Reef Fish Amendment 39 - Regional Management of Recreational Red Snapper
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1/9/2013 13:26:25Joseph Adam Peeplesadampeeples29@yahoo.comIt is extremely disturbing to me that the council insists upon continuing down the current path of American Red Snapper management. The ruse that Red Snapper are overfished is at this point becoming more of a joke than anything. Just last week I spent less than two hours bottom fishing on two public, artificial reefs less than 5 miles out of Destin and caught over 40, yes 40, American Red Snapper varying in size from 12" al the way to 30+ inches. The snapper are everywhere, it is difficult to catch anything other than snapper on any bottom structure you can find. There is no doubt with any angler that bottom fishes in the Northern Gulf of Mexico that there is not a shortage of snapper but an abundance not seen in any other fish in the area.

What I also find extremely disturbing is the method of management geared towards protecting the commercial and for hire fishery while pushing the private recreational angler out. If Red Snapper are really overfished and in danger, WHY IS THERE STILL A COMMERCIAL HARVEST? Seems pretty simple to me and many others, make Red Snapper a game fish! Stop commercial harvest of them, the only way overfishing can happen is on the commercial side of the fishery. I have fished next to a commercial boat and watched them CULL HUNDREDS OF SMALL SNAPPER in order to keep bigger ones for their quota. The commercial fishery is all about making money and when it is all about making money you can bet that there is corruption and fraud. If the council is serious about actually protecting this so called overfished fishery, how can you look past stopping commercial harvest??

In closing, it is obvious that no real scientific stock assessment is being used to measure the population of fish. The NMFS and the Gulf Council seem to be pushing their own agenda while ignoring the real issues concerning the Red Snapper fishery. I hope that in the coming weeks, months, and years we can get people in the council who actually care about the fishery and fishing rather than people who obviously care only about their own agenda.
Navarre, Fl 32566Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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1/9/2013 17:43:07alanMartinYou the Council can not serious believe there is any kind of shortage of Red Snapper.. I fish over 200 hr. each year and It is extremely difficult to get away from areas that are not any red snapper. We end up having to travel on water 35 miles to 180-190 feet of water to avoid catching snapper.. They are eating every other type of fishes on the other reefs in closer to shore. We are catching them in 25 feet of water at Perdido pass. Never have there been so many and overpopulation of this one type fish that is so highly claimed to be a shortage of .Orange Beach, Al'\. 36561Private Recreational Angler
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1/9/2013 18:02:49Steve Davenportscdavenport@hotmail.comIt is so frustrating to see how out of touch the federal fisheries managers are with reality regarding red snapper. I fish out of Freeport Texas and there are so many red snapper on the structures we fish it is difficult to catch any other species. I usually fish between 30 and 60 miles from Freeport. Historically we have been able to catch trigger fish, amberjack, grouper and the occaisional ling bottom fishing structures in the 120 to 180 foot water we typically target. Our last two seasons the snapper have taken over these areas. We did not catch a single trigger fish last summer. Grouper and AJ's were also few and far between. Obviously the federal snapper stock assessments are woefully inaccurate and to shorten our season and limits is bad for the fish, the economy and the fishermen. Sugar Land, TX 77479Private Recreational Angler
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1/9/2013 19:50:49John ChapotonJcchapot@gmail.com.5 snapper per person?!?! How can that even be a realistic option. How can your organization honestly believe that the snapper population is in danger or being over fishes still?

While your efforts have noticeably changed the population of red snapper, it's beyond ridiculous now. Has any one involved on this council fished for snapper in the past 5 years? Snapper are everywhere.
39525Private Recreational Angler
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1/9/2013 20:23:02Jim Stewartjstewadjuster@hotmail.comThe current method used to manage snapper has failed miserably, The constant reduction in rec limits has proved that. Snapper need to be managed by zones.

Why are these fish still being commercially harvested if they are so overfished, Why just the rec quota paying for the failed management of your fish stocks??
seguin Texas 78155Private Recreational Angler
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1/9/2013 22:30:27Scott Rudissrudis@trane.comI don't live near the coast but I try to fish offshore a few times per year. Last year the wind was so bad on the weekends I didn't even get to snapper fish. In 2011 I was able to make one trip during the season & the snapper were so thick we could not catch any other bottom fish. The average size snapper was 10-15 lbs. Why don't you try issuing fish tags so every fisherman has equal chance to catch snapper. Most of the days in June in Texas are too windy for 30' boats so tags would give all recreational anglers a chance to catch their fish anytime during the year. Lewisville TX 75077Private Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 2:05:04Thomas RobertsonMakoman@bellsouth.netIf snapper are truly endangered then eliminate the commercial harvest. Issue tags with fishing license purchase. Offer more tags to be purchased separately. Any unused tags can be turned in for refund at end of the season. Then and only then will you have actual data of how many fish are harvested each year. More money will be brought in with tag sales. That will keep the government happy counting a new revenue stream. Moss Point, MS, 39563Private Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 9:01:11James CoppleJcopp71@gmail.comThe other comments are correct, I fished a month ago last time the weather good and a boat of four caught over 30 snapper, many over the TX state limit size of 15". It was a small hump, but was literally covered with snapper. I believe your organization is going off extremely faulty data, and subsequently destroying recreational fishing opportunities instead of protecting. Please do a proper assessment of the biomass, instead of sitting in an office, reading an estimation.Houston, TXPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 10:08:01Wes Pittswespitts@verizon.netoffshore charter 1/08/2013 out of Venice inlet 120-130 ft
release 20 ARS most in the 10-20 lb range.
did several of same in 2012 I have never seen so many ARS released
on the trips I was on.
the 2 fish limit should be kept and days extended to 60
SarasotaPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 12:50:38Steve Hardysteve.hardy@acuitybrands.comMoving to regional management of Red Snapper is long overdue, but is just one step of the way to the best overall management strategy. Management of Red Snapper (along with all non-Pelagic species) should be turned over to the States. There is no compelling reason to continue with a one size fits all strategy given the fact that it has failed so miserably. Going to State management will make it easier to designate Red Snapper as a Game Fish and eliminate the commercial harvest. This and only this will prevent the continued over fishing of Red Snapper. Dripping Springs, TX 78620Private Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 12:51:32Ritch DeVoeryd22@bellsouth.netReduced bag limit is a bad idea. One fish isn't worth the gas required to reach the fishing grounds (Florida coast east of Panama City). Two is barely worth it, but if combined with the ability to catch Gag Grouper, then it works out. I'd rather see a shorter season with a two fish limit coinciding with the Gag season (specifically October). What would really be nice is if decent science and common sense were incorporated into the process. Regional management of Red Snapper is a good idea. It would be best to let the States handle it themselves.Gainesville, FL 32653Private Recreational Angler
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1/10/2013 21:44:20Brian Hoogendambrianhoogendam@yahoo.comSector separation is a very bad idea. I would argue that that the livelihoods of bait shops, ramps, tackle stores, fuel depots, Buccees (yes, i said it), and many other stores are heavily supported by the recreational fisherman. The for hire sector is not spending the dollars in terms of volume that we do. For me it is all about economic activity - the recs spend a lot more on than the for hire crowd and it drives local ecnomies.

My solution - extend the season and give us a tag system like redfish. Over a 3 month period you can keep, say, 25 fish per person in fed waters. Price the tag at $50. Revenue would pour in and that would give people the flexibility to fish when weather, work, kids soccer games permit.

