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Thread: lionfish

  1. #71
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default

    ECRA is helping NOAA and the FWC with research so they need the carcus, stomach and the head but you can keep your filets.

    They want a general location of where the lionfish was killed too. You do NOT have to provide the coordinates if you don't want to, just a general area because they are mapping the migration.

    For example: Approx. 8 miles from the Destin Pass on a heading of about 225 degrees.

    Please write the kill date on the bag too.

    I will try my best to have that all worked out NLT mid August but you can go ahead and plan to bring in your fish at the August Social. Please freeze them in a manner where it is easy to count them, not just jam packed tight in a bag and frozen. We have to be able to count them while they're frozen for the contest.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default

    Rich, some of those lionfish were near a 10"-12" long.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  3. Default

    Candy you mentioned another contest? When?

    Also "Martha checked with Quilla" about feeding the lionfish to other fish -- who is "Quilla" and what regulatory role does "Quilla" have?

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default

    I don't know who Quilla is or what position he/she holds at the FWC. I'll try to find out.

    That name is not on the Lionfish Team list.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default

    Quilla is an attorney for the FWC.

    The ruling that governs feeding fish was enacted years ago to prevent shark feeding in Florida's waters.

    Sometimes rules have unintended conquences. I'll talk to the FWC about the lionfish and see if they could make a lionfish exemption. It seems like training our native species to eat lionfish would be beneficial, as long as it doesn't harm our native fish.
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default Louisiana Defies NOAA

    Story Below is from this website: http://theadvocate.com/columnists/54...osscouncil-bow


    The Wild Side: La. fires shot across council bow
    MARCH 30, 2013
    0 COMMENTS
    What’s getting ready to happen Saturday along coastal Louisiana is, in the fishing world, a clear shot across the bow of the federal fisheries bureaucracy.

    Our state will open a recreational red snapper season in open defiance to the proposed June 1 start of a 27-day recreational red snapper season in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Our state’s decision to establish its own framework doesn’t come close to Texas’ years-long, utter disregard for the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council’s often-reduced recreational seasons.

    Texas leaves its state waters open all year.

    There’s a bigger rub here: Texas came into the Union with a 9-mile state-waters limit, while the feds recognize Louisiana’s 3-mile limit.

    That’s out the window, too, after our Wildlife and Fisheries Commission endorsed a legislative move to push state waters out to a fisheries-only 10.357 miles.

    There’s little to argue that fishermen off our state’s coast are cheated by the GMFMC’s shortened recreational red snapper seasons, not to mention the two-fish daily limit, when there’s overwhelming data proving there are more red snapper off our coast than anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

    The fact that GMFMC surveyors don’t study red snapper populations around reefs (mostly oil platforms) off our coast only proves the council’s constantly reduced seasons and low daily limits have little basis in fact and, for the council’s closest watchers and critics, proves the system the council uses is unusable, or maybe downright anti-recreational.

    With Congress getting ready to debate the reauthorization of the Magnusson-Stevens Act, which guides all federal fisheries managers, and a push from most in the Gulf State’s delegations for the federal government to recognize a gulf-wide, 9-mile state-boundary waters, it’s possible our state’s shot across the bow will begin a process for more acceptable fisheries regulations, and reduce the power the federal folks managing our fisheries, not just here but across the country.

    Seniors only
    Wayne Tucker is heading up Friday’s annual Seniors Bass Tournament at Pisano’s on La. 70 at Belle River.

    The idea is to bring the guys who started bass tournaments around here together for a reunion.

    You have to be 55 or older. Registration at Pisano’s begins at 5:30 a.m. and the fishing area is limited to waters north of U.S. 90. There’s a $55 entry fee and most of that money pool is returned to the top teams and the big-bass catchers. Weigh-in time is noon, and Kevin Diez will have a jambalaya lunch.

    For more, call Tucker (337) 254-1300.

    For you, Ed
    Longtime colleague Ed Cullen retired Friday. We’ve known each other for 40 years, and I don’t know of any man who lives to catch fish more in as many different ways as there is to catch fish. Ed prefers fly and ultralight tackle.

    Tight lines, my friend. Tight lines
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
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    Default Lionfish Proposal

    Members,

    Below is a copy of a letter that I sent to the FWC and to Senator Gaetz' Office. In it is a proposal to help provide a solution to save our fishery.

    If you would like to send a letter of support for this proposal, you can send the letter to: commissioners@myfwc.com and to Senator Gaetz through: ullery.melissa.s04@flsenate.gov

    Thanks!!!

    BTW: just so hook & line fishermen don't think they are being left out, lionfish don't bite hooks so,only divers that can save us from this threat.

    ************************************************** *******


    From: Candy Hansard [mailto:candy@valp.net]
    Sent: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 12:11 PM
    To: 'commissioners@myfwc.com'; 'McCawley, Jessica'; 'Dodrill, Jon'; Horn, Bill FWC; Mille, Keith
    Cc: Senator Don Gaetz; 'ULLERY.MELISSA.S04'
    Subject: Red Snapper and Lionfish

    Dear Commissioners,

    Red Snapper
    We would like to thank you for your commitment to do what is in the best interest of Florida’s fishery and Florida’s economy.
    As you are all aware, the unreasonable regulations being proposed by the NMFS does more than harm just our economy. The over protection of the Red Snapper has created a situation off the Coast of the Florida panhandle where the Red Snapper is the most abundant fish. Because Red Snappers have been over protected, they are now becoming unnaturally large predators that are eating our groupers and triggerfish. This over protection has created the unintended consequence of creating the next fish stock crisis in our State.

