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View Full Version : Cobia in Federal Waters, Atlantic Ocean


bgbill
01-08-2006, 06:27 PM
Chris Hill called me a little bit a go and asked me if Cobia was legal to shoot in Federal Waters in the Atlantic Ocean, I told him it was, the reason he asked was he had an FWCC Officer getting ready to write up some tickets because they had 2 Cobia about 30lbs on the boat and there were 4 divers aboard.

The FWCC Officer said it was illegal to shoot Cobia in federal waters, so Chris called me, I asked him to get the Staute number, the FWCC said the statue was 622.41 (d) (v), when I looked it up, all I could find on it said something about shrimping and BRD's, I don't know what a "BRD" is.

So I called AJ he confirmed it was legal and then I went to SAMFC's website and couldn't find anything saying it was illegal, so I called Chris back and let him know, he told the FWCC guy what I told him, apparently he did some more checking and said they were getting conflicting reports on whether or not it was illegal to shoot cobia in federal waters, so they took a picture of the Cobia and said if they found out it was illegal, they would send them a ticket for the violation.

It sure would be nice if the law enforcement guys like the FWCC that are enforcing the laws knew what they were doing, luckily Chris knew it was legal and put up a fight instead of just taking the ticket and fighting it in court.

I would like to see the Officer writing tickets who are wrong get in some kind of trouble for writing a bad ticket.

johnnydinx
01-08-2006, 07:12 PM
Sounds exactly like the E-force episode where the FWC guy was fixing to write some divers a ticket for shooting a mutton? greater than the slot limit. But alas, he pulled out the regulations and saw that they were allowed to keep one over the slot.

stevemc1
01-08-2006, 07:38 PM
I was just thinking when I read the post 2 up, that muttons didnt have a slot last time I was diving! I can hardly keep up with the reg changes. They change them several times a year and the officers dont even know whats happening. I have worked with many over the years( I am a paramedic and sometimes work at high school football games that FW officers also work at) and we always talk about the laws. Some say they dont know them all, and some think they do, but I am sure they couldnt answer all the things I could come up with. We talk about spearfishing and salt water laws, and I really dont think they keep up on the laws that well. I would think they could call or check on a computer or something and find out. Most changes arent posted anywhere, and they do admit that! They say sometimes they dont even know there are changes that fishermen tell them about. On the cobia in Fed waters, I never heard anything about cobia in fed waters that was different than state waters. Steve.

stevemc1
01-08-2006, 07:41 PM
Maybe he meant a cubera. Dont they have a one over a certain size thing? Steve.

Speargun
01-08-2006, 11:25 PM
BRD Bycatch Reduction Device

RichT
01-09-2006, 08:38 AM
http://www.safmc.net/fishid/SAFMCregs05.pdf

2 cobia per person in federal waters. One cobia per person in state waters.

Merk
01-09-2006, 10:32 AM
While I'm sure the FWCC officers make mistakes from time to time I do think it's a complete joke the people out there trying to enforce the laws don't have a clue what the laws are.

I was with Chris, this officer didn't know the difference between a mango and a red snapper, he was asking how big a grouper needs to be as he's standing there looking at a 48lb gag on the deck and didn't know what a cobia looked like. Once he was done going through the fish he goes back to his truck and calls his supervisor for direction...what a joke. What is even more disturbing is there were three FWCC officers there and none of them knew.

Unfortunate, this is not an isolated case. We get checked often on the east cost no matter what inlet you leave from and the FWCC officers rarely know the laws. It's almost as they use the opportunity when they see divers to check their understanding of the different types of fish.

Just like everyone else in the working world, we all take some responsibility in understanding whatever it is we do for a living beyond collecting a pay check. These guys haven't seem to figure this out yet!

BloodyShaft
01-09-2006, 11:48 AM
The E force episode was definitely w/ a cubera, I remember how pissed I was when I saw the episode. The officer put this guy through unneccessary hassle, he wasn't a total d!c% about it but none the less, HE should have known the law better than the diver.

Seems a couple years ago they were trying to stop commercial guys from powerheading Cobia in Fed waters. I remember something like this several years back. I haven't looked up the info, but it seems familiar. Maybe POKE IT remembers, he sees and deals with these fish daily......

Anybody else rember them trying to regulate ph'd cobia in Atlantic Fed waters??? maybe that's what the fwc was thinking about?? IDK....

Merk
01-09-2006, 02:03 PM
I think this is what you are referring to from a couple of years ago. Notice how NOAA issued a Southeast Fishery Bulleton on the subject.

http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/pubann/pa02/pdfs/nr02-041.pdf

BloodyShaft
01-09-2006, 04:27 PM
That's part of it, apparently there was confusion prior to that?? That's the only thing of I can think that confused these "ill informed" officers.... Unless they were "drunk" on power and needed something to write a ticket about. :D At least the outcome was "they learned a lesson" (the FWC guys that is) :thumps:

LONERANGER
01-10-2006, 07:30 AM
I always am amazed when I here the lack of knowledge some of these guys have. I enjoy every lobster season when the second question they ask you is "Do you have any egg bearing females?" I usually reply "I don't know what do they look like." They bust into the cooler thinking they got a ticket.

