Something's Fishy with Red Grouper"

I saw e Gulf Council has a survey in regards to Gulf Red Grouper coming in September 2018. The link to the survey is the same as the title of this thread. I would assume a closure is around the corner. Hmmmm

Replies

  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,164 AG
    Red tide did a number on them a several years back, new stock assessment this year will probably reflect that.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 769 Officer
    edited August 2018 #3
    red grouper numbers are down significantly in my opinion in comparison to even a few years ago.  We could go out and get a 4 per person limit of red grouper pretty easy. now its tough to get a 2 per person limit... 
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • Firetruck1Firetruck1 Posts: 139 Deckhand
    Yea, I agree Dan. From 2014-2016ish it was no problem to get a 4 grouper limit. I have a feeling that with economy better, that 30-40 mile range is in play for a lot more anglers. Even going 50-60 miles out their are still a lot of shorts..... 

    Plenty of lanes, vermillion and mangs though.
  • Firetruck1Firetruck1 Posts: 139 Deckhand
    Id actually like to see them open red snapper for a two fish limit if it's decided that red grouper closes for a minute. Pretty fair to say there's plenty of them around.... Otherwise it's really no point in fishing out past 30 miles no matter the time of year. At least make it worth the gas bill going offshore for most of us.
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 769 Officer
    firetruck, I think you are probably correct with the economy, and also since we have seen a population boom...  i can tell you that although the red snapper bite was excellent this summer, I would prefer they leave the limits as is. There was a large, noticeable difference in the fishing just from day 1 till the end of the season on the quantity of red snappers, and the same compared to previous yrs.  They are a slow growing species, as are pretty much all the  species in the grouper family.  Out past 30 miles, we see a variety of different grouper (scamp, gags, blacks) as well as much larger porgies, bigger verms and lanes, giant mangos... in the gulf, I think the days of "grocery shopping" are limited, just as they are just about everywhere if we want to see a sustainable fishery. 
    The mass kills we are seeing from the red tide near shore along with the death of an immeasurable amount of sea grass which make up our estuaries in the bays, which is a breeding ground for alot of fish, bait, etc is eventually going to have an effect on our offshore fishing as well. 
    I just hope its not a too little, too late scenario... mother nature has proved she can do amazing things when we give it the chance... but right now with the continued dumping of freshwater with the algae feeding an already incredibly strong red tide... well, I dont have the answer...  
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 422 Deckhand
    Again we see the effects of the FWC and others putting more pressure on 1 species by closing down fishing on other species. I have been really bothered by this for some time. I think the answer may be looking at aggregate limits. Somethimg like 5 gamefish per person.
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,697 Captain
    edited August 2018 #8
    Lostconch said:
    Again we see the effects of the FWC and others putting more pressure on 1 species by closing down fishing on other species. I have been really bothered by this for some time. I think the answer may be looking at aggregate limits. Somethimg like 5 gamefish per person.
    I see you're going farther than the grouper aggregate. We have that in place now for the shallow water groupers. They arent a gamefish either so it wouldn't have any effect.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 708 Officer
    True. Any fish that can be commercially harvested is not a game fish.
  • Firetruck1Firetruck1 Posts: 139 Deckhand
    I would agree with you Dan. Thanks for alls feedback and good dialogue.
  • LostconchLostconch Posts: 422 Deckhand
    I am sorry but I guess I stated what I meant unclearly. The point is that by making one fish species the target by closing harvest of others it is going to hurt the targeted species population
     As far as I am concerned if there are seasons and bag regulations then the FWC os treating them like a sports fish ad the regs apply to recreational anglers
     I really don't want to get lost in the weeds about what is and what isn't a sport fish
  • showstoppershowstopper Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    The only real answer is to stop offshore fishing.  When you put that bait down there, you may be targeting mangroves, lanes, beeliners etc, but truth is you have no control over what bites. My last trip, we caught 58 red grouper to get 5 keepers; had a steady trail of them floating off behind the boat.  Were in 136 ft of water and probably had a 70% mortality ratio.  Gags are open inshore when they aren't here, but closed at end of November when they become plentiful inshore. Reds are already closed beyond 120 ft. in Feb and Mar when the mature ones go offshore to spawn--resulting in catching and wasting many  17 to 19 inch juveniles. With hunting, you can see your prey, so you shoot the male deer, elk, moose, pheasants etc.. In my opinion--if they still allow us to fish--let us keep 17 inch reds like the commercial guys, leave the limit at two + x number of other fish of your choice  regardless of specie per person.  
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,697 Captain
    edited August 2018 #13
    You guys tossed over roughly 40 short fish to float and die? Jesus man, at some point you got to look into the mirror and not blame the regs. I believe commercial is 18", probably should be the same as rec. No venting tools either?
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 708 Officer
    Reel Teal said:
    You guys tossed over roughly 40 short fish to float and die? Jesus man, at some point you got to look into the mirror and not blame the regs. I believe commercial is 18", probably should be the same as rec. No venting tools either?
    Agree. What a waste
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 769 Officer
    The only real answer is to stop offshore fishing.  When you put that bait down there, you may be targeting mangroves, lanes, beeliners etc, but truth is you have no control over what bites. My last trip, we caught 58 red grouper to get 5 keepers; had a steady trail of them floating off behind the boat.  Were in 136 ft of water and probably had a 70% mortality ratio.  Gags are open inshore when they aren't here, but closed at end of November when they become plentiful inshore. Reds are already closed beyond 120 ft. in Feb and Mar when the mature ones go offshore to spawn--resulting in catching and wasting many  17 to 19 inch juveniles. With hunting, you can see your prey, so you shoot the male deer, elk, moose, pheasants etc.. In my opinion--if they still allow us to fish--let us keep 17 inch reds like the commercial guys, leave the limit at two + x number of other fish of your choice  regardless of specie per person.  "

