▪ The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council is proposing measures to end overfishing of blueline, or gray tilefish, and wants to know what anglers think. The council is considering annual catch limits and accountability measures to make sure commercial and recreational fishers stay within the limits and make up for any overages. Commercial fishers could see a trip limit of 100 pounds (gutted weight) while sport anglers could face a September-through-April closure and a vessel limit of one fish per day from May through August. The deadline to submit comments to Amendment 32 is Feb. 23. Go to www.regulations.gov/#docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2014-0145 and click on “comment now.”
▪ CCA-Florida has just rolled out a new fishing tournament aimed at boosting its membership and enhancing recreational angling data collection for fisheries managers.
The inaugural Florida Statewide Tournament and Anglers Rodeo (STAR) will begin Memorial Day weekend and run through Labor Day weekend. Entry fees are $60 for non-CCA members (which includes membership); and $30 for current members. Kids aged 6-17 can enter free and have a shot at winning college scholarships. The tournament’s signature division involves the release of up to 80 tagged redfish along Florida’s Gulf Coast, with anglers who bring in the first six winning prizes such as new trucks and boats. Other divisions include catch & photo; youth scholarship; professional guides; and conservation.
For more information, visit www.CCAFLSTAR.com.
▪ A Georgia angler fishing with a friend and a professional guide in north-central Florida’s Rodman Dam has become the first Hall of Fame entrant in the 2015 edition of the TrophyCatch program conducted by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Dewight “Richie” Whitmore landed a 14-pound, 1-ounce Florida bass on Tuesday using a live shiner for bait. An FWC biologist documented the catch, which was immediately released back into the waters where it was caught. Whitmore won a free fish mount, $200 in gift cards, and a shot at a TrophyCatch championship ring when the contest ends in September.
For more information on the program, visit www.TrophyCatchFlorida.com.