Federal management of Gulf red snapper grinds to historic low
Broken system produces 11-day season for recreational anglers
BATON ROUGE (4-11-2014) - The impact of a recent federal district court ruling in favor of commercial red snapper fishermen and seafood packers was driven home this week as the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council set the 2014 recreational red snapper season at just 11 days, the shortest season in the fishery’s history under management. The judge’s ruling was an indictment of federal data collection and management systems, but it will be recreational anglers who ultimately pay the price.
“This is what happens when common sense leaves the building and you blindly insist on managing recreational angling with the same system you designed exclusively to manage a few industrial fishing operations,” said Mark Ray, a vice chairman for Coastal Conservation Association which intervened in the lawsuit on behalf of recreational anglers’ interests. “Now the whole complex system is being mercilessly manipulated by the commercial industry and environmental groups to restrict access to these resources to fewer and fewer people. This is rock bottom – the fishery itself is in wonderful shape and anglers have an 11-day season in federal waters.”
Louisiana Modifies 2014 Recreational Red Snapper Season in State Waters to Include Weekdays
(April 10, 2014) The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced today that it will modify the Louisiana weekend-only red snapper season to include weekdays beginning on Monday, April 14, 2014, at 12:01 a.m. until further notice.
The “Louisiana-only” season
The bag and possession limit for the state season is two fish per person at a 16-inch minimum total length.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission gave LDWF Secretary Robert Barham the authority to modify red snapper recreational seasons and daily harvest limits in 2013.
“After reviewing what our biologists expect Louisiana’s recreational red snapper landings to be this year, and the recent action taken by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council to have a very short federal season, I have decided to support our anglers and the associated fishing industry by opening state waters 365 days until further notice,” stated Secretary Barham. “The Gulf Council’s action is clear evidence that their process is broken and they give no consideration to the needs of individual states. For two years, I have been trying to persuade the Gulf Council to move forward with regional management, allowing the states flexibility in management by empowering our anglers and fishing industry to decide how they want red snapper managed. That hasn’t happened.”
CCA Louisiana and LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation
(Apr. 4, 2014) - It’s no secret that Louisiana boasts a large number of recreational anglers who are both avid sportsmen and devoted conservationists, but what many don’t know is that youth across the Gulf Coast are also getting involved in fisheries conservation projects.
One such project is the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, implemented by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in conjunction with the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana. The program focuses on tagging redfish, speckled trout, red snapper and yellowfin tuna, and provides interested volunteer anglers with free, saltwater fish tagging kits. If a fish is later reported as a recapture, a report is sent to the volunteer tagger to inform them on the distance traveled and how much the fish grew. Several of these dedicated “citizen scientists” tag well over 100 fish per year.
Volunteer fish taggers are getting their entire families in on the action, and many kids have been introduced to the experience of tag and release fishing. Our youth are the next generation of anglers, and it is extremely important to introduce them not only to the sport of fishing, but also to the importance of conserving our fisheries for future generations.
Ruling against recreational angling confirms federal fisheries management system broken
HOUSTON, TX (3-27-2014) – In a case brought by commercial fishermen, seafood processors and trade groups closely associated with the Environmental Defense Fund, a federal district judge acknowledged this week that federal management of recreational anglers is deeply flawed and in need of overhaul. The lawsuit essentially challenged the National Marine Fisheries Service’s policy of setting hard quotas for the recreational sector without timely or reliable means to manage to such a standard.
“The judge ruled the only way she could given the realities of the federal fishery management system,” said Bill Bird, vice chairman of the National Government Relations Committee for the Coastal Conservation Association, which intervened on behalf of the interests of recreational anglers. “Under federal management, the rules of this fishery are designed exclusively to manage a few, elite commercial businesses seeking to profit from the sale of a public resource. While the plaintiffs simply intended this case to result in severe curtailment of the recreational sector, this decision also makes it abundantly clear that recreational anglers are at a dead end under federal management unless a solution can be found to suit their needs.”
Recreational Fishing and Boating Community Calls on Congress to Revamp Marine Fisheries Management
Leaders map out path for federal marine fisheries conservation
Washington, D.C. – March 26, 2014 – Congress is currently revising the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, the law that governs our nation’s marine resources. Recreational saltwater anglers and the sportfishing and boating industries are intensifying efforts to ensure that their social, conservation and economic priorities are well represented in the legislative process.
Today, in a series of meetings on Capitol Hill, the Commission on Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Management co-chairs, Johnny Morris, founder and CEO, Bass Pro Shops, and Scott Deal, president, Maverick Boats, briefed members of Congress and media on the commission’s recommended changes to the Magnuson-Stevens Act. The commission, composed of anglers, scientists, former agency administrators, conservationists, industry representatives and economists, wants to ensure that saltwater recreational fishing becomes a priority of NOAA’s National Marine Fisheries Service.
Coastal Anglers Can Now Help the Less Fortunate Through Hunters for the Hungry
Hunters for the Hungry (HFH), a non-profit organization whose mission is to feed the hungry through the collection and donation of game, fish and other food items to local food banks, announces a new program aimed at giving Louisiana anglers an opportunity to help the less fortunate while at the dock.
In partnership with Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Louisiana and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, HFH has started placing freezers at marinas along the Louisiana coast. Anglers now have the opportunity to donate some or all of their catch to be processed and given to local food banks, at no cost to the donor.
"How many times have you returned to the dock after a successful day on the water and wondered how you'll ever use all your filets," said HFH's Andy Record. "Now, you can keep what you need and donate the rest to those who are less fortunate."
Chapter Raffle Winners
Baton Rouge Chapter
Ice Machine Raffle Winner
Golf Cart Raffle Winner
Boat Raffle Winner
- Federal management of Gulf red snapper grinds to historic low
- Louisiana Modifies 2014 Recreational Red Snapper Season in State Waters to Include Weekdays
- CCA Louisiana and LDWF Introduces Youth to Fish Tagging and Fisheries Conservation
- Ruling against recreational angling confirms federal fisheries management system broken
- Recreational Fishing and Boating Community Calls on Congress to Revamp Marine Fisheries Management