    I want to start by saying I am not here to criticize or give you a ration of crap...

    I fish several days a week and my mortality rate is very low.  I cant claim it to be 0% as we do have an occassional fish float off... but i take the extra time to make sure each fish is vented especially in deeper water. Not sure if you are venting or not as you didn't say in your post... there is also a tool called a seaquilizer that works pretty well, and is very effective at reducing the floaters/barametric trauma.  If I find myself catching lots of shorts in an area, normally i will move to reduce the harm...also,  try fishing larger baits to weed out the smaller grouper... 
    The reason the commercial guys are able to keep an 18" fish is most are using long lines/bandit gear.  This type of fishing doesnt discriminate in size nor species, and alot of the grouper are smaller. Rather than just throw them back, they are able to count them towards their quota... I think the answer here is to reduce or eliminate the long line while making the size limit 20" or larger across the board, hook and line gear only... not only for grouper, but for all species...this would have to be in tandem, not a raise the limit to 20" and leave the long liners as is. Also, reduce the poundage of red grouper for the commercial sector.. I know everyone has to make a living, but there have been excess shares of red grouper for lease as cheap as .15 cents per lb on the commercial side... reason is no-one can fill it...  Stopping fishing altogether is not the answer.  Educating those that are going fishing is.    
          
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • showstoppershowstopper Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Even with venting, the council themselves put observers on boats and found mortality rates around 50% with venting or without.  That is why they no longer require it--it didn't help. 
  • SerotoninSerotonin Cape CoralPosts: 198 Deckhand
    On my charter with Dan i don't remember any floaters that we tossed back, we were 125ft and deeper. All fish that were bloated were vented. I also understand that just because you see the fish swim off doesn't mean it will survive. 

    Not only grouper but plenty of fish stocks could use some help. I'm originally from Maryland and there was a ban on striped bass before and it helped the stock for a while
  • mannn123mannn123 Posts: 133 Deckhand
    Even with venting, the council themselves put observers on boats and found mortality rates around 50% with venting or without.  That is why they no longer require it--it didn't help. 

    Can you point to where you saw this?  That is not consistent with the literature nor what I understand to be the case.  in deep waters for commercial, the mortality can be pretty high.  However, for recreational fishing 180ft and shallower, the initial release mortality, with proper venting (or other decompression) is concluded to be quite low.  There is also a delayed mortality (ie. additional fish die over the next 72 hours), but that is harder to measure and certainly would not be accounted for by observers on the boat.  50% should be nowhere even close.

    Also, the stated reason for no longer requiring a venting device is that there are many other decompression devices/methods available now, and venting is not always the most suitable method in every instance.  Therefore, they wanted to allow anglers to be able to choose their method of decompression.  I have never seen anything from the Council saying it was removed because "it doesn't help".