PatMyGreen
01-10-2006, 08:27 AM
Try not to be too hard on the guys at the FWC unless they are a complete horses ass to you. There are alot of wildlife laws out there and they are the general fix it people that have the job of catching everyone on land and sea. I think they just get stretched pretty thin and aren't given adequate training right out of the academy to know everything.

Maybe we're just lucky here in PCB that our FWC all seem to spear fish in their off time and when they pull us they are mostly interested in seeing how we did. I guess I just hate to see them blanketly bashed when I know there is alot on their plate. I agree that if they are going to start handing out violations they should have some idea what they are in the first place, but I'll forgive ID errors all day.

RichT
01-13-2006, 05:42 PM
Try not to be too hard on the guys at the FWC unless they are a complete horses ass to you. There are alot of wildlife laws out there and they are the general fix it people that have the job of catching everyone on land and sea. I think they just get stretched pretty thin and aren't given adequate training right out of the academy to know everything.

Maybe we're just lucky here in PCB that our FWC all seem to spear fish in their off time and when they pull us they are mostly interested in seeing how we did. I guess I just hate to see them blanketly bashed when I know there is alot on their plate. I agree that if they are going to start handing out violations they should have some idea what they are in the first place, but I'll forgive ID errors all day.


I agree Pat.
Most of them do a great job with very limited resources.
But... just like every other profession, it only takes a few "bad" apples to give the rest a bad reputation.
Kind of like the sport of spearfishing eh... ;)

titaniumdiver
01-13-2006, 06:41 PM
I may be all little off base here ,but here it goes! I think if you have a job to do, and will be handing ouyt violations that required people to pay thier hard earned money, you better "Know" what you are handing out the citation for, and you ought to be able to back it up. I agree, yes they have alot on thier plate, But, they agreed to eat the helpings, right?

I had guys, wave me in from over 400 yards off the beach in the panhandle....and then procede to tell that I was violating the law, "How" I asked...."because you are in possesion of a weapon in a state park!"...but sir, "I wasn't untill you waved me to come in!". This was a land based state park, not a Marine park, they had control over the beach and a ways out beyond the old pier on property, but beyond that the regs are grey! Florida is horrible about posting the changing regs, and being specific about the regs per county.

According to state regs.....I can spearfishing off of any public beach as long as I am over 100 yeards from "That public beach"...as long as it is under the jurisdiction of the parks and Rec...however, I have had several people tell me that, it is illlegal to carry a speargun accross a public beach, here in the Sarasota/Bradenton area , WTF.......get it straight, either you can spearfish from the beach or you can't!

...end rant! :D

kitefisherman
01-13-2006, 06:58 PM
According to state regs.....I can spearfishing off of any public beach as long as I am over 100 yeards from "That public beach"...as long as it is under the jurisdiction of the parks and Rec...however, I have had several people tell me that, it is illlegal to carry a speargun accross a public beach, here in the Sarasota/Bradenton area , WTF.......get it straight, either you can spearfish from the beach or you can't!

...end rant! :D

I never understood what a "public beach" was. In Florida, the public has access up to the high water mark, so arguably all Florida beaches are public. However, if that was the meaning, they could have just said "beach". My guess is that a public beach is a park owned by a governmental entity (state, county, city, etc.) where there are typically lifeguards.

I've heard about, but have never seen anything in writing about, carrying a speargun across a public beach.

It would be great if someone could clarify all this.

titaniumdiver
01-13-2006, 07:10 PM
That is what I was wondering here in the Bradenton/Tampa area it says: no alcohol,Glass,etc on the signs...but says nothing about spearfishing.....If someone is out as far as I am off the beach....they better know how to take care of themselves, I would do my best to avoid them for saftey's sake....but unless you are on a board,spearfishing, or in a boat ytou do not need to be where I am at 400 to 800 yards from the beach. I saved a few folks that were trying to paddle back to shore two years ago in Destin, that same weekend I think 6 or 7 people drowned. Ther really needs to be better clarification of regulations regarding diving from the beach...I hate to say this but, California has regs set up for beach diving...maybe again they have been on the forefront of trends.....this time I happen to agree..... although, I disliked the smoking regs! :D

Marcus
01-14-2006, 09:23 AM
I have had several people tell me that, it is illlegal to carry a speargun accross a public beach, here in the Sarasota/Bradenton area ,

Who were these people and what did they know about it?

titaniumdiver
01-14-2006, 03:17 PM
Marcus.....


This thread has alot of that info. in it :http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=6570&highlight=shore+diving+sarasota

kabo123
01-21-2006, 04:10 PM
a few years ago it was illegal to shoot cobia in fed waters. ( basically it was a mistake) the word ling was used, a name for cobia, but it was removed after about 6 months.

kevin