Finally - i would venture that recreational fisherman release more fish than they keep. We respect the heck out of the fishery and want it there for a long time - never once have I been on my boat with a mission to limit out. A lot of us recs simply love to fish and have a great time doing it. That is what is forgotten.
Houston, TX 77024Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 0:08:14Tom Hiltonhilton@rt-nav.comPersonally, I do not see any added benefits of regionalization to the states, to the fisheries, or to the fisheries managers as presented thus far. It looks to simply be a mechanism to further punish states that refuse to relinquish their sovereign rights to manage their state waters as they see fit and as mandated by the 10th Amendment. That's all.

Perhaps the Council should first identify the number of private recreational vessels that fish for reef fish as they have already done with the charter-for-hire vessels before considering a regional management approach. Requiring a simple boat reef fish permit for private rec vessels would give a MUCH more detailed picture of effort than is currently available.

Once that has been done, then other measures such as hail-out/hail-in requirements would give another dimension of data in terms of how many boats are fishing out of what port on what day, how many fishermen are aboard those vessels, and how many fish they caught. The hail-out/hail-in data would be almost real-time, managed by an automated voice response system, would be extremely cheap to implement, and would provide laser-sharp data on a scale never seen before by this Gulf Council. This is the type of data that is needed BEFORE any type of regional management should be considered.

It is my opinion that regional management be scrapped at this time until other, more urgent matters are resolved, such as simply identifying how many fishermen are actually fishing offshore.

It is past time to get away from the virtual management techniques of computer modeling and projections, and begin the process of implementing 21st century technology to provide almost real-time, laser sharp data that can be held up to the light of day so that all fishermen could buy into the management process.

Right now, I'm sorry to say that it is abundantly clear to most all Gulf fishermen that the data collection process is a sham and even considered "obscene" by high ranking GC members and scientists. THAT is what needs addressing immediately - concepts such as regionalization are simply distractions from the REAL issues at this time.

Capt. Thomas J. Hilton
Arcola, Texas 77583Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 8:54:05Phillip A tillmanphiltillman@sbcglobal.netI think the counsel needs to go see just how many fish are be destroyed by blowing the old rigs and exactly how many red snapper are not be counted.
they should leave the management of the fishery to the state in which it concerns.
San Antonio, TX 78201Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 9:45:56Steve Papenfintasticcharter@yahoo.comIn 17 years charter fishing out here I have never once been asked how many Red Snapper I've had on any trip. I fish one of the busiest passes on the west coast of Fl. You need to start asking the right questions to the right anglers in order to get real numbers. Don't send someone who knows nothing about our fishery to a random boat ramp. I fish every day of that season and I am usually fishing by myself on the Red Snapper grounds all season. The effort you think is out there really is much smaller than you think.Seminole, Fl, 33772Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Commercial Fisher
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1/11/2013 12:54:39Randy Riharjriha@spectraenergy.comFirst of all, I don't expect my comments will make one bit of difference, other than make me feel good but here goes anyway. You people are complete idiots!! Anyone who has gone fishing in the Gulf off the Texas coast knows there are more snapper out there than at any time in the last 20 years. The fact that you continue to ignore this reality only shows your total incompetence. You are screwing up the ecosystem. The number of vermillion snapper, trigger fish, rock hinds and other small fish that share waters with red snapper are taking a beating. There are acres of snapper around every rig, wreck and reef out there.

Regarding reducing the limit to 1, I am dead set against it. One fish is just not enough to warrant the expense. I would rather have a 2 fish limit with what ever number of days you stupid bozos will give us than more days with a 1 fish limit.

Sugar Land TX 77479Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 14:10:20Matt Powellmattpowell55@gmail.comI think that there should be a hotline to call in how many fish you caught and released for each state so they can get an idea of how the population is in the different areas. Also how many miles that you are fishing. I frequently fish between 40 and 100 miles out of Sabine pass and we catch and release an average of 50 to 75 snapper every trip ranging from 10lbs to 25lbs. The season needs to extend further in the year when the wind is not blowing as bad because it is hard to find a window during this short season. We often fish for other bottom fish and it is very hard to get passed the snapper to find grouper, etc... Thanks for all of your help.Beaumont, Tx 77706Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 15:08:10Sean dickensswdickens@mobileso.comProblem is that your stock assessment data is flawed. If you do not recognize the fish on Alabama artificial reefs as population, how can you recognize them as harvest. I invite you to come fishing with me off Alabama. There is no shortage of snapper. Semmes alPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 22:59:35Chris McKenziechris@westcousa.comI have travelled to Texas Waters for over 20 years to Recreational fish in the Gulf waters. Since Red Snapper seasons have shorten, so have the number of my trips. Many times in past years since new regulations, we have encountered epic numbers of Red Snapper while trying to target other species.
Often times the captain spends all day trying to locate other legal fish to keep, but it obvious the Red Snapper are taking over any structure off the Texas Coast in Federal Waters. We have caught time and time again huge sow red snappers as soon as the lure hits bottom. I have see the water turn red with huge red snappers coming up in the chum line. The science associated with the Fishery Management Council that considers these fish endangered or at risk cannot be correct. I feel that unless there is a larger sample group or the WFM where to require catch data from all vessels or similar measures, accurate stock numbers cannot be determined. I cannot see from my occasional offshore trip how the species could even remotely be considered in decline. I call BS on the science and motive of Government
Action. Please consider what is happening to the Charter industry as well as the Recreational Fishery. I will not book a trip this year if the limits change.
Tulsa, OK 74112Private Recreational Angler
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1/11/2013 23:27:17August Gaetjented@hallettsvillervpark.comNo regulations are meaningful until a comprehensive, real, stock assessment is done. We cannot go offshore fishing without catching many Red Snappers to the point it is almost impossible to get a bait down past them. Somebody needs to get their head on straight.Hallettsville, TX 77964Private Recreational Angler
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1/12/2013 21:38:02Lane Wimberlymidgaaviation@yahoo.comI'm wondering what the Gulf Council's fixation is with red snapper. I share the same experiences with everyone else. Snapper are taking over and hurting the population of all the other fish which is resulting in reduced bag limits for trigger fish, amberjack, and grouper. Fishing was so much better before the rediculous closures and bag limits for snapper started. What exactly are you all trying to accomplish? NOAH and the GC's incompetence is causing detriment to the fishery and costing millions in revenue for all businesses affected by recreational fishing not to mention lost jobs. I just don't get it and I wish you all would enlighten the rest of us to your grand plan.Cochran, GA 31014Private Recreational Angler
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1/13/2013 8:47:51Robert Eckerleeckerlerobert@yahoo.comThe Gulf Council has lost all credibility when it comes to red snapper fisheries management. At this point most all participants in the recreational red snapper fishery view the Gulf Council as an out of control rouge agency.
Refusal to admit and learn from management mistakes leads the council to reach for new ideas ? The rogue agency should be abolished

red snapper fishing since 1968 from Pensacola and Orange Beach
Foley Al 36535Private Recreational Angler
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1/14/2013 9:58:26capt mitch colemanmcoleman54@yahoo.comregional management is an excellent idea...

add to that a reef stamp/permit purchased with fishing license to track the % of total fishermen that actually pursue reef fish against the number of licenses issued....

