Courtesy of BTT, FWC Approves Bonefish and Tarpon as Catch and Release:
At their Wednesday meeting in Lakeland, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), unanimously approved new regulations to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries, making Florida the first State to do so. The deliberations by Commission members were brief and entirely supportive. Commissioner Brian Yablonski said, “this is the most significant thing we can do for tarpon.” Following their favorable ruling, Chairman Kenneth Wright added, “there will be a chapter written in a book about what this commission did today.”
(h/t Save The Tarpon)
MG signing off (with nothing else to say. for once.)
Not to minimize the importance of impending regulations on what kind of rigs can be used to catch fish in Boca Grande pass, but Save the Tarpon gets to what yours truly considers the meat of the matter…
Final Rules for Tarpon and Bonefish – The proposed final rules would make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only. To accomplish this, the allowance for a tarpon bag limit would be eliminated and replaced with an allowance for possession of a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association (IGFA) record. In addition, all tarpon regulations will be extended into adjacent federal waters. The existing bonefish tournament exemption that allows registered tournament anglers to possess a bonefish for the purposes of transporting it to the tournament scale would also be eliminated.
Of course, one could just eliminate the tag allowance for pursuing a world record, and we’d actually have a real game on our hands. But the above is certainly a step in the right direction. The only way to speak your mind is to attend the meeting? Not! You can also email the commission to voice your applause for the above proposal.
100%… 1000%…one hundred quadrillion percent hat tip goes to Save The Tarpon for getting the issue this far.
MG signing off (in hopes that true fans of conserving shallow water gamefishes will have their voices heard)
The PTTS, known amongst many as the Putrid Tarpon Tournament Series, is some sort of TV reality show where halfwit party boat captains snag big tarpon in the Boca Grande Pass, then drag these magnificent creatures, gaff in face, to weigh stations for fun and profit. No, this isn’t Jersey Shore or the Life and Times of the Kardashian Clan, but if Snooky and Kim were on the show it would probably be an improvement.
Nevertheless, real anglers have been screaming bloody murder (which it pretty much is), and the Florida Department of Wildlife has taken notice. Now, in the vein of taking action (much as our friends at Costa Del Mar did when they recently bailed on sponsorship), the FWC is poised to make Megalops atlanticus a catch and release only species…
The FWC’s action came after nearly two hours of debate over language contained in a proposed rule creating a broad “sport fish” designation for tarpon and other species. As a result, the commission opted to temporarily set aside action on the new classification while forging ahead with protections aimed specifically at protecting tarpon.
The group Save The Tarpon deserves enormous kudos for waking everyone up to the stench.
MG signing off (to count happy Tarpon jumping as I fall asleep)
Even if you’re anti-TV
Sandy Moret’s Florida Keys Outfitters and the IGFA Inshore World Championship giveth, and ESPN giveth some more (emphasis mine):
ESPN Outdoors announced Tuesday that the 2009 Florida Keys Outfitters IGFA Inshore World Championship will be broadcast as part of the second year of the ESPN Outdoors Saltwater Series on ESPN2 and will be presented on other ESPN Outdoors multimedia platforms, including daily tournament coverage at www.ESPNOutdoors.com.
The goings are gettin’ in the middle of the week (July 7th to 9th), so nobody will have any excuse (i.e. gone fishing) for not checking in – no dummies those ESPN Outdoors folks. And I’m curious – do these tourney players roll with class tippets?