Reef Fish Amendment 46 - Modify Gray Triggerfish Rebuilding Plan
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9/6/2016 13:49:12Matthew A. Wheelermattwheel@cox.net I can't help but wonder were Gray triggerfish are over fished.
Every wreck, rock and reef within 30 miles of Destin Fl is loaded with them.
I hope that you know that Gray trigger fish Inhabit the same structures as red snapper. I personally try to avoid red snapper during the closed season, always have. As would be expected
my landings of gray trigger fish have been greatly reduced.
Personally I don't believe it is possible to over fish Grey triggers with out the use of nets.
N.O.A.A. has a fleet of ships, why don't they put one in the gulf of mexico for a few months and SEE whats out there? We see it every day . I know N.O.A.A. drags on the Georges bank and other places to do stock assessments why not in the gulf?
I think "the best available data" is a human eye, come on and take a look you will be amazed.

Capt. Matt Wheeler
Swoop Party Fishing Boats
Destin Fl.
Fort Walton Beach FL 32548Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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9/29/2016 10:40:06tom Adams4tomadams@gmail.comThere are more triggerfish in my area than there has been in 10 years. About 3 years ago they were getting a littltl e thin but they are now --EVERYWHERE.Open the season in fed waters to at least 6 months even if you have to go 1 per person

Also Take all the federal season away from those states opening triggers in state waters and add it to the states that folloew the fed season.
port st joePrivate Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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10/26/2016 10:55:04capt mitch colemanmcoleman54@yahoo.comI run 60-65 trips a year in state waters and fish recreationally in federal waters....gray triggerfish are so thick you cannot get a bait past them to catch other reef species....in the last week I have caught them trolling a duster rig tipped with a cigar minnow and another with a naked vertical jig trying to catch a snapper....you only have to get out to the reefs to see this....where are you getting your DATA?????mexico beach floridaPrivate Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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11/14/2016 12:36:33Warner Fosterjwkillntime@gmail.comClosing Trigger fish in the Gulf for all of 2017 is stupid for the following reason. In the Panama City, Fl. area Trigger fish are a pest. It is impossible to get a bait to the bottom because of the Trigger fish. They literally boil to the surface while bringing a caught one to the surface. They are mostly just at the legal length if they could be kept. 32405Private Recreational Angler
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12/14/2016 9:18:55cap[ Tom Adams adams4tomadams@gmail.comIn our area there are more triggerfish than there has been in 16 years they are on every reef The season needs to be OPEN this year You people are screwing up the natural balance of the Gulf.port st joePrivate Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/8/2017 10:43:12Stephen C. Mullinsmullins_tx@sbcglobal.netAllowing commercial operations a Gray Triggerfish quota is not an acceptable option. If you're data says stocks are low then shut the fishery down completely until it recovers regardless of whether a particular group did not reach their quota last year. The proposed solution makes no sense. Shut the fishery down until it recovers. Katy, TX 77494Private Recreational Angler
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2/16/2017 10:43:33capt mitch colemanmcoleman54@yahoo.comThere is no shortage of triggerfish on any reef from 20 feet to 100 ft. on the Mexico beach artificial reefs. The triggerfish are feeding on plastic "fish bites" and "gulp shrimp" that will kill them but obviously they are hungry. Florida began taking data with a reef stamp program that started in 2014 joining La in the program. La data was in conflict with NOAA data and resulted in the state action of year around seasons on triggerfish ad snapper. How can commercial fishing remain open due to the data they provide, and rec is closed but your not using the best available data? The credibility of the fish management nationally and state wide is being damaged by the continued insistence on the over management of reef fish. Quit missing with Mother Nature until you get a better idea of whats really down there. mexico beach fl 32456Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/16/2017 11:09:04Pete ShoresPete_shores@navyfederal.orgBeen an avid gulf anger my whole life. Mainly the northern gulf off Pensacola. There are honestly more Trigger fish than I have seen in years. Very abundant and hard not to catch if your reef fishing. Crazy to close it for a year. Seriously! No lie people you have got to watch out for the average guy. Rediculous legal structures.Pensacola, Florida, 32503Private Recreational Angler
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2/16/2017 14:56:05Skipskiproberts1@yahoo.comRecreational fishing should be the last one that gets shutdown. why does commercial interest out way the public on a public resource.39553Private Recreational Angler