add a slot limit for snapper similar to management practices for snook and red drum
mexico beach fl 32456Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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1/14/2013 12:30:06James Leejamesleeiv@aol.comI was fishing in Florida last summer and learned that the state is separated into 4 zones, regarding catch limits, for Redfish and Specked Trout. It is ridiculous that you treat the Gulf of Mexico as a single Red Snapper fishery. It is equally ridiculous that you would divide the Gulf into two zones, treating Alabama and Florida as a single fishery. It is public knowledge that Alabama has an extensive artificial reef system with an abundance of Red Snapper. Your continued disregard of the true state of the fishery only serves to destroy the confidence and trust people have in your ability to provide legitimate and effective governance of OUR public resource. In a nutshell, your organization is representative of why so many Americans despise the Federal government.Mobile, AL. 36604Private Recreational Angler
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1/14/2013 16:05:35Daniel Merrefielddmerrefield@lifesaversoft.comAs a frequent angler in the Gulf, I don't know what the problem is. It seems RS are really overregulated. We can barely keep them off the hook to get to the few fish we can catch. Are there issues you should be considering with respect to the reliability of the data you're using to establish regulations?Canton, GA 30114Private Recreational Angler
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1/14/2013 16:40:35Richard J. Tewairjett@aol.comRed Snapper are so plentiful in the Nothern Gulf of Mexico that you cannot get a bait down to any other type of fish without catching a hugh Red Snapper. We even catch them while trolling.Niceville, Florida 32578Private Recreational Angler
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1/14/2013 17:42:45John L. Hebertjhebert@ajindustrialsales.comPlease understand the last thing I would want to do in hurt what I love so much. Had it not occured that the reason the Red Snapper limit was exceed was there are so many out there. Please look at the films provided by sport fisherman. Go out with them and see for yourself. Just like the Red Drum take them off the commercial list and raise the limit to 5 per person over 16" and we will have snapper forever. At least raise our limits to 3 fish per person and move the fishing days to weekends to stretch the season out. Thank you for your consideration. New Orleans La. 70131Private Recreational Angler
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1/15/2013 17:50:51Jim McKayjdaleus51@gmail.com As a man who has spent 25 years in Timber management, the first step in managing anything is to have accurate data on the stock. I think that the council is completely missing the big picture by not having up to date information on the existing stock of the RS. I feel that nothing should be changed until real and accurate data is collected and then and only then should changes be made.
As so many have stated before, there are so many RS, that you can't even fish for other species, as an example, in the mid 80s I spent 3 days on the gulf on one trip, we did catch a few RS, after fishing many different rigs. This past season I got out one time in good seas and made out to a rock. The first drop resulted with a 20 lb. RS, second drop cut off by shark, third drop a 15 lb. RS. The rest of the day while trying to catch other species we literally caught, vented and released RS till our arms gave out, and now you are talking about a shorter season and a 1 or 0.5 fish limit per person.As it was stated before, if you feel the the RS is being over fished then shut down the commercials, and classify the RS as game fish.
As far as regions are concerned, I would totally agree as long as they were managed as a separate region completely separate from the others, with their own quotas and limits and not as the whole divided into sections. Better yet, rid yourselves of the headache and and divide the Gulf up by the states and let them manage the RS.
Orange,Texas 77632Private Recreational Angler
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1/15/2013 20:28:27Bruce Staffelbrucestaffel@yahoo.comIn favor of regional management with each state as it's own region with regional boundaries extending through the federal waters.

States should get credits for landings outside the federal season.

Opposed to # 4 as written, specifically accountablity measures that are subject to season closure when the Gulf-wide quota is reached. As written, it is unacceptable and would not work.
Fredericksburg, TX 78624Other
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1/16/2013 9:16:29Toby FarringtonTobias.farrington@navy.milit has been said before and i will say it again there is an abundant stock of snapper in the northern G.O.M. for the life of me i can't understand how the people that ascess the stock levels can't seem to get it right.i believe the people counting the fish should have a glass belly button issued to them becuase the can't seem to pull their head out of their ass. that way they will be able to make an honest assesment. i think the state of Fl. should take back thier waters and set thier own season. let the feds manage thier waters. maybe that way we can have a longer season inside of 9 miles. for the recreational fisherman most of us have jobs (thats how we pay for our fuel and tackle) and a 40 day season boils down to a handful of weekends we can fish once you figure weather into it. the season needs to be extended. Panama City Fl. 32404Private Recreational Angler
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1/16/2013 10:39:16Mark Hollandmarknkelly10@yahoo.comI do my best thinking while sitting in the deer stand. Well this past weekend in west texas I did some thinking. I started off as a recreational fisherman years ago. Spent alot of time on the water learning on my own. For the last few years, I have been a charter captain. I love this job. Its not my main source of income though. I have a regular job. I charter on weekends and weekdays if the customer wants to go offshore during the week. I usually stay booked every weekend in the summer. I have many freinds who run a charter business as thier living. Its a hard living for sure. Therfore I understand thier stance. The business put food on thier tables, sends thier kids to college, etc. Our daughter recently discovered she loves to offshore fish. She even checks bouyweather on a weekly basis on her cell phone to check the seas, she is 10 years old. I have had many of my friends ask me what my stance is on this red snapper fiasco. My first statement was that I support the Sector Allocation/Separation movement. Well after thinking about this over the weekend, I have come to the conclusion that I need to fight for my daughters future in securing a fishery that she will be able to enjoy when she gets older. I am a recreational fisherman at heart. Thats where I started and I never forget where I come from. I hope that the government wakes up and changes the system, but does anyone have faith in our government anymore? We also operate 3 sucessful offshore fishing tournaments annually in Matagorda and Sargent. We rely on recreational fisherman to come out and have the chance of catching some good fish and win alot of prize money thanks to some outstanding sponsors. I am a current member of the CFA. But tomorrow, I will request my name be taken off thier website and I will resign my membership. I have lost some good friends over this issue in the past few months. Its time to mend fences and fight for whats right.In all my years of offshore fishing I have NEVER seen so many red snapper. They are becoming a nuisence while we are trying to catch other fish. We need a better data collection system to accurately count the number of red snapper we have in the gulf, especially the Texas area. The gulf coast communities rely of gulf fishing for thier livelyhood. In these hard economic times, we need to be able to support these businesses. The current data system is flawed. Time to fix it!
Bay City, Texas 77414Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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1/16/2013 14:28:54tim oestreichcrystal.oestreich@yahoo.comI have been running the same party boat for almost 25 yrs.seen the change in the fishery in many ways.I use to stay busy pretty much year round with red snapper being our main target to fish for in winter time.now im lucky if i fish 7-10 times between dec. and march.I'm a strong believer in management but sounds more like they are trying to manage people more than fish. What im trying to say is I dont think anyone really understands how many snappers the western gulf really has unless you fish here. It may sound dumb but I spend more time running from fish than trying to catch them.reason being is the wrecks rigs rocks pipe lines etc. are so over run with red snapper you have no chance to catch anything else.its getting so bad that so many times we get coverd up with them in open water. I have honostly fished places where there wasn't just a few hundred feet of fish but miles of fish. I wished the commitees could experience some of this .It might just open ther eyes.port aransas tx. 78373Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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1/16/2013 19:45:00Gerald Motleymotleycru@att.netTo all Council members:
To get proper management of the Gulf fish you must have current, logical and complete data. Your own Bob Shipp stated that your numbers are flawed and you don't count fish that congregate and live on man made structure.
I can go out any day of the year and catch all the red snapper you and I could eat. Yet you say the stock is overfished.
Please do not reduce our limt or our season. The reasons are many: Recreational fishermen pump billions of dollars into our economy.
The numbers you are using are not real.
If you reduce the limit, you will stop some people from being able to fish as they havefor decades.
It is not fair for other people to make large profits off of a natural resource owned by all of us at the expense of the rest of us.

