Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2020

CANCELLATIONS/POSTPONEMENTS
Citing Commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 restrictions, the National Rifle Association announces the cancellation of the 2021 Great American Outdoor Show originally scheduled for February 6-14, 2021 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
CONSERVATION
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced that the 2020 juvenile striped bass index is 2.5, well below the average of 11.5, and even worse than last year’s 3.4.
One of the most crucial fish in the Chesapeake Bay’s aquatic food web is getting more protection from potential overfishing, but not as much as some environmentalists and state fishery managers had wanted.

ENFORCEMENT
NOAA's Office of Law Enforcement is conducting an investigation involving the deaths of six critically endangered smalltooth sawfish in Everglades City, Florida. An employee with Everglades National Park reported the dead sawfish and two dead bonnethead sharks to NOAA experts. Two of the sawfish are missing their rostra (saws). One other had its meat removed, leaving only the carcass.
Since October 2019, Coast Guard assets and personnel detected a total of 326 lanchas and interdicted 136.
GEAR
The Treadfast boot delivers protection, comfort and versatility, allowing outdoorsmen to take on even the harshest conditions and gain an edge in the field.

INDUSTRY
YANMAR Marine International, leading supplier of marine engines and propulsion systems, and south-east US YANMAR distributor, Mastry Engine Center, have partnered with renowned water sports boat manufacturer Nautique Boat Company, Inc. to introduce the efficiency, performance, and safety benefits of a premium YANMAR diesel package to the recreational wake sports industry and superyacht tender market.
Denari joins Brunswick after spending the past 20 years in a variety of executive positions within the automotive industry, and in leadership positions at major global consulting firms.
Following a year filled with successes despite a world-wide pandemic in 2020, the SteelShad Fishing Company has partnered with outdoors industry strategic marketing and communications leader, Traditions Media, to get the word out on their innovative, easy-to-use and fish-catching bladebaits.

INVASIVE SPECIES
A new management strategy in the Chesapeake Bay aims to put blue catfish, here considered an invasive species, on your plate.
As part of extensive efforts to prevent the spread of invasive carp, four silver carp were recently captured, fitted with tracking devices and released in Pool 8 of the Mississippi River near La Crosse, Wisconsin.
ORGANIZATIONS
The New York State Outdoor Writers Association presented the honorees of its annual communications and photography recognition program with valued art first-place awards and second- and third-place certificates and cash awards at its annual meeting, held virtually, on Thursday, Oct. 22.
RADIO
This week on America Outdoors Radio we'll lead off with the story of a new record blue catfish out of Georgia before previewing a new film with Drew YoungeDyke about the impacts of invasive asian carp from the National Wildlife Federation.
In the Madison Outdoors Report, pro angler Duffy Kopf reports on the Capital City Muskies Inc. fall tournament held last weekend on the Madison Chain.
STATES
This closure includes all state waters south of Cape Sable, which is on the Gulf side of Florida, and up the Atlantic coast.
A Michigan Department of Natural Resources boating access site on Lake Michigan in the city of Menominee will close temporarily while shoreline protection measures are put in place.
Most nonresident hunters, anglers and trappers will pay higher prices for licenses, tags and fees starting Dec. 1.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission unanimously voted at yesterday's regularly scheduled meeting to approve new changes to Arkansas’s regulations on recreational fishing, commercial fishing and aquaculture.
Chinook, yellow perch, trout, steelhead and more are on the agenda for anglers around the state this weekend.
TOURNAMENTS
Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today the 2021 MLF Bass Pro Tour schedule, which will showcase the best bass anglers in the world competing on many of the top fisheries in the United States.
Continuing its history of support for professional redfish angling, Power-Pole has announced that it will be the title sponsor for the 2021 National Redfish League season and its championship event, the Redfish World Series.
WASHINGTON
Pendley, a notorious anti-public lands activist, was stripped of delegated authority with BLM following district court ruling; actions from his tenure face growing scrutiny
WILDLIFE
October 31 marks the ‘official’ end of sea turtle nesting season, and with a few nests left to hatch, state biologists are pleased to report that sea turtles in South Carolina had a productive nesting season.
WORKSHOPS
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer a beginner fly fishing clinic from 10 a.m.–noon on Nov. 8 at Columbia’s Cosmo-Bethel Park, 4300 Bethel St.

