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Gill Nets Back?

CCA FLORIDA OPPOSES THE LATEST ATTEMPT BY COMMERCIAL NETTERS TO CIRCUMVENT THE GILL NET BAN
THE RECENT CIRCUIT JUDGE RULING IS ABSURD

Once again a small group of commercial netters are trying to get the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to allow larger mesh sizes in nets so they can be used as gill nets. Circuit Court Judge Jackie Lee Fulford has issued a ruling that the use of net mesh size to define the difference between an illegal gill net and a legal seine net is a “legal absurdity” and has enjoined the enforcement of the Constitutional Amendment and the FWC rules implementing it!

“Judge Fulford has simply ignored almost 18 years of legal precedent on the issue and offered her own opinion” said Jim Williams, CCA Florida Chairman. “The 2 inch mesh size used by the FWC to define and clarify the difference between illegal gill nets and legal seine nets has resolved previous enforcement issues and successfully maintained the full intent of the Constitutional Amendment.”

In November of 1994 an overwhelming 72% of Florida voters said “yes” to the Constitutional Amendment limiting marine net fishing. The amendment includes both a prohibition on the use of gill and entangling nets in all state waters and a size limit on other nets. Although the restrictions have been in place for nearly 18 years, there are still small factions within the commercial fishing industry that refuse to accept the legal reality that the constitutional prohibition on gill nets means no gill nets.

Numerous administrative challenges and lawsuits have been filed over the last 18 years in an effort to challenge these regulations and allow the use nets that are currently outlawed. All of the attempts have failed as the Courts have supported the clear intent of the Constitutional Amendment. Early Court decisions have upheld the implementing rules which established a 2 inch size stretched mesh size as the “bright line distinction” between a legal seine net and an illegal gill net. The size was established based on the historic mesh sizes prior to the enactment of the gill net ban. The Courts ruled that the 2 inch maximum size for seine nets was “historically based, rational and practical”.

“The commercial net fishermen in Wakulla County raised concerns about the viability of the allowable cast nets and seines with the 2 inch mesh to catch mullet; however, the commercial landing data shows a very different story” said CCA Florida’s Ted Forsgren. Landings data from the FWC indicate that mullet landings in Wakulla, Franklin, Jefferson, and Dixie Counties were 579,527 pounds in 2010 and 493,614 pounds in 2011. Total statewide landings of mullet in 2011 were 12.5 million pounds.

The Constitutional Amendment and the implementing rules of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have brought inshore finfish populations to high levels of abundance. “Populations of mullet, redfish, sea trout and other fisheries are at all time highs and the increased abundance has allowed the FWC to reduce take restrictions on a number of species” said Forsgren.

“CCA Florida will continue to be the outspoken advocate and protector of the Constitutional Amendment which has protected Florida’s marine fisheries and the multibillion dollar economic impact to Florida’s economy,” said CCA Florida Chairman Jim Williams.


www.ccaflorida.org
Tight Lines, Steve
My posts are my opinion only.

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers

Replies

  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    :yawn

    Kiss your big trout good bye.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • It's a shame to think that this could happen.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • Mango ManMango Man Posts: 11,458 AG
    I don't think it will. There's alot of opposition and some questionable history on the judge.


    America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
    Abraham Lincoln
  • Prop BlastProp Blast Posts: 375 Officer
    Mango Man wrote: »
    I don't think it will. There's alot of opposition and some questionable history on the judge.

    Wow, in Florida, I'm shocked! :grin

    Judge is probably a part-owner in a fish house somewhere...

    PB
  • reeltherapyreeltherapy Posts: 48 Deckhand
    I just spoke to a FWC office in Jacksonville and was told that they are currently not enforcing the gill net laws. I hear it is currently a free for all on the mullet up there.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,416 AG
    surfman wrote: »
    :yawn

    Kiss your big trout good bye.
    Really? Please enlighten me on this....
    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.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Really? Please enlighten me on this....

    You find trout over grass flats right?

    So what happens if you hammer their food source and dredge up and damage large swaths of their habitat?
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,416 AG
    You find trout over grass flats right?

    So what happens if you hammer their food source and dredge up and damage large swaths of their habitat?
    Gill nets dredge????

    Trout eat 2-3 lb mullet? You smoking some good kush.
    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.
  • Art!!!!
    I think you know what he is saying.
    But the back and forth is amusing.
    THERE SHOULD BE NO COMMERCIAL FISHING ALLOWED FOR ANY SPECIES THAT IS CONSIDERED OVERFISHED.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,416 AG
    Art!!!!
    I think you know what he is saying.
    But the back and forth is amusing.
    No MS, the man doesn't have a clue as to what he is saying.

    Damaging habitat? The ill mannered hordes of flats jockeys ripping across the grass flats cause far more damage on one weekend than I could do in a year with a gill net.
    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.
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    So your nets and your props aren't going to damage the grass? Ok, fine. Not gonna argue with you.