We spend more money many times over than the commercial fishermen and follow the rules you make. Yet we will be the ones that suffer because of the commercial guys.
We buy our fuel and licenses and put in the time and sweat for the right to fish for snapper and other species. Please get reliable scientific data and you will see that there is a great stock of snapper in the Gulf.
In closing, please don't kill the recreational snapper fishing by cutting the season or quota.
Thank you for your time.
Gerald Motley
Chattanooga, TN 37406Private Recreational Angler
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1/16/2013 20:01:19Gerald Motleymotleycru@att.netTo all Gulf Council members:
I am in favor of regional management simply because you have no idea how many red snappers are in the Gulf. You can't fish without being overrun by red snappers which would be great except that you won't let us keep many of them. If we could manage our own in LA, we could fish for them year round in federal waters. We need Texas to get with the program and reduce to 2 per person and that, along with your accurate stock and catch assessments, would greatly extend everyone's season.
We need to catch more red snapper because they are so territorial and aggressive, they are hurtingalot of the other fish like AJs and grouper to mention a couple.
Please get out and researcha dn realize what is really going on in the Gulf. There are great numbers of snappers there and the recreational fishermen are keeping the Gulf Coast alive economically.
Don't stop that with your insane rules.
Thankyou for your time.
Gerald Motley
Chattanooga, TN 37406Private Recreational Angler
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1/16/2013 20:55:12Richard Jonesjonesrw3@cox.netI have been fishing for red snapper in the northern Gulf for better than 20 years. There is no denying that there are now more snapper than there have EVER been. I have no problem with a season and bag limit on a public resource. I do, however, have a problem with huge chunks of that public resource being given to a select few to make a profit.

As it stands now, most of the year, I can not catch red snapper. However, I can BUY them from someone that is making a profit on something that belongs to ME.

You are now considering seperating the charter boats. Again, that will mean that I, as a taxpayer, can not enjoy a public resource, but I can PAY someone to take me fishing while he makes a profit on something that belongs to ME.

I am very much against the proposed sector seperation.

Thank you.

Richard Jones
Niceville, FL 32578Private Recreational Angler
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1/17/2013 17:15:57ronald schlittschlittre@gmail.comI have fished offshore average 15 trips per year for last 14 years. I fish out of bottom of panhandle region from 10 to 50 miles offshore. Last year the red snapper were the largest on average, abundance has been very high. In the last 10 years red snapper have drastically increased from fish average 16in to well over 23 inches and many 30in plus in fish. It is getting hard to get to the bottom and not catch a red snapper. In the same time period the gag grouper and red grouper population has drastically been reduced. It is very hard to get a limit of grouper. The red snapper have taken over the hard bottom areas and the wreck/reef areas. I am totally convinced that red snapper of the size and number in our area of the gulf are eating the small grouper. Our area was devastated by real estate collapse,bank failures,oyster failures, and oil spill. We need recreational fishermen to help boost our economy. Jobs from fishing,hotels food etc put food on the table. Please be responsible and accurate with your quotas. Each region of gulf is very different. In some countries the first 5 fish you catch are the one you keep, no culling, does make sense. If we get to a one fish limit how many fish will die while being released? east point fl 32328Private Recreational Angler
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1/17/2013 21:13:36PRI cannot over state that there are a tremendous number of legal size red snapper. I fish often and have had to develop methods to avoid them. I believe they are now eating everything on the reef as they will be abundant one day and the very next day gone. My belief is they have eatten and the reef will not sustain them. The shortened season makes no sense to me. I am fine with a two fish limit per person. I often fish alone so a bag limit that requires me to have multiple people is not fair.

Regional management is ok with me but I am sure I cannot see the whole picture of what this would mean. I think the state would be justified in having a longer season if the result is not that the charter boats get harmed because of the M-S Act as was the issue a few years ago when FL complied.

I believe you are making decisions with terribly flawed data. I can catch snapper anytime and only need to travel short distances. I am reasonably skilled with my electronics and can see the shows and fish that depth to confirm they are red snapper. There are 1,000s of snappper within a few miles of the Destin East Pass even after the season is closed.

Please let us enjoy this abundant resource.
Miramar Beach, FL 32550Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 10:37:42Scotty Eymardbikernurse98@charter.netAs an advid fisherman and lover of offshore fishing I appericate the oppertunity to place my comments. I fully support the rigs to reefs program and also support the Louisiana Red Snapper season of being open Friday thru Sunday and increasing the limit to 3 per licensed person per day. As I fish it is noted that red snapper are very plentful and are increasing in size over the last 2 years. This is also apparent by the numerious comments made by recreational anglers stating how plentful these fish have become, espically when fishing the oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. Sincerely, Scotty Eymard (Slidell, Louisiana)Slidell, LA 70458Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:24:55Jay Henningsjhennings@excelusa.comBiological data now indicate that reef fish such as red snapper are regional in nature and should be managed on a regional basis vs a one size fits all model. red snapper stocks in the Gulf of Mexico, particularyl in the LA & TX area have rebounded such that the extremely tight restrictions that are now in place are not necessary and the financial impact of these restrictions should also be considered.Baton rouge, LA 70816Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:31:26Eric Commanderecommander@cox.netWe need to find a way to let Recreational Anglers enjoy our plentiful Red Snapper Fishery in Louisiana. The best way to let us responsibly harvest more of them is to manage the fish stock on a local level. Lets work together to get this accomplished.70726Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:32:03John Schneiderredfishflyfish@mac.comFrom personal observations, I can guarantee that the red snapper stock in the Gulf off the Louisiana coast has significantly increased and improved. For the first time in years we are seeing many large specimens. Some very large. I believe the Louisiana Wildlife & Fisheries has the qualified biologists capable of monitoring and regulating the catch rate for these desirable fish. Thank you for your careful consideration. JFSPonchatoula, La. 70454Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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1/18/2013 11:36:03Shelby R. GibbsShelbyrgibbs@gmail.comI fished offshore in federal waters last season out of Galveston, Texas. I fished around 18 days offshore, and I have never seen snapper so plentiful. Reducing the days or limit on red snapper would be extremely hurtful to the local economy, and also the ecosystem as a whole. Red Snapper have taken over spots that use to be hope to trigger fish and beeliners. I personally believe that the larger red snapper are driving off and/or killing off the smaller game fish. Please take into consideration that Texas waters are not Florida, Alabama or Mississippi. We have very few head boats, and very few fishable days. We also have to travel 20 plus miles to get into water deep enough to catch snapper. Our fishery is completely different than the west gulf coast.

I say keep the snapper limit and 2 per person, and have a 60 day season.
Beaumont, Texas, 77706Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:36:31Georges Condonghcondon@earthlink.netStates should control their own fishery stocks, set limits on
numbers of species taken and commercial harvests. Government should step back. Absolute power corrupts absolutely!!..the Federal government needs to get smaller!!! not bigger!!.
Plus, having the people in the area determine what's best for them is the fundamental reason for simplicity in economics.
magnolia,Tx. 77355Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:37:27Donald Vlasekdjvlasek@gmail.comNeeds to be a increase in days. Lots of smapper and increasing in numbers. Maybe even a split season! DonAransas Pass, Tx 78336Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:38:35James L Picardjpicard@carboceramics.comThanks for ensuring a slow and painful death to snapper fishermen. The snapper are more abundant and bigger now that I have ever seen in my 32 years of offshore fishing and we get a 27 day season. What a bunch of blithering idiots we have managing our fisheries. Get your head out of your a$$ and put tighter limits on the commercial side if you are truly concerned about "conservation". Your continued ignorance is frustrating.New Iberia, LA 70560Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:38:48Robert LanglinaisRobbie@langlinaisbakery.comThe only way this issue will be solved is to use true, real world data, not numbers that are estimated off of "natural bottom". Here in LA the thousands of oil rigs and well heads are teaming with snapper that are uncounted. But, for some reason the snapper caught off of these structures are counted towards the final tally, but not counted in the assessment. I will offer again, as I have before, to take anyone willing offshore, all expenses paid, and il when you see what we see every trip, and can still tell me they are overfished and in decline, I will gladly adhere to the new regulations and accept them as truths. But, I am 100% certain this will never happen, not will our seasons change, until all of the states go non compliant and start managing their own territories. Feel free to write back with any and all comments or issues, I will be more than happy to fight for my fisheries.Lafayette, LA. 70503Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:42:20Fred Howardhack43@aol.comWhy do you continue to so drastically limit the red snapper take (season and numbers) when the anecdotal evidence overwhelming shows that red snapper are incredibly numerous in both numbers and size (at least in the state of Texas)? I have fished for these fish most of my life (69 years old) and have never seen the red snapper fishery as good as it has been in the past 3 or 4 years. The FMC's stance on both days of open season (27, are you kidding me?!) and number (2) is utterly ridiculous!Missouri City, TX 77459Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:42:34Richard Hairrick.hair@valero.comStop putting size limits on red snapper, just limit the number of fish caught. Too many undersize fish die from decompression. Make lane and vermillion seasons the same as too many reds die after being released while fishing for lane and vermillion.
Cut down on commercial snapper fishing.
San Antonio, TX 78249Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:44:22Joshua Vicejvice@sofs.ccThe season is already too short and the limit is restrictive enough. The red snapper is the most abundant fish you see while fishing in the GOM. Not sure what the reasoning is behind more restrictions for recreational fishing. If anything cut back on the limits of the commercial fishermen. They are the ones that need to reduce their catch. Abbeville, LA, 70510 Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:46:27Dwight Andreasadwight250@yahoo.comAs a licensed Texas angler, it is clear in my mind, because of past experience and history, that the states along the Gulf of Mexico are more than qualified to manage our own fisheries resources. I supports driving management of marine resources to the lowest levels of government possible.

