days of the MFC and earlier a number of regulations were created this way.

    My issue is that for more than twenty years now some people have developed an excellent working relationship with the MFC/FWC Staff and at times, some of the commissioners. We never based our positions on whether we "liked" or "disliked" something and the end result was very good and effective regulation in a number of areas. As a spearfisherman the detractors were many and vocal but in the end we buried them with facts, figures and irrefutable evidence...... which Staff and the commissioners used to make their decisions. The naysayers lost, but we and the resource won. In all these years effective laws were made because personal opinion was pushed out of the process. Most importantly this approach gave the MFC/FWC agency a level of credibility and respect equal to few others and surpassed by none. Now this commissioner and his hook and line cronies want exclusive access to Permit and are using his position to get it, thus erasing a great deal of the credibility achieved through decades of responsible, non-partisan, biologically supportable, sophisticated and effective management. Many years ago virtually every user group was afraid that the Commission would regulate with knee jerk actions and at the time there was little doubt that this was a very real possibility. Today a number of user groups work openly with Staff as management partners to develop good recommendations for the commissioners to consider, backed with sound evidence and the fear, once overshadowing everything, has evaporated. So now comes this primitive, selfish and exclusionary push to marginalize one user group, basically on a whim. If this methodology is allowed to return to the process and is successful we will never be able to trust the FWC again. We will all have to crawl in a hole and hide, hoping they don't target us next and fishery management will have retreated 40 years.

    It's a lot to lose.

    Make your voice heard.

    Email the Governor -->http://www.flgov.com/contact-gov-scott/email-the-governor/

    Email the Commissioners -->http://myfwc.com/contact/fwc-staff/senior-staff/commissioners/

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