Modifications to Gulf of Mexico Migratory Group Cobia Size and Possession Limits (Responses)
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TimestampNameemail addressCity, State, Zip CodeCheck all that applyComments
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6/7/2018 13:58:23Test Testtest@gulfcouncil.orgTampa, FL 33604OtherTEST
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8/24/2018 10:18:03Mark Odom
modom1970@icloud.com
Pascagoula, MS 39567
Private Recreational Angler
I have personally fished for cobra since 1987. I have definitely seen a decline in numbers. I used to run a cobra tournament out of Pascagoula and most fish were caught on the west side of the Mississippi River. Pretty consistent with current cobra tournaments. The only pictures of big fish usually come from that area. Some exceptions but not many. That being said, I feel the problem is the huge removal of oil rig structure as well as the shrimp boats catch shrimp openings and that is later in Mississippi than the migratory run. Regulations are needed and I think 40 inch minimum or whatever size a 40 lb fist would be is sufficient. You have proven regulations help the numbers but a sensible approach would be nice as well. Regulations should ease up to a degree once numbers rebound. Question- Have you factored in what NOAA has done to keep numbers up? Without them, numbers would be way down. Just a fact.
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9/7/2018 22:12:25Ed Walker
info@lighttacklecharters.com
Tarpon Springs, Fl 34691
Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Commercial Fisher
The unlimited recreational per vessel bag limit is far and away the biggest issue in cobia management. Currently it is legal for a charterboat out of La to keep 16 or more cobia on a multi-passenger day charter, or even a big recreational boat...and they do. Nobody needs to keep 16 cobia on a single boat. Any fishing parties day can be considered a success with 2 or 3 large cobia onboard. Anything more is simply excessive and wasteful. I do not believe a size limit increase is needed above the current 33 inch fork length. Since the current assessment does not indicate overfished or overfishing set the max boat limit at 3. If the science changes you have room to drop it to 2 per boat.
My opinion. Thank you for your consideration.
Ed Walker
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9/27/2018 9:08:25Carl Colecarlcole@mchsi.comMilton, FL 32570
Private Recreational Angler
As cobia have become a more viable aquaculture species stop ALL commercial harvest.

Since large fish are almost exclusively female, stop all harvest of fish over fifty (50) pounds for a period of time. Consider a slot limit. A one or two fish limit per boat is adequate.



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9/27/2018 9:25:36Ty RileyTy.riley@univar.comRockport, TX 78382
Private Recreational Angler
36 Fork
2 per boat restriction.
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9/27/2018 9:36:18Jon Perkinsonjwperk13@aol.com
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Private Recreational Angler
I support tighter restrictions on the harvest of cobia. As a recreational fisherman, it is frustrating to see charter boats and private vessels catching 3,4 even 6 fish during the week and then not seeing a single fish on the weekends when I can go. I do not know a single fisherman, including charter and recreational captains in the Orange Beach area, who does not agree that there is a problem with the cobia stock and changes need to be made.

I strongly support one fish per person per day and two fish per vessel per day limits. Anything more than that will not take the pressure off of these fish and allow the stock to adequately recover. I also support a total closure of the fishery in 2019 to allow the stock to further recover.