Dwight Andreas
San Antonio, Tx


San Antonio, Tx. 78231Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:49:27Curtis Culwellredfish99999@embarqmail.comGreetings,
After attending your scoping meeting in Destin, the following response is submitted.

The scoping meeting was professional conducted.

Breaking the federal area into regions does not provide any benefit to me or the charter boats. It only adds to the administration and management costs to an already challenged economy and provides no significant benefit.

The 'Tag' approach that was presented is a good plan when viewed at the outset but it is full of underlying problems. The opportunities for misuse, corruption, counterfeiting and fraud are abundant and would lead to impossible enforcement requirements on the FWC. The 'Tag' approach simply has more problems that any potential benefits.

Again, thank you for soliciting public input and the opportunity to respond.
Destin, FL 32541Private Recreational Angler, Other
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1/18/2013 11:49:50Christopher W. Pricechrisp@bwssal.comeach state as its own region with the ability to set its season and bag limitsElberta, AL 36530Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Other
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1/18/2013 11:52:49russell bellrusty@dixieroofing.netIts pretty sorry that CCA can not have a better input on this ridiculous Snapper season and limit.I guess its going to come down to a fight with these idiots which make these laws just like the battle its going to be on gun control trying to be forced on the american people.
The foreign fisherman that fish our waters don't go by any regulations , its been seen by too many anglers. Also recreational anglers like myself who work or own a business and usually look forward to the weekend fishing trips are the ones who are getting shafted. MAKES LITTLE SENSE.
pineville,la.71360Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:53:07JIM BISHOPjbishopjr@bishopcabinets.comAs a recreational fisherman and scuba diver, I get to see firsthand the impact that recreational fishing has on the snapper population.

While we notice a slight reduction in snapper numbers every year as the summer progresses, presumably from fishing, we also notice fluctuations in snapper numbers from year to year (I've been diving the Northern Gulf for over 30 years).

As a diver, I don't want to go down only to find that there are no fish. But I can honestly say that in the Pensacola / Orange Beach area, we have never seen the number of snapper we have seen over the past two summers. And they appear to be both larger and healthier.

Unless the goal is to raise the snapper population to a greater number than there has been in my 30-plus years of diving, I can see no reason to further reduce the length of the season.
MontgomeryPrivate Recreational Angler, Other
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1/18/2013 11:54:21Ben Frishmanfrishman@texasmedia.comI believe that red snapper should be managed as locally and fairly as possible and limits should be based on locally available stock. It makes no sense to me at all to base catch limits in Texas on how many snapper there are off Mississippi. It is also detrimental to vital coastal residents to continue to shorten the snapper season when snapper are more than abundant in Texas. Captains and crews of charter boats struggle to make a living as it is and to cut their viable fishing season to a few short days is in many cases the end of their career.AustinPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 11:59:55Kelly Wayne Raymondkraymond@utilitytrailers.comTexas Parks & Wildlife in partnership with CCA, have done a fantastic job of managing our marine resouces along the Texas Gulf Coast, and should be allowed to continue that management without help/interference from the federal government. With amazing restocking programs, and having their finger on the pulse of those species being affected by overfishing, TPWD & CCA have proven they can handle the resource management responsibilities.Houston, TX 77077Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:00:07Michael James Leemike.lee@cummins.comThe proposed Red Snapper limits for the Northern Gulf Of Mexico are not supported by accurate counts. I accept the 2 fish per person limit, however the season should be longer. I would like to see the Red Snapper fishing only be allowed on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday as these are the days when the majority of people fish, this includes private and charter boats. This would allow more fishing opportunity for all persons and keep the limit at 2 fish per person.Metairie, La. 70001Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:05:45Joel Steirmansteirman@exp.netManagement by the States or at least division of the Gulf into several management areas will permit the best remedy for the re-development of the fishery in the eastern gulf and relieve the western gulf from being limited by an overall limitation imposed due to the critical depletion of red snapper in the eastern gulf. The gulf has several eco-systems and should not treat the gulf as a homogeneous entity. It is not. Red snapper is plentiful in the waters of Texas and Louisiana. However the same can not be said for the Florida waters. Division of the management to the local fisheries is a practical solution to this disagreement as to red fish harvest. Orange, TX 77630Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:10:17Bryce StefkaBrstefka@att.netI support a common sense approach to conservation methods.

I believe a shorter season should be implemented only if data shows it necessary.
Richmond, TX, 77407Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:10:51Jeffrey A SwartzFishjas1. @verizon.netI find it hard to fathom that shorter red snapper seasons are being entertained. I've lived in Sarasota, Florida, for twenty years and everyone will tell you that red snapper populations have exploded. The biology of red snapper management must be totally flawed. It's sad that lousy political maneuvers trump science and what is best for the local economies. The federal government should not even be involved in managing a non- migratory species. Shame on all of you! I'm saddened politics supersedes common sense. State government should regulate red snapper regulations.Sarasota, FL 34233Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:14:03Harvey NixonHnixon@aol.comThe current rules are not consistent with the catches I have observed on several trips out of Panama City FL. Throwing the fish back and watching the dolphins have a field day was very disappointing to say the least.Biloxi, MS 39532Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:20:58chrischris.crifasi@morgankeegan.complease allow all fish management decisions to be done at he local level.
harvesting two red snapper per person per day is silly. our fishery is loaded with that species, and this is only one example of no local knowledge by federal authorities of our gulf resources
baton rouge, la 70802Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:24:10Sam E. Caldwellsam@samcaldwell.comLimiting the recreational take of red snapper to just 27 days is a tactic that works AGAINST recovery of the resource. A smaller recreational catch will simply encourage a much larger commercial catch. And, it will damage the infrastructure of recreational fishing, simply because of less incentive to invest money for fewer hours of fishing. he charter/headboat industry will still take an outsized share of the legal-sized fish while damaging the smaller throwbacks. Meanwhile, the private fishermen who would provide a greater concern, responsibility and FINANCIAL INVESTMENT, will be marginalized.

