Two Gulf of Mexico fish species, greater amberjack and gray triggerfish, have been removed from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “overfished” list and two were added, gray “mangrove” snapper and lane snapper, to that list in NOAA’s annual report released Friday.
In its Status of U.S. Fisheries Annual Report to Congress, an outline of the 479 federally monitored and managed stocks or stock complexes, NOAA managers identified 91 percent — 293 stocks — “are not subject to overfishing,” which means 28 stocks of fish are in the “overfishing” category.
To explain “stocks,” look a one species, yellowfin tuna, which is not undergoing overfishing in the Gulf of Mexico, but its stock in the eastern Pacific was added to the “overfishing” list.
The complete report is available on the NOAA website: fisheries.noaa.gov.
“Overfishing” is the term NOAA uses to describe a stock “having a harvest rate higher than the rate that its maximum sustainable yield.”
Red snapper was not mentioned in either the “overfishing” nor “overfished” categories. “Overfished” is defined as “a stock having a population size too low, which jeopardizes the stock’s ability to produce its maximum sustainable yield.”
The report further stated, “Building upon the trend of the past few years, the report notes that the vast majority of U.S. fish stocks were at sustainable population levels in 2018, and the number of U.S. fish stocks subject to overfishing remains at a near all-time low.”
The report also contains a “Blue Economy” section which revealed U.S. commercial and recreational fishing combined with the seafood industry generated $212 billion in sales, added $100 billion to the gross domestic product, and supported 1.7 million full-time and part-time jobs in 2016.
With the three-day efforts during the Grand Isle and Faux Pas rodeos still being studied, state fisheries biologists and managers said private recreational red snapper fishermen have taken 530,940 pounds (65 percent) of the state’s red snapper allocation through July 21.
Louisiana’s 2019 target under the federally allowed exempted fishing permit is 816,439 pounds.
Through July 15 last year, the state’s LA Creel system estimated 506,360 pounds (68 percent) were taken by private recreational fishermen from an allocation of 743,000 pounds.
The 2019 week-by-week report can be found on the LDWF website: www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.
Susan Villere is one of a handful of die-hard women tarpon fishers, and she said she stayed ashore during Thursday’s stormy seas.
“The good news is we had more than 70 fishermen show up (Wednesday night) for the first Grand Isle Tarpon Club gathering for the rodeo,” Villere said.
The club was formed this year, and Houma tarpon chaser Jeff DeBlieux said the club set the rules for the rodeo’s tarpon category. He said the rodeo’s First Tarpon Award will not be based on whomever brings the first tarpon to the scales, but will be judged when the first tarpon is landed. Anglers will mark the time of their catch, and that will stand for the first tarpon.
Red snapper fishermen won’t have to worry about trying to avoid greater amberjack on their weekends-only trips.
The AJ season is open and is projected to run through Oct. 31. The daily limit is one per angler and the fish must measure a minimum of 34 inches to the fork length to go in the ice chest.
The Ascension Area Anglers have set an Aug. 17 date for its annual open bass tournament at Doiron’s Landing in Stephensville. AAA is linked into the B.A.S.S. Federation, and this tournament raises money to help Louisiana’s work-a-day qualifiers for the Federation Nation tournement, the event set aside to send to Federation anglers from across the country to the Bassmaster Classic.
These funds help the local guys cover gas, lodging and food expenses for the week they’ll spend competing in the Federation Nation tournament.
A note about Clean Out Your Freezer Day usually set for the fourth, generally the last Sunday in September.
This year it’ll be held Sunday, Sept. 15 from 1-4 p.m. at more than a dozen locations in the Capital City area. This Hunters for the Hungry project is designed to help hunters clean frozen game, fish and other meats for the upcoming hunting seasons. All frozen meats and fish go to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Other days like this will be repeated across the state in September.
The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission has proposed a two-fish-per-person limit — 10 fish per vessel per day, whichever is greater — for state and federal waters. The final public hearing will come at the FWC’s October meeting.