    I did a little more research and it seems like the legal challenge is against the FWC for enforcement that doesn't match up with the way the amendment was written.

    I pole my boat over skinny grass...don't even have a trolling motor installed right now. So don't lump me in with the idiots who burn flats on plane. :wink
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    Have you ever seen the doughnuts that they make when they run their nets around in a circle to trap the fish, they are also exempt from idle speed in shallow areas where recreational anglers can’t run their motors.

    Anyway, I wish I had some of you guys confidence that this won’t go anywhere, I know CCA will do everything they can that is for sure, even with the shockingly limited amount of support they get from recreational anglers. I can just hear the excuses now.

    I am really concerned this time too, our judges and lawyers are getting more and more liberal and I fear we could lose this one. If we do we will not be able to get nets out of our water again and it will devastate our fisheries. The FWC cannot police the thousands of netters that show up during the mullet roe run and everything that gets in the way is fair game.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    I don’t need to elaborate I’ll let your good buddy Gill Netter do it for me, they will catch the big ones and leave us with the little ones. Just like the good old days.
    The lil ones will get away! YAY!

    :willynilly
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,416 AG
    So your nets and your props aren't going to damage the grass? Ok, fine. Not gonna argue with you.

    I did a little more research and it seems like the legal challenge is against the FWC for enforcement that doesn't match up with the way the amendment was written.

    I pole my boat over skinny grass...don't even have a trolling motor installed right now. So don't lump me in with the idiots who burn flats on plane. :wink
    Gill nets won't dredge or pull up the grass.... Props, well a good birddog boat will run shallower that most flats boats.

    Just saying the few net boats don't hold a candle to the hundreds of flats burners testing their limits on any given weekend...

    Surfie, still waiting on that trout devastation explanation..... I know you ain't scared to lie on this site being as you are surrounded by many like minded individuals.

    Safety in numbers and all that shizz, ya know.
    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. PantsCapt. Pants Posts: 667 Officer
    Having very mixed feelings in this fight, but what I do ask of you is "what", if not the net ban, has allowed for fish populations to rise especially in the instances of Spotted Sea Trout? Did size/ catch limits have such an effect on Trout populations?
    The ones who scare me most are the fisherman who have hands in BOTH cookie jars, profiting as both guide and commercial.
    No need to blast away, just curious and trying to understand the plight of the netters.
    My question is NOT solely directed at any one person. And NO, I'm not a real Captain, but did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once. :wink
  • counselcounsel Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    but what I do ask of you is "what", if not the net ban, has allowed for fish populations to rise especially in the instances of Spotted Sea Trout?

    Agreed.

    Also have some problems with the mullet netters who have been yelling that the net ban will kill their industry...and have been yelling it for the past 20 years.

    Why aint it dead yet?

    Also, if its not the sea trout fishery, then consider the tarpon fishery. Those suckers sure do eat a big mullet.
  • aquaholikaquaholik Posts: 332 Deckhand
    Let me get this straight:

    It is the judge's opinion that FL Constitution Article X, section 16 creates an absurdity not because it bans gill net and allow the use of a hand thrown cast net BUT because it allows the use of seine net as stated in section c(2)

    Text of Section 16:

    Limiting Marine Net Fishing

    (a) The marine resources of the State of Florida belong to all of the people of the state and should be conserved and managed for the benefit of the state, its people, and future generations. To this end the people hereby enact limitations on marine net fishing in Florida waters to protect saltwater finfish, shellfish, and other marine animals from unnecessary killing, overfishing and waste.

    (b) For the purpose of catching or taking any saltwater finfish, shellfish or other marine animals in Florida waters:

    (1) No gill nets or other entangling nets shall be used in any Florida waters; and

    (2) In addition to the prohibition set forth in (1), no other type of net containing more than 500 square feet of mesh area shall be used in nearshore and inshore Florida waters. Additionally, no more than two such nets, which shall not be connected, shall be used from any vessel, and no person not on a vessel shall use more than one such net in nearshore and inshore Florida waters.

    (c) For purposes of this section:

    (1) "gill net" means one or more walls of netting which captures saltwater finfish by ensnaring or entangling them in the meshes of the net by the gills, and "entangling net" means a drift net, trammell net, stab net, or any other net which captures saltwater finfish, shellfish, or other marine animals by causing all or part of heads, fins, legs, or other body parts to become entangled or ensnared in the meshes of the net, but a hand thrown cast net is not a gill net or an entangling net;



    Why is it absurd? Well the amendment was suppose to ban gill net yet allows the use of an undefined 500 sq ft net(2 of which can be used). If this is not a loop hole that allows the use of a 500 sq ft gill net then I don't know what is.

    So FWC decides to block the loop holes by limiting the size of the mesh. Commercial fishermen cries foul since FWC is adding restriction that is not in the amendment.


    Commercial fishermen wants bigger mesh size by appealing to judge(they can't ask for more sq ft). Judge sees amendment as absurd made more absurd by FWC's implementation of it and overstepping their bound by making additional rules and mesh size restriction.

