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Old 11-18-2016, 09:02 AM   #1
Keysdivers
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Hogfish

Worst scenerio is now becoming law.
State fishery managers have voted to enact the following regulations
Harvest season May1 through October 31
Reduced bag limit from 5 to 1 per person
Minimum size increased to 16"

Reduced bag limit and increased size are both good ideas and reseach has shown that these 2 rules would decrease mortality by 60%.
Closing the season from November 1 till April 30 is really over the top.

Effective date to be announced
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Old 11-20-2016, 04:39 PM   #2
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Re: Hogfish

I wouldn't call it a worse case scenario..
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Old 11-20-2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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Re: Hogfish

What would you call it ?

A travesty

An injustice

A Royal screwing

A knee jerk reaction

A part of a larger plan to remove different user groups from the ocean

Just curios
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Old 11-21-2016, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: Hogfish

I would call it a long overdue action that caused it to be more drastic than it would have been if acted on 5-8 years ago. That is not our fault or responsibility, it is theirs but we will suffer from the delay of their actions. A 2-3 bag limit of fish >16" would be not be argued by many. If we would have self regulated and not plowed every 12" milk mouth hog that swam it could have been different as well.
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:40 PM   #5
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Re: Hogfish

I have only been diving 10 yrs and in a relatively small are mostly Boynton thru ftlauderdale.

In that time I have seen no noticeable difference in the hogfish populations. This year they have been particularly thick.

So maybe yrs ago you could shoot 5 10 lb hogfish every trip but I doubt it.

I have never had trouble finding hogfish in my area

I find it hard to believe a fish that gets near zero pressure from rod and reel is in need of such drastic measures.

A fish that is so abundant everyone sees and shoots them can not be that endangered.


I respect your opinion while overwhelmingly disagreeing with it

Are you also in agreement with the Atlantic red snapper fiasco??


It's easy to agre with theese measures when they do not affect you. ( gulf coast, commercial connections)

What we really enjoy about this sport is shooting fish. Sure the wrecks are cool ,the reefs are pretty and the creatures are amazing bot I like to shoot fish.

If I have 8 hrs to kill on a Sunday I don't want to shoot two fish and go home I want to spend the day doing what I love SHOOTING FISH.

Hopefully I can get my fix on commercial trips now.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:38 AM   #6
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Re: Hogfish

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Originally Posted by snookit View Post
I have only been diving 10 yrs and in a relatively small are mostly Boynton thru ftlauderdale.

In that time I have seen no noticeable difference in the hogfish populations. This year they have been particularly thick.

So maybe yrs ago you could shoot 5 10 lb hogfish every trip but I doubt it.

I have never had trouble finding hogfish in my area

I find it hard to believe a fish that gets near zero pressure from rod and reel is in need of such drastic measures.

A fish that is so abundant everyone sees and shoots them can not be that endangered.


I respect your opinion while overwhelmingly disagreeing with it

Are you also in agreement with the Atlantic red snapper fiasco??


It's easy to agre with theese measures when they do not affect you. ( gulf coast, commercial connections)

What we really enjoy about this sport is shooting fish. Sure the wrecks are cool ,the reefs are pretty and the creatures are amazing bot I like to shoot fish.

If I have 8 hrs to kill on a Sunday I don't want to shoot two fish and go home I want to spend the day doing what I love SHOOTING FISH.

Hopefully I can get my fix on commercial trips now.
I shoot on both coasts so this does affect me. Don't assume you know everything about me when you don't.
FYI, I made 2 commercial trips this year with a captain who has been my best friend for over 20 years. 95% of my spearfishing is done off my own boat as a recreational diver.

OK, now lets look what has happened to hog snapper over the years on the southeast Florida coast....
Here is a pic on a standard day of freediving off Miami 35 years ago in 20' of water. When do you think the last time someone shot a batch of hogs like this? I think they would throw you a street parade if you did it today. Do you really think hogs are in good shape on the east coast? There were only a dozen or so boats shooting hogs when I was a kid. How many boat would you guess are targeting them now? I think your perception of a healthy hog fishery is greatly skewed by your youth. Yeah, Yeah, I know you want to blast everything all day.... been there done that, but is the fishery strong enough for everyone that now owns a speargun and boat to follow that narrative?
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Old 11-21-2016, 09:36 PM   #7
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Re: Hogfish

You won't get much of a "fix" when it comes to hog fish even on a commercial trip with a 25 pound trip limit.

I have seen a slight decrease in the population of Hog fish around Key West over the past 10 years. Even when I was 13 years old I thought 12 inches was too small and that it should be raised. The problem is not everybody thought so. Also back when I was 13 I knew of some really nice coral heads that were loaded with hogs. A friend of mine and I would go out there on his boat whenever we could to shoot some fish and one day I we brought a kid that lived down the canal and he started to go out to the same spot I showed him every weekend with his friends and they would shoot the shit out of hogs with 4 kids on there boat a few times a week. Every time the hogs got smaller and smaller and after awhile most weren't even legal. I was on summer vacation for most of this and when I came back the spot and the surrounding area it was slim pickings.

