23 May 2015
Posted in Research N Action
US Senate asks for better recreational angler data; SGF Answers the Call
On May 20, 2015, the Snook & Gamefish Foundation was asked to testify before the U.S. Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries and Coast Guard.
Every logged fish counts twice: Once for you in your personal fishing log, and once for fishery management and science. Executive Director Brett Fitzgerald was tapped to sit on a panel of experts, along with the Honorable Kathryn Sullivan, Ph.D., Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Mr. Robert Beal, Executive Director, Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; and Dr. Steven Murawski, Professor and Peter Betzer Endowed Chair of Biological Oceanography, University of South Florida.
Senator Rubio (FL), chair of the committee, took point in the hearing and asked direct questions about the current state of recreational data collection at the federal level in the US. Ranking member Senator Cory Booker (NJ) followed suit with the common theme that cooperation between anglers and managers needs to improve.
28 May 2015|
This is a Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Environmental Administrator position. It is located in Naples, Florida and responsible for administering the Florida Coastal Office – Southwest Region. This is a senior level, professional, administrative, and management position with direct supervision of 4 office locations (Terra Ceia, Punta Gorda, Ft. Myers Beach, and Naples). This position oversees the personnel, equipment, budget, communications, and management plan development/implementation at the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and 12 Aquatic Preserves (Pinellas County, Cockroach Bay, Boca Ciega Bay, Terra Ceia, Cape Haze, Lemon Bay, Gasparilla Sound-Charlotte Harbor, Pine Island Sound, Matlacha Pass, Estero Bay, Rookery Bay, and Cape Ramano - Ten Thousand Islands). The management of these locations includes overseeing place-based education, research and monitoring, training, stewardship, restoration, and ecotour programs/activities.
30 April 2015
Posted in Research N Action
www.angleraction.org is the place to get started. Create a profile, download an app (we suggest iAngler-lite or one of the affiliates such as iGhoFish), and start recording your trips. Soon you will be in the "100 Club!"What started as a simple way for anglers to record their catch may help preserve the fish they covet. Sound farfetched? Maybe not.
Ryan Jiorle, a University of Florida Master’s candidate, spent nearly a year studying the impact of the Angler Action Program with it's iAngler family of apps. He believes that the staple service project of the Snook & Gamefish Foundation (SGF) could come to serve as a valuable asset in fisheries management.
The Angler Action Program allows fishermen to detail every personal fishing trip in an electronic log; iAngler and the new iAngler-lite are free mobile smart device Apps that complement the program directly. Last year, SGF and Elemental Methods worked together on a fishing tournament app,iAngler-Tournament, that lets competitive fishermen record their tournament catches in real time. Both systems were designed and have been promoted by SGF, who solicited assistance from fishery managers and scientists along the entire building process.
“At the very least I don’t know of another program that’s steamed this far ahead,” Jiorle said. “You have multiple years of data. You have a lot of users. It’s very organic - this has happened naturally. I think that’s what we like to see as scientists. We want to compare in the most natural way possible.”
22 April 2015
Posted in General
Means a lot of things to a lot of different people. To my daughter, who is one of the few people I know who seems to celebrate nature every day, it is a chance to reflect on all the positive things we as humans can draw from Mother Earth if we are tuned in. She’s 13, by the way. To my son, it is a day in April when he probably will have to write an annoying essay at school (I hope). He’s 12, by the way.
To me, a fisherman who has spent way too much time off My Water lately, it is a day of conflicting hopes and regrets. So much good to do this coming "Earth Year," so many projects that didn’t get capped off this past. I need my therapist.
I have not seen my therapist in a long time. Her name is Orvis, she’s a 9-wt, and she’s a bad ass when I need her to be, gentle when the situation calls. I won’t see her today either, but I have new resolve to become much more familiar during this next year.
I could fill 30 sheets of paper with regrets pertaining to my urge to make a brighter fishing future, which means a lot of different things to me. Helping to protect habitats where needed, improve them where we’ve failed to protect adequately in the past, equipping anglers with the tools needed to become soldiers in the many battles we face – eroding rights, shrinking opportunities, failing policies, crumbling habitats, fickle conservation friends.
But if I fall into the trap of picking at wounds, I lose.
Earth Day is a cold shower. It’s a chance to collectively reset, to recharge, to breathe in the air and try to feel it pass through our mouths to our lungs and appreciate it again. My daughter Ava has it right.
26 March 2015
Posted in Fishing
Joe Rufin shows off a snook from the trip that landed him two lunkers and a nifty prize from Garmin, thanks to Guy Harvey Outpost.On Jan 31, Joe Rufin (St. Pete Beach) had a very productive snook fishing trip. He not only landed a pair of bruising line-siders, but he opted to enter his fishing trip into the shiny new iGhoFish smartphone app, the latest data collecting tool in the Snook & Gamefish Foundation’s Angler Action Program (AAP). Lucky for Joe, Guy Harvey Outpost is hosting a data sweepstakes, randomly drawing anglers each month who have logged their fishing trips into their iGhoFish app or web portal.