Sincerely,

Jon Perkinson
24411 Gulf Bay Rd
Orange Beach, AL 36561
(251)223-6522
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9/27/2018 9:49:31Adam Trahan
Hammerhead00@hotmail.com
Prairieville, LA, 70769
Private Recreational Angler
If the cobia are not considered overfished or experiencing overfishing as stated in the 3rd slide of the PowerPoint video, why is this even being mentioned? Is it just because landings were short in 2017, maybe that’s because since others species that share the same habitat as cobia are so regulated, less people are not fishing. If the council wants to consider anything, consider changing the commercial sector regulations, I promise you’ll see this “change” you’re looking for.
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9/27/2018 10:12:57Craig Manns
craigmanns@hotmail.com
33909
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher
Unfortunately the council is once again trying to make a decision based on incomplete reporting information. I do not think the council should make any changes to any fisheries until we have accountability from the recreational sector. 100% of the commercial fish are accounted for. The same thing needs to happen for recreation fisherman before any actions occur.
Recreational anglers should have mandatory call in reporting prior to landing at the dock with the threat of penalty for false reporting. The council could at the very least select mandatory reporting for species, while conducting studies, at that point to lessen the cost and efforts of reporting all species on board.
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9/27/2018 10:22:57sean elmore
selmore20@hotmail.com
orange
Private Recreational Angler
first off I personally saw multiple cobia on every trip made this summer. second raising minimum length will result in higher kill numbers. we target fish we feel look over 4foot long as do most anglers, that said most anglers gaff that fish and often for fear of personal injury and or vessel damage either shoot or bat the fish before landing, if fish turns out to be just short it is then thrown back, for fear of prosecution, to be eaten and another fish caught. An oversize tag program like on red snapper would help this problem.
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9/28/2018 14:40:03Jeff Smithjkips45@gmail.com
Orange Beach, AL 36561
Private Recreational Angler
I support tighter restrictions on the harvest of cobia. As a recreational fisherman, it is frustrating to see charter boats and private vessels catching 3,4 even 6 fish during the week and then not seeing a single fish on the weekends when I can go. I do not know a single fisherman, including charter and recreational captains in the Orange Beach area, who does not agree that there is a problem with the cobia stock and changes need to be made.

I strongly support one fish per person per day and two fish per vessel per day limits. Anything more than that will not take the pressure off of these fish and allow the stock to adequately recover.

Sincerely,

Jeff Smith
5188 Bay Drive
Orange Beach, AL 36561
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10/1/2018 11:43:08Nathanial Duvall
duvallsmarine@gmail.com
MSHi,
In my opinion as a lifelong pretty much strictly a cobia fisherman,
the bag limit needs to be left where it’s is and the size limit needs to be raised.
It is well known that these fish make it to legal size within a year. Too many people are keeping the 33” fish. Also, cobia fishing is cyclical. There are good years and sparse years. I’ve seen years in Mississippi where I had to really find the fish but they were plentiful at the mouth of the ms river. Years fishing out of cocodrie la and fourchon have been trips of a lifetime and trips of bringing home one fish all day. The declining platforms in the gulf are pushing the fish out to deeper waters and this year was definitely a deep water year for cobia fishing. Luckily most people only target cobia in the spring rundue to lack of knowledge about the migration, The smaller fish that come back through around October and closer to shore are generally left alone

Thank you for your time
Nathaniel Duvall
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10/2/2018 14:35:26Jack Nenstieljnenstiel7@gmail.comOrange Beach, AL
Private Recreational Angler
I support tighter restrictions on the harvest of cobia. As a recreational fisherman, it is frustrating to see charter boats and private vessels catching 3,4 even 6 fish during the week and then not seeing a single fish on the weekends when I can go. I do not know a single fisherman, including charter and recreational captains in the Orange Beach area, who does not agree that there is a problem with the cobia stock and changes need to be made.

I strongly support one fish per person per day and two fish per vessel per day limits. Anything more than that will not take the pressure off of these fish and allow the stock to adequately recover.

Sincerely,

Jack Nenstiel
26550 Cotton Bayou Dr.
Orange Beach, Al 36561
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10/9/2018 11:31:15Travis Woodard
catspearos@gmail.com
Baton Rouge
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher
I spearfish for cobia both recreationally as well as commercially. I support the increase in size limits; however, I do not support the reduction in possession limits.

