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Mutton Snapper Proposal for 2017

It looks like the Mutton Snapper regulations very well may be changing.

http://www.safmc.net/SAFMCNR_072016_PublicHearingsAug2016

Some highlights for federal waters (3 miles to 200 miles of NC, SC, GA, FL):

reducing the current 10 fish per person/day bag limit, with a preferred alternative of 3 fish per person/day within the aggregate snapper bag limit year round. The amendment also includes alternatives to increase the current minimum size limit of 16” total length (TL) to a preferred alternative of 18” TL, and establish a commercial trip limit with a preferred of 300 pounds during the “regular season” and a 3 fish per person/day limit during the designated spawning season.

I am somewhat okay with these changes but also feel this may be just the start of going from 10 fish to 3 fish and then 2 to 1 and then its closed most of the year like Red Snapper. If it stays 3 per person per day bag limit and 12 month open season that is one thing....just feel like this may be the first phase of additional regulations coming down the line.

Replies

  • beachsideandybeachsideandy Posts: 925 Officer
    It's still **** and all $$$ based or they would target commercial first.
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,291 Officer
    It's still **** and all $$$ based or they would target commercial first.

    Apparently you didn't read the post but just reflexively lashed out.
  • beachsideandybeachsideandy Posts: 925 Officer
    I read it. I just think if they "care" about the stocks so much, they should just shut down commercial take first... that will fix the problem without even touching rec limits. But, that will also impact $$$ in a lot of areas.
  • pottydocpottydoc Port Saint JoePosts: 4,064 Captain
    I don't like the allocation parts. Because if it changes, it will be to give more to the commercial sector. Just because us rec guys don't catch our entire share, doesn't mean it should be given to the commercial folks. Which is exactly what will happen.
  • aboveboredabovebored Posts: 1,291 Officer
    While nooa receives very accurate catch data from the commercial sector, understandably they have to rely on random surveys, extrapolations and estimations to best determine recreational catch data. The part of this that's actually comical is they have the audacity and arrogance to pronounce a "47.44% and 52.56" sector separation for yellowtail snapper in light of this:rotflmao
  • nick cnick c Posts: 182 Officer
    abovebored wrote: »
    Apparently you didn't read the post but just reflexively lashed out.
    :rotflmao
  • MH79MH79 Posts: 503 Officer
    I'm for tighter restrictions on Muttons. The population is decimated relative to what it was years ago around Palm Beach County. They're a large snapper. 3 per person as part of the 10 snapper aggragate is reasonable to help sustain and build back up the local population IMO. Rather be limited to 3 per person than none per person because they're so fished out.
  • FLATS BROKEFLATS BROKE Posts: 2,060 Captain
    This year has been a great year for Mutton snapper. I see no problem with the population. If you can't catch them, you automatically assume the population is decimated lol? Sounds like a "you" problem.
  • blf212blf212 Posts: 243 Deckhand
    I have caught some of my largest muttons this year off LWI
  • MuskiemanNCMuskiemanNC Posts: 134 Deckhand
    I don't see the need to cut the rec bag limits.

    Just close the commercial seasons
  • MH79MH79 Posts: 503 Officer
    This year has been a great year for Mutton snapper. I see no problem with the population. If you can't catch them, you automatically assume the population is decimated lol? Sounds like a "you" problem.

    I limit out every weekend on my aggregate snapper limit, though I don't specifically target muttons with long leaders and all of that. Have caught some nice muttons this summer and a bunch of juveniles. I didn't say there are no muttons, I said the population has drastically declined relative to what it was back in the day. I used to catch quality muttons on a John boat around peanut island-lake worth lagoon years ago without going out the inlet. I'm not the only one that has noticed the decline. I'm all for keeping fish, and muttons are among my favorite fish to caught. Just want there to be fish in the future.
  • TrafficTraffic Posts: 127 Deckhand
    Muttons and other snapper are the only fish we can consistently put in the boat.

