Framework Action - Modifications to the Greater Amberjack Recreational Bag Limit, Fishing Year and Season (Responses)
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TimestampEnter Full NameEmail AddressCity, State and ZipCheck all that applyComments
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8/2/2019 16:57:28Test Testtest@gulfcouncil.orgTampa, FL 33607OtherTesting
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8/12/2019 11:41:55Johnny Greene
fishorangebeach@gmail.com
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
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8/12/2019 11:42:55Bill Staff
capt.billspray@icloud.com
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
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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
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8/14/2019 15:07:33Kelia Paul
kelia@charterfishpanamacitybeach.com
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.

Amberjack

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.
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8/14/2019 15:14:17Jimmy Waller
jimmer41@hotmail.com
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!
Thanks
Jimmy Waller
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8/15/2019 12:14:49Alicia Paul
captalicia@charterfishpanamacitybeach.com
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…
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