Thursday, October 28, 2010

Atlantic vermilion snapper and southern Fla. spotted seatrout seasons close Nov. 1

Vermilion Snapper
Spotted Seatrout
A recent news release from FWC announces that the recreational harvest seasons for vermilion snapper in Atlantic coastal waters off FL and spotted seatrout in southern FL waters will close on Nov 1st. These closures are intended to reduce overfishing and increase the population of both vermilion snapper and maintain the population of spotted seatrout. All recreational harvest and possession of vermilion snapper is prohibited in Atlantic state and federal waters off Florida from Nov 1st until April 1st. For spotted seatrout, all harvest and possession of these fish is prohibited from Nov 1st through Dec 31st in all waters south of Flagler/Volusia counties line in the Atlantic and south of a line running due west from the westernmost point of Fred Howard Park Causeway, which is about 1.17 miles south of the Pinellas/Pasco counties line in the Gulf of Mexico. The recreational harvest of spotted seatrout in northeast and northwest Florida waters will remain open until February. For more information visit 

Monday, October 18, 2010

SAFMC Snapper Grouper Amendment 18A Public Hearings

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is holding public hearings on Snapper Grouper Amendment 18A. The closest meeting is on October 27th at the Hampton Inn Daytona Speedway, 1715 W. International Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL from 4-7pm. Members of the public are invited to attend the hearings, learn more about the issues from Council staff and provide formal comments to area Council members in attendance. Written comments will be accepted until November 12th and can be sent via email to: or hard copies to: Robert K. Mahood, Executive Director, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, 4055 Faber Place Drive, Suite 201, N. Charleston, SC, 29405.

Amendment 18A primarily focuses on measures for the commercial golden tilefish and black sea bass fisheries to account for anticipated effort shifts to those fisheries as regulations become more restrictive for other snapper grouper species: Proposed actions:
  1. Limit participation in the commercial golden tilefish fishery through a gear endorsement program (hook & line and longline): establish criteria for transferability of endorsements and trip limits for fishermen who do not receive an endorsement
  2. Change the golden tilefish fishing year, modify commercial trip limits, and allocate the commercial quota between gear types
  3. Modify the black sea bass fishery to limit participation and effort and reduce bycatch in the fishery, including: limits to tag distribution and the number of tags/pots a fisherman can deploy and limiting the time period pots can be deployed
  4. Methods to improve the accuracy, timing and quantity of fisheries data (for both for-hire and commericial fisheries).
Copies of the Amendment 18A Public Hearing Document will be posted on the Council's website at or available from the Council office by October 22nd.

Canaveral Lock Closure Starts in December

Picture courtesy of
The Canaveral Lock will be closed for dewatering to install a new Manatee Protection System beginning December 27th. The new system being installed is to replace an existing, unreliable system that is required by state law to be operational during the gate operation process. The work is planned to proceed on December 27th, one week earlier than the January 2011 start date previously anticipated, and will be closed through February 24th. The lock will be reopened for a NASA launch from February 25th through March 14th. The lock will be closed from March 15th through April 22nd to complete the Manatee Protections System Installation. It will be reopened on April 23rd. The exact closure dates are tentative and are based on the current NASA launch schedule and USFWS and FWC approvals. If any dates are changed, a new Notice of Navigation will be issued when the new closure dates have been determined. Please call the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at 904-232-2103 (Aaron Kelly) for the latest information regarding the lock status. Information will also be updated at the Jacksonville District web site at and choosing the OPERATIONS DIVISION tab and selecting the NOTICE TO NAVIGATION from the pull down menu.