Outdoors notebook

•  If you plan to fish for snook Sunday in Southeast Florida, make sure to practice catch-and-release. The recreational harvest season closes Sunday through Jan. 31 in state and federal waters in the Atlantic and reopens Feb. 1. Snook season in the Gulf, including the Keys and Everglades National Park, closed Dec. 1 and will re-open March 1. The closures are aimed at protecting one of the state’s most popular gamefish from over-exploitation during the winter months.

•  The National Marine Fisheries Service has extended the public-comment period for a proposed amendment to its bluefin tuna fishery management plan until Jan. 10. The agency is considering several alternatives aimed at conserving stocks while maintaining the U.S. position as a major player in international fisheries negotiations. Among the more controversial proposals is reopening some closed waters in the Atlantic and Gulf to a small number of commercial longliners. Another alternative would allow some recreational take of trophy bluefins (over 73 inches) in the Gulf. Submit comments at!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0101 or by fax to 978-281-9340; attn: Thomas Warren.

•  The largest youth sailing competition in the United States will be Dec. 26-30 in Miami. The Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta will host nearly 700 youngsters aged 8 through 18 competing in five classes in Biscayne Bay. Sailors from 27 states and 23 countries will race in Optimist dinghies, as well as three Laser classes (Full, Radial and 4.7) and Club 420s from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. The event is headquartered at Coral Reef Yacht Club on the Coconut Grove waterfront, with Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, U.S. Sailing Center, and Shake-A-Leg Miami cohosting. Miami’s 2000 Olympic gold medalist Magnus Liljedahl will help present trophies to winners in each class in ceremonies at 4 p.m. Dec. 30. The Orange Bowl is considered a must-do regatta for young sailors with future Olympic aspirations.

•  One of South Florida’s top female sailors, Erika Reineke of Fort Lauderdale, is on a short list of nominees for US Sailing’s 2013 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. The Laser Radial North American champion is among six women to be considered by a panel of sailing journalists for turning in the most significant performance of the year. Winners of the Yachtswoman and Yachtsman titles will be announced in mid-January and awarded Rolex watches in ceremonies Feb. 25 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco.

•  Miami-Dade County’s coral reefs could become safer from anchor damage with a $7,000 donation Thursday for maintenance of 42 mooring buoys at nine locations from Sunny Isles Beach to Key Biscayne. The not-for-profit Miami-Dade Reef Guard Association donated the money, raised from sales of medallions online and at local dive shops. The county’s division of environmental resources management says it still needs more funds for buoy maintenance and installation. Donors are invited to contribute to the “Adopt a Buoy” program by visiting or emailing

•  “Cutting edge information” is the promise of television fishing show host/magazine editor-at-large George Poveromo of his Salt Water Sportsman seminar Feb. 8 in Islamorada. The all-day seminar at Coral Shores High School’s performing arts center features South Florida’s top fishing guides discussing tried-and-true techniques for catching nearly every popular game and food fish found in local waters. The faculty includes captains Skip Bradeen; Randy Towe, Chris Johnson; Jimmy Gagliardini; Andrew Tipler; Mark Schmidt; Britney Novalsky; Bouncer Smith; Dan Kipnis; and David Wicker. Topics will include targeting jumbo yellowtail; gunning for big grouper; effective tactics for catching sailfish, cobia, kingfish, and amberjack on the reef; targeting big blackfin tuna and wahoo; daytime swordfishing; back country techniques for tarpon, snook, permit and bonefish; and scoring more redfish and trout. Tickets cost $55. For more information, visit or call 1-800-448-7360.

Susan Cocking

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

A large Goliath grouper nestled into the Bonaire shipwreck off Jupiter.


    Outdoors feature: Goliath groupers make recovery but harvest remains on hold

    Dropping into the roiled, murky waters 60 feet deep off Jupiter Inlet on Monday, I heard the annual spawning aggregation of Goliath groupers before I actually saw it. Below me, I could barely make out the wreck of the MG 111 or the mottled, gentle giants that show up each year between late July and mid-October to keep their species going. But the Goliaths already had seen our group of divers and weren’t too happy about our visit. They emitted loud, bass booming noises that sound a little like gun reports – probably to alert each other and to warn us not to get too cozy.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Under the sea:</span> The ferro cement sailboat Usikusiku sits 75 feet deep on the ocean floor after being deployed Tuesday as an artificial reef off Hollywood. It already is attracting marine life.


    Sailboat finds new life in final resting place

    The 43-foot ferro cement sailboat doesn’t look very impressive sitting on the ocean floor about 75 feet deep off Hollywood. It’s plain and bare with no design flourishes.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Fish frenzy:</span> Mike Leech, left, holds up a 5-pound tripletail, and captain Dick Russell shows off an 11-pound dolphin they caught last week.

    Dolphin fishing is trending up

    Fishing for dolphin, or “mahi mahi,” along the Miami-Dade/Broward coast has seen its ups and downs over the decades. But right now the catching is in the “up” phase.

Miami Herald

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