A more robust recovery will only come when the states, and recreational fishermen have control over the resource.
Kingwood, Tx 77339Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:25:27A. Donald Marxpoppadon39@gmail.comWhy do the recreational fishermen always get the short end of the stick when it comes to catch limits as compared to commercial fisherman? There is absolutely no parity when you look art the whole picture of fishing pressure, liscensing income, guide service incomes, fishing equipment etc., etc..Sulphur, La. 70665Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:31:55Michael N.Kleamenakisv.s@gentilly.nocoxmail.comI am a doctor and have an undergrad. in biology. I understand the need for limits for both size and creel, less so for seasons. However the short season for Red Snapper is rediculous! In south east LA. the red snapper are plentiful.
I beleive a regional fishery management as the Gulf coucil conciders is logical.
I also would support a longer season but only open Friday, Staurday, Sunday compared to a shorter everyday season.
New Orleans,LA. 70122Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:37:51Jeb Bradshawjeb.bradshaw@gmail.comI fully support driving the management of marine resources to the lowest levels of government possible. That position is staked in the belief that the states simply have a better grasp of how to manage these resources in ways that ensure their health and stability. At the same time, state agencies have proven their expertise in providing the greatest access to those resources and maximizing the benefits of those resources for their citizens. Almost every one of this country’s great marine conservation success stories has been engineered by the states. Let Texas manage the red snapper!Fort Worth, TX 76109Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:43:02Joe Wheatjoewheat@sbcglobal.netI think the season should be made longer for Red Snapper and the limit should be increased to four fish. As it is, the season runs during June and 2 weeks of July. June is historically bad weather for offshore fishing leaving only 2 weeks in July. The cost of fishing has dramatically increased along the gulf coast primarily due to fuel cost making a snapper trip somewhat marginal at best.Houston, Texas 77056Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:47:21Michael A Williamsawilliams65@yahoo.comI cannot believe they are concidering cutting back the season on Red Snapper. Where are they getting the information that snapper numbers are down? Im a fisherman and diver in the gulf. It amazes me every time I dive one of my fishing spots how many snapper are there. If anything the limits need to be increased or the season needs to be longer. Canton Ms 39046Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:49:09Charles Wettermanpgcinc@mac.comThe public needs the true findings of the red fish morality so as to keep in standing with the proper fishing limits and length of the corresponding legal fishing season.

The public should also be included in the process of defining the above requirements prior to them being published and enforced.
San AntonioPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:56:06John Tamborello Jrjohntamborello@ymail.comI give up! After last years fiasco. Trying to get out on a good "weekend: day and bring back 2 fish. Was rediculas. I am selling my offshore boat. I have bought a bay boat. I am done trying to get my 2 measly snapper. Even though they are bigger. The small ones are actually better to eat.
They can cut it off completely for all I car!!!
Conroe Texas 77301Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:58:54Kenneth Crockettkcrockett@aaablastcote.comI would think that a possible option that could extend the red snapper season would be to increase the size limit allowing the fish to grow. Also ensuring that all boats use the proper methods in releasing undersize fish to reduce mortality.Friendswood, TX 77546Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 12:59:30Troy WebbMartinilighting@earthlink.netLet the Texas results influence our seasonsHouston tx 77096Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 13:14:30Mark Ulrichmarktulrich@yahoo.comI have learned to live with the 2 a day Snapper regulation. The problem with the shorter season is access. Running the season, starting out in June is ridiculous. June is one of the windiest months we have in TX. For recreational fishermen, who most own boats under 25'. We may see 10 days, if we're lucky through the middle of July. Where we can actually get our boats to the Snapper grounds. Understand the recreational fisherman normally has a job. And those "sea" allowable 10 days, normally fall into a working/recreational fisherman's work schedule.

Why not start the season on Aug 1st. It would run concurrent with Amberjack opening. The sea's have settled. Recreational fisherman could really have a chance to enjoy fishing. Also, Snapper wouldn't be a by catch.

The recreational fisherman has as much if not more right to have an honest chance at catching fish. In no way do we compete with Commercial fisherman. Who kill most of their by catch. As well as decimate entire schools of fish over reefs.

Why not make commercial fisherman use a fishing rod? This will not hurt their bottom line. The cost of fish will go up to coincide with their smaller catches. This will stop most of the loss of their by catch. And truly make a commercial fisherman a fisherman. Not an "Ocean Raper", with a big net.
Galveston, TX. 77554Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 13:27:27Chris Crockerccrocker1313@aol.comI also sale Offshore Fishing Boat's ..
Where do these Numbers come from ..
I fish Offshore a lot and see with my own two eyes how many snapper are out here it's Crazy for someone come with this B.S. Day's to fish..
Just give me 27 Tags then ..
Bacliff,TX 77518Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 13:29:00Rodney Kennedy Countrymedic77@yahoo.comI think the regulations are ridiculous. There's more red snapper than ever before!! I think it's poor management that they keep shortening the seasons and keeping the limits to 2 per person! We should let the states regulate the limits and length of season! There are record numbers of red snapper in the gulf so why act like they are still endangered!Walker,la,70785Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 13:50:58gary ray rotolagaryrr58@yahoo.comthis may sound negative but i feel they should close the snapper season for 3 yrs both recreation and commercial....each yr the fish seem to be getting smaller and in commercial fishing there is so much waste of fish and other marine life we need to give them a break for a few yrs.....the price of red snapper in super markets and resturants most people cant afford them anyway and the same holes true for the recreational fisherman to charter a boat richmond, texas 77469Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 13:57:56Thomas Remmethorem@suddenlink.netRed snapper commercial fishing should have a 2yr. moritorium excluding head boats. A 6 fish limit should be impossed on recreational fishing and head boat fishing per angler per day. The growth rate and reproduction surverability will then bring the stocks back very quickly. Only after the stocks have recovered should the question be brought up on the limit each commercial boat can then catch.Georgetown,Tx. 78628Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 14:00:46Robert KennedyRobear33@gmail.comMy name is Robert Kennedy and I have been offshore fishing for about 5 years so I'm not an expert on catching fish. With that said I the last 4 years everybody on my boat has caught their limit of red snapper on every trip from my 7 year old son to a 68 year old friend. It is impossible to get a bait past the red snapper to try and target other species of fish such as grouper and amberjack. I think it would be in everybody's best interest if you would do more research on the fisheries you are regulating. It's obvious that you do not have any idea about the un-imaginable number of red snapper around the oil rigs off the coast of Louisiana. Maybe this committee should gather information from the place where the fish live instead of their own imagination. 27 days if fishing is the absolute worst scenario I have ever faced in fishing regulations. Would any one on this committee care to explain how these regulation are helping a population of fish that are almost at a nuisance level. Please send a explanation to me at po box 125 palmetto la 71358 or at email Robear33@gmail.com. Please help me to understand this management progroam you or implementing. By non reply I have assume you have no idea what you are doing and just drawing a government check from my hard earned tax money. Thanks. I expect a reply. Robert kennedyPalmetto la 71358Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 14:01:59Charles Franckcjfgeo@gmail.comLast summer, it was essentially impossible to try and fish, at or near the bottom of the Gulf, for any species other than Red Snapper!! The Red Snapper were so plentiful that they would invariably bite our baited hooks before any other fish could get the chance. Of course with the season for Red Snapper having been so short, we had to constantly release the Red Snapper. Despite our attempts to get the Red Snapper back in the water quickly and with their air bladders deflated properly, most of them died. As a result, we stopped fishing for other deepwater bottom species altogether.
Conservation of the Red Snapper fishery is important to us all, but the current policy is very detrimental to the fishery. I have seen many dead, released Red Snapper floating on the surface and that goes for most, if not all, of the fishermen that fish out there.
I think that it would be beneficial to the Red Snapper and to the fishermen, if the policy would allow keeping a small amount (2 or 3) Red Snapper PER BOAT outside of the "open season".
Then at least we would be allowed to try and catch other species, and if we only get Red Snapper (out of season) keep a few rather than waste them.
Corpus Christi, TX 78418Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 14:20:03Thomas F Kainegtom@kainegorthodontics.comI have fished this area for over 30 years and never has there been as many red snapper as there are now. What is the documentation to show a decline in our area? I ask the council to reconsider the shorter season since our recreational fishery is being reduced to the point that I now fish only 1/2 the amount that I previously fished. What a negative impact on all the businesses that support the recreational angler. Seminole,33776Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 14:23:12Charles Moorecmoore1953@aol.comAs an active member of CCA and a private recreational angler, I urge council to turn over the management of fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico to the States bordering the Gulf of Mexico.

