Framework Action - Modifications to the Greater Amberjack Recreational Bag Limit, Fishing Year and Season (Responses)
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8/2/2019 16:57:28Test Testtest@gulfcouncil.orgTampa, FL 33607OtherTesting
8/12/2019 11:41:55Johnny Greene
Orange Beach, AL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
Council Members,
I hope that all of you are doing well and this coming week goes by quickly for you. I hate I won’t make it this week as we are really busy with the Amberjack opening. Which leads in to my only real point at this time.

I hope that y’all will leave the Amberjack season as it is and keep the conservation of resource in mind as you consider any management changes to this fishery.

I think we have made more changes to amberjack than any other fishery I can recall and some of them faster than any others. While it’s really good to be proactive I think we need to allow the seasons to remain as structured with the August 1 opening.

August 1 allows equal access to this fishery through out all 5 gulf states not just a few select geographical areas. This fish is a big deal to all charter and recreational guys. We must keep them closed during the spawn!

Now some guys really want all fisheries open at once, I’m hearing everything like Amberjacks, trigger and red snapper open at one time to get the biggest bang for their buck. This is just crazy to me, It would be like having deer, duck and turkey hunting season open all at once and what a mess that would be! The other part of that is that the whole gulf would only be open maybe 50 days and year (just a guess) and closed for 310 days? That doesn’t work at all for the greatest benefit to the nation or a fishery or anyone who has boat that wants to go fishing when the weather is nice.

I think we had it right when we structured the plan with the fall opening after they had spawned in the spring. Then if any remaining quota were left, it would harvested in the spring.

I make my sole income from a fishing boat and Lord knows that I could have used a few jacks to go on some of my charter trips this past May but keeping it closed was the right thing to do. And that is way more important than a few more fish in my fish box.

This stock hasn’t responded to any management change thus far. So to modify the season after only a couple of years of date is not a long enough time series to even draw a decent conclusion from

I don’t support a fractional bag limit in any fishery as I feel it’s really setting a bad precedent where you are will to do a half a fish per person for one fish but won’t even think about a reduction from two red snapper to one?

So I hate to complain without a potential solution so maybe one Amberjack per per person per day or trip whichever is less is a better option.

My rationale here is I think it’s unfair for the private guy and his wife to go fishing and not to be able to keep one as some options say you must have 3 people to keep the first one and 5 on the boat to keep the second one and so on.

On another point, with the states managing red snapper now and the quick ability to change seasons, one additional though is to not open amberjack until red snapper is closed in the for hire side. Now, I know this will be real unpopular with some of my fellow charter guys but I’m not trying to run a popularity contest here. So if the charter red snapper season appears to go into August again in the future the push it back the Amberjack opening by that same amount. This might allow some more potential for a few more fish to be caught in the spring or more importantly not going over quota.

On another note, I have fished more this year than I ever have and I’ve had a lot of compliments from customers about something being open all year from March to the end of October so my compliments to you guys and I wish y’all the best!

I know you don’t hear it often but thanks for what y’all do and keep up the good work! Good luck to you all and I’ll see you this winter!

Many thanks
Johnny Greene
8/12/2019 11:42:55Bill Staff
Thanks for ability to comment!
Would again like to THANK council for the Sucessful Trigger season snapper season we had this year!
Even though It is August and fish get very lethargic we are having a very tough time catching AJ The consensus is the same through out Eastern Gulf !
I think we need to leave seasons as are now and keep it closed during spawn(April May) until some rebound is seen!
I also think a 500 lb trip limit should be implemented on commercial fishery!
I also support a 1/2 fish per person per day to further help this fishery get back on its feet!
I in no way support any longer snapper season than what we just had! I think a June 1-July 31 every year would be plenty!
I certainly don’t want ton see that fishery get back to where it was 15 years ago!
Thank Y’all for the job U do!
Bill Staff
Sea Spray
8/13/2019 11:09:19Capt. Jeff Shoults Jshoults@cox.netDestin, Fl 32541
Private Recreational Angler, Charter/Headboat For-Hire
I would be in favor of a 1/2 fish per person limit with the size staying the same. I’m a fed permit holder, but also take friends and family fishing. We have no problem with the new limit being 1 fish per 2 people. Thank you for your time. Capt. Jeff
8/14/2019 15:07:33Kelia Paul
Panama City Beach, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
Good Morning Council,