    Lastly, and not to sound critical, but if you had a 70% initial mortality rate (ie. discards floating away) off of 53 fish then I would respectfully suggest that something is not being done right.  Even in 135ft of water (or frankly even deeper), out that number of shorts we would typically only have 1 or 2 float away at most, and that is almost always in a situation where we have an angler who isn't experienced enough to unhook/vent a fish in a fairly expeditious manner.   
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,164 AG
    The only real answer is to stop offshore fishing.  When you put that bait down there, you may be targeting mangroves, lanes, beeliners etc, but truth is you have no control over what bites. My last trip, we caught 58 red grouper to get 5 keepers; had a steady trail of them floating off behind the boat.  Were in 136 ft of water and probably had a 70% mortality ratio.  Gags are open inshore when they aren't here, but closed at end of November when they become plentiful inshore. Reds are already closed beyond 120 ft. in Feb and Mar when the mature ones go offshore to spawn--resulting in catching and wasting many  17 to 19 inch juveniles. With hunting, you can see your prey, so you shoot the male deer, elk, moose, pheasants etc.. In my opinion--if they still allow us to fish--let us keep 17 inch reds like the commercial guys, leave the limit at two + x number of other fish of your choice  regardless of specie per person.  "

    I want to start by saying I am not here to criticize or give you a ration of crap...

    I fish several days a week and my mortality rate is very low.  I cant claim it to be 0% as we do have an occassional fish float off... but i take the extra time to make sure each fish is vented especially in deeper water. Not sure if you are venting or not as you didn't say in your post... there is also a tool called a seaquilizer that works pretty well, and is very effective at reducing the floaters/barametric trauma.  If I find myself catching lots of shorts in an area, normally i will move to reduce the harm...also,  try fishing larger baits to weed out the smaller grouper... 
    The reason the commercial guys are able to keep an 18" fish is most are using long lines/bandit gear.  This type of fishing doesnt discriminate in size nor species, and alot of the grouper are smaller. Rather than just throw them back, they are able to count them towards their quota... I think the answer here is to reduce or eliminate the long line while making the size limit 20" or larger across the board, hook and line gear only... not only for grouper, but for all species...this would have to be in tandem, not a raise the limit to 20" and leave the long liners as is. Also, reduce the poundage of red grouper for the commercial sector.. I know everyone has to make a living, but there have been excess shares of red grouper for lease as cheap as .15 cents per lb on the commercial side... reason is no-one can fill it...  Stopping fishing altogether is not the answer.  Educating those that are going fishing is.    
          
    so much wrong in your post, bandit gear is vertical hook & line gear, not long line gear...
    At least have a flipping clue as to what you are talking about.

    As far as the TAC for the commercial sector, we were hitting around 75-85% of our quota until the bad red tide several years ago, new stock assessment was done the year before the red tide event and the TAC was raised based on that particular assessment even though most of us knew the damage was done and relayed that to the powers that be.

    This years assessment will reflect that I am sure and will probably (should) result in a lower TAC (on both sectors).

    as far as sitting on short fish and wading thru 50 or so to get a couple of keepers, I never did that when fish trapping, short fish? Move the hell away and look for bigger.. 

    \y'all do the same thing with trout on the flats and kill far more fish than you keep.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 708 Officer
    Same idiotic crap comes out of the same mouths as usual.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,164 AG
    Same idiotic crap comes out of the same mouths as usual.
    nah, just truth, some of you can't handle it..