    If they do this it won't be worth owning a boat any more.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 987 Officer
    Meeting is tonight in Stuart.
  • B LangB Lang Posts: 81 Deckhand
    What's wild is there has been a population explosion off of fort pierce the last few years. Guys can go and target them, I see multiple fish pushing 10 pounds in certain areas while diving offshore. I didn't see them 5-10 years ago, only on the beach during the bright moons and sea turtle hatch. Leave it alone.
  • TrafficTraffic Posts: 127 Deckhand
    I went to the meeting last night in Ft Lauderdale. The biggest news is the state will be implementing what the feds do so this is not just a Federal water issue.

    It looks like the size is going to 18" because they have determined that sexual maturity for females is 17 -18 inches and they want to get at least one spawn out of each fish.

    The limit is open to discussion so write the federal and state commissions. They do want to hear from us. At least that's what they say!
  • latitudeajustmentlatitudeajustment Posts: 2,058 Captain
    Traffic wrote: »
    I went to the meeting last night in Ft Lauderdale. The biggest news is the state will be implementing what the feds do so this is not just a Federal water issue.

    It looks like the size is going to 18" because they have determined that sexual maturity for females is 17 -18 inches and they want to get at least one spawn out of each fish.

    The limit is open to discussion so write the federal and state commissions. They do want to hear from us. At least that's what they say!

    Thanks for the update and attending the meeting. I would hope for more of a commercial closure than rec but we shall see.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 987 Officer
    Model results, as presented, suggest commercial isn't where the projected quota overages occur. To me, it looks like "for hire" and a select few recreational anglers are hammering the spawning aggregations. We're all going to pay the price for it too.

    Anglers are saying they will accept new regulations if that is what is required to prevent ARS like closures. What the state seems to be hearing is "We want to be regulated more" or "We want and support these proposed regulations."

    Sad thing, in my opinion, is that the required harvest reduction required is 18%, but the proposed regulation changes (18" min size, and 3 fish bag) reduce projected harvest by >70%. Virtually all that reduction is through the minimum size, but they didn't investigate very many or diverse options, and because anglers have suggest a bag reduction they are keeping that in on top of the size change that accomplishes >300% of the required harvest reduction.

    Palm Beach/Treasure Coast anglers are going to be "punished" for what is going on in Monroe and Dade counties.
  • J-SeaJ-Sea Posts: 202 Officer
    Once again rec fishermen get screwed by the federal government. "oh ok we can live with a 3 fish limit as long as you promise to not totally screw us over like you did with ARS". What a bunch of crap. Muttons are on fire around here and have been for a few years. This is not a problem in the east central even down to Ft Pierce and SLI.
  • ControlledChaosControlledChaos Posts: 697 Officer
    I am all about helping populations of fish thrive through correct management but my problem is that when I get muttons it's usually deep between 105-150. We revived as many as we can but we are still throwing back fish that are short and don't make it ..... all this does is give more snapper to the sharks. This is the best year I have had for muttons in many years. I would rather see FWC put some time and money into education and tools on how to correctly revive a mutton when pulled up from the depths than changing the size so we can throw back more dead fish with no use......
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  • TrafficTraffic Posts: 127 Deckhand
    I am all about helping populations of fish thrive through correct management but my problem is that when I get muttons it's usually deep between 105-150. We revived as many as we can but we are still throwing back fish that are short and don't make it ..... all this does is give more snapper to the sharks. This is the best year I have had for muttons in many years. I would rather see FWC put some time and money into education and tools on how to correctly revive a mutton when pulled up from the depths than changing the size so we can throw back more dead fish with no use......

    A few people at the meeting brought this up. In trying to save the breeding stock by throwing back fish under 18" most of them will die anyway.
  • notreelynotreely Posts: 653 Officer
    J-Sea wrote: »
    Once again rec fishermen get screwed by the federal government. "oh ok we can live with a 3 fish limit as long as you promise to not totally screw us over like you did with ARS". What a bunch of crap. Muttons are on fire around here and have been for a few years. This is not a problem in the east central even down to Ft Pierce and SLI.