    We do need to be mindful of protecting any of our native fish that are over fished but, the red snapper over fishing ended years ago and now, it is time for our State to do what is in the best interest of the fishery AND our State economy. I applaud you for having the courage to stand up and exert our State’s right to manage our fishery by defying the NMFS.

    Lionfish
    28 years ago, the first lionfish was discovered off the Coast of Dania Florida. The FWC and the NMFS documented the migration of the lionfish and the population explosions that quickly reached as far north as New Jersey and then, they monitored and documented the movement into the Caribbean. Also during this time, both agencies did extensive research on the lionfish that revealed the fact that the lionfish ate, at an unsustainable rate, 56 species of our native fish including economically significant fish such as Snappers, Groupers and Triggerfish and also lobsters. During the first 26 years, the general public was totally unaware of the threat facing our fishery. The FWC included the lionfish in their list of reef fish and required a fishing license to kill this invasive fish that threatens the survivability of our entire fishery. Until last year, the FWC also had a daily catch limit on the lionfish.

    At the request of Senator Don Gaetz, an executive order was signed by Nick Wiley, the Executive Director of the FWC on the 3rd of August. This order removed the fishing license requirement and the daily catch limit for the lionfish. Unfortunately, this order is set to expire on the 3rd of August of 2013. I ask that this order be made permanent.

    I also request that the FWC direct the invasive species department to begin a lionfish population control program. The lionfish population is now so out of control that FWC staff will need cooperation from the diving public to help control the lionfish population. To do this, they should form agreements with Non Governmental organizations to begin removal programs. To get participation from the public to remove fish, non-paid persons need to be motivated.

    I understand that funding is tight right now with State and Federal agencies that are charged with protecting the health of our fishery so, here is an idea that will cost the State next to nothing:

    • Create a State Wide bounty program that provides dedicated lionfish hunters with numbered exemption stickers that they can apply to their Florida fishing license. This exemption would allow these Champions of the Fishery the privilege of Keeping 1 Red Snapper and 1 Grouper per trip out of season for a period of 12 months. To renew your exemption, a minimum of 150 fish total would need to be submitted prior to the anniversary date of their exemption sticker.
    o Removing 100 fish from the breeding pool and providing fish for research is well worth the reward of a small allowance of fish and would be a powerful incentive for people to begin and continue to target lionfish. (Remember that a single adult female reproduces every 4 days releasing up to 2 MILLION eggs per year! Every fish that is removed is significant but, to make a lasting impact we must have an army of volunteers continuously removing lionfish.)
    o If the FWC were able to negotiate an agreement with NMFS to honor the program for a period of 5 years to measure the effectiveness, that would increase the participation tremendously. Effectiveness will be evident when the number of fish being killed decreases. The first two years should be considered the program building period. During this time, public education campaigns could be launched by requesting that Coastal Counties and non-profit’s participate in awareness & education campaigns.
    o When other divers discover that they can earn an exemption by killing lionfish, the hunt will be on and I believe that the results will be astounding.
    • To earn this exemption, they must kill and provide the carcasses of 100 lionfish to their local FWC Marine Patrols. The participants would be allowed to keep their filets. This would provide more than ample fish for research and any fish collected could be provided to any University or Governmental agency that is actively conducting research on lionfish. These institutions/agencies would be required to compensate the FWC for the cost of shipping the lionfish. Any excess fish would be destroyed to prevent any fraudulent / multiple submissions of the same fish.

    I realize that what I have proposed is something that has never been done. At this point, 28 years into the invasion, we desperately need to move with all speed to address this problem or Florida will very quickly lose our prized fishery. Reviewing the FWC’s own research shows that this is the truth. Last year, less than 2 years after the first lionfish was spotted off the Florida Panhandle, the Emerald Coast Reef Association hosted the “Don Gaetz Champion of the Fishery Award” Contest. To win the contest, divers had to kill 100 lionfish and provide the fish to ECRA for donation to NOAA. Four divers killed 571 lionfish! This should be the only demonstration needed to prove that our fishery is in serious trouble.

    Now is the time for boldness. Now is the time for action. Our State no longer has the luxury of years to mull over the problem. We can no longer afford to focus all our funds on research and monitoring. We know we have a problem, we know it is at a critical stage and we know that the consequences of inaction are, at this very moment, destroying our fishery. We must act quickly or we will lose the fishery that the FWC is charged with protecting. Every day that fishermen are denied access to the fishery, due to dwindling fish stocks, costs our State millions of dollars in lost spending. This is harming not only our fishery but also threatens tens of thousands of jobs in our state. Please act quickly to save our native fishery and the economic engine that runs on fishery access.

    Please contact me if you have any questions about my proposal. I believe that together, the FWC and the stakeholders can make a difference but we are going to have to join forces to be successful.

    Candy Hansard
    Vice President and Reef Deployment Director
    Emerald Coast Reef Association Inc.
    P.O. Box 273 ~ Niceville, FL 32588
    www.ecreef.org
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

  8. #78

    Default Lionfish program

    Candy,

    Do we have an active lionfish program currently? Or is it just kill on sight?

    Just curious if I kill them, if I should be keeping the carcass....

    Thank you,

    Scott

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    I live in Val-p, FL. My boat lives in Niceville & I dive off the coast of Destin.
    Posts
    4,842

    Default

    Yes,

    If you turn them in, you will get 1 entry in the Lionfish Killer "Win a Private Reef" Contest. Turn in 100 and you get 100 entries. The fish have to be kept on ice or frozen because we donate them for research.

    You can keep your fillets if you want, just make sure the rest of the fish stays intact and on ice or frozen.

    Thanks!
    Candy
    President, ECRA
    Reef Deployment Director

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