Thank you,

Charles Moore
Baton Rouge, LA 70809Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 14:40:33Jeffery Grizzlejeffery.grizzle@rocketmail.comI believe all fishing requlations should be turned over to the individual states so the states can determine quotas, limits seasons etc. Daphne, AL 36526Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:03:15Gary H Parsonsparsonskg@cox.netPlease do not permit regional management. It will just exacerbate an already unmanaged fishery. Fishery population dynamic models used to project red snapper recovery suffer from lack of relevant input data or just aren't capable of modeling the problem. So how will they handle issues associated with regional management?

Red snapper have recovered. Beyond our wildest dreams. It likely began with age 0 snapper in 2005. We saw it our fishery in 2007 (we were still fishing an extended season with a four fish limit). So management actions had little to do with the initial surge. They probably stimulated the rate of recovery.

Let's assume red snapper are habitat limited. We have a unique opportunity to test that assumption by quantifying habitat using side scan sonar with funds from the RESTORE act. Carrying capacity of natural and artificial reefs also needs to be determined to establish stable stock population objectives.
Niceville, Fl 32578Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:04:50Gary H Parsonsparsonskg@cox.netPlease do not permit regional management. It will just exacerbate an already unmanaged fishery. Fishery population dynamic models used to project red snapper recovery suffer from lack of relevant input data or just aren't capable of modeling the problem. So how will they handle issues associated with regional management?

Red snapper have recovered. Beyond our wildest dreams. It likely began with age 0 snapper in 2005. We saw it our fishery in 2007 (we were still fishing an extended season with a four fish limit). So management actions had little to do with the initial surge. They probably stimulated the rate of recovery.

Let's assume red snapper are habitat limited. We have a unique opportunity to test that assumption by quantifying habitat using side scan sonar with funds from the RESTORE act. Carrying capacity of natural and artificial reefs also needs to be determined to establish stable stock population objectives.
Niceville, Fl 32578Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:09:05Jack Brownjbrown@jwblawoffices.comRecreational / personal use fisherman should be provided allotment before any fish are allotted to the commercial industry and shipped out from the home waters.

Improved artificial reefs in Florida would be helpful as evidenced by Alabama's success.
Sarasota, FL 34231Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:12:44Oscar Tomasichbigeaux20@yahoo.comThe path the FMC has taken in its approach lacks what every management plan with a chance of success is rooted in and that's simplicity. Remove the politics and do what is right. Your own members know that the science you’re using is junk, yet you cling to it while the resource abounds. Would you still cling to your science if the resource was in peril? NO, or course not. You would utilize executive tools to protect the resource and make logical changes to the plan. For every hint of word that the resource is diminishing, there are bellows of pure tangible evidence that it is thriving.

An approach that manages the entire GOM by the same methods is destined to fail, and not if, but when. Circumstances are different regionally, why shouldn't management be also? Does coastal Florida have as many offshore structures, both natural and man-made as Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, nope. Does any other region in the fishery? NOPE!

Why not take the approach of subsistent farmer approach with a field of cattle. That naturally vegetative field of cattle can only support so many animals. However, should the farmer make modifications to the field and increase its carrying capacity, it will support many more animals. Is the fishery not the same?

The logic behind having a 27 day season with a catch limit of only 2 fish producing the same yield as an 54 day season because the fish are twice as big is mathematically correct, it's just logically stupid. Is it not true that fish twice as big produce exponentially more young? If the average size of fish taken was such a great indicator that the fishery was in peril, why can't the fact that the average size of the catch not be an indicator that the fishery is stable at worst.

There is absolutely no reason these fisheries shouldn't be manage regionally to achieve a goal and be able to succeed.

In all cases, common sense should come first. If everything illustrates that what you are doing is going in the wrong direction, why keep going in that direction? Stop this direction, and attempting to swindle everyone that the path is the right one, and start over. Say that the path you are on is wrong, and fix it.
Baton Rouge, LAPrivate Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:14:49Cheryl Williamscwilliams0927@yahoo.comAs a recreational angler and an experienced scuba diver (spearfishing) in the Gulf of Mexico, I am outraged at the possible short Red Snapper season purposed for 2013. I have been fishing and diving in the Gulf of Mexico on the Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama coastlines for 10+ years now. Last year alone I spent 120 days on the water in the Gulf either recreational fishing or diving (spearfishing and photography) on all three coastlines. I would testify the Red Snapper volumes I witnessed did not indicate any type of problems. This past summer and fall, I witnessed large schools of Red Snapper, 30 lbs+ with a very healthy amount of smaller Snapper. I think any shorter season would not only hurt the tourist volumes for the coastal towns but the Red Snapper Schools to need to be fished down. I don't feel like the people making these rules know what they are speaking about because the volumes are there. Why don't they go actually look for themselves in multi locations and multi times? How are the facts to support these rules actually being checked? I have a place in Gulf Shores, AL and Mississippi. I rent a lot in the Venice, LA area. If these seasons continue to be shortened, I will be forced to stay home or fly elsewhere. How is that going to help the southern coastal states?Canton, MS 39046Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:26:27Thomas L. Morristommor4334@yahoo.comI can never go offshore fishing with-out catching red snapper,at every location that I fish. The dominant number of these fish is easily noticeable and when you follow a shrimpboat while they are returning the by catch. You will notice that the dominant kill of bycatch is the red snapper.

If you are trying to protect the snapper population, you might find a way to stop the waste of shrimping?

The sportsman are not being served by the reduction of the seasons while you allow the commercial fisherman to catch all they can .They go to a spot tthat has a good population of snapper and they completely desimate what is there and then they go to another spot such a rig and do the same.

They need more limits or they need to get a job that will not take from a larger number of the fisherman.
Spring,Texas,77389Private Recreational Angler
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1/18/2013 15:37:22Jeffrey Bermanedgewater15@yahoo.comWe fish 40 to 60 miles offshore, like most anglers in our area, only several times a year. Every time we typically catch at least 15 to 50 Red Snapper whether it is season or not. These fish are all over our water in the 120 to 170 foot depth. When it is off season we vent the fish and safely return them. It just amazes me that those in charge of regulations do not understand just how many Red Snapper are out there. The Gulf regulations are way off and need to be adjusted based on accurate information. These regulations are NOT fair to the recreational fisherman.Sarasota, FL, 34231Private Recreational Angler
91
1/18/2013 15:41:22Ray A Williamsraydeanna@sbcglobal.netI think the Red Snapper season is too short and the limits too low. You are making it almost impossible for us to fish. With the season so short it makes it very difficult to get offshore because most of us are limited to weekends because of work; and then we have to hit a weekend where the weather is suitable. Last season we planned to go twice, but the weather was only suitable one weekend of the two.

The limit of 2 fish makes it hardly worthwhile anyway. It takes a lot of gas and other expense just to get offshore.

Snapper fishing has been restricted for some time. What little we have been able to fish has indicated that there are a lot of big fish out there.
Back in late October, after the first cool spells we fished a liberty ship in state waters near Freeport, TX and caught limits of nice spapper; that close to shore!

