I see people catching Warsaw grouper off Islamorada. Isn't that illegal? Read more:

CaptainHeikoCaptainHeiko Posts: 131 Deckhand
I've been deep dropping off islamorada and since 200ft of water starts about 6 miles from the mainland i'm told it's considered to be federal water and not state water. And warsaw grouper are illegal in federal atlantic waters year round.
But at least once a week I see someone with one coming in or posting a pic with one they caught out here around Islamorada. But you can only catch them mainly in deep water. So doesn't this mean everyone is out catching these in federal water where they are illegal?

I'm a little confused because I wanted to fish for them but hear a lot of conflicting things. But according to what it says on FWC it seems like it's not legal to run out to the humps and catch a warsaw and then come back. Am I missing something? I even bought a fishing map online that has a 'warsaw spot' marked out around the humps in federal water.

Someone please clarify. Thanks!
Turtle Time -
236cc Key Largo - 200HP Mercury
JKbIqtU.jpg

Replies

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    You are correct it is not legal to harvest Warsaw grouper in the SAFMC jurisdiction. Just as it not legal to harvest speckle hind or at the this present moment Amberjack and Red Snapper in the SAFMC jurisdiction. The state not having consistent regulations with the regulations in Federal waters is a a problem. The only effective enforcement is dockside enforcement, with the Less restrictive regulations in state waters dockside enforcement is not an option. One exception is Federally permeted for hire boats which cannot harvest these species in either state or federal waters.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,322 Officer
    Not sure where some are getting their info on enforcement? Currently FL FWCC officers are cross deputized to enforce NOAA regulations in federal waters and even have a NOAA logo on the boat along with the state logo.

    They routinely patrol waters out of "state jurisdiction" and will enforce what ever regulations apply in the location they inspect you.

    This was brought about as a result of the "patriot act" which doesn't appear Congress is ever going to let sunset.

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Not sure where some are getting their info on enforcement? Currently FL FWCC officers are cross deputized to enforce NOAA regulations in federal waters and even have a NOAA logo on the boat along with the state logo.

    They routinely patrol waters out of "state jurisdiction" and will enforce what ever regulations apply in the location they inspect you.

    This was brought about as a result of the "patriot act" which doesn't appear Congress is ever going to let sunset.

    I never said FWC couldn’t enforce federal regulations in the EEZ. I think if you speak with FWC Enforcement officers and administrators they will agree that dockside enforcement is substantially more productive than at sea enforcement. At sea enforcement and fisheries inspections are much more difficult than sheltered water inspections. At sea inspections have safety and vessel damage issues that have to taken into consideration. I dont think any officer wants to pull up to a 75’ sport boat with $85,000 paint job to do a recreational fisheries inspection.

    I would guess that vast majority of fishery inspections off offshore recreational fishing boats are done on inland waterways and docks. As for the Joint Enforcement Agreement, I believe it’s authorization comes from the MSA. Not sure about it’s origin though. I think all coastal states except for North Carolina are part of the Joint Enforcement Agreement.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,322 Officer
    Perhaps their doing it more often than you realize..........seems to be in their reports quite often.

    http://myfwc.com/about/inside-fwc/le/weekly-reports/

    Yes I imagine every state that can is trying to get in on it.......since homeland security is providing tons of $ for boats, equipment, etc.

    Not a whole lot different than how "National Guard" actually fights a whole lot out of country now.:shrug

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    So I read all the feild reports and 1472 fisheries inspections were preformed in state and inland waters and 305 were preformed in Federal waters.

    The money from the joint enforcement agreement comes from the department of commerce.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,835 Captain
    I can't imagine they are posting pictures of illegal Warsaws on social media. Generally a fisherman smart enough to catch Warsaws in the Keys is also smart enough not to brag about it.

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    conchydong wrote: »
    I can't imagine they are posting pictures of illegal Warsaws on social media. Generally a fisherman smart enough to catch Warsaws in the Keys is also smart enough not to brag about it.

    You can post all the pictures with Warsaw’s you want! That’s the point of this thread!
    You just can’t post a picture of a Warsaw with your GPS in the background showing your over 3 miles offshore.
  • conchydongconchydong Pompano BeachPosts: 3,835 Captain
    You can post all the pictures with Warsaw’s you want! That’s the point of this thread!
    You just can’t post a picture of a Warsaw with your GPS in the background showing your over 3 miles offshore.

    I think that is what I was saying. Why would they post "illegal" Warsaws on social media? No comprende de ingles?

    “Everyone behaves badly--given the chance.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    My point is and I’ll say really slow so you understand it is. There is no such thing as an illegal Warsaw at the dock.
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,322 Officer
    Let me say it real slow so you can understand it. The happenings in "your local area" are not conclusive of the entire state.

