Openers


marine national monument

Protecting Our Oceans: The First Marine National Monument

Let's try to imagine a 5,000-square mile piece of ocean where no commercial fishing is allowed, but limited recreational fishing is welcome. Sounds like an unlikely pipe dream after all we've been through. Still, we can now wake up to just such a reality.

FS Logo Light Blue

FS Openers: Re-Allocation YES

For many species such as red snapper, tons of the fish are taken in huge quantities and sent to market while recreational anglers are relegated to just a few. Or none.

Here's a lionfish taken in one of many tournaments to help rid our waters of the invader from the South Pacific.

Let’s Kill’em…and Eat’em

Whatever, the <em>Pterois volitans</em>, best known as the lionfish, is one big pain in the anal fin for those interested in the future of Florida fishing.

FS Logo Light Blue

The Mission It is Creeping

It started out as a harmless enough effort to protect reefs. Suddenly it’s become one more of the biggest-ever attempts to ban fishing on a grand scale.

manatee

Time to Re-Classify Manatees

Now, at last, after 15 years of turmoil and falsehoods perpetrated by the Save the Manatee Club, the federal government is recognizing the simple truth—the animal’s population is not only stable, it is growing fast, and has been for many years. Click to read more!

law stick snook

Let’s Standardize Snook Laws

Quick, you snook aficionados, what are the current size, bag limits and seasons for this great gamefish we love to catch, and sometimes eat?

Light Up the Biscayne Bonefish_1

Lockout Alert

The feds definitely plan to ban any and all fishing in more than a third of the reefs in Biscayne National Park. No catch and release, no trolling, no casting to that suddenly showing cobia. Sit on your hands and get outta there.

TroutImageOpeners

It’s Celebration Time

Lighten up, anglers. In fact, cheer a bit. Enjoy a major victory. Savor it. We’ve reached and surpassed a milestone recovery goal for seagrasses in Florida’s huge Tampa Bay.

Screen Shot 2015-06-02 at 1.48.11 PM

The “Cleaner Than Rain” Hoax

Over and over, we swallow the same old line. “Our Everglades water is cleaner than rain water.” That’s the claim not only from the sugar cane industry but from the government water managers who are Big Sugar’s best buddies. The cleaner-than-rain refrain sounds good. People tend not to question it.

PointtheFinger

Point Them Fingers

Here’s a somewhat common refrain we hear from well-meaning citizens: “Let’s stop the finger pointing and all work together…” At that point there come a few murmurs of agreement. Can’t we all sit down in a big room and work out our differences? After all, we’re responsible adults.

Screen Shot 2015-04-10 at 10.45.40 AM

More Bull Sugar Ahead?

I really hope I’m dead wrong on this. It would be so much more fun for the communities to keep pretending that great things are coming for the estuaries and Everglades. But the sad truth, I’m afraid, is that we’re going to get much more of the pollution and killing waters from inland that have devastated us over a half century. Some call it Bull Sugar.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 1.06.19 PM

Support Flowway Now…Pretty Please

With the million-dollar sugar babies still running the show, it may seem impossible to stop the polluting discharges bombarding the coasts and sucking dry the Everglades. And yet there seems to be a sense of momentum for change in the air.

Screen Shot 2015-01-12 at 10.21.58 AM

Jax to Ft. Pierce Sanctuary Proposal Rejected

My day had started with very good news. Just as I sat down to write a go-to-war column warning of still another immense marine sanctuary being proposed, word came in that the plan was rejected. Awright!

CCA Reef 1

Sportsmen: The Outdoors Thanks You

Sure, we’ve crabbed an awful lot about outdoors management failures over a half century. But let’s also remember the victories, and take note of an ever-growing conservation mindset. You most likely have taken part in the move to manage wildlife for sustainable use and basically non-profit purposes. Many wildlife leaders have joined this newthink.

algashoreshot

Let’s End the Sad Tragedy

Buried deep in the heart of a 75-page federal court order was a statement we should display from the roof tops. Quote it early, quote it often. Somehow, we all missed it.

trout rapala1

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.