Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2020

BOATING SAFETY
Carry the right gear and have a plan to stay safe when enjoying fall weather afloat.
COAST GUARD
The Coast Guard Research and Development Center (RDC) is moving forward with plans to assess low-cost, commercially available autonomous solutions to improve maritime domain awareness in remote regions of the Pacific Ocean.
On Monday, the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Charles Ray, tested positive for COVID-19.

CONSERVATION
Here's a Q-and-A on why the state of Missouri does not allow "noodling", a hand-fishing tactic which is legal in many southeastern states.
Twin Metals, owned by Chilean mining company Antofagasta, is seeking to become the first sulfide copper mine in Minnesota – and they’re aiming to operate in Superior National Forest, just outside of the BWCAW and within its watershed.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the St. Johns River Water Management District have completed a series of management actions designed to enhance fish and wildlife habitat and improve public access at Emeralda Marsh Conservation Area - 3 in Lake County.

ENFORCEMENT
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries enforcement agents cited a Mississippi man for alleged commercial guide and recreational fishing violations in Plaquemines Parish on Oct. 3.
FISHERIES
On October 15 from 1-2 pm EDT, Dr. Andrew Ropicki and Dr. Stuart Carlton, researchers from the University of Florida and the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program, respectively, will discuss the findings from a NOAA Fisheries mail survey of Atlantic and Gulf states marine recreational anglers on their attitudes, beliefs, knowledge of, and sources used to gather and share information on saltwater recreational fisheries management and data collection issues.
GEAR
You can use the Butterfly Blade Harness with a full crawler, a partial crawler or a leech, so there are a lot of choices, whether you’re fishing weeds or bottom-bouncing over rocks and sand bars.

INDUSTRY
Guidefitter, the leading network for outdoor industry professionals, enterprise influencer marketing platform, and marketplace for outdoor brands, today reported company partnerships totaling more than 200 category-leading brands.
Demand for fishing gear and boats is at a peak during the pandemic, but supply issues continue to create challenges for some parts of the industry.
Everest announced the addition of MidwayUSA Foundation to its philanthropic program, Everest Gives Back. Everest Gives Back is a multi-faceted program that provides charitable contributions to several well-known conservation and veteran non-profit groups.
INVASIVE SPECIES
Boaters and anglers are reminded to "Clean, Drain and Dry" after zebra mussels were found in Black Hawk Lake.
LEGISLATION
Save Our Seas 2.0 – which is supported by the recreational boating community – builds on the original Save Our Seas Act to improve the domestic response to marine debris, incentivize international engagement on marine debris, and strengthen domestic waste management infrastructure to prevent the creation of new marine debris.
ORGANIZATIONS
CSP and our recreational fishing and boating partners released A Vision for Marine Fisheries Management in the 21st Century: Priorities for the Next Administration, a collection of recommendations to improve the way America’s federal saltwater fisheries are managed.
The newly formed American Catfishing Association in conjunction with many of the nation’s popular independent tournament events has come together to create a unique tournament alliance and points race program that is sure to become a popular industry model.
RADIO
This week on Northwestern Outdoors Radio we'll tell you about four can't miss fishing and hunting destinations to visit in the greater northwest this fall.
STATES
Several recreational and commercial stone crab regulation changes go into effect in the next few weeks, just in time for the Oct. 15 season start date.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recently announced a fall red snapper season for private recreational anglers and state for-hire operations in the Gulf of Mexico to open on the following Saturdays and Sundays: October 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and November 1.
This virtual meeting will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. for Burnett, Washburn, Sawyer, Polk, Barron and Rusk counties.
As the longest-running program of its kind in the U.S., the OREHP program has historically taught many lessons in how to properly raise hatchery fish at a mass level and has helped species like the White Sea Bass to rebound and recover.
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) released between 1,000 to 2,000 rainbow trout at six of the 18 community trout stocking locations across Iowa as part of its cool weather trout program that brings trout to areas that cannot support them during the summer.
TOURNAMENTS
Competitive walleye anglers will converge at Huron, Ohio, October 14-16, for the championship event of the 2020 National Walleye Tour Presented by Bass Pro Shops & Cabela’s.
TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
After six long months of COVID19 closure, most Central American Countries and Mexico are again open for tourists, boaters and traveling anglers.
WORKSHOPS
Join in Friday networking and Saturday seminar on inshore and offshore, fishing Sunday and bonus fishing on Friday.
YOUTH FISHING
Returning for his second BBZ JC, Doren makes the winning cast and lands a 4.61 pound smallmouth to take home a fully-rigged Bass Cat Margay.
(Editor's Note: To continue our "spirited" discussion of red snapper management, here's an assessment of the important new independent population survey information, from Chris Oliver,
NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator.)

