red grouper season closing down now?

Just read that NOAA fisheries has said the the red grouper population is getting hit too hard and have decided to close down t h e season from sept. 1 thru jan.1 2015. Plus starting May5 the daily bag limit for reds has dropped from 4 to 3. Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone! :-(


  • VeikxVeikx Posts: 611 Officer

    I don't mind the reduction in fish, but to close the season entirely is ridiculous. Sept 16- jan 1... Next thing we know it will go from Sept 16 until April 1 as new data was brought to light with overages in the rec's catch and never the commercial sectors.
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  • ThePigskinCaptainThePigskinCaptain Posts: 390 Officer
    I could really go off here, but I am going to temper the comments. I have over 30 years fishing experience off the West Florida shelf in basically every aspect of the industry. I started when red groupers had to be 12 inches in order to keep them and there was no bag limit. There is simply no reason to decrease the current bag limit or close the season for four months at the end of the year. The red grouper fishery has been incredible in the last two years.

    In addition to a gracious 11 day, or even 9-day season for red snapper, I am hearing that amberjack might be closing this year as well.

    These closures are all based on a terrible data reporting system that NMFS refuses to improve, MRFSS. NMFS is being led around by the nose by various enviro-groups that has a serious agenda. They do not care about the stock status, they will manipulate the numbers any way they see fit. I've been on the inside, I've seen it before. These cascades of regulations are just another further "nudge" to get fishermen to simply adopt a recreational catch share program as they call it. I call it an IFQ program. And it's disgusting.

    Amberjacks are everywhere. I'm catching red snappers now off our coast as close as 90 feet, something I didn't do 30 years ago. Red grouper fishing has been very good. To point to a flawed survey method in order to reduce the bag limit and close the fishery this year in order to make up for a perceived overage on last year's TAC is simply without merit. You have strong years of recruitment which make their way through the fishery, but I am simply not seeing the same number of vessels offshore as you did even a few years ago. The recreational effort is simply not there. There aren't the same number of charterboats targeting grouper and the offshore fishery as there was a couple years ago. This is a fabricated "crisis".

    And, don't forget friends, triggerfish closes on May 1, so don't keep those either.

    This is all madness. I'm very upset about this but I've got to start dinner. I'll have a couple adult beverages and this will be my last comment. There is no real science behind any of these moves, it's agenda driven.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 AG
    Good synopsis, minor corrections.[URL="]MRIP[/url] replaced MRFFS, witch still relies upon poor population and effort assessments as did it predecessor.

    It is not so much environmental groups diving this , but NOAA administration policy. The environmental groups do influence that policy by helping to elect the administration which appoints the administrator.

    Catch shares do not require and will not receive recreational fisherman's buy in, since it is simply a reassignment of a portion of the recreational fish allotment to the for-hire sector, effectively taking it from them.

    FWC decided not to comply with fed's 11 day ARS season and opted for a 52 day season. What I think this means is that FWC LED will not enforce federal regulations, leaving that to NOAA LE. Not that I advise testing it beyond 9 miles.

    Other than that you are spot on.
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  • ThePigskinCaptainThePigskinCaptain Posts: 390 Officer
    Thank you Gary. EDF is really entrenched in the Council process. I believe at last check some of their people are chairs or co-chairs of various APs. I was happy to see the State of Florida make the move they did, but at little to no benefit to us on the west coast. At least recs and charter guys in the panhandle can catch a few this year. I'm not testing anything having to do with red snapper this year other than the official federal season. I have 30 years on my 100 ton license with no fisheries violations. I see that resource violations are now a part of your license renewal application process. Not risking my ticket for some red snapper.

    Just violated what I said. I'm back to cooking dinner. I can't start my rant. Time for another beer and check the grill.
  • HoovHoov Posts: 386 Officer
    **** :banghead.
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  • MoneyPitMoneyPit Posts: 20 Greenhorn
    That's insane. This past weekend we TRIED not to catch any red grouper. They are everywhere and there certainly is no shortage of them.
  • FinsfanFinsfan Posts: 604 Officer
    This really blows...I don't mind the bag limit change at all considering we pretty much never try to limit out but the closure seems really unwarranted. Guess its shallow water gags come fall....Just sucks they would close red grouper in such a prime time for them.
  • gradyislandergradyislander Posts: 7 Greenhorn
    Finsfan wrote: »
    This really blows...I don't mind the bag limit change at all considering we pretty much never try to limit out but the closure seems really unwarranted. Guess its shallow water gags come fall....Just sucks they would close red grouper in such a prime time for them.

    I agree with the limit on Red Grouper changing to 3 per person. No problem with that since a nice bag of filets from 3 big grouper is certainly enough to take home to the family. But closing down for 3 1/2 months is ridiculous.
    Not to mention an 11 day ARS season. I have spots in the Gulf where you can't catch a grouper because the snapper are so thick, you can't get past them to get down to the grouper.

    Where does it stop? There is so much talk about the Tea Party, maybe we should start a Fish Party to protest NOAA's unfair fishing regulations to the recreational and charter guys.
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