Sorry for the story/rant but I thought it was relevant.

Like Moose said it was a little too much just a little too late. That's still better than too little too late.
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:24 AM   #8
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Re: Hogfish

Kenny,
No matter how hard we try to reason the point is not being driven home. Too many divers and fishermen are only concerned with quantity.
Just a real shame that years ago when the spearfishermen asked for size limit increases nobody listened
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Old 11-23-2016, 10:56 AM   #9
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Re: Hogfish

the problem - (in my opinion) is that they are willing to pass laws without any science to back up what they say is a fact. It's like with the barracuda laws- a bunch of flats fisherman got together and lied through their teeth to say there weren't any more barracudas - and despite them having an obvious reason to lie (which they did)- the fwc took their word for it and without any study whatsoever - passed a bunch of laws.
When we went to the meeting they had a big xhart up that told statistics- and it was 95% of the barracuda taken were taken by recreational divers- not commercial. Yett eh entire meeting - every one of those lazy bum flats guys - stood up and said that the commercial guys were ruining the fishery. Totally ignoring the big ass chart that was right in front of them clearly stating that 95% was taken by recreational fishing.
SO - guess what their answer was? - you guessed it- they effectively ended commercial barracuda fishing by passing laws that made it useless and non profitable to shoot them commercially.
This whole fiasco was about the vandenberg and the fisherman being mad that they had pressure on the spot that they can go without burning any gas. Every fishhermsn knows there are thousands of cudas out west on the towers and at the shoals- but they didn't want to burn the gas - so they lied and now we have these ridiculously heavy handed laws.
I wonder if any studies were done on the hogfish or did they just ask a few fisherman what they thought and ran with that?
Most of us locals know it's lobster mini season that kills most of the baby hogs- but they will selectively ignore that info.
The limit should have gone to 14" and have a bag limit that is realiistic- one per diver is crazy and i doubt it had any basis in science and was likely created by rod and reel fisherman who hate us soearos
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Old 11-23-2016, 01:56 PM   #10
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Re: Hogfish

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Originally Posted by Impaler Spearguns View Post
Most of us locals know it's lobster mini season that kills most of the baby hogs- but they will selectively ignore that info.
Doesn't the new restrictions help reduce the mini season mass hog killing? How is it ignored?

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Originally Posted by Impaler Spearguns View Post
The limit should have gone to 14" and have a bag limit that is realiistic- one per diver is crazy and i doubt it had any basis in science and was likely created by rod and reel fisherman who hate us soearos
What basis of science are you using to make your recommendations and why is yours any different than theirs?

You know that if a size and take restriction is not chosen the alternative will be an MPA... I believe there is considerable Federal interest in making the whole Keys an MPA like Pennekamp. The state not taking action preemptively as it has would certainly help grease the skids to make that happen.
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Last edited by kmoose; 11-23-2016 at 02:22 PM.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:02 AM   #11
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Re: Hogfish

I can only speak on my experience here in the keys, but here is what is wrong with this new law..

Hogfish are still everywhere down here, they are just smaller.. In my opinion they fixed the over fishing by raising the size limit alone, maybe reduce bag limit to 3 and give the commercial sector a legitimate trip limit of something like 100 pounds. Every patch reef i dive on the south side has schools of 30 hogfish, but they are all 8-12 inches.. So in my opinion it's not a numbers issue, it's a size issue. Once you raise the size to 16" (which we have all wanted for years) you get more breeding cycles for all these fish that are under 16" and the stock stays healthy. No reason to make it 1 fish per person and 25 pounds commercial. When we do a 80 mile run to dive commercial we will be limited out with 3 fish and will have to pass on the normal 100 pounds that we normally average on the trip.
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:17 PM   #12
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Re: Hogfish

Quote:
Originally Posted by kmoose View Post
Doesn't the new restrictions help reduce the mini season mass hog killing? How is it ignored?

What basis of science are you using to make your recommendations and why is yours any different than theirs?

You know that if a size and take restriction is not chosen the alternative will be an MPA... I believe there is considerable Federal interest in making the whole Keys an MPA like Pennekamp. The state not taking action preemptively as it has would certainly help grease the skids to make that happen.

sorry for the delayed response - I just saw this:
the mini season thing is ignored in that: they ONLY needed to shut down the mini season massacre and maybe raise the size limit and that's it- 90% of the problem is solved. They "ignored" it- by making everyone suffer all year long instead of just stopping the one week massacre

The basis of science that I used that they didn't is that - I commercially fished this area for years - and even thogh I wasn't carrying a clipboard and doing "studies" - I was fishing for the hogs where they actual;ly lived instaed of what these guys did- which was to go to places where everything has been ovefished for decades and no one fishes there- plus stand around at the filet tables at the public boat ramp and ask all the newbies and weekend warriors what they got and where they got it. If you are putting in your boat at a public boat ramp- you are likely not from the area - and not an expert at where the big fish live.