    Start getting checked at the dock with Warsaws, red snapper etc., in Central or North FL and see where it goes.

    You may or may not be ticketed for "the fish" but you better be squeaky clean on everything else. And they will photograph your boat......
    which I hear gets you on a list of "no breaks for nothing" in any future dealings you may have with them.:grin

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    You might want to slow it down for yourself because I thought we were talking about islamorada. Didn’t think we were talking about North or Central Florida, anyhow the majority of recreational and for hire trips in the state happen in south Florida and the keys
  • CountryBumpkinCountryBumpkin Fla. Piney WoodsPosts: 1,322 Officer
    Yes the OP asked about Islamorda.....then you brought up your opinion that the state not falling in line with the feds on regs was the problem.

    Because you eluded that dockside enforcement was the only effective enforcement happening.

    I am simply pointing out that is not "reality". I'm done here......good luck with your Warsaw fishing.:grin

    I say......I say son.......new & improved my tail feathers.

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    Yes the OP asked about Islamorda.....then you brought up your opinion that the state not falling in line with the feds on regs was the problem.

    Because you eluded that dockside enforcement was the only effective enforcement happening.

    I am simply pointing out that is not "reality". I'm done here......good luck with your Warsaw fishing.:grin

    My opinion is based on many conversations with both FWC and NOAA Law Enforcement. It’s very hard to bring a case to court if you can’t be sure a crime was committed.
    You also agree with me when you stated “ You may or may not be ticketed for "the fish" but you better be squeaky clean on everything else.”
    If the regulations were consistent I can assure you would get a ticket for a prohibited fish.
    While you are asserting that you may or may not be ticked and put on some double secret probation!
  • Soda PopinskiSoda Popinski GrovelandPosts: 8,986 Admiral
    So if i catch a warsaw, i'm gonna say it jumped in the boat at the dock and committed suicide.
    People use statistics the way a drunk uses a street light, for support rather than illumination.
  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    So if i catch a warsaw, i'm gonna say it jumped in the boat at the dock and committed suicide.

    The point is, if you have a Warsaw at the dock you don’t have to say we’re you caught it. Since it’s legal to harvest and possess a Warsaw in state waters. The only exception to that is a vessel permitted to fish for hire in the SAFMC JURISDICTION.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 275 Deckhand
    If a boat brings back a Warsaw to the dock in Islamorada, only an idiot would think that it came from state waters. State waters off Islamorada end at about 25' of water. Warsaws are caught in 150' -300' of water. So, if someone catches a Warsaw off Islamorada it's in Federal waters, and therefore illegal to keep. The rest of the discussion is pretty much pointless to this one issue.
  • xeniaxenia Posts: 275 Deckhand
    Here's one other question: just how many Warsaws are being caught off Islamorada? Off the SE coast where state waters do reach deep enough to keep a Warsaw, and charter boats hit the wrecks on a daily basis, you rarely hear of any being caught. There's no reason to hide it either since it's perfectly legal, and when a charter boat does get lucky enough to catch one, they boast about it on FB, Instagram and whatever other media they use. I can't imagine that there are a whole lot of them being caught anywhere in the keys.
  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn
    xenia wrote: »
    If a boat brings back a Warsaw to the dock in Islamorada, only an idiot would think that it came from state waters. State waters off Islamorada end at about 25' of water. Warsaws are caught in 150' -300' of water. So, if someone catches a Warsaw off Islamorada it's in Federal waters, and therefore illegal to keep. The rest of the discussion is pretty much pointless to this one issue.

    Yes we all know Warsaw are illegal if caught in Federal waters. When it comes to law enforcement and getting convictions it’s not what you know but what you can prove. If an officer in the keys pulls a boat over inside a cut or walks down a dock or boat ramp and does a fishery inspection and encounters a Warsaw he knows it most likely was caught in Federal waters, that officer just can’t prove it

    Here’s an example
    http://www.captbouncer.com/fishing-reports/232

    If bouncers vessel has a federal charter headboat permit for snapper grouper, I can prove he broke the law. Federally permitted vessels can’t harvest Red snapper or Warsaw grouper. If he doesn’t have a Federal permit,I know he fishes south of Virginia key for snapper grouper past the the 3mile line. I would know he’s breaking the law I just can’t prove it
  • BarrellBarrell Posts: 1,036 Officer

    I would send an undercover team, with a gps, out on Bouncers boat for red snapper.

  • SnapperwhackerhardSnapperwhackerhard Posts: 11 Greenhorn

    @Barrell said:
    I would send an undercover team, with a gps, out on Bouncers boat for red snapper.

    It’s not just for Red Snapper if he dosesent have charter/headboat permits for south Atlantic. He is breaking the law for any SAFMC regulated fish he attempts to fish for in federal waters.

Sign In or Register to comment.