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RichT
12-04-2003, 10:30 AM
Capt Willie Ward came to the SPUC meeting last night that was heavily attended by Spuc's and several members from other clubs,along with some interested partcipants.
Willie serves as an advisor to several Fishery's boards and will also be on the SEDAR review board concerning hogfish and goliath grouper next month in Tampa.
His insight into the inner workings and his personal knowledge of the players in this game will be very helpfull over the coming year.
Willie, in my opinion, is one of the most honest,knowledgable and humble people i have ever met.
He truly wants what is best for the resource.
One of his biggest pieces of advice was to keep the heat on the decision makers with letters and phone calls.He also reminded us not to become fractionalized or to Compromise on any of the issues. If you compromise on any of the issues then it will prove the "So-called Science"at least partially correct and that "science" is what they will use to take away your spearfishing rights.

Ed Walker
12-04-2003, 11:29 AM
Good to know. Thanks!

Dive4Blood
12-04-2003, 11:30 AM
Double rogers on your characterization of Capt. Willie Ward!!! That man has more knowledge of fisheries stored in the tip of his white boots than the entire Gulf Council staff put together.

AJ Suarez

Denny
12-04-2003, 11:48 AM
Willie explained the importance of knowing the issues that you are writing and speaking about. REALLY knowing the issues.
This weekend is going to SUCK, weather-wise. I suggest that, if you really care about what is going on, you spend 3-4 hours reading the Hogfish Assessment. It is easy to view on the net. There will be a link and instructions on the Spyglass page of the SPUC site later today.
The entire assessment is 89 pages. Only about 36 of those are the actual body of the assessment. The rest is Table of contents, apendices and tables, charts and graphs. I read it all. There are some things in there that I do not yet understand, but I have made inquiries for the explanations. As I receive explanations, I will post them on the SPUC site hog assessment page.
Stay tuned. Stay stoked. You are all about to be given the opportunity to have your voice heard loud and clear....

richhermes
12-04-2003, 11:55 AM
Damn, I wish I could have been there. You guys need to meetings a bit earlier in the evening for us guys in Lutz!

RichT
12-04-2003, 12:51 PM
Ahh,We have two guys from Lutz that seem to make it there on a regular basis.
But your right about it being a little late for us guys that have to be to work by 7:30. I was talking to Willie till after midnight last night!
D4b is right on, about the knowledge that man has!
Denny is right about learning as much about this stuff as possible but dont think you have to know every issue before you write a letter of suppport on an issue.
Steal a few lines from somebody elses letter and/or write about what your personal observations have been.
And DONT offer compromises in your letter!
Even if you think that the hogfish size limit should be raised,dont suggest it! If you think it would be ok to have fewer grouper in your bag limit,Dont say it!I f you think it would be ok to close off some areas of the gulf,dont mention it!
I have been told that if you give an inch they will take a yard!

richhermes
12-04-2003, 01:18 PM
Originally posted by RichTaylor
But your right about it being a little late for us guys that have to be to work by 7:30. I was talking to Willie till after midnight last night!

Maybe have the meetings on Friday night. Now THAT would be fun!

And what's with you and Denny changing your screen names?:D

Denny
12-04-2003, 02:45 PM
A kinder, gentler presence. Evoking the love of nature, flowers and things colored muave...

richhermes
12-04-2003, 03:33 PM
Muave spearguns?

Denny
12-04-2003, 05:43 PM
I thought the difference between a SPUC and a SEAL was the stringer:D

Ed Walker
12-04-2003, 07:36 PM
Whens the next meeting? Id like to be involved as much as possible. Please keep me posted. The way I see it we are lucky to have this come up in the "off-season" when the weather gives us plenty of spare time. The meeting being in tampa is another plus.
Terry Tomalin at the Times and I have discussed the hogfish issue and hes going to delve into in soon. He just had a new baby so hes been a little preoccupied. Ill contact Frank Sargeant too. Just under 2 months and counting....... The media may help bring more awareness of whats going on here before they slip it thru on us.

Dive4Blood
12-04-2003, 08:09 PM
Originally posted by Denny
I thought the differenece between a SPUC and a SEAL was the stringer:D

I guess that makes me a SPUC in Seal's clothing :D .


Good luck on getting through to Frank Sargeant. He is not very spearfishing friendly from what I have encountered. What about Capt Mel on 970WFLA, or any of the other weekend fishing radio shows? I have a feeling though that most of them are pretty died in the wool catch and release flats cats, spearfishing is like shooting fish in a barrel types.

Denny
12-04-2003, 08:10 PM
Frank Sargent? I'm not so sure that he likes divers in general. Am I wrong?

Denny
12-04-2003, 08:18 PM
You are an apex predator, D4B!

RichT
12-04-2003, 08:54 PM
I spoke to the President of the Pinellas county chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association(CCA) who has been monitoring this board quite closely.In fact,He was the first person to alert me to the hogfish study. He is an avid diver and an excellent spearfisherman,as well as an all around good guy. He indicated the CCA is ready to join the fight in the upcoming battles ahead.
The CCA has many powerful members and a lot of political clout.
They will be a much needed ally in the battles ahead.

Spear One
12-04-2003, 09:18 PM
Thats great news on the CCA!

Screen Name
12-04-2003, 09:50 PM
http://ccaflorida.org/

Ed Walker
12-04-2003, 10:37 PM
I know Frank Sargeant pretty well and he's actually a good, for-real guy. Ive done TV shows with him, been on quite a few fishing trips, been in many of his articles. Granted I have never mentioned spearfishing so well see how that goes. He's been around the block though and he usually knows the real stuff from the BSers. Perhaps coming from a rod and reel guy like myself it may get somewhere. Capt Mel? .....well thats a whole nother story.

bgbill
12-05-2003, 07:18 AM
Originally posted by Dive4Blood
I guess that makes me a SPUC in Seal's clothing :D .


Good luck on getting through to Frank Sargeant. He is not very spearfishing friendly from what I have encountered. What about Capt Mel on 970WFLA, or any of the other weekend fishing radio shows? I have a feeling though that most of them are pretty died in the wool catch and release flats cats, spearfishing is like shooting fish in a barrel types.

From what I have heard Capt. Mel talk about on his show, he is a "reformed meat hunter" now that he he has reformed he wants to limit what other's can catch.

He is always pushing a 2 grouper limit.

He was also pushing to ban spearfishing Cobia.



Capt. Mel certainly is not spearfishing freindly.

Denny
12-05-2003, 08:48 AM
Maybe the good Captain Mel just does not understand spearfishing. Enlightenment is on the way. To the good captain and others like him.
Those who oppose/dislike spearfishing often do not have a clue as to what is involved in the sport.
I suggest that we ALL begin to take an educational approach to an anti-spearfishing situation. Getting pissed and calling someone a pussy will most definitely NOT sway an opinion. Asking the anti-spear person a question or two might open their eyes to the sport.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY. We must work to change the incorrect perceptions of our sport.

Ed Walker
12-05-2003, 10:35 AM
Dont bother with Capt Mel (dont you dare call him Mel). Ive had some dealings with him and the best I can say is dont bother with Capt Mel. Trust me.