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Too Valuable to Sell

It’s been a dangerous period for one of Florida’s most important fishes, the spotted seatrout, commonly just called trout. First, the state virtually doubled the commercial take of trout and came within a whisker of allowing seine nets back in the fishery. And then a rural north Florida judge attempted to upset the historic Gillnet Ban, which would have clobbered trout by the ton.


Skipping the Age Perk

When I entered my so-called Golden Age, very reluctantly, I figured that at least there would be one nice perk. No fishing license needed from then on. But some perks should end, and the age-65 fishing license exemption is one free ride that we can drop, voluntarily.

New exchanges of tidal flows could liven up many inshore waters such as at Little Mud Creek north of Jensen Beach.

Let the Waters In

Leadeth me, please, not to the still waters of Psalms fame but to moving waters, where fish usually hang out. Most of us, I’m afraid, tend to seek out flat calm areas and shiny shorelines because they just look fishy, and it’s good to get out of whatever wind may be huffing.

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On Go the Giveways

“They sugar coat even the name: Limited Entry. A better name would be Limited Vision. Even more accurate: Unlimited Giveaway. “By whatever title, the idea is to hand over fishing rights to a select few commercial fishers. These are the same fishers, by the way, who decimated stocks in the first place.”

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Beware of that Sample

My son’s shiny new pickup (new in 1965) came with a surprise. It backfires. Backfires aren’t so common these days, and this one was easily fixed. But I fear we may face another kind of backfire, in fisheries management.

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Aussies Make Good Reverse Play

The very good but unheralded news out there is that the fishing world has some- how dodged a no-fishing bullet of possibly immense consequences.

A typical gill net haul of Spanish mackerel in the 1980's.

Net Ban – Dented But Fixable

Like getting rear-ended out of nowhere, the fishing community has been hit with the unthinkable. Florida’s historic net ban, considered the most important fisheries reform ever, suddenly was struck down by a rural judge friendly to a few commercial interests. Whack.

Visitor map detail of Biscayne National Park. Coming soon: New fishing regulations and, possibly, boating permits.

Good News, but*

Keep that asterisk handy, though there seem to be at least two happy developments in the government’s ever- lasting deliberations about new fisheries regulations for Biscayne National Park. First, that 10,000-acre total-no-take zone proposed for Park waters east of Miami has been deep sixed, probably for good.


Stand Up for Your Fishing

Yeah, the politics of fisheries can be a drag, and not the kind of drag that makes sweet singing from your trusty fishing reel. But both types of drags are closely related, we suggest. Your success on the water in 2014 may well be linked to what happens in sterile offices and hearing rooms.


Plan Six, the Only Fix

Our Openers column must have been lost in the mail—from seven years ago. But, no, it did run in August 2006 and seems eerily applicable to today. Also applicable today is government’s continuing failure to address the main estuary and Everglades crises.


Why, oh Why

It’s the Why of it that we just don’t seem to get. The elusive root cause. Roots as in growing thousands of tons of them (known as Big Sugar) after letting our wetlands be sucked dry in what has been one of the world’s worst water management scandals.


Georgia Says No, Too

Waytogo, you Georgia Bulldogs! Your new victory floods us with good memories. And your success inspires us to keep on swinging. Of course, it took you 24 more years to do it. But still, your recent taking redfish off the commercial market there is commendatory.


Want Wildlife or Missiles? We’ll Have Both, Please

You wouldn’t think for a second of wanting to see a private industry plopped down in the middle of a beloved public park. Give over priceless property that we all own together to a few?


‘Hey, Where’s Sammy Sector?’

You may not see Sammy anywhere, but your government sees him worshipfully. Mr. Sector, in fact, is especially precious all through federal fisheries management [...]


A Major Victory Unheralded

Today, we can take note of and celebrate an important reform that is wrapping up with very little notice. We refer to the impending phase-out of food-shrimp bottom trawling in Tampa Bay, the state’s largest open-water estuary.


Family Anglers Hit Again

“Locally, it’s our most important bottom fish now, and the only months we’re allowed to take them is when they aren’t there.” Good one, Rick. The conundrum is about black sea bass, the latest recreational fishery closed by federal forces on the basis, we think, of clearly erroneous data and misguided principles.