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Catch shares in marine fisheries is a concept unfamiliar to most people, and it is probably completely alien to most hunters and anglers in this country. It is a system of wildlife management that bestows some percentage of a public marine resource, like red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico, to private businesses for free, to use and sell for their own profit.

 

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Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2017 – Today, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced the 2017 Regional Fishery Management Council (RFMC) appointments and has shown that recreational fishing and boating are important to the Trump Administration. The appointments of Steve Heins of New York to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council; Chester Brewer of Florida to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council; and Phil Dyskow of Florida, Dr. Bob Shipp of Alabama, and Dr. Greg Stunz of Texas to the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council are a solid affirmation that the Administration is taking federal fisheries management and conservation in the right direction.

“Today’s appointments to the Regional Fishery Management Councils are exactly what the recreational fishing and boating community needed from the Trump Administration,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “America’s 11 million saltwater recreational anglers have been an afterthought for too long, but thanks to the leadership of President Trump and Commerce Secretary Ross, the tide is changing. It is clear the Administration is committed to making sure America’s public resources remain public and that healthy natural resources are available for future generations.”

Read more: Trump Administration Delivers for Saltwater Recreational Anglers

Jacksonville angler catches STAR tagged redfish and wins brand new 22’ Contender Sport performance boat.

Orlando, FL – June 28, 2017 –CCA Florida,the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation,education and advocacy, today announced the second winner in the nonprofit’s signature event -CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha.  The CCA Florida member and STAR registered angler chose an $89,000 prize package fromContender Boats, Yamaha Outboards and Rolls Axle Trailer.

Jay Carter of Jacksonville caught the 22” STAR tagged redfish (tag FL 484) on June 26 at the Fort George Inlet near Kingsley Plantation in Duval County.  Carter became a CCA Florida member this year and registered for STAR in April.  Upon seeing the green STAR tag, Carter immediately notified the organization, per event regulations, and the catch was verified on June 27.  “STAR is an amazing way to get people involved in conservation and fishing with their families, shared Carter. “My son and I got registered, I just never thought it would happen to me.”Of the event’s major prizes, Carter chose the 2017 Contender 22 Sport with 250 Yamaha and Rolls Axle Trailer.

Read more: SECOND WINNER IN STATEWIDE FISHING EVENT ANNOUNCED, ANGLER WINS $89,000 PRIZE PACKAGE

Thad Cochran, Chairman
US Senate Committee on Appropriations
113 Dirksen Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510
Patrick J. Leahy, Ranking Member
US Senate Committee on Appropriations
437 Russell Bldg. Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Dear Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Leahy:

As you contemplate the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, we write to you in support of increased funding levels to the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Department of the Interior to expedite the completion of congressionally authorized Everglades and South Florida ecosystem restoration projects and the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike.

The Everglades is a national treasure, but manmade alterations, primarily by the USACE, have created significant environmental effects that must be remedied. Restoring the historic southerly flow of clean water from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay (Bay) is critical to ensure public safety, maintain proper salinity in the Bay and to reduce the necessity for, and the frequency of, releases to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie Rivers. In recent years, these releases to the east and west of Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers have resulted in catastrophic algal blooms and seagrass die-offs that have dramatically impacted not only the environment, but the sportfishing and boating industries in south Florida.

Read more: Open Letter to Chairman Cochran and Ranking Member Leahy

The announcement today of action to extend the Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season is a welcome boon to anglers who have been painted into a corner by a federal fisheries management system that does not understand us, and would often just rather ignore us.

On the plus side, anglers are right to be encouraged by the willingness of this Administration and the Department of Commerce to improve recreational access to a historically robust Gulf of Mexico red snapper fishery. This alone is a tremendous achievement.

The recreational angling community should feel vindicated, and we should take heart that after years of being systematically sidelined by NOAA Fisheries, our efforts to encourage our elected officials in Congress to engage in this man-made management disaster are yielding results. We are being heard at the highest levels of our government, and that is a very good thing. As a result of our passion and our refusal to be cast aside, anglers will be allowed to venture into the Gulf of Mexico with their family and friends on weekends throughout this summer in pursuit of the most popular offshore fish in our waters. We owe our champions in Congress and the Secretary of Commerce our deepest thanks.

Read more: A break in the management storm for red snapper

Two STAR tagged redfish caught in north Florida – one registered angler takes a prize.


Orlando, FL – June 5, 2017 – CCA Florida, the state’s leading organization dedicated to marine fisheries conservation, education and advocacy, today shared details on the first winner in the nonprofit’s signature event - CCA Florida STAR, presented by Yamaha. While two of the event’s tagged redfish were caught, only one angler was registered to win, and will walk away with a $55k+ prize package from Maverick Boat Group and Yamaha Outboards.

Monticello resident Benjamin Gavins caught a 19” STAR tagged redfish (tag FL637) on June 1 near Lanark Village in Franklin County. A CCA Florida member since 2013, Gavins was shocked to see the tag on his catch, and immediately notified the organization, per event regulations. “Frankly, I was stunned when I saw the green tag on that beautiful little red,” stated Gavins. “This is my third year fishing the STAR event and it continues to be the most enjoyable fishing competition I have ever entered, and it’s all to support the conservation of our precious marine resources. I call that a win-win.” Of the event’s major prizes, Gavins chose the 2017 Pathfinder 2200 TRS bay boat.

Read more: CCA FLORIDA ANNOUNCES FIRST 2017 WINNER IN SIGNATURE STAR STATEWIDE EVENT

CCA Florida urges Gulf states to join Florida in the push for a longer federal season.

Orlando, FL – May 30, 2017 – The three-day 2017 Red Snapper season (June 1 – 3) has recreational anglers in Florida voicing concern, and state conservation and advocacy groups are joining the conversation. Florida’s leading organization dedicated to education and advocacy for marine fisheries conservation, Coastal Conservation Association Florida (CCA Florida), is commending the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for addressing the three-day season with the federal government, in an effort to extend the season for recreational anglers.

Read more: CONSERVATION AND ADVOCACY ORGANIZATIONS ADDRESS LIMITED RED SNAPPER STATE WATER SEASON

Mark your calendar and plan to join CCA Florida and the UCF Biology Department this summer for several habitat restoration project opportunities in Mosquito Lagoon!
 
Join us in assisting Dr. Linda Walters with the department’s ongoing habitat restoration program in the Lagoon.  Projects like these are leading to progressive improvements in water quality and are helping to protect and restore our state’s marine habitats for the future.  Be a part of great work!  Dates include:
 
June 1, 2, 4, 5, 12, 13, 15 + 16
July 6, 7, 8 + 9

Read more: Summer Habitat Restorations Opportunities