    So judge decides a free for all ordering all enforcement to stop. That means ALL GILL NET INCLUDING THOSE BIGGER THAN 500 SQ FT can be used.

    Recreational fishermen panic and they should since ALL GILL NET OF ANY LENGTH is now legal DESPITE the amendment which restrict it to 500 sq ft.

    Just because the amendment is absurd, it doesn't mean you suspend it. What the judge should have done was strike down FWC's mesh size restriction but keep the 500 sq ft limit.

    Suspending the constitutional amendment and allowing ALL gill net is not being conservative no matter how the judge words her decision.
  • FishInFLFishInFL Posts: 2,222 Captain
    They are more abrasion resistant!
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    This is also being discussed over at TOF from a Tampa-centric view.

    http://www.theonlinefisherman.com/forum/all-things-fishy/44633-the-net-ban
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    The 2” rule came from the commercial fishing industry as that is what was being used for seine net fishing and a seine net usually has a much heavier twine. It is not desirable to gill the fish in a seine net and they usually don’t. The nets the netters are using are not the correct tool for the job, the twine is too light but, they don’t seem to care since they are a lot lighter and easier to use. These nets actually are gill nets and should not be allowed, they need to specify the twine size as well as the max mesh size.

    There were many rules put into place that would have helped the netters but they refused to abide by them. Net lengths were reduced and weekend fishing was eliminated all in an effort to stop the “outlaws” and to try to curb the slaughter. But, it didn’t seem to matter. People were coming down to FL from NC with net boats in tow just to cash in on the roe. Anyone could buy a net and start fishing and anyone did. It will happen again too.

    A#1, I don’t have any statistics to put out there because I am not sure anyone has gathered them, all I have is my firsthand experience of what I have been seeing and reading about for the last 18 years and that is, since the net ban, the trout fishery has been off the charts. The fish are huge and getting bigger. Yes the regulations also help this fact too, no doubt, that is why I am a huge fan of conservation, it works! I think that gill nets could be used successfully on a limited basis, I just don’t believe that there is a way to do that, there is too much temptation for too much easy money too fast, you and I have both witnessed it. It is not good for any fishery and these guys can make it work with the equipment they are allowed to use, they have been proving that fact for the last 18 years, haven’t they, or else they would have been long gone. Gill nets are simply not necessary!
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    This is also being discussed over at TOF from a Tampa-centric view.

    http://www.theonlinefisherman.com/forum/all-things-fishy/44633-the-net-ban

    It is too bad Gary Prozac is still on that site, I used to be on there but when he started posting lies about CCA I quit. David is a great guy and I should go back there just for him and just harass Prozac but, that is not me. Of course there are plenty posing lies on hear about CCA too so maybe I should reconsider...hmmm.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 11,416 AG
    you contradict yourself a lot there Steve.

    2" didn't come from us, it was the old definition of the bag on a seine, as it was the wings COULD be any size mesh... You guys insisted upon the change..

    2" is 2" regardless of the twine size... You just keep showing your ignorance..

    Can't wait till you kill the wrong ducks and get hammered....

    I'll be the one in court insisting you get the chair..
    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.
  • surfman wrote: »
    It is too bad Gary Prozac is still on that site, I used to be on there but when he started posting lies about CCA I quit. David is a great guy and I should go back there just for him and just harass Prozac but, that is not me. Of course there are plenty posing lies on hear about CCA too so maybe I should reconsider...hmmm.

    That's funny (odd and the spelling) he must of had a falling out with RFA, and has been singing psalms of praise for the CCA.
    "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
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    you contradict yourself a lot there Steve.

    2" didn't come from us, it was the old definition of the bag on a seine,

    Like I said, sue me for not going int as much detail.
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    2" is 2" regardless of the twine size... You just keep showing your ignorance..

    It was foolish of the FWC not to see this coming, what with all the shenanigans that went on after the ban, netters getting paid good money for junk net, then buying back nets for pennies on the dollar to go poaching with. Why not the fines were a joke, if you got caught, and on and on. The FWC should have been very specific about what they could use but, the fact still remains that if the nets they are using are in fact entangling fish then they are simply breaking the law and need to use a net that doesn’t do that, and if the claim is that the 2” mesh is the culprit then they need to downsize the mesh to 1” or less in order to comply with the law, but that is not really what they want to do is it #1A.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • surfmansurfman WC FLPosts: 5,981 Admiral
    he must of had a falling out with RFA

    Couldn't tell you, don't know or care, as far as prasie for CCA from him, where did you see that, ne never mentioned them in that post, he is more about patting himself on the back, from what I have seen.
    Tight Lines, Steve
    My posts are my opinion only.

    Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for.  Will Rogers
  • Please don't make me go back it there, Steve. It hurts my head.
    "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
  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    A couple of nets were reportedly found across a UTB bayou yesterday...

    IMG_1259_zps85836b2c.jpeg

    http://forums.capmel.com/post/gill-net-utb-6618795
    -
    Chris
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
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