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2/16/2017 18:23:57Keith Dickinsondickinsonkeithm@gmail.comI'm not sure I fully understand the reasoning behind the trigger fish concern. Every time I fish I normally catch several large trigger fish even while targeting other species. Is there a source for the data showing a decline? I would like to review the objective evidence. MobilePrivate Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 10:32:48John Laubenthaljlaubmd@juno.comTRIGGERFISH are everywhere & on every wreck & natural bottom spot we fish off the Panhandle of Florida & have been for over a year. On most spots they come to the surface by the hundreds & attack any/every bait as soon as it hits the water (like piranha). We literally can't get away from them. The Triggerfish Closure is Absolutely Ridiculous !!!32408Private Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 10:44:19Billy C Simmonskrs_pacu_rn@yahoo.comThe Gulf of Mexico triggerfish population is way overcrowded. Can't get a bait to the bottom because of them. Need a season them to get them under control. Sheeepshead total need to be reduced to 10 per person especially during spawning season. Other anglers are keeping limits and this is gonna be unsustainable. Should be no size limit on Spanish, nearly all of them die after released anyways. I don't eat them but use them for bait so size doesn't matter for me32444Private Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 10:52:26Katherine kritzer Katherinekritzer84@gmail.comPlenty of triggerfish to be found!Panama City, fl 32405Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/23/2017 10:52:57Christopher E. HillChris.hill1224@gmail.comThe only people/resource you are helping by keeping the trigger season closed is the bait industry. People cannot even get a 8 inch live cig to the bottom without it being eaten like parrana. Last week my wife and I went 500 yards off the beach, put out a chum bag and within 15 minutes we had 30 triggers surround or boat. Please do something about this species.Panama City Beach, Fl 32408Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/23/2017 10:57:40David Cole WestDcw0003@gmail.comThe last few times I have been offshore fishing whether I'm at a grouper or beeliner hole, all I can catch is huge triggerfish and red snapper. No matter what your data says, there is no way either are endangered. In fact, I have never in my life caught as many triggerfish as I did last year and if they were in season, all would have been well over the legal minimum size limit. Americus, GA, 31719Private Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 11:05:00William Hardywchardyjr@icloud.comThe volume of aggressive gray triggerfish is astonishing. I am unable to get to any other fish due to the aggressive nature of the triggers. Over the past six months, I have caught over 100 and very few other species. It's very frustrating that we will have to put up with this until 2018 and I'm beginnning to wonder if the triggerfish have reduced the population of other fish as recently I have been unable to hook anything other than triggerfish. The restriction needs to be lifted ASAP!Panama City Beach, FL 32413Private Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 18:55:39robert parker32408PCB@GMAIL.COMThis species is in such of an abundance in my area that you can't even target other species! Hopefully the regs can be changed for Bay county.Panama CityPrivate Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 19:07:36clyde wylietankgunner1@yahoo.comI fish inside of 20 miles off of Panama City Beach Florida. 3 out of 5 fish I catch is triggerfish and 1 is a red snapper. I am not a biologist but it sure seems like there is a overabundance of these species. Further, some of the red snapper that are released are not recoverable. Makes me not want to fish at all with such a waste of a resource36330Private Recreational Angler
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2/23/2017 20:06:10Sheila WhiteFrshherbs@aol.co!Trigger fish are like ravenous dogs! You don't have a chance to catch anything else because these bait stealers sworn baits before they can get to the bottom and come up and devour treeline baits. I've seen the water churn! If anything these fish are over populated but certainly NOT in shortage!
32304Private Recreational Angler
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2/24/2017 1:29:10Bobby Earle Searcysearcyfarms93@gmail.comGray Triggerfish are plentiful on many nearshore reefs. We see an abundance of them on nearly every reef we dive on. Many recreational fisherman do not even keep Gray Triggerfish of legal size.Webb, Al 36376Private Recreational Angler
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2/24/2017 6:53:00Kevin lanierKcsportfishing@gmail.comTrigger fish are prolific in the area around Mexico Beach. Please reopen and reduce the limit due to the size limit increase. This will accomplish the desired result you wantMexico Beach, Fl,32456Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/24/2017 12:13:08Laken George Captlaken@gmail.comThere are more trigger fish than there has ever been! Can't even fish for snappers without losing dozens of baits to the trigger fish. Also can not fish for vermillions or red porgys, can't keep a bait down there long enough for them to eat it b cause of the trigger fish. I will catch 20/1 triggers to vermillions, porgys or even red snappers. Panama City 32408Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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2/26/2017 9:35:31john powellfpowell321@hotmail.comNone of your options for "rebuilding" the trigger fishery are suitable. No matter what the flawed data says, the triggerfish population in the Gulf is healthy. How can fisheries decisions be made when the best available data is known to be corrupt? But once again we go down the same wrong path. This style of "protection" is devastating not only for the fishermen and coastal economies, but also for the health of our Gulf ecosystems. The damaging agenda of The Environmental Defense Fund needs to be removed from future fisheries decisions, because it has become obvious that the health of the Gulf environment is not their concern. Here are four options that the council should have to choose from: (1) Data providers are incompetent. (2) Data providers are corrupt. (3) Data providers are carrying out the radical agenda of the EDF. (4) All of the above.35446Private Recreational Angler
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3/3/2017 7:13:49Kern ClarkKerndoggy65@gmail.comTrigger fish are so abundant in both state and federal waters that I can'tell get bait to the bottom. The size of most we catch is 16 to 20 inches.