I have seen more small fish in the last two years than I remember seeing previously. That being said, I have seen plenty of fish, large and small, throughout the year. We have put many 40+ lb fish on the boat with the largest being 72lb. While Florida fisherman may not be seeing the fish, the LA gulf coast has not seen a decline in numbers - this coming from someone spending 40+ days/year underwater.
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10/9/2018 11:48:22Tyler
boatyardtyler@gmail.com
VENICE,LOUISIANA
Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire, Commercial Fisher
This is Bullshit, Theirs plenty enough cobia around for yall not to do this, we depend on this in the winter time for commercial fishing to make a living. Yall take enough of our fisheries away as it is.. Yall that worried about fish population but arent doing a damn thing about the rigs being pulled which is killing millions more of fish.... dont be a hypocrite
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10/9/2018 13:21:01Jacob Giardina
Jacob.d.giardina@gmail.com
Marrero LA 70072
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher
Not would be a good thing , there are plenty of cobia and as a diver see some times 100 in a school, haven’t seen any scientific data just another knee jerk reaction .
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10/9/2018 13:21:13Mark Peart
mpeart417@gmail.com
Mandeville, la 70471
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher
I am against reducing the Cobia bag limit. Cobia are very plentiful. I’m a spear fisherman/diver and we see massive schools a cobia all the time. There is no reason for our limit to be cut in half.!!! Fishing is a very expensive hobby and little by little all are allowable fishes are being taken away from us. Please consider not reducing it.
Thank you
Mark Peart
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10/9/2018 13:48:08Jacques madere
Jacquesmadere@yahoo.com
Belle Chasse la 70037
Private Recreational Angler
Limit should remain at 2
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10/9/2018 13:55:49Stephen sherman
Stephen-sherman@ouhsc.edu
Baton Rouge Louisiana 70810
Private Recreational Angler
Quit taking our fish away.
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10/9/2018 15:07:54Brandon wiltz
Flatlandpro13@yahoo.com
Private Recreational Angler
I have not noticed a shortage of any Cobia in my 10 years of fishing in the northern GOM. I find it strange that this was brought up as a species for change especially with the low limits it has as opposed to other species. I do not think the species needs to be managed to lower limits.
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10/9/2018 16:21:15Jason Perez
Rigdiver1976@gmail.com
Meraux, Louisiana 70075
Private Recreational Angler
I believe that the Cobia limit per day should not be changed not should there be a season on them.
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10/9/2018 16:28:33Emily coco
Virginiamccain@yahoo.com
Robert la 70455
Private Recreational Angler, Commercial Fisher
As someone who recreationally fishes and commercial fishes, I and someone that scuba dives, changing anything about the size limit and possession limit would be very unreasonable considering the numbers are there It is one of the few fish that has not been over regulated please do not make it to where there’s no reason for us to go out
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10/9/2018 16:45:56James Richardstcldjim@gmail.comNOLA 70129
Private Recreational Angler
I spearfish off the coast of Louisiana we have no shortage of cobia hear. All year they are plentiful especially this time of year!
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10/9/2018 17:17:47Martha Spencer
Wxstormlady@gmail.com
Madisonville, LA 70447
Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
Reducing cobia limits is ridiculous and unnecessary. The Northern Gulf of Mexico in Louisiana is plentiful with them!
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10/9/2018 19:17:18Walter Sone
Wjstone@gandolfikuhn.com
Slidell, La 70458
Private Recreational Angler
I have had the best cobia season I’ve seen in years. A commercial friend also relayed the same information. If some guy in Florida can’t catch fish. That’s no reason to lower my limit. Anyway isint the recreational fisherman’s “anecdotal and unusable” by your scientists? At least that’s what Roy Crabtree told me.
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10/9/2018 23:10:32Michael Webermike.weber@mac.comGonzales,LA,70737
Private Recreational Angler
I do not support the change to the Cobia limit. As a taxpayer, my vote is to keep the current limits
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10/10/2018 14:05:43Jim Greene
DestinDCBA@outlook.com
Destin, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
Members,

Thank you, to all who participated in the DCBA Cobia Survey. The survey results are below in the body of this email. I have also attached a word document file of the Survey Report. This message will be carried by Capt. Gary Jarvis in the Coastal Migratory Peliacis Ap meeting on October 9th, and by myself to the October Gulf Council Meeting in Mobile.

