Goliath Grouper Egmont Key Reef on 6/14/16

Video was taken on 6/14 out at Egmont Reef, saw three Goliaths. Sorry about the clarity, visibility was pretty bad that day.

[URL="[video=youtube;SfNEv8efl9w]

Replies

  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 10,863 AG
    Did you see any other fish? I did not see any in the video. kinda sucks knowing where they all went.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 634 Officer
    Did you see any other fish? I did not see any in the video. kinda sucks knowing where they all went.

    Right around 1:00 you see one in the lower right corner. Looks like a big grunt or mangrove but the visibility is horrible out there. Still not quite as bad as most fossil diving trips I do out of Venice...

    As for the goliaths cleaning out the reef, that's simply not how it works. Goliath grouper are lazy opportunists who will not hesitate to steal a hooked fish (or a dozen) off of your line, but they are not active feeders on reef fish under normal circumstances. Their primary food source (from stomach content analysis) is crustacea; crabs, lobsters and such. There are a ton of reasons why you aren't seeing fish in the video, not the least of which is the fact that visibility is garbage. Not only are fish just plain harder to see in bad visibility, but they tend to hide under these conditions because it is much easier for them to get ambushed by larger predators under these conditions.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 10,863 AG
    Gotcha. Thanks for the info. Still seeing 3 on one reef, are these all that endangered anymore? Couldn't they do a limited high dollar permit for people who wanted to take them? I mean I have no interest in them, but if someone wants to pay $400 to harvest one of those three, and they did something like a 100 per year permit lottery draw I think it wouldn't hurt the population at all.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 634 Officer
    Gotcha. Thanks for the info. Still seeing 3 on one reef, are these all that endangered anymore? Couldn't they do a limited high dollar permit for people who wanted to take them? I mean I have no interest in them, but if someone wants to pay $400 to harvest one of those three, and they did something like a 100 per year permit lottery draw I think it wouldn't hurt the population at all.

    It might work, and that's the only way I could see the fishery opening up. The issue with the tag system, particularly as the state sees it, is that it complicates all enforcement for goliaths and would indirectly increase the rate of poaching outside of the tags. It's a lot easier for the FWC to enforce a full closure because ANY possession, whether seen on facebook, on a checked boat or in a freezer is certain to be a violation. If you bring in the tag system, then there will be folks who game the system by catching their goliath and not putting the tag on it unless they see FWC bearing down on them or checking at the ramp. I've seen this with folks fishing tarpon from the skyway pier where they will keep a tarpon and only put a tag on its tail if folks are looking close. It happens. It happens a lot in Texas where you are allowed a single overslot redfish per year (at least that's how it was back when I was there) and folks harvested a lot of big reds without using their one tag. I think that challenges in enforcement is the primary reason that FWC is so hesitant to open a limited season rather than populations.
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 10,863 AG
    Yea, i can see the poaching being an issue. That makes sense.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • Navy_FishingNavy_Fishing Posts: 817 Officer
    They do it with Gators and bears, they could do it with the Jew Fish
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