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Old 11-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #1
ICFish
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14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

Most inshore gulf hogs shot are 12-14 inches. FWC research showed hogfish populations in the Gulf are healthy. You would expect it to be healthy after the limit of 5 was established along with the vast habitat of the gulf. What stakeholder party thought going to 14 inches was necessary as a conservation measure if the population is healthy? This sounds like some Liberal feel good BS.



HOGFISH CONSERVATION MEASURES AND BOUNDARIES SET

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Media contact: Amanda Nalley, 850-410-4943 or Amanda.Nalley@MyFWC.com
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved several conservation measures that are consistent with federal rules and set a new state management boundary for hogfish at the November meeting in St. Petersburg.
“Hogfish is an economically important species that is popular with the diving and angling community,” said Chairman Brian Yablonski. “This was not an easy decision, but will help balance the species’ needs while still offering opportunities for anglers.”
Hogfish is overfished and undergoing overfishing in the Florida Keys and east Florida. Federal law requires the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council to end overfishing immediately and implement a 10-year rebuilding plan.
Because most hogfish off the Keys and east Florida are taken in Florida state waters, consistency with similar regulations pending approval in Atlantic federal waters is necessary to rebuild the stock.Hogfish -map
The effective date for the state waters changes has not been determined but once confirmed, a date will be posted on MyFWC.com and will be sent out via an additional press release.
The new state management boundary between the Keys/east Florida and Gulf stocks will be at 25 degrees 9 minutes north latitude (a line due west of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida). Once effective, hogfish north of Cape Sable will be managed as Gulf hogfish, and hogfish south of that line, around the tip of Florida and up the Atlantic coast, will be managed as Atlantic hogfish. Prior to this change, the boundary for hogfish was a line following U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys. This new management boundary line is closer to where Gulf and Atlantic hogfish stocks naturally separate as determined by a recent genetic study.
Other approved conservation changes include:
Lowering the Atlantic recreational daily bag limit from five to one fish per harvester.
Setting an Atlantic recreational harvest season of May 1 through Oct. 31.
Increasing the Atlantic recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 16 inches fork length.
Increasing the Gulf recreational and commercial minimum size limit from 12 to 14 inches fork length.
Setting the minimum importation and sale size limit to 14 inches fork length statewide.
The size limit increase and recreational season will allow Atlantic hogfish more opportunities to spawn before entering the fishery and, along with a bag limit change, will help rebuild the Keys/east Florida hogfish population to sustainable levels.
The size limit change for Gulf state waters is also consistent with pending regulations for federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf stock is healthy, but stakeholders requested an increase in the minimum size limit as a conservation measure to give hogfish additional spawning opportunities.
Visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing,” “Recreational Regulations” and “Hogfish” for more.
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Old 11-18-2016, 02:03 PM   #2
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

I am all for increasing the size but going from 5 to 1 is ridiculous.


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Old 11-18-2016, 02:09 PM   #3
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

I'm all for the size increase, but that definitely is rough on you guys going from 5 fish to 1. Personally, I think a 14" minimum is still too small
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Old 11-18-2016, 02:14 PM   #4
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

personally, I won't shoot one below 15", that's when they become even worth while, meat wise.
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Old 11-18-2016, 03:06 PM   #5
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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I'm all for the size increase, but that definitely is rough on you guys going from 5 fish to 1. Personally, I think a 14" minimum is still too small
Agreed.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:16 PM   #6
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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Agreed.
+1. Filleting a 12" hog is hardly worth the time. Even the fillets in the 15-19" range are not that big.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

12" is too small. The yield is so little, kinda like a 12" sheepshead.
The hog population in the gulf is healthy. The majority from Sarasota to Bayport who have been diving the last couple months has usually limited recreationally with larger hogs. They are so thick right now.

Are large majority of the local recreational and commercial harvesters are for it, and support it.
Attending one of the hogfish assessment meets, everyone in the room was in favor, even though commercial divers are going to take a big hit on their income for a year or two, they still supported it.
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Old 11-18-2016, 05:43 PM   #8
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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even though commercial divers are going to take a big hit on their income for a year or two, they still supported it.
A big hit? The poundage isn't much to be concerned with. I've done plenty of commercial dives and rarely did I see anyone shooting less than 15" hogs.
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Old 11-18-2016, 06:30 PM   #9
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

I'm good with this. I was a little worried they would do something stupid like 14" and a 1 fish bag limit here. At least they recognize that this side of the state has a healthy hog population. In a year we'll be seeing inshore hogs 14-16". Better for us and better for the fishery.

I look at all the 22" gags I didn't shoot this year and know next year they will be 24"+.
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Old 11-18-2016, 07:42 PM   #10
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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A big hit? The poundage isn't much to be concerned with. I've done plenty of commercial dives and rarely did I see anyone shooting less than 15" hogs.
Yes the guys not diving deep water. 12" - 14" hogs add up real quick in pounds and dollars. And yes they will take a cut in income for a bit, and will have to focus on more IFQ species or dive deeper for bigger hogs, less quantity.
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Old 11-20-2016, 02:22 PM   #11
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

Yes , a step in the right direction ,,.. As for me , I like to put in a little extra effort and come home with two or three 18 incher's , then five of those little ones....

And two more cents ,,,,,, I still think something is a little out of wack when the bag limit is the same for Hogs and Mangrove snapper's ,,,,,,, just say en .....
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Old 12-01-2016, 09:48 PM   #12
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

I cook em whole. \
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:14 PM   #13
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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Yes , a step in the right direction ,,.. As for me , I like to put in a little extra effort and come home with two or three 18 incher's , then five of those little ones....

And two more cents ,,,,,, I still think something is a little out of wack when the bag limit is the same for Hogs and Mangrove snapper's ,,,,,,, just say en .....
Hogs are 5 per person and mangrove snapper are 10 person.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:16 PM   #14
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14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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Hogs are 5 per person and mangrove snapper are 10 person.


Not for very much longer...soon will be 16" and 1 bag limit...in the Atlantic. The gulf will probably be close to follow suit.


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Old 12-01-2016, 10:21 PM   #15
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Re: 14" Minimum Hogfish in the Gulf

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Not for very much longer...soon will be 16" and 1 bag limit...in the Atlantic. The gulf will probably be close to follow suit.


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It says the bag limit decrease is only for Atlantic fishery. Am I missing something?
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