Conservation Front

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Remember the Reds

We’ll try to help — but we can’t guarantee that you won’t be steaming mad when you’ve finished reading this. Close to home, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission approved a short season for recreational red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico starting on the Saturday (May 24, this year) be- fore Memorial Day and running through July 14.


Red Snapper Season–Short but Sweet

America’s favorite snapper is again legal as of June 1-but the season will be a scant 9 days long. Don’t blink or you’ll miss the red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico this year.

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Future Vision, Today

Angling community forges recommendations or legislative updates to Magnuson Act. A clear, nationwide focus on how to fix many of the problems facing marine recreational fishing has come into view, summarized in a report unveiled in February.


What’s Great About Barracuda

Imagine a fish making blistering runs, jumps and being caught both inshore and offshore. It takes lures, bait and flies. It can be as aggressive as a pit bull, or picky as a permit. That’s the great barracuda.

Purple lines indicate potential new zones closed to fishing. Yellow boxes are existing closed areas. These are prime Key West fishing grounds. Many new closures are being discussed along the chain.

Boxed Out of the Keys?

What began in December 2011 as a push to increase marine zoning in the Florida
Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS) is nearly at its midpoint. After working-group drafts by the Sanctuary Advisory Council and public comments last year, the process calls for internal reviews before final public comments in the spring and fall of 2014 before new zones may go into effect by summer of 2015.

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Bonefish Spawning Offshore

YouTube member FishForward posted this rare footage of bonefish spawning offshore in the Bahamas. This offshore footage in a great indicator of healthy bonefish populations back on the flats.

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‘Share’ Campaign Smells Fishy

First, a terrific idea: Future increases in red snapper allowable catch in the Gulf of Mexico would be dedicated in greatest proportion to recreational anglers, helping ensure a longer fishing season for the general public.

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Hearings on Biscayne Park Fishing Restrictions, Dec. 9-11

If you are like many fellow fisherman and enjoy the beauty of Biscayne bay and its remarkable fishery, now is the time to speak up. To keep this fishery accessible. You don’t want to miss these meetings below.


Snook Recover, Seasons Open Statewide

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) performs regular stock assessments of common snook, using information collected through a variety of sources.


Making Pearls on Tampa Bay

Rain falls from the sky and eventually drains into the ocean. Sounds simple, but the process has become anything but, for West Central Florida’s tidal creeks.


Theodore Roosevelt — Boone & Crockett Hero

Many of us know of Theodore Roosevelt’s love of hunting and firearms, but he was also the most influential conservationist in our nation’s history. Roosevelt believed so strongly in our need to protect America’s valuable wildlife resources that he founded the Boone and Crockett Club in 1887.

Anglers have been catching tarpon on various kinds of jigs in Boca Grande Pass for over 30 years. These photographs accompanied a June 1987 article in Florida Sportsman Magazine.

Our View: FWC Should Skip Tarpon-Jig Ban

As predictable as the poinciana bloom, but not so pretty, is this year’s outbreak of warfare between types of gear…»


Sugar Subsidy Scandal Draws NPR Attention

  The country’s sugar subsidy program that has enraged many Floridians for decades is spotlighted nationally in a feature on…»


How to Tag Tarpon

Tagging is so 1990s…Long ago, when Florida anglers began releasing tarpon, some would pull off a scale as a memento of a great battle. By the 1960s, the tables were turned and it was anglers leaving the fish with a memento, a coded plastic anchor tag that could be identified in the event the fish was recaptured. Today, we’re again taking something from the fish—a tiny bit of skin cells.


Gray Ghost Vanishing Act

Some Keys guides and flats experts have been pointing to a sharp fall-off in bonefish action in the past couple of years. Bonefish are one of the most coveted flats species in the Florida Keys and Biscayne Bay, the only places in Florida where the species is abundant.


Properly Icing Your Catch

During this “On the Conservation Front,” Karl Wickstrom, Founder of Florida Sportsman, explains how properly icing your catch not only makes for a safer meal, but a better tasting meal.