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Triggerfish Opens 3/1/2018

The following article was copied from NOAA Fisheries Bulletin and can be found at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishery_bulletins/documents/pdfs/2017/fb17-076_gom_a46_gray_triggerfish_final_rule.pdf

 

Gulf of Mexico Fishery Bulletin      

Bringing Fishing News to You                             

 

 

FB17-076

FISHERY BULLETIN ISSUE DATE:December 15, 2017

CONTACT:  Lauren Waters, 727-824-5305Lauren.Waters@noaa.gov

 

 

 

NOAA Fisheries Announces New Management Measures for Gulf of Mexico Gray Triggerfish

 

 

KEY MESSAGE:

NOAA Fisheries announces new management measures to rebuild the gray triggerfish stock in the Gulf of Mexico (Gulf), which is currently overfished (stock abundance is too low). The actions will modify the recreational fixed closed season, reduce the recreational bag limit, increase the recreational minimum size limit, and increase the commercial trip limit.

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED CHANGES:

  • The current established recreational annual catch limit of 241,200 pounds (1b) whole weight (ww) and annual catch target (quota) of 217,100 lb ww and the commercial annual catch limit of 64,100 lb ww and annual catch target (quota) of 60,900 lb ww will not change. 
     

 

  • For recreational fishermen:
     
    • In addition to the current recreational fixed closed season of June 1 through July 31, an additional recreational fixed closed season of January 1 through the end of February will be in place.
    • The recreational bag limit will be 1 gray triggerfish per angler per day within the 20-reef fish aggregate bag limit.
    • The recreational minimum size limit will be 16 inches fork length.
  • For commercial fishermen:
    • The commercial trip limit will be 16 gray triggerfish per trip.
  • These measures are expected to rebuild the gray triggerfish population in 9 years, or by the end of 2025.

FORMAL FEDERAL REGISTER NAME/NUMBER: NOAA-NMFS-2017-0080, published December 15, 2017.

 

 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

 

Why are the new rules necessary?

 

  • A population assessment for Gulf gray triggerfish indicated that the gray triggerfish stock is no longer undergoing overfishing (rate of removal is not too high), but the stock remains overfished (stock abundance is too low).
  • NOAA Fisheries notified the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Council) that the gray triggerfish stock was not making adequate progress toward rebuilding as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act.
  • Within 2 years of the notice, the Council must prepare and implement a plan to rebuild the stock as quickly as possible, but not to exceed 10 years.

Why are changes being made to decrease harvest for the recreational sector, but the commercial trip limit is increasing?

 

  • The recreational sector has exceeded its annual catch limit in recent years, whereas commercial landings of gray triggerfish have been below the commercial quota for the past 3 years.
  • The recreational management changes will help prevent the recreational sector from exceeding their annual catch limit, and should allow for harvest later in the year.
  • Gray triggerfish are primarily landed by recreational anglers, and the current allocation is 79% recreational and 21% commercial. Therefore, modifications to the recreational sector will have a greater overall impact on rebuilding the population.
  • A commercial trip limit increase will allow the commercial sector to achieve optimum harvest while still making progress to rebuild the population.

Where can I find more information?

By Mail: Lauren Waters

NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office

Sustainable Fisheries Division

263 13th Avenue South

St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505

By FAX: (727) 824-5308

By Phone: (727) 824-5305



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NOAA's Text Message Alert Program allows you to receive important fishery related alerts via text message (SMS).  Standard message & data rates may apply. You may opt-out at any time. Text alerts you may receive include:

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Other contacts:

Media: Kim Amendola, 727-551-5707
           Allison Garrett, 727-551-5750

St. Joe Bay and St. Andrew Bay Scallop Restoration

The Molluscan Fisheries as part of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, FL are working in near by St. Joe Bay and St. Andrew Bay to monitor and restore the population of Bay Scallops. The FWC is asking for help from the local community for a scallop restoration project.  The plan is to provide scallops and predator exclusion cages to community members prior to the 2018 scalloping season. Community members would be asked to hang their cages with scallops from privately owned docks or, if they have a boat or kayak, they can place these cages in the bay. Volunteers would be asked to clean the cages at least once each month as well as monitor the health of the scallops. Volunteers will be responsible for their scallops for a 7-8 month period from April 2018- January 2019, until they are ready to be released. The goal of this project is to increase the spawning adult population in St. Joe Bay and St. Andrew Bay.

2016 began a 10-year project to restore bay scallops to self-sustaining levels in Florida’s Panhandle.  The objective of the scallop restoration project is to enhance the public’s use and enjoyment of Florida’s natural resources by enhancing depleted scallop populations and reintroduction to suitable areas from which scallops have disappeared. The restoration work includes enhancing local scallop populations in targeted areas through a combination of the harvest and redistribution of naturally-occurring juvenile and adult scallops supplemented with stocking from a commercial scallop hatchery. In addition to traditional approaches to restoration, the vision for restoring scallops also includes educating the public on ongoing restoration projects and asking them to be contributing partners in these efforts. 

