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Old 08-26-2013, 11:15 AM   #1
SpearMax
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Arrow FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

Tarpon, bonefish become catch-and-release only beginning Sept. 1*

Two premier recreational fisheries will soon have new protections in place, a measure aimed at ensuring that tarpon and bonefish’s economic and fishing value remain for generations to come. Tarpon and bonefish become catch-and-release only fisheries beginning Sept. 1.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved these proactive management measures at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland. The catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing values of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.The following changes will go into effect Sept. 1 in state and federal waters off Florida:

All harvest of tarpon will be eliminated, with the exception of the harvest or possession of a single tarpon when in pursuit of an International Game Fish Association record and in conjunction with a tarpon tag.

Tarpon tags will be limited to one per person, per year except for properly licensed charter boat captains and fishing guides.

Transport or shipment of tarpon becomes limited to one fish per person.

There will be a one-fish-per-vessel limit for tarpon.

Gear used for tarpon will be limited to hook-and-line only.

Multiple hooks in conjunction with live or dead natural bait cannot be used to target or harvest tarpon, or to target bonefish.

People will be allowed to temporarily possess a tarpon for photography, measurement of length and girth and scientific sampling, with the stipulation that tarpon more than 40 inches must remain in the water.

Tarpon regulations will extend into federal waters.

The bonefish tournament exemption permit is eliminated. This exemption allowed tournament anglers with the proper permit to temporarily possess bonefish for transport to a tournament scale.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:44 AM   #2
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Re: FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

Before anyone gets their panties in a wad -- I am neither condoning nor supporting the FWC decision -- just stating a fact. This rule, to make tarpon and bonefish a "catch and release hook and line only species only" is a direct result of the tarpon that were being speared off Louisiana and the photos and video that were posted on the internet, bragging about it.

I do find it a bit ironic that the one group who stands to gain the most from their protection (guides and wealthy sportsfishermen), and pushed for the rule to be passed --will be the only ones that can continue to kill them legally through a tag system. But, isn't that they way all resources are managed--when there is not enough to go around it is the wealthy that gets the last shot at them.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:17 PM   #3
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Re: FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

Quote:
Originally Posted by Summerland Key View Post
Before anyone gets their panties in a wad -- I am neither condoning nor supporting the FWC decision -- just stating a fact. This rule, to make tarpon and bonefish a "catch and release hook and line only species only" is a direct result of the tarpon that were being speared off Louisiana and the photos and video that were posted on the internet, bragging about it.

I do find it a bit ironic that the one group who stands to gain the most from their protection (guides and wealthy sportsfishermen), and pushed for the rule to be passed --will be the only ones that can continue to kill them legally through a tag system. But, isn't that they way all resources are managed--when there is not enough to go around it is the wealthy that gets the last shot at them.
But, if I read this correctly, this is a Florida law, and wont affect the laws in other states. Don't see why Florida's decision would be made solely on the actions of persons in other states. Doesn't bother me either way, I neither catch or spear them. I have never fished solely for sport, I only target fish that I am going to eat while spearfishing. If I catch something inedible on hook and line, I throw it back. I do target species that others consider inedible though, such as barracuda, king, and bluefish.
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Old 08-27-2013, 08:34 PM   #4
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Re: FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

The rule extends into federal waters off Florida -- where the line is drawn I don't know, since federal waters go out to 200 miles. It will be interesting to see where the line is actually drawn.

If you get any kingfish you don't want -- send them this way. Grilled kingfish is one of my favorites.
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Old 09-03-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

Don,the same logic about rich guys applies to billfish and catch shares and it is why there are more and more guys I consider ethical who just do what they feel is right and screw the rules and rulemakers.I get checked by DNR or FWC at either the dock or fish house a lot and have research guys check my fish all the time.They feel for us but the laws are what they are.
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Old 09-14-2013, 02:53 PM   #6
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Re: FWC Makes Tarpon + Bonefish Catch and Release Only

Tony:
I hear what you are saying. When I first started commercially spearfishing off Jacksonville the only limits we had to deal with was how much your ice hold could carry. If you filled that--next trip you would put another ice box on the back of the boat, and if you filled that box also--you built a bigger boat. It is completely different today and will never be like the days I dived off Jax.
The VMS and catch share issue is not over in the South Atlantic. There are three new council members that are proponents of either VMS or catch shares or both. I have been argueeing strongly against both on the AP, but at some point the votes may be on the council go forward with VMS and catch shares. Don
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