as to your last point that it's either they do THIS or we get the whole are shut down to an MPA. I don't know who it was who decided that there were only two possible choices and neither of them could even utter the words mini season. - I would suggest that there are morwe choices than that- more than 2 nmore than 3 - in fact - if they really were trying to solve the problem- there are dozens of choices- the idea that there are only two choices or they just take it all away forever is not smart - not science- and not true.
The people who come down here on mini season and fill the cooler with 11" hogs and mini lobsters and then drive back to miami are the problem - but the long history of corruption in key west dictates that the sellers of pole spears - lobster sticks and bags and hotel room owners are what is important - not the fish- and THAT is what needs to change. All that happens now is - they STILL kill the hogs - its just now they either filet and release or just release.

The people that live here should be allowed to continue to harvest and should be given powers to vote on this stuff. The people who just come and visit or drive down to kill stuff and then go back to pennsyltucky and their ilk- shouldnt have any say in any of this. Do I get to vote on their roads and bridges? do I get a say on their school board meetings ? no- and that's because I don't live there. It just sucks to live in a place where people come to visit - kill stuff and then leave us with heavy handed laws to make up for what they are doing.
just my opinion
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Old 11-28-2016, 06:53 PM   #13
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Re: Hogfish

Quote:
Originally Posted by Impaler Spearguns View Post
sorry for the delayed response - I just saw this:
the mini season thing is ignored in that: they ONLY needed to shut down the mini season massacre and maybe raise the size limit and that's it- 90% of the problem is solved. They "ignored" it- by making everyone suffer all year long instead of just stopping the one week massacre

The basis of science that I used that they didn't is that - I commercially fished this area for years - and even thogh I wasn't carrying a clipboard and doing "studies" - I was fishing for the hogs where they actual;ly lived instaed of what these guys did- which was to go to places where everything has been ovefished for decades and no one fishes there- plus stand around at the filet tables at the public boat ramp and ask all the newbies and weekend warriors what they got and where they got it. If you are putting in your boat at a public boat ramp- you are likely not from the area - and not an expert at where the big fish live.

as to your last point that it's either they do THIS or we get the whole are shut down to an MPA. I don't know who it was who decided that there were only two possible choices and neither of them could even utter the words mini season. - I would suggest that there are morwe choices than that- more than 2 nmore than 3 - in fact - if they really were trying to solve the problem- there are dozens of choices- the idea that there are only two choices or they just take it all away forever is not smart - not science- and not true.
The people who come down here on mini season and fill the cooler with 11" hogs and mini lobsters and then drive back to miami are the problem - but the long history of corruption in key west dictates that the sellers of pole spears - lobster sticks and bags and hotel room owners are what is important - not the fish- and THAT is what needs to change. All that happens now is - they STILL kill the hogs - its just now they either filet and release or just release.

The people that live here should be allowed to continue to harvest and should be given powers to vote on this stuff. The people who just come and visit or drive down to kill stuff and then go back to pennsyltucky and their ilk- shouldnt have any say in any of this. Do I get to vote on their roads and bridges? do I get a say on their school board meetings ? no- and that's because I don't live there. It just sucks to live in a place where people come to visit - kill stuff and then leave us with heavy handed laws to make up for what they are doing.
just my opinion
If the fish you harvested and sold only were sold to Conchs you would have a basis to your argument but without tourism and an out of Keys market for your fish it kind of falls flat. There is a price to pay when tourism drives over 90% of your community's income and the resources you want to keep for yourself drive that ratio.

There are great advantages living where you do but it will never be run as an isolationist nation where locals don't drive the economy. The lower Keys ARE Florida and not the Conch Republic so that is the way it will be, like it or not, right or wrong.
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Old 11-28-2016, 07:21 PM   #14
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Re: Hogfish

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..... I don't know who it was who decided that there were only two possible choices.....
Not only that, the original rebuilding plan & specs was a 5 year rebuilding plan and then they would slowly open up the season dates further. The 'new' plan specs is now a 10 year rebuilding plan. They won't even look at landings numbers until 2026. We know who pushed that one thru.
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Old 11-25-2016, 11:05 AM   #15
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Re: Hogfish

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Originally Posted by Impaler Spearguns View Post
the problem - (in my opinion) is that they are willing to pass laws without any science to back up what they say is a fact. It's like with the barracuda laws- a bunch of flats fisherman got together and lied through their teeth to say there weren't any more barracudas - and despite them having an obvious reason to lie (which they did)- the fwc took their word for it and without any study whatsoever - passed a bunch of laws.
The barracuda law is even a bigger pile of shit.. They just added a slot limit for barracuda, but allow one over slot fish for "trophy fishing". Why on earth would you allow people to kill a fish just for trophy purposes if the fish stock is in such danger??? Let alone when you won't let people kill them to sell for food purposes..
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