Scientists conclude the most comprehensive study of Gulf of Mexico red snapper abundance to date, with preliminary results showing "low-relief" areas account for two-thirds of the population.

Recreational angler holding red snapper. Credit: Fish and Wildlife Research Institute.

Last week, an impressive scientific team led by the Harte Research Institute briefed Congress on preliminary findings from the Great Red Snapper Count. I am pleased to share our view of this study. First, the welcome news: based on this study, there are more red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico than previously thought, possibly up to three times as many. We can all agree that's a good thing.

Second, the preliminary abundance estimates produced by the study are consistent with those of the 2018 Gulf red snapper stock assessment conducted by NOAA Fisheries for natural and artificial structures, or high relief areas. The commercial and recreational red snapper fisheries predominantly operate on those high relief areas.

What’s new is this study better estimates the red snapper living in the low relief/bottom habitat, such as sand or mud. Those areas are very extensive, but have low fish per area so are not where the fishery typically operates. In fact, the study suggests that most of the Gulf red snapper population is located in these low relief areas. This confirms what some scientists, managers, and fishermen have long suspected, but did not have the means to prove until now.

Historically, much of the Gulf red snapper stock assessment data comes from the fishery. The fishery occurs mostly on the high relief natural and artificial structures in the Gulf or from surveys conducted near those areas. And, while we suspected there were more fish out there, a study of this magnitude is unprecedented. The early results that more fish were found is not surprising given the scale of this effort and use of new, innovative technologies to count fish.

At NOAA, we welcome the results of the study, especially because it provides important new scientific information to enhance our understanding of the Gulf red snapper population. I am proud of our cross-NOAA efforts to develop the terms of reference for the funding opportunity. I’m also proud of their excellent collaboration with the Great Red Snapper Count team to design the survey methodology. We are grateful to Congress for appropriating the funds for the project, and to our partners who conducted it and completed it successfully.

In particular, I want to highlight our great Sea Grant partners at headquarters and in the Gulf. Sea Grant funded half the study, ensuring Congress’ goal for an independent assessment was met. They called on their strong ties with academia to make sure the best available researchers were included on the team. I am also pleased that the agency invested in the development of technologies used in the Great Red Snapper Count. We will continue to develop methods applicable to other species.

For those of you new to red snapper, the Great Red Snapper Count was a $10 million, multi-year study. It used state-of-the-art technology to estimate the absolute abundance of red snapper throughout the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. It was a landmark effort and proved to be an effective collaboration and a worthy investment in science for this iconic species.

NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator Chris Oliver.

While it is difficult to determine exactly how this study will influence red snapper management, we intend to incorporate study results into an interim stock assessment in 2021. We will work with our partners on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and their Scientific and Statistical Committee to peer-review the assessment and make adjustments to red snapper management as appropriate.

Is this type of study applicable to other areas and other species? Possibly, but it’s an expensive undertaking. If similar resources were put toward assessing absolute abundance of other species, those efforts would likely also reveal new information to benefit both science and management of our nation’s fisheries.


Chris Oliver
NOAA Fisheries Assistant Administrator

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