We really need to harvest trigger fish!
CampbelltonPrivate Recreational Angler
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3/3/2017 13:40:54capt mitch colemanfloridazeadventures@yahoo.comi have seen a dozen triggerfish eat a artificial "gulp" shrimp like a school of piranos, caught a triggerfish trolling a duster and cigar minnow at 5 kts and had one eat a 5 inch long ruby lipped grunt that was half its size...they will destroy a sabiki rig with no cut bait attached and its nearly impossible to catch bait or other reef fish with the explosion of the triggerfish population.....PLEASE RE-OPEN TRIGGER IN STATE WATERS and reduce the size back to 12 inches and let the larger trigger spawn, maybe even a slot of 12-15 inches. mexico beach fl 32456Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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3/5/2017 13:07:54Jason Shaw4jshaw@gmail.comI fish and dive in the northern gulf near orange beach, Alabama and Pensacola, Florida. I can tell you from actual visual experience there are more triggerfish in this area than anytime in my 20 year experience.

There are a lot of numbers in this report, but what are they based on? We need actual reef surveys and regionalized regulation for reef fish. I can visit 3 sites in one day and video the entire fish population with my $200 GoPro camera. I can then count fish shown in the video with pretty good accuracy...all species. Me, just one person, one boat. This actual count could then be correlated to use sonar and expand actual counts/stocks even faster without the dive gear. It seems the regulators don't want to know the actual numbers?
36576Private Recreational Angler
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3/12/2017 7:10:09Kern ClarkKerndoggy65@gmail.comTrigger fish are so abundant in both state and federal waters that I can'tell get bait to the bottom. The size of most we catch is 16 to 20 inches.
We really need to harvest trigger fish!
CampbelltonPrivate Recreational Angler
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3/12/2017 11:26:56ed greenesmaygreene@yahoo.comour only hope is that trump closes nmfs down as you have paralysis from analysis. you have lost sight of your purpose and mission. yall have wanted to shut down our ability to keep one fish for dinner each day. the triggerfish closure is your trump card. your vision has gone blind. thank you for your negative economic impact and your negative impact on hard working americans. good luckdestin, fl 32550Private Recreational Angler
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3/13/2017 17:53:23Thomas J Andersontja4020@gmail.comWell an entire year without a trigger fish season. Folks, that's hard to understand. I fish the Gulf many times a year and the goofy looking trigger fish is my favorite. Everyone else is after tuna, red snapper and amberjack. It would be nice if there was a way to put one fish out of the reach of the commercial fishery; they catch everything else out there. How about a secondary fish that isn't a big commercial draw that gets some extra protection, and is therefore available to retired folks like me. I know it's probably more complicated than that, but isn't there some way to keep triggerfish numbers up enough to have a consistent season?Saint Louis, MO, 63144Private Recreational Angler
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3/14/2017 19:26:16Mark Tryonmdtryon82@outlook.comI disagree with the preferred alternative which maintains the annual quota at status quo levels. This quota should be increased at least to the level which corresponds to the preferred 9 year rebuilding plan.
I have fished the Pensacola area for the past 24 years. The present levels of abundance as well as size are by far the greatest I have experienced. I think council members should be required to do their own stock assessments by taking a trip with an experienced local fisherman in areas such as Pensacola where there is an overabundance of triggerfish.. ..
Gulf Breeze,Fl,32563Commercial Fisher
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3/17/2017 22:03:44Michael DreadinDreadin4@yahoo.comYou are robbing the recreational fishery of a resource that should be put in someone's hands that is more sensible About fish management not making money for a certain very small percent of people that control your decisions trigger fish snapper and amberjack are thick in the gulf the fish fish limits are so low you don't need seasons two hour trip five people can have limit of all these fish as it is they are plentiful let us fish let us spend our moneyUriah Ala. 36480Private Recreational Angler
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3/19/2017 12:50:40Kern ClarkKerndoggy65@gmail.comTrigger fish are so abundant in both state and federal waters that I can'tell get bait to the bottom. The size of most we catch is 16 to 20 inches.
We really need to harvest trigger fish!