Destin Charter Boat Association
Cobia Regulations Survey

Purpose:

The Destin Charter Boat Association requested from its members the completion of a three question/comment “Cobia Regulations Survey”. In light of the recent changes by the FWC to state regulations concerning Cobia, and with the Gulf Council going through the process of updating the regulations this survey was to allow members to give direction so the DCBA could create a position on the issue.

Survey Questions:

1. Do you support the preferred alternatives selected by the Gulf Council with a 36" minimum size limit, a one fish per person bag limit, and two fish vessel possession limit? YES or NO?
2. Do you support a larger size limit greater than the preferred alternative selected? YES or NO?
3. Do you support a larger vessel possession limit? YES or NO?
Feel free to comment.

Results:

Response 1 – 45” fish, 1 per person, 3 fish possession limit
Response 2 – 36” fish, 1 per person, 3 fish possession limit
Response 3 – 36” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 4 – 36” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 5 – 39”-42” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 6 – 39-45” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 7 – 39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 8 – 39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 9 – 39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 10 – 39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 11 – 36-39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 12 – 36-39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit
Response 13 – 39” fish, 1 per person, 2 fish possession limit

Summary of Comments:

There were a few comments included with the survey responses. There was concern by a few members about gaffing fish, including in one of their comments that requiring a net for boating a cobia would allow for less risk of injury/mortality to the fish and provide more control in the case of it being undersized and needed to be released. There was also a comment about raising the size limit to high would not be good because of targeting the bigger breading fish. One comment also spoke of federal commercial and recreational regulations matching.

Survey Results:

In regard to minimum size limit, the percentages worked out to be 36” fish = 38.4%, 39” fish = 69.2%, and greater than 39” fish = 23%.
In regard to bag limits, it was unanimous at 1 fish per person. With 100% of respondents agreeing with maintain a 1 fish per person bag limit.
In regard to vessel possession limit, the percentages worked out to be 3 fish possession limit = 15.4%, and a 2 fish possession limit = 84.6%

These results equate to the DCBA position on Federal Cobia Management measures being:
39” minimum size limit
1 fish per person bag limit
2 fish vessel possession limit



Thank you to all that participated. It is appreciated.

Capt. Jim Green
DCBA President

Thank You,
Capt. Jim Green
President DCBA
F/V American Spirit
Destin, FL

Continuing the Heritage of the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village"
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10/10/2018 20:24:56Dan Patedanlbei@aol.comPearl River, La 70452
Private Recreational Angler
39" fish minimum
1 per person
4 per boat
that would be my suggestion
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10/11/2018 9:20:17Wayne Maturin
wmaturin@arenaoffshore.com
St. Martinville, La. 70582
Private Recreational Angler
I don't think increasing the size limit will benefit the cobia populations. A fish from the 33"-36" will more than likely get a gaff 99% of the time. The fish will be short based off the proposed 36" FL size limit. At that time the fish will be returned to the water but will not survive the gaff injury.