    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 708 Officer
    At least you knew who I was referring to. DB!!
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 10,164 AG
    you're predicktible.. lol
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • larrywittlarrywitt Posts: 2,676 Moderator
    This is so sad. We have been venting since it was required. Done right the mortality is very very low. It is so gratifying to see the shorts swim away. If we are catching a high ratio of shorts we move.
    larrywitt    
  • HootsterHootster Posts: 48 Greenhorn
    Use a descending device.  They are cheap and it works.
  • lukkyracerlukkyracer Posts: 708 Officer
    It's frustrating how some fisherman take what we have for granted. Inshore for redfish in the summer is really tough to release them in hot water and low oxygen levels. I have been on the trolling motor for 15 minutes to get the fish water through the gills. Worth every minute while the school swims away.
  • showstoppershowstopper Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Larry--I move also.  
  • showstoppershowstopper Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Article in Fisheries 34(1):20-28 · January 2009 with 43 Reads
    DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446-34.1.20
    Cite this publication
    Gene Wilde at Texas Tech University
    • 30.15
    • Texas Tech University
    Abstract
    Fishes captured and brought to the surface by commercial and recreational fishers may suffer a variety of injuries that collectively are referred to as barotrauma. To relieve barotrauma symptoms, particularly those associated with an expanded swim bladder, some anglers deflate, or vent, the swim bladder (or body cavity when the swim bladder has ruptured) of fishes before releasing them. I compiled 17 studies that assessed the potential benefits of venting in 21 fish species and 1 composite group. These studies provided 39 sample estimates that compare survival (N = 18) and recapture rates (N = 21) of vented and unvented fish. I used relative risk to summarize results of individual studies, which allowed me to combine results from experimental and capture-recapture studies. Overall, there was little evidence that venting benefited fish survival. Venting was equally ineffective for freshwater and marine fishes and its efficacy was unaffected based on whether venting was performed by fishery biologists or anglers. The effects of venting did vary with capture depth: venting was slightly beneficial to fish captured from shallow waters, but appeared to be increasingly harmful for fish captured from progressively deeper waters. The available evidence suggests that venting fish should not only be discouraged by fishery management agencies, but given the possibility that venting may adversely affect survival of fish captured from deep water, this practice should be prohibited, rather than required by regulation
  • Kokosing LoverKokosing Lover Posts: 616 Officer
    Article in Fisheries 34(1):20-28 · January 2009 with 43 Reads
    DOI: 10.1577/1548-8446-34.1.20
    Cite this publication
    Gene Wilde at Texas Tech University
    • 30.15
    • Texas Tech University
    Abstract
    Fishes captured and brought to the surface by commercial and recreational fishers may suffer a variety of injuries that collectively are referred to as barotrauma. To relieve barotrauma symptoms, particularly those associated with an expanded swim bladder, some anglers deflate, or vent, the swim bladder (or body cavity when the swim bladder has ruptured) of fishes before releasing them. I compiled 17 studies that assessed the potential benefits of venting in 21 fish species and 1 composite group. These studies provided 39 sample estimates that compare survival (N = 18) and recapture rates (N = 21) of vented and unvented fish. I used relative risk to summarize results of individual studies, which allowed me to combine results from experimental and capture-recapture studies. Overall, there was little evidence that venting benefited fish survival. Venting was equally ineffective for freshwater and marine fishes and its efficacy was unaffected based on whether venting was performed by fishery biologists or anglers. The effects of venting did vary with capture depth: venting was slightly beneficial to fish captured from shallow waters, but appeared to be increasingly harmful for fish captured from progressively deeper waters. The available evidence suggests that venting fish should not only be discouraged by fishery management agencies, but given the possibility that venting may adversely affect survival of fish captured from deep water, this practice should be prohibited, rather than required by regulation
    Bravo!  You cited a meta-analysis combining 17 different studies and yielding a surprisingly low sample size.  Any time an abstract uses phrases and words like "available evidence" and "suggests", that means the author is throwing darts blind and knows they are doing just that.

    Also, if you want to make statements about reef fish survival, look for actual original research programs dealing with reef fishes and focusing on fishes that share physiology and habitat.  Don't look for a hodgepodge statistical review of multiple other studies that equates venting survival of largemouth bass, pacific rockfish and red snapper to name a few.  In addition, very few of these studies take into account the survival of the "floaters".  They focus solely on survival of fish that are returned to depth via venting or other means.  Floaters are assumed (generally correctly) to have a 100% mortality rate.

    And don't base your argument solely on a study written by a biologist who specializes in stream fishes and teaches at Tortilla Tech.