CampbelltonPrivate Recreational Angler
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3/23/2017 11:10:40Ronald Leo folseLeofolse@art.netALL regulated fish should have an aggressive hatch program to replenish stocks. We are not satisfied with our agencies simply managing a decline .Gulf breeze fl 32563Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 9:12:44Timothy C. ScallanTcscallan@gmail.comPlease open the season for Grey Triggers in the Northern Gulf of Mexico!Pensacola Fl. 32563Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 9:25:45James Campbelljimzgator@bellsouth.netNeed to offer more species to fish during an open date where you can target multiple fish. Too many times you go out you can only target one or two species. Need to cluster more species together in a regulation time frame to be able to harvest. Stop the Pilot program and make an amendment that an aggressive restock program be mandatory for each and every regulated species . That balances the offset of NOAA catch numbers. The everyday citizen that pays taxes and that pays for products like fishing boats, fishing equipment, gas, etc, should have the same rights as the commercial side and be able to harvest fish. Its not right to take that a way from the tax payer and give it all to the commercial side of fishing. Pensacola Fl 32503Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 9:53:51Stanley R Roose Stanroose1955.sr@gmail.com Like to be kept up to speed with what's going on Pensacola Beach FL 32561Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 10:11:08David Holifield Daveholifield@hotmail.comI think there should be a rebuild program on all species that you hee a limit on.Gulf breeze, fl 32561Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 14:51:15Chad SmithCsolutionstoday@gmail.comI do not believe the shortage of triggers is due to over fishing, but an over abundance of red snapper. They live in and compete in the same habitat. Small triggers do not have a chance against the large number of bigger snapper that we see now. Adairsville, Ga 30103Private Recreational Angler
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3/27/2017 18:16:38Doug PriceEagleexpresscharters@yahoo.comIt's unfortunate that the gulf council continues to make poor decisions based on misinformation or false data. I and people like me are out there everyday and your rebuilding plan has definitely worked. Catching 10 grey triggers to any legal catch fish while fishing. Why don't you lower the limit to 1 per person or increase the size limit so that people can still enjoy our days on the water. Something needs to be corrected because if we continue down the road we're on. The only thing you will achieve is putting people out of business. The bottom line is there are plenty of grey trigger in the gulf go with any fishing charter and see for your self. Orange beach, al 36561Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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3/27/2017 19:20:11Michael Atwood msca333@gmail.comstop the Pilot program and make an amendment that an aggressive restock program be mandatory for each and every regulated species . That balances the offset of NOAA catch numbers. Pace FL 32571Private Recreational Angler
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4/3/2017 12:12:17Rex Lee Reid Rex1961@bellsouth.net We have to many trigger fish in the Bay County waters PCB FL 32413Private Recreational Angler
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4/3/2017 17:10:25stevon richardfishermansteve10@yahoo,comwe have been releasing over 100 triggerfish a day on fishing tripspanama city 32401Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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4/9/2017 7:07:41Kern ClarkKerndoggy65@gmail.comTrigger fish are so abundant in both state and federal waters that I can'tell get bait to the bottom. The size of most we catch is 16 to 20 inches.
We really need to harvest trigger fish!
CampbelltonPrivate Recreational Angler
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7/1/2017 19:42:26CAPTAIN JOHNburkartoffsourefishing@gmail.comWHY CAN'T I NOT FISH MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY IS THIS GOING TO CHANGE HOPE SO.Imperial mo.63052Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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8/4/2017 9:54:19Jonathan armstrong Armstronghunts@yahoo.comTrigger fish are more abundant and larger than ever before. Explain how that is so when this year is the 1st year we haven't had a season to fish for them. No season on trigger just proves what most fishermen already think and that is the Federal government has no idea what's out there. There needs to be a survey on reefs not sandy bottoms on reef fish. The state colleges should have funds made available to implement true surveys on reef . fish. The state should set the seasons and catch limits on all fish caught out to 40 NM.Spanishfort Al 36527Private Recreational Angler
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8/4/2017 10:53:16Jonathan armstrong Armstronghunts@yahoo.comTrigger fish are more abundant and larger than ever before. Explain how that is so when this year is the 1st year we haven't had a season to fish for them. No season on trigger just proves what most fishermen already think and that is the Federal government has no idea what's out there. There needs to be a survey on reefs not sandy bottoms on reef fish. The state colleges should have funds made available to implement true surveys on reef . fish. The state should set the seasons and catch limits on all fish caught out to 40 NM.Spanishfort Al 36527Private Recreational Angler
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8/7/2017 13:17:06Frank Thierry, Jr.escapecharters@yahoo.comOpening triggerfish in the spring seems to be the most beneficial,(march,April, and/or may). Paired with a summer red snapper and hopefully aug 1 amberjack opening, this would present ALL gulf coast anglers an opportunity to catch a few fish for the longest amount of time36528Charter/Headboat For-Hire
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8/7/2017 18:13:04Matt Manningmatthmanning@yahoo.comI demand that any final actions be moved to the Biloxi meeting in October because the new council members will not be able to vote at the august meeting and they need to have their say, that is why they were appointed to the council so please let them weigh in!Valrico, FL 33596Private Recreational Angler
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