My vote would be to leave the size limit the same and limit the Vessel limit to two (2). The spear fishermen typically shoot their limits easily which account for a lot of the cobia population decrease (It's easy pickings).
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10/11/2018 9:44:42Dave Schexnayder
Skip_1099@bellsouth.net
Private Recreational Angler
Commercial catch should be shut down. Reduce recreational catch to 1 fish per person with 36" minimum length.
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10/11/2018 13:22:50Kelty ReadenourN/AThe increase in size limits on cobia makes it harder to measure a fish, until he calms down, waiting doesn’t help the mortality rate even if the fish is not gaffed.
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10/11/2018 13:51:51Dylan ShilgDylan.shilg@gmail.com
Baton Rouge, LA. 70816
Private Recreational Angler
There should be no additional restrictions on the recreational catch limits. Size or numbers. The NMFS has already proven its inability to make reasonable limits on red snapper. I have seen no reason to believe stricter cobia limits are any different.
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10/11/2018 14:24:08terry saucierterrysaucier@att.netpascagoula, ms 39567
Private Recreational Angler
Cobia off Miss coast were almost non existent in 2018/2017. This trend has be ongoing for the last 25 yrs. I am 63 yrs. old an lived in Pascagoula MS all of my life and have fished for as long as I can remember for all species of saltwater fish. I have advocated for a strict reduction of cobia by all parties fishing gulf waters, for over 35 yrs. At this point a complete no catch should be required until cobia stocks can be accessed and a recovery plan put into place. At the least the limits should be one fish per boat per day with a minimum of 5 fish per season limit, at 40 " fork length. Ban all tournaments and no commercial take.
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10/13/2018 10:37:33Jeff Castalano
Castalanobig1@gmail.com
Morgan City La. 70380
Private Recreational Angler
Why don’t y’all idiots just shut down fishing in the Gulf of Mexico all together.
Between the possession limits and different seasons open one weekend then closed the next it’s next to impossible to plan a trip and be able to catch what you want in different species of fish. I think y’all are a branch of the govt. that needs to be axed!
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10/13/2018 21:06:53Gary Gautreaux
gmack7277@hotmail.com
Lockport, LA 70374
Private Recreational Angler
I agree with the recommendation of reducing limit to 1 per person and 2 per vessel. I don't agree with increasing the size limit.

Thanks
Gary Gautreaux
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10/14/2018 10:56:29George Baquetgebaquet@cox.netBaton Rouge LA
Private Recreational Angler
Our offshore fishing group of 4-5 people make 10-15 trips a year mainly between May and August depending on weather. The cobia we catch are incidental while fishing for snapper or trolling a weed line. This past fishing summer 2018 our group caught 4 cobia.
So my comments are:
1) I support a larger minimum size limit, in the range of 30”-34” not fully knowing the biology of cobia.
2) I support a limit of one cobia per person per day.
3) I do not support a vessel limit on private vessels.
Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to provide my comments.
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10/14/2018 18:11:47Damian Mandina
damianmandina@yahoo.com
70124
Private Recreational Angler
Increase size limit but leave angler and boat limit alone.
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10/14/2018 20:57:23Lawrence Palmisano
Tracyboatyard@gmail.com
Marrero la 70072
Private Recreational Angler
Need to leave the cobia limit like it is
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10/15/2018 8:04:51John Discongarydiscon@att.netMetairie,la,70005
Private Recreational Angler
Recreational fishermen are not the cause for the decline. We are opportunistic catchers of cobra. The commercial harvest hammer the fish on a daily basis in all weather conditions.
Tougher riegulations should be put in place.
What are the current commercial regulations ?
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10/15/2018 12:16:35David Youngcbrnmatt@gmail.comBaton Rouge, LA 70817
Private Recreational Angler
My wife and I are in favor of keeping the cobia limit as it is! As freedivers, we continue to see plentiful numbers during their fall migration along the Louisiana coast. Many are not familiar with the migratory habits of these fish and do not understand they will not be found in large numbers at all times throughout the year. We started seeing them as shallow as 28' of water at the end of July this year. On our last trip in September, we saw close to 100 cobia in a few hours of diving.
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10/15/2018 12:59:28Jim Thomjrthom@cox.netLafayette
Private Recreational Angler
Impose limits on number of fish and increase minimum legal lengths on Charter/Headboat operations. Do not add any additional restrictive requirements on Private Rec. Anglers.
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10/18/2018 14:58:29Justin Dowdenjdowd44@bellsotu.netHouma La 70360
Private Recreational Angler
I fished cobia on 7 different occasions this summer. This fish is difficult to catch. The most we caught was 3 in a trip with a minimum of 6 people on the boat. I don't think they are being over fished by recreational fishermen.
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11/4/2018 23:45:13Robert Picciola
Robert@laterrepartners.com
THIBODAUX, LA 70301
Private Recreational Angler
Leave the length requirement where it is. Reduce the limit to one per person and two per boat and include charter boats on this. Also reduce the commercial catch proportionally.
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1/7/2019 10:38:58Pat
Lahunter390@gmail.com
Lafayette, LA, 70506
Private Recreational Angler
Hello, I have been a recreational fisherman and spear fisherman in the Gulf of Mexico for the last 20 years. I am fortunate enough to be on the water 40+ days every year. I have taken many trophy fish over 80Lbs, largest was just shy of 100Lbs. I can tell you without hesitation that the cobia fishery is just as good as its always been. Every trip we make we see over 20+ cobia. Size limit increase by 3 inches wouldn't affect how we fish but I disagree with any limit changes. Cobia is the only reliable fishery we currently have in Louisiana. Every other good eating fish has been so heavily regulated that it is really difficult to invest the time and money into making offshore fishing trips. If you look into the people making comments about reduced catches you will likely find 2 things in common. 1 they are not from Louisiana, and 2 they probably are fair weather fisherman who have smaller boats that cant make it out to where most of the fish are. If there are problems in other states regarding fisheries then a state specific rule should be implemented. For all of the people who complain about not seeing any cobia, they need to get a 30+' center console and come to Louisiana. I would be happy to show them how to locate and catch cobia. Thank you for your time.
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6/17/18Abby Webster
captainabbywebster@gmail.com
NGOOn behalf of The Charter Fishermen's Association {CFA), please accept these comments on the following issues to be discussed at the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council (Gulf Council) meeting in Key West, FL this week.
The Charter Fishermen's Association strives to support actions that create sustainable fisheries, a healthy Gulf, and providing fair and equitable access to all.

