Outdoors notebook


•  Two Boynton Beach men have been assessed thousands in federal civil fines for attempting to sell a 700-plus pound bluefin tuna last June without the required permits. The NOAA Fisheries Office of the General Counsel cited David Fidel for allegedly transferring the fish to Mikylo Senkowicz to sell even though Fidel wasn’t permitted to sell it and Senkowicz didn’t have a dealer permit. The bluefin — perhaps the most regulated fish species on earth — reportedly was caught during a day-dropping trip targeting swordfish, and photos of the catch were put up on social media. The notice of violation and administrative penalty dated July 30 assesses Fidel $12,500 and Senkowicz $15,000 in fines. In addition, NOAA seized $2,260 from the sale of the fish. The men have 30 days to either pay the fines, seek to lower them or request a hearing before an administrative law judge.

•  NOAA Fisheries has issued a final rule opening a new permitting program to allow commercial sale of Atlantic swordfish caught on rod and reel in 2014. But don’t expect a rush to buy the $20 permits in Southeast Florida when they become available in November. That’s because Amendment 8 to the Highly Migratory Species Management Plan imposes a zero-fish retention limit for the Florida Swordfish Management Area that extends from Cocoa Beach south to the northwestern boundary of Monroe County. Retention limits are three fish in the Northwest Atlantic, three in the Gulf and two in the U.S. Caribbean. NOAA says those limits can be reexamined in the future and adjusted in-season. Amendment 8 does not affect Southeast Florida’s buoy gear swordfishery. Local commercial swordfishers are expected to cheer the new rule because they weren’t keen at the prospect of hundreds of new rod-and-reel anglers crowding Southeast Florida’s offshore fishing grounds. NOAA says Amendment 8 is intended to help the United States fulfill its domestic swordfish quota, which hasn’t been met in years.

In other action, the federal fisheries management agency has rejected a petition to list the whale shark as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act. In what it calls a “90-day finding,” NOAA said the petition did not present substantial information indicating that additional protections for the world’s largest fish are warranted.

•  Eight Florida youth sailors, including three locals, scored podium finishes in the U.S. Youth Sailing Championships that concluded last week in Corpus Christi, Texas. Skipper Duncan Williford of Fort Lauderdale teamed with crew Matthew Mollerus of Larchmont, N.Y., to take the top spot in the 29er class. Two Miami Yacht Club sailors, Raul Coqui Lopez and Maximo Nores, finished second and third, respectively, in RS:X windsurfers. Palm Beach’s Wade Waddell was the first-place skipper with crew Henry Fernberger in International 420s. Luke Muller of Fort Pierce was top Radial sailor, and his brother Nic came in third with crew Kai Friesecke in 29ers. The Sarasota-area team of Ravi Parent and Nico Schultz dominated the F16 class. For most of the seven classes, the event served as a mandatory U.S. qualifier for the 2014 ISAF Youth Worlds Team.

•  Continued high water in the Everglades has prompted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to impose restrictions at three public hunting grounds. The FWC has issued an executive order to temporarily restrict public access to Everglades & Francis S. Taylor, Holey Land and Rotenberger wildlife management areas. Until further notice, no vehicles, airboats or buggies are allowed, and no game animals may be taken in those areas. However, access to Conservation Area 2A from the L-35B levee north to the east-west airboat trail is still permitted. Alligator hunting, frogging and bird hunting are allowed, and anglers may still fish in boats in the canals. For more information, visit myFWC.com/DisasterPlan.

Susan Cocking

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald


    South Florida outdoors notebook: Seminar on bottom fishing set for July 10

    Captain Bouncer Smith will conduct a seminar on Bottom fishing from 20 feet to 2,000 feet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 10, at Dusky Sportcenter, 110 N. Bryan Rd., Dania Beach. Admission is $15, redeemable for store merchandise. Call 954-922-8890.

Tyler Vick of Pawleys Island, South Carolina, holds up a nice snook caught near Flamingo in Everglades National Park.


    Snook appear to have made full recovery in Everglades National Park

    The fishing near Flamingo in Everglades National Park is so good these days you almost forget about the bloodthirsty insects descending on you and the cloying heat enveloping you the minute you get out of the car.

  • Fishing Report: Redfish are best bet in Florida Bay

    Captain Jason Sullivan of Rising Tide Charters reported having some of the best tailing redfish action he has seen in years over the flats in Florida Bay. At times he has come across schools of redfish that numbered close to 100. Captain Jon Fetter of Catching the Cure Backcountry Fishing Charters out of Fort Myers reported redfishing has been hot during the early mornings around the mangrove shorelines. Shrimp-tipped jigs have been the top redfish baits this week. Plenty of mangrove snapper can be caught along the mangrove islands and oyster bars where they are attacking shrimp-tipped jigs.

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