    This is the state of Florida doing this. FWC did the stock assessment, the Feds are just going to follow Floridas lead for consistency in state and federal waters.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 987 Officer
    notreely wrote: »
    This is the state of Florida doing this. FWC did the stock assessment, the Feds are just going to follow Floridas lead for consistency in state and federal waters.

    No, they are not. It is very clear if you watch the presentation and listen for what isn't said. FWC may be saying they are leading this, since most Muttons are harvested off Florida, but FWC is not doing the analysis or picking the alternatives being modeled.
  • notreelynotreely Posts: 653 Officer
    bmoody wrote: »
    No, they are not. It is very clear if you watch the presentation and listen for what isn't said. FWC may be saying they are leading this, since most Muttons are harvested off Florida, but FWC is not doing the analysis or picking the alternatives being modeled.


    http://myfwc.com/media/4045836/8b-summary-memo-mutton-snapper.pdf

    Let me break it down for you. Scientists from FWRI (State of Florida) did the stock assessment. They found the stock to be healthy but smaller in biomass then previous stock assements found. Because the stock was deemed to be smaller in biomass
    The TAC - Total allowable catch Has to be reduced. If the ACL is caught in either the rec sector or commercial the MSA requires that fishery to close in federal waters. Unlike Red Snapper the state desires to be compliant with the Feds. If I was to quess, I would say the state wants to be compliant because most of the muttons are caught and a large number of federal permitted charter boats ( probably a majority of all federally permitted charter boats in south Atlantic) operate in south Florida.
  • bmoodybmoody Posts: 987 Officer
    notreely wrote: »
    http://myfwc.com/media/4045836/8b-summary-memo-mutton-snapper.pdf

    Let me break it down for you. Scientists from FWRI (State of Florida) did the stock assessment. They found the stock to be healthy but smaller in biomass then previous stock assements found. Because the stock was deemed to be smaller in biomass
    The TAC - Total allowable catch Has to be reduced. If the ACL is caught in either the rec sector or commercial the MSA requires that fishery to close in federal waters. Unlike Red Snapper the state desires to be compliant with the Feds. If I was to quess, I would say the state wants to be compliant because most of the muttons are caught and a large number of federal permitted charter boats ( probably a majority of all federally permitted charter boats in south Atlantic) operate in south Florida.

    Thanks, but you should note I didn't question who did the stock assessment. TAC is a Federal thing. The Feds are requiring a reduction in harvest now, thus a rule change to avoid a closure. FWC is not selecting the alternatives being considered; FWC is not doing the modeling. Thus, my position that FWC isn't really leading this. I'd say they only choice FWC made was to try to use a rule change to prevent any closure. That isn't a bad thing in and of itself, but it isn't really leading the whole process.

    I continue to feel that this process is being conducted by the Feds, and overwhelmed by the Keys For Hire fishermen. I don't think a broad enough suite of alternatives was considered. I don't believe these regulations really specifically target where the problem of too much harvest is occurring, unfortunately I'm not sure the range of inference from the data and the model allow us to parse and analyze any better.

    Based on the modeling presented at the workshops, there is no need to have the reduced bag on top of the increased minimum size. However, you have to have the increased size limit to achieve the required reduction in harvest. That harvest is measured in pounds, which is my I'm so frustrated that there was no consideration given to a "only one over xx inches" type rule.

    I know I need to put my effort into submitting written comments to FWC and the SA Council, not discussing it here. I'm not interested in assigning blame. I want the least restrictive, equitable rule that achieves the management goals. I don't think the proposed rules meet that objective.
  • J-SeaJ-Sea Posts: 202 Officer
    Well said Bmoody
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