CFA believes acting now on the Cobia fishery will aid in correcting an issue before it gets injured any further. CFA supports the following management alternatives;
Action 1, Alternative 2
Action 2, Alternative 3, Option 3a


A daily vessel limit would reduce fishing mortality on Cobia in The Gulf of Mexico when there are more than 2 anglers on a vessel.
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6/20/18Ben Faireybenfairey@gmail.comGreetings,
I am a retired charter captain and now a private recreational angler. During my charter days I guided to 5 cobia world records and I am the current Alabama state record holder for Cobia at 117. 7 lbs. That record has stood for 23 years. I have cobia fished for 47 years. I have seen over the past several years a dramatic decline in the annual spring cobia migration along the north central GOM. Being a avid cobia fisherman this decline has been alarming to say the least. I participated in the Gulf Coast Research Facility's cobia tagging program and had the pleasure of having Dr Jim Franks fish with me and satellite tag several cobia. I urge the council to engage the scientific community and exam the recent declines in the cobia fishery. I encourage the council to lower the daily bag limit and increase the size limit to allow the stock to rebuild. If the cobia annual migration was to return to abundance of past years both Charter and rec anglers would benefit.
Thank you,
47
10/4/18Andrew Meadows
arm1521@jagmail.southalabama.edu
I support tighter restrictions on the harvest of cobia. As a recreational fisherman, it is frustrating to see charter boats and private vessels catching 3,4 even 6 fish during the week and then not seeing a single fish on the weekends when I can go. I do not know a single fisherman, including charter and recreational captains in the Orange Beach area, who does not agree that there is a problem with the cobia stock and changes need to be made.

I strongly support one fish per person per day and two fish per vessel per day limits. Anything more than that will not take the pressure off of these fish and allow the stock to adequately recover.
On another note, please look into reducing bag limits on yellowfin tuna. Their numbers have been declining for several years now with this past year being the worst I have seen. I would support a 1 fish per person per day bag limit and 5 fish per day boat limit. Please consider these request and thank you for your hard work.
Thank you,
Drew Meadows
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