For Rufin, that meant a surprise phone call informing him that he won Garmin’s VIRB action camera. “Actually, it was the first time I ever used the Guy Harvey Outpost app,” he said, still sounding a little shocked that he won a prize for simply going fishing and logging it into the app. “A friend who heard about the app at the St. Pete Outpost told me about it so I downloaded it and gave it a shot.”
Some of the details about the data and sweepstakes were lost in that conversation with his friend, so Joe didn’t realize he was even eligible to win a prize. “I thought there was a tournament going on, but I didn’t think I was actually entered. But I wanted to see what it was like to log a fish anyhow.”
Rufin and his friends mostly fish Pinellas County, and on the day he logged the winning trip, he was fishing a usual haunt in his typical fashion. “I like to fish big baits – the biggest I can find,” he said. “We had just found some nice sized greenies on the north side of the Skyway.” They were working through some kinks with a potential new bait pen location that day when Joe pinned a bait to a circle hook and lobbed it in.
“My first bait hit the water, and it got hammered right at the dock. It was the usual epic snook fight - I had to climb over a few things to get the rod tip high enough to clear some pilings." That first fish was 33’. Matt [his fishing buddy that day] didn’t even have his bait in the water when Joe landed that fish, put another bait on and wham! "Fish on again,” Joe recalled. That fish was even bigger, measuring in at 35’.
29 October 2014
Posted in General
The Snook & Gamefish Foundation's Board of Directors will meet in Tampa of Feb 28 at the Cigar City Brewery tasting/meeting room. This annual meeting will cover election of new board members and re-election of BOD members whose terms are due to expire.
The meetings are open to SGF members. If your membership is up to date and you are interested in serving SGF as a board member or advisory committee member, please contact brett@snookfoundation NLT Feb 13.
These meetings will also discuss updates on the progress of the Angler Action Program, and partnerships with Guy Harvey Foundation and CCA.
SGF maintains an unwavering ethos dedicated to the conservation, preservation, restoration and enhancement of estuarine and coastal water habitats that define fishing - and SGF believes informed anglers are the key to realizing these goals.
14 January 2015
Posted in Fishing
The Inshore Kickoff is complimented by the Freshwater Kickoff - both free, both this weekend. ...and win a prize!
SGF and Elemental Methods teamed up again to bring some exciting new changes to the iAngler-Tournament system.
You can help us test them out by fishing, and maybe winning a little something for your time on the water!
iAngler-Tournament is a fishing tournament management program that allows tournaments to be run through your mobile smart device. Translation: You can enter, then record fish, in a tournament using your smart phone - photos and all.
23 December 2014
Posted in General
Writer and photographer Sam Hudson took one of our favorite snook shots this year. What a beauty! (er... the fish, not Sam...)2014 was a good year for Florida’s snook anglers. The recovery from the 2010 cold snap seems to be right on track, thanks in part to FWC’s astute management plans, SGF’s Angler Action Program, and the overall outstanding conservation ethos of most snook anglers.
Looking back at that chilly stretch in early 2010, there was a lot of concern about Florida’s premier inshore game fish. Many anglers were at near panic mode, and frankly our best researchers were very concerned too. At the time, Jim Whittington, the lead east coast snook researcher told SGF that there was a lot of uncertainty regarding snook. He also pointed out that the strict snook regulations were in place for just such an event. Those who pursue snook understand there are some very tight parameters required for a healthy population: nursery habitats, ample prey, viable spawning sites, and of course tropical water temperatures.
18 November 2014
Posted in Fishing
Barracuda capture anglers and divers alike. They are an important part of Florida's experience and ecosystem. photo: Dean HulseWith its menacing crooked teeth, evil eyes and foul smell, the great barracuda is not the poster child for gamefish.
Outside of the shark, there is no backcountry fish more demonized than the barracuda.
The fish is not given the same level of respect than that of its contemporaries on the flats — permit, bonefish, tarpon and snook. Rarely does one see a photo of a flats guide posing with a barracuda and beaming with the same admiration that he or she would give the four other prized fish.
The fish’s status has never really been elevated to that of the four backcountry fish. However, the barracuda fights as hard, if not harder, than any of the other four fish and in a pinch can rescue a slow day of fishing.
09 September 2014
Posted in General
Goliath Grouper have moved to center stage for many Florida anglers, divers, and conservationists. Photo: underwaterjournal.comThere seems to be little argument about whether conservation measures put in place to protect the Goliath grouper have been a success. But a debate is waging about whether they have been successful enough to reopen the fishery to even a small limited harvest.
Those who want to reopen Goliath grouper to fishing argue the fish has become so plentiful that anglers can’t reel up smaller fish without them being snatched off their lines by the giant beasts, which can weigh in excess of 500 pounds.
Also, Goliath groupers are consuming large numbers of spiny lobster, a major cash crop, supporters of opening the fishery say. They are calling for a small limited harvest.