If anything is drag on the snapper population I think it must be shrimpers or something besides recreational fishermen; there just are not that many people who have the wherewithal fish offshore, and those of us that do just are not catching many fish.

All this is having a bad economic effect on some; we used to spend a lot on travel, lodging, food, gas, bait, boat storage/maintenance, etc., but we don't spend near as much now, so those people are not making the money they used to.

It would be better to make the season longer, even if it were only for Friday - Sunday or Monday each week. Also consider a summer period and an early fall period. These ideas would give us better chances of arranging a trip, hitting good weather, and finding big fish. Also, make people on party boats keep the first N (limit) of fish they catch regardless of size because they kill too many small fish by keeping them out of water too long, injuring them, and not venting them properly.

Overall, I am not happy. Snapper fishing has been largely ruined, but I don't believe whatever problems there are/were were because of recreational fishermen like me - we just never caught that many fish: a few fish each, 2 or 3 times each summer, and there are not that many of us who can fish offshore.

Simonton, TX 77476Private Recreational Angler
92
1/18/2013 15:41:40Mark A Klotzklotzputer@verizon.netI do not understand why there is not an active made corelation between size, quantity proving recovered stocks. No one ever has asked myself nor any of my anyone I know who fishes for Red Snapper about waht are we catching or where. Instead the one size fits all approach using antiquated techniques and ideas for measuring stocks (in which platforms in the gulf are added to data to qualify populations) which is clearly not accurate brings us a smaller catch limit and shorter seasons annually. If fish grows larger then it weighs more, the stocks improve, we get a leeser season cand catch limit as a result. By using this system we will fish ourselves out of a season altogether in the next ten years but not due a lack of Red Snapper but because they are healthy. Here on the Texas coast we are not culling or targeting giant snapper but that is what we have been catching in the last few years. The council needs to have a broader representation of all groups impacted by these regulations not just the commercial interest which I might add contributes many times less recreational anglers.77573Private Recreational Angler
93
1/18/2013 16:11:45Gerald Gimbergagimber@hotmail.comI fish out of Freeport once or twice per year on a friend's catamaran, generally out to about 45 miles. In order to catch our 2 snapper apiece, only keeping fish over 30" in length, we throw back dozens of "keeper" and undersized snapper, not sure of survival rate but it's low if porpoises are in the area. When you can only keep 2, you must keep the biggest ones. I have fished for snapper since the mid 1960's and I have never seen the large size fish we are catching now. And the numbers of all keeper size fish are good, as well. I would like to be able to keep 4-5 fish. There are very few boats in sight fishing offshore now, it's not worth going for the small limit.77566Private Recreational Angler
94
1/18/2013 16:17:15kevin speightkspeight@grangerchevrolet.comSnapper has always been my # 1 choice of fish to eat. And for years
past my family and I were able to charter a boat twice a year. This was some of the best fishing for years we had together. As time went by the limit requirments caused the price of the charter to not be worth while for only 2 snapper a trip per person. Then when they took the captian and 1st mate count out, and the size went to nothing
this just killed it all. It Just dose not pay to go out anymore.
I am sure that my family trips did not kill the population.
Please change the Laws so the Family can go out again and enjoy a lost pastime. Thanks for your Help> Very concerned!!

bmt,tx.77713Private Recreational Angler
95
1/18/2013 16:28:21George L Dunawaygeomarge@bellsouth.netI'm just a dumb fisherman and bring home at most 4 snapper a season. I follow the laws about size, creel, deflation, non stainless steel circle hooks, de-hooker, season, limit, and just plain good commen sense. Seems to me that an awful lot of snapper are killed because of the size limit. Any undersized snapper has little or no chance of making it back to the bottom. Many fishermen throw back anything less than 15 pounds (they are only looking for the big sows).

All that said, seems to me you should change the law to allow a fisherman to keep the FIRST TWO red snapper he catches. Anyone observed throwing a red snapper overboard would be in violation. I think this would save a whole bunch of red snapper.

Walker, La, 70785Private Recreational Angler
96
1/18/2013 16:41:30Jackson Hooperjacksonh@sbcglobal.netThe State should have more management responsibilities of red snapper. The season is way too short and the limits need to be eased up. There are a lot of snapper. Too many perish because of the minimum lenght and anglers not being able to revive fish upon release.Houston TX 77079Private Recreational Angler
97
1/18/2013 16:49:25Michael Barrettmgbarrett99@gmail.comI would support more fishery management be given to the states. I also believe that the Red Snapper population is not being adequately measured and is under much less pressure than current management practices suggest.

I propose that shortening the season will have major negative economic consequences to the states on the Gulf coast and instead of shortening seasons, we should be reducing bag limits to one fish per person per day, and cut back on commercial catch limits to reduce the inequity imposed on the sport fishing population.

Sincerely,
Michael G. Barrett
Tallahassee, FL 32303Private Recreational Angler
98
1/18/2013 16:56:34Karl Lirettekarl.lirette@yahoo.comI'm a life long South Louisiana resident and an avid fisherman all of my life... In 2006 I was fortunate enough to purchase an offshore boat and was blissfully hooked on rig fishing. I came into the sport when Red Snapper regulations were already in place. However, I could deal with the limit of 2 and I fully understand conservation as I watched the Redfish & Speck population wiped out during my yourger year of 1975-1990's... But, it was a Summer long Red Snapper season at the time and seemed reasonable to help get the fish populations back up. I have been Red Snapper fishing every year since 2006 and have watched the over abundance of Snapper starting around 2008ish... And now it is like a 2hr trip to hit limits with a boat load of fisherman... It is beyond me that the season is now down to 27 days??? I'm miffed, angry and saddened by this news and trend by regulators... It is against common knowledge. In fact, the Snapper are so abundant, it is extremely difficult to fish anything else on rigs now without Snapper taking over. I'm at a point now that I'm seriously considering selling my boat due to the fact that it is a complete waste. This will trickle down to affecting my kids desire and beyond for ages... While I understand sake of making fish populations sustainable, however, you are going beyond your initial scope and authority while killing our culture of a sportsman's paridise... Poor, Poor, Poor... I give your efforts in the matter an "F" for over stretching your bounds. It's like Oboma shutting the Gulfs deep water drilling down for one companies awful mistake.

What you cause in effect is bad behavior. I have now been on several offshore trips with other captains where they end up over catching and dumping the extras overboard and blaming you for over stepping your bounds. I don't prescribe to this nor support it, but it is happening. If you continue, I imagine it will only get worse.

I pray that this is reconsidered and the season and limits are brought back to a reasonable and sustainable levels to match what all fishermen are recognizing as common sense.

Sincerely,

Karl Lirette
70047Private Recreational Angler
99
1/18/2013 17:00:13Gary J Gautreauxgary@ddintlcorp.comFrom my experience of fishing for snapper, there are plenty of snapper at the oil rigs off the coast of La. My son dives the rigs, he has told me of the hundreds of snapper at most rigs. I am 62 yrs old and have never seen so many large snapper as we are catching now. How is it that you want to shorten the season when you almost can't catch other fish cause the red snapper are so plentiful.Lockport La. 70374Private Recreational Angler
100
1/18/2013 17:20:02Brock Harrisonb-rock9839@sbcglobal.netMore regulation on recreational anglers seems to be the only type of move the council takes into consideration. I would agree with a year long slot limit on red snapper. Look at our successful regulation of redfish in Texas. Diminish the commercial quota if you are serious about the pressure on red snapper. The stocks are more then healthy where I fish in offshore Texas waters. Any more regulation will deter people from acknowledging and following the new limits. Many think these regs are simply a way to discourage anglers from doing what they love. I do not look into it at that depth. I am partial to other species anyways. But still, more regulation on anglers is not the answer. Houston, Tx 77045Private Recreational Angler
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