    Finally, if you had 70% floaters in 136' of water, you suck at venting fish.  Seriously, learn to do it right.
  • DigitalchaosDigitalchaos Posts: 71 Greenhorn
    Fwc just did a decending device study .will probably be mandatory in the future
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 769 Officer
    ANUMBER1 said:
    The only real answer is to stop offshore fishing.  When you put that bait down there, you may be targeting mangroves, lanes, beeliners etc, but truth is you have no control over what bites. My last trip, we caught 58 red grouper to get 5 keepers; had a steady trail of them floating off behind the boat.  Were in 136 ft of water and probably had a 70% mortality ratio.  Gags are open inshore when they aren't here, but closed at end of November when they become plentiful inshore. Reds are already closed beyond 120 ft. in Feb and Mar when the mature ones go offshore to spawn--resulting in catching and wasting many  17 to 19 inch juveniles. With hunting, you can see your prey, so you shoot the male deer, elk, moose, pheasants etc.. In my opinion--if they still allow us to fish--let us keep 17 inch reds like the commercial guys, leave the limit at two + x number of other fish of your choice  regardless of specie per person.  "

    I want to start by saying I am not here to criticize or give you a ration of crap...

    I fish several days a week and my mortality rate is very low.  I cant claim it to be 0% as we do have an occassional fish float off... but i take the extra time to make sure each fish is vented especially in deeper water. Not sure if you are venting or not as you didn't say in your post... there is also a tool called a seaquilizer that works pretty well, and is very effective at reducing the floaters/barametric trauma.  If I find myself catching lots of shorts in an area, normally i will move to reduce the harm...also,  try fishing larger baits to weed out the smaller grouper... 
    The reason the commercial guys are able to keep an 18" fish is most are using long lines/bandit gear.  This type of fishing doesnt discriminate in size nor species, and alot of the grouper are smaller. Rather than just throw them back, they are able to count them towards their quota... I think the answer here is to reduce or eliminate the long line while making the size limit 20" or larger across the board, hook and line gear only... not only for grouper, but for all species...this would have to be in tandem, not a raise the limit to 20" and leave the long liners as is. Also, reduce the poundage of red grouper for the commercial sector.. I know everyone has to make a living, but there have been excess shares of red grouper for lease as cheap as .15 cents per lb on the commercial side... reason is no-one can fill it...  Stopping fishing altogether is not the answer.  Educating those that are going fishing is.    
          
    so much wrong in your post, bandit gear is vertical hook & line gear, not long line gear...
    At least have a flipping clue as to what you are talking about.

    As far as the TAC for the commercial sector, we were hitting around 75-85% of our quota until the bad red tide several years ago, new stock assessment was done the year before the red tide event and the TAC was raised based on that particular assessment even though most of us knew the damage was done and relayed that to the powers that be.

    This years assessment will reflect that I am sure and will probably (should) result in a lower TAC (on both sectors).

    as far as sitting on short fish and wading thru 50 or so to get a couple of keepers, I never did that when fish trapping, short fish? Move the hell away and look for bigger.. 

    \y'all do the same thing with trout on the flats and kill far more fish than you keep.



    Anumber, without knowing you, I can only presume you are a commercial fisherman. I am fully aware of what a "bandit" rig is... In my opinion, bandit rigs dont have the mortality rate that a long liner does, mostly because you are catching the fish and able to vent or release it quickly, unlike a long liner who deploys a heavily weighted line with a ton of baited hooks that sits for a long period of time. I get it. you make money based on your catch, so the more you catch, the more you earn.. 
     As I've never seen you post in this section before, what area are you fishing out of? I agree the red tide has had a detrimental effect on the red grouper population.  8 yrs or so ago, I recall seeing a giant red tide off the homosassa area that just about wiped out their red grouper fishing. It is slowly rebounding, but not back to what it was. I have friends/scientists who fish up that way and are happy to see some fish returning... 
     Locally, out of SWFL, 2-3 years ago, we could go out and get a 4 per person limit of red grouper on a single drop of the anchor. Right now, that just doesnt happen. Is it because we, too, are going thru a bad red tide offshore? Is it because the commercial fisherman were forced to move to other areas to find fish putting excess pressure in this area,  while increasing the quota when in fact it needed to be decreased due to a bad red tide? We all have to eat. But at what cost? Fact is, if they lowered the poundage of RG for the commercial sector, the demand and price per lb should theoretically increase via supply/demand. Does it always happen this way? of coarse not.... at least not for the hard working guys who are catching it... the end sale retailer will make larger profits...  
    I dont know what the right answer is, but somethings gotta give... Maybe we bump the size limit on red grouper up to 24" (on par with the other grouper species) and give the smaller fish time to spawn?  do we just reduce the amount taken by both sectors, or do we put a temporary moratorium on them until things rebound? I dont know which way NOAA will go... Any insgiht?            
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
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