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Old 01-18-2010, 08:31 AM
Capt.PeteRowney Capt.PeteRowney is offline
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Catch and release fishing still allowed for snook, bonefish and tarpon

Posted on the FWC site. Please spread the word...


Catch-and-release fishing still allowed for snook, bonefish and tarpon

January 17, 2010
Contact: Lee Schlesinger, 850-487-0554

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) issued an executive order on Jan. 15 that temporarily extends closed harvest seasons for snook statewide and establishes temporary statewide closed harvest seasons for bonefish and tarpon, the FWC advises anglers that catch-and-release fishing for these important game fish species is still allowed.

The FWC appreciates angler support for taking conservation measures that will help protect saltwater fish and provide time for the FWC to evaluate the possible impacts to fish populations that may have occurred because of the recent prolonged cold weather in Florida.

The order, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. on Jan. 16, provides that no person may harvest or possess snook in state and federal waters off Florida until September and establishes a temporary prohibition on the harvest and possession of bonefish and tarpon from state and federal waters off Florida through March 31.

The FWC advises anglers that this order prohibits only the harvest or possession of snook, bonefish and tarpon during the closed periods. Anglers may still catch and release these species during these temporary closures, and the FWC encourages everyone to handle and release these fish carefully to help ensure their survival upon release. Information regarding proper handling and release of fish is available online at http://catchandrelease.org/Catch_and_Release_web.pdf.

More information on the FWC's executive order regarding the snook, bonefish and tarpon temporary harvest closures, and information regarding another FWC executive order issued on Jan. 15, which temporarily suspends certain saltwater fishing regulations to allow for the collection and disposal of dead fish killed by cold weather, is available online at MyFWC.com.

Capt. Pete Rowney
www.islamoradaonthefly.com
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:08 PM
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lemaymiami lemaymiami is offline
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snook, tarpon,etc.

I've already seen lots of mis-information on this topic on other forums... I'm worried that first timers may actually believe that no one's allowed to fish for them now. Just one more item in the world of booking enough trips each year....
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Old 01-18-2010, 03:49 PM
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flyfishsalt flyfishsalt is offline
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Catch & Release fishing

Hate to see a post on a web site that mistakenly says,

"It will be illegal to fish for Snook, Tarpon and Bonefish in all Florida waters by any method, effective Friday, 1-15-2009 until further notice per order the FL Fish & Wildlife Commission"

or

"Planning a Florida fishing trip. Best to check out current open seasons for Snook, Tarpon and Bonefish which have been closed due to the recent cold-induced fish kills in the state"

because I have been at this long enough to know that it hurts business. I have already fielded several phone calls from people who are already planning on fishing in Florida in the next 6 months, and those people know someone who they can call. In the case of people who have not yet booked with a fishing guide or who are thinking about a winter vacation, misinformation like this is a terrible blow.

If I was the person who posted this by mistake I would not come back on a week later and correct myself on the second page of the thread, I would delete it and say sorry.

On a brighter note there is going to be some good that comes from the recent bad weather and if you look for it you will find it. I already have. We have tailing redfish on the flats and they have moved into some super shallow water and are tailing for hours. It is a sight fishermen's dream. With the closure of Snook (keeping season) we will see far less pressure on the flats in Southwest Florida that normally lands around the first two weeks of Snook season. In addition we may see several Tarpon tournaments cancelled (due to the fact that a kill tag is required now to transport a Tarpon to the scale). This will hurt some anglers, but angler like the ones I fish with every day will marvel at the idea that we could have an entire Tarpon season without a single Tarpon tournament.

I personally have no idea how bad the effects of the recent cold snap will be on the Snook, but this is not the first Snook kill we have seen in Southwest Florida. It is the third one in five years. I also remember a Snook kill that took place around 1990. It actually snowed here in Englewood, Fl. I did venture up a long secluded passage to a large lake that I know holds large Snook at this time of year, and many of them were dead. It was sad for me to see so many large Snook die all at once. Perhaps this will bring conservation efforts to the forefront of our thinking and bring about a positive change in the management of the species statewide. I am hoping so.
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