Since the project began in 2016, The FWC has worked with community members in St. Joseph Bay to collect scallops prior to the opening of the scallop season and place them in cages in an exclusion zone protected from harvest.  They are currently working on developing partnerships with interested NGOs, county officials, schools, and the private sector to help restore scallops in St. Joseph Bay and St. Andrew Bay.  The willmprovide scallops and predator exclusion cages to community members in these areas prior to the 2018 scalloping season.  Community members will hang their cages with scallops from privately owned docks or, if they have a boat, they can place these cages in the bay. Volunteers must be willing to clean the cages at least once each month as well as monitor the scallops.  By partnering with the community next year we can increase our chances of successful restoring scallops to St. Joseph Bay and St. Andrew Bay.

To help volunteer with the FWC on this scallop restoration effort, please email bayscallops@myfwc.com.

 

For more information visit these links to learn more.

About the restoration project. http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/mollusc/bay-scallops/research/

About Molluscs and Bay Scallops. http://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/mollusc/

Panama City News Herald reported on 10/20/2017. http://www.newsherald.com/news/20171020/scallops-show-signs-of-recovery-restoration-effort-to-begin

 

 St. Joe Bay Scallops

St. Joe Bay Scallops

 

 St. Joe Bay Scallops

 

FWC Announces 2017 Gulf County bay scallop season

Gulf County bay scallop season to open Sept. 23

The Gulf County bay scallop season will open to harvest Sept. 23. The 2017 season was postponed earlier this year due to a naturally occurring algae bloom (Pseudo-nitzschia) in St. Joseph Bay that affects shellfish. Recent samples have indicated that the scallops in St. Joseph Bay are safe for human consumption and meet FDA requirements for opening harvest in the bay. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will continue testing of the bay.

The 2017 season will be open for 16 days, with the last day of harvest being Oct. 8 and closing Oct. 9. This season opening includes all state waters (shore to 9 nautical miles) from the Mexico Beach Canal in Bay County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County. All other regulations apply, including a daily bag limit of 2 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1 pint of bay scallop meat per person, with a maximum of 10 gallons of whole bay scallops in shell or 1/2 gallon bay scallop meat per vessel.

The scallop population in Gulf County is also still recovering from a 2015 red tide. Restoration efforts are underway in the southeast area of the bay south of Black’s Island. Swimming, boating, fishing or scalloping in the restoration area marked with FWC buoys is prohibited. The recent Pseudo-nitzschia algal bloom is not expected to impact the scallop population.

The bay scallop season for Gulf County was originally scheduled to open July 25 and close Sept. 10.

For updates and more information on bay scallops, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Bay Scallops.” In areas outside of Gulf County, waters from the Pasco-Hernando County line to the Suwannee River and from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County through the westernmost point of St. Vincent Island in Franklin County will close to harvest Sept. 25. The bay scallop season in state waters from the Fenholloway River in Taylor County to the Suwannee River in Dixie County closed Sept. 10. Help FWC’s scallop researchers by completing an online survey at svy.mk/bayscallops. Harvesters can indicate where they harvest scallops, how many they collect and how long it takes to harvest them. Participants can email BayScallops@MyFWC.com to ask questions or send additional information. Learn more about long-term trends in the open and closed scalloping areas by visiting MyFWC.com/Research and clicking on “Saltwater,” “Molluscs,” “Bay Scallops” and “Season.”

This article was copied from https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/1b05e43.

{module Snorkeling Gear}

FWC Announces 2017 Gulf Triggerfish Season

Gulf gray triggerfish fall season dates announced

Gray triggerfish will open in Gulf of Mexico state waters Sept. 1 through 4Sept. 9 and 10Oct. 7 and 8, and Oct. 14 and 15 for recreational harvest. During this season opening, the Gulf state waters minimum size limit is 14 inches fork length and the daily bag limit is two per person, per day.

“The FWC has heard from many anglers who are seeing more and bigger gray triggerfish, and we have listened to their requests for additional and sustainable fishing opportunities,” said Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Chairman Brian Yablonski.  “We are pleased to announce new triggerfish fishing days in state waters, especially the Sept. 1 through 4 season dates, which are also when the popular red snapper season is open in state and federal Gulf waters.”

At its July meeting in Orlando, the Commission directed staff to implement a limited fall season for 2017 via an executive order.

Earlier this year, the Gulf recreational gray triggerfish season was closed in both state and federal waters for all of 2017 due to the 2016 federal quota being exceeded. The Commission decided to open Gulf state waters for a limited harvest opportunity this fall after considering public testimony on gray triggerfish.

The Commission also approved several other management changes at the July meeting that should go into effect sometime in 2018. These changes will not be in effect during the 2017 season opening. These changes are consistent with pending changes in federal waters and include:

  • Decreasing the recreational daily bag limit from two to one fish per person.
  • Increasing the recreational size limit from 14 to 15 inches fork length.
  • Creating a January through February annual recreational closure in addition to the current June through July annual spawning closure.

These federal consistency measures should help maintain fishing opportunities for gray triggerfish in state and federal waters for 2018 and beyond.

More information about Gulf gray triggerfish regulations may be found at MyFWC.com/Fishing by clicking on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Triggerfish.”

This article was copied from https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/FLFFWCC/bulletins/1b05e43

                                                 

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