Thank you all for your work and dedication to this council and the various industries it serves. My name is Kelia Paul and am representing the dually-permitted vessel the Long Shot out of Panama City Beach, FL. I will be speaking today in public comment, but wanted to provide my detailed comments for you.


For us, the most important decision you have before you currently is to allow us to harvest Amberjack in the Gulf in May. I heard multiple comments made that this program is in its infancy and needs more time to prove successful, however we all spoke before this Council years ago when this was implemented and advised you all that it would end up just the way it has. No May season for us at all. How many more years do our businesses have to suffer until you realize that decision was detrimental to us?

Please change the year back to the calendar year. As Dr. Hollensead advised just because you do so does not mean that you cannot set the season dates accordingly. There have been multiple comments made over the last few meetings that if the year is changed that we will catch the majority of the quota in March-May. Don’t give us that, we’re not asking for it. We’re asking for May as we always have been.
If the back and forth between the spring/fall seems to be the hold up, then allow each season their own quota with their own paybacks if exceeded. To me, it sounds like a simple solution that continues to be overlooked. However, that is not an option in the actions & alternatives so my selections for the current options are below:

2.1 Action 1
Alternative 1: No Action
2.2 Action 2
Alternative 2: Modify back to 1/1-12/31.
2.3 Action 3
Alternative 1: No action.

The bottom line is that we need jacks in May and unfortunately the back and forth between the seasons and ultimately the sides of the Gulf continues to hold this up. Doing so negatively impacts our businesses and needs to stop. We need a resolution and I employ you all to make one.
8/14/2019 15:14:17Jimmy Waller
Thanks for opportunity to Speak!
Would like to express that after fishing for AJ 7 of the first 12 days it stunk!
I certainly don’t think anything more liberal as Jacks go is warranted!
If anything a more conservative approach!
The 1/2 jack per person looks better and better!
It would be dumb to open during spawn!
I believe we should keep season status quo!
The commercial trip limit should become 500 lbs that even agreed to by the commercial industry!
I really appreciate the trigger and snapper seasons we had!
It goes to show that stricter limits are what’s needed in this day of extra effort!
I certainly don’t think snapper or trigger seasons need to be any longer!
I own and operate the Big Adventure and have been charter fishing for 30+ years!
Jimmy Waller
8/15/2019 12:14:49Alicia Paul
Panama City Beach, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
My Name is Alicia Paul, I own and operated the dually permitted vessel the Long Shot which is located in Panama City Beach at Capt. Andersons Marina. I am sending you an email this morning, so I can air out all of my concerns with current fisheries and Amendments without being under a 3 minute time restraint.

