Joint committee to focus on management of South Florida fisheries

Management of South Florida fisheries will be the focus of a joint committee meeting of the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico fisheries management councils Jan. 7-9 in Key Largo.

The councils held public workshops last summer on yellowtail, mutton, and mangrove snapper; shallow- and deep-water grouper species; and hogfish. Now a joint committee is expected to discuss management measures tailored specifically to southeast Florida and the Keys.

Committee members also will discuss the most recent stock assessment for Goliath grouper and options for moving beyond the 23-year-old harvest ban.

Public comment will be accepted during the meeting held at the Hilton Key Largo Resort.

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•  Miami sailor Kenny Pierce topped a fleet of 20 to win the 2013 Hobie Wave National Championships held earlier this month in Islamorada. Pierce scored 21 points after 13 races, followed by runner-up Tom Whitehurst of Pensacola Beach with 30 and third-place Wally Myers of New Jersey with 38.

•  Skipper John Taylor and crew Bill Hardesty and Joey Mello on Ninkasi won the inaugural world championship in the Audi Melges 20 class held earlier this month in Key Largo.

Taylor, who had never before won a sailing regatta, bested 52 teams over 10 races to claim the title.

Marcus Eagan, sailing with his father, Marc, and brother, Andrew, took the runner-up spot on Cajun Underwriting.

•  It looks like the Indianapolis 500 of powerboat racing will remain in Key West in 2014.

John Carbonell, president of Super Boat International Productions, which puts on the Key West World Championships each November, along with city officials and members of the local powerboat racing booster group, have released a joint statement confirming the 34th annual event will be held Nov. 2-9 in the Island City.

Just before the 2013 worlds, Carbonell announced he might take the event to Clearwater. But in a statement last week, Carbonell said he had received a lot of support from the city and the Conch Republic Offshore Powerboat Racing Association.

“They are committed to increase sponsorship dollars and make the World Championships another successful event,” he said.

City manager Bob Vitas confirmed the race will take place there in 2014, and that a deal is pending for a total of five years. No financial terms were disclosed.

•  Visiting South Florida’s two national parks just became cheaper and easier. Free public transportation to both Everglades and Biscayne national parks will be offered each weekend from Jan. 4 until April from downtown Homestead. Visitors will be able to park free, board the free trolley at Losner Park, and gain free admission to both parks.

More information:

Read more Outdoors stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">A helping hand: </span>South Florida Congressman Joe Garcia helps Lloyd Louis, 9, cast his bait at the Rickenbacker Causeway during a recent outing with the Mahogany Youth Corporation.


    Youth group teaches life lessons through fishing

    Mahogany Youth Corporation steers inner-city youngsters away from crime and drugs by introducing them to fishing.

  • Notebook

    Snook harvest season begins Monday

    Besides being Labor Day, Monday marks the opening of snook harvest season throughout Florida, following the summer spawning closure.

  • Fishing report

    Captain Glyn Austin of Going Coastal Fishing Charters out of Sebastian reported that catch-and-release fishing for snook with live baits and artificial lures day and night has been outstanding in and around the Sebastian Inlet all the way north to the Patrick Air Force Base. Redfish and a few permits are biting in the Sebastian Inlet and are being caught on small blue crabs. Along the beaches, tarpon, bonito, jacks and sharks can be targeted all the way to Port Canaveral. These fish have been feeding along the big baitfish schools. Offshore reef fishing has been good for cobias and mangrove snappers up to 12 pounds.

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