Amberjack is my first concern, the panhandle of northwest Florida is dependent on a Spring Fishery historically and succeeded in catching 75 % of the allowable recreational quota. At this point the eastern gulf received no spring season whatsoever based under the current regulation and start date. The council changed these regulations last year after receiving an outcry of fisherman pleading against the change at its October meeting in Gulfport, Mississippi the prior year. As, we feared what has become reality, no spring season. I was once for a fractional bag limit but if it is only going to give us a 9.5% percent reduction there is no way I can further support that change. Such small reduction does not warrant loosing half of a bag limit. I would prefer 50/50 split season for the Spring and Fall, with the paybacks and overages taken from its respective season wither it be Spring/Fall. Unfortunately, that is not an option under the current alternatives available. Under the current Actions and Alternatives I would prefer Action 3 Alternative 2 under table 2.3.1
This would re establish a Jan-Dec. fishing year for both the recreational and commercial sectors. This allows total harvest in the same time frame for a more accurate stock assessment and help the rebuilding process. Which ultimately is the goal…
9/24/2019 9:12:50Joe WillsonJW133@gmail.comLafayette Louisiana
Private Recreational Angler
If you keep taking fish away from the recreational angler you will soon kill the recreational industry all together. If that is the plan then you are on course. Why is not more being done to the limit the commercial fisherman? I would assume it is because they are the lobbyist who are able to grease the right palms. If you are generally concerned about the fish stock then why doesn't the government do more to leave the old oil platforms alone instead of ruining fish habitat that has been around for 50+ years in some cases? It seems to me that way more can be done to help our fisheries instead of constantly taking from the private anglers.
10/23/2019 9:11:44Bill Staff
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
Thanks for this opportunity to speak!
Would like to again thank council for helping us have a successful charter season for 2019 mainly because we had something to sale for 7 months out of the year!
I could live with a Sept-Oct AJ opening with a chance at a May opening if quota allows!
I would like to see Aj open last 20 days of May INSTEAD OF 1st 20 days especially if Trigger goes over into May!
I know it sounds crazy but it’s more important to have only 1 of the major fish open at a time to allow for more days of fishing to me!
I would like to see a 1 per person per trip of Aj on multi day trips!
This accounts for another 9% less being caught and should extend season!
I would also like to see a 5% buffer on Red Snapper giving us an extra 10-15 days!
Thanks again for this opportunity!
Bill Staff
Owner Operator CFH SEA SPRAY
10/23/2019 9:14:17Jimmy Waller
Thanks for opportunity to comment!
Would like to thank council for successful opening of different species to let us have a good portion of year with something to sale!
I can live with a Sept 1 -Oct 31 AJ opening with a chance at a May opening!
I would also like to see a one per person creel limit for multi day trips.
We would also like to leave a few less snapper left on the table next season!
If the data shows we should have 78 days then so be it!
Jimmy Waller
10/23/2019 18:11:08Dylan Hubbard
Madeira Beach, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
10/24/2019 10:59:42Kelia Paul
Panama City Beach, FL
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
As the other fisherman in my region have expressed, we are very much in need of a May season for Amberjack. I was disheartened to see the zone idea thrown out so quickly as I believe it would have of been the solution that made the most sense. However, I stand by my previous comments since we have brought this issue to the council. We need seasonal allocation with respective paybacks. What I have a hard time understanding is why the Eastern Gulf who based on the charts and data that was displayed yesterday harvest the majority of the Amberjacks, do not have more traction in what we have been asking for since April. The most straight forward path is usually the right one, and that is the seasonal allocation with respective paybacks. Please work quickly on this as we already lost 2019, will surely lose 2020, and if something isn’t done, 2021 as well.
1/30/2020 7:05:33Bill Staff
Charter/Headboat For-Hire
To the council
I fully intended on commenting in person but have come down with a cough and cold and certainly don’t want to spread it!
I still think the system we have is working and we as CFH have had at least 1 trophy fish to sale for a period of 7-8 months throughout the year! This is huge and I know has worked well for most CFH!
Our customers as we like knowing when certain seasons will open and close!
Every time we change an opening date it confuses all parties making fishing tips hard to book in advance!
I fell the triggerfish are in better shape than the government does which was told by how much over quota we went!
These fish can certainly stand a 2 MonTue season!
Amberjack just the opposite as was seen with quota not nearly meet!
These fish need to be closed during spawn!
I would have no problem if CFH has a longer snapper season granted starting it in last part of May!
Amberjack should have a 500 lb trip limit implemented!
Thanks for opportunity to comment!
Bill Staff
Sea Spray
1/25/2021 10:36:36Catherine Bruger
1/25/2021 10:51:18Eric Brazer