Anglers have yet to reach this year's quota, and next year promises even greater opportunities thanks to new stock assessments indicating far more red snapper than previously believed.

By DAVID RAINER
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

If the recent blustery weather caused anglers to forgo a red snapper trip during the weekend extensions, don’t fret. Scott Bannon, Director of Alabama Marine Resources Division (MRD), assures that private recreational anglers will have the opportunity to harvest the remaining quota.

The original plan was for a three-day extension from October 10-12, but Hurricane Delta foiled that plan. With snapper remaining in the quota, Alabama Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship and Bannon amended the extension to include Saturdays and Sundays until the quota is projected to be met.

“Remember, we are fishing to the pounds available in the annual quota, not to the dates,” Bannon said. “We expected a relatively low turnout for that three-day weekend. The only day with decent weather was Monday. We decided to leave that weekend open if anybody had the opportunity to go.”

What MRD officials discovered through Snapper Check was that a few brave anglers decided to venture out in the rough seas. Bannon said there were Snapper Check reports on Sunday and Monday of the Hurricane Delta weekend.

“That was not the weather I would have fished in,” Bannon said. “Although the weather was better Monday, some people in smaller boats went out and turned around. They didn’t feel safe or comfortable. I think that was a wise decision, but they will get opportunities later.

“Looking at the public access boat ramps, there were a few trailers, but they were not full. I think there are some Hurricane Sally residual effects. People are still trying to clean up from the impacts, whether it’s their homes, docks or boats. Some marinas are not capable of putting boats in the water. Some of the dry storage facilities are damaged. Wet slips are not available. The two hurricanes are playing a factor in the reduced effort. I think it will be a while before the Gulf Coast is back up to full fishing force.”

Bannon said the best way to manage the season was to leave it open on weekends until the quota is met.

“This time of year, we will continue to have challenges with the weather,” he said. “People will have multiple conflicts with their schedules based on kids being in school and hunting seasons. We know the weekend effort won’t be like summertime weekends. We will keep up with the harvest through Snapper Check and post it on our webpage (www.outdooralabama.com/2020-red-snapper-landings-summary).

“We will try to give people as much notice as we can about when the quota is anticipated to be met. But I think it will take several weekends now.”

As with any hurricane makes landfall along the Alabama coast, the storm can cause artificial reefs to be displaced, which was the case with Sally.

“We are already aware that some lighter-weight material, like the chicken transport devices, were moved,” Bannon said. “Some of the state’s nearshore reefs have been moved. But they are relatively close to where they were deployed. The Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) has identified some spots that have moved. We’re doing some surveys in our nearshore reef zones to determine the impact, and we’ll do some checks of offshore reefs later.

“Pyramids and larger items that have been there for a while and are planted in the bottom, they’re not going to move. Some items have turned over, but that’s fine. They still provide structure. We don’t think it will negatively impact the fish. I’ve also seen some social media posts where people have been looking for spots and located them nearby.”

More good news for red snapper anglers came recently when preliminary results from the Great Red Snapper Count were presented to the U.S. Congress. Alabama Senator Richard Shelby was among the legislators who pushed a $10 million appropriation through Congress to fund the research.

“I have not seen the full report, but the estimate from the Great Red Snapper Count is that the snapper population is about three times larger than what was previously thought,” Bannon said. “One of the interesting portions of the report is the number of red snapper that are not on natural or artificial reefs. The number of snapper that are out on the flat areas, so to speak, are much higher than previously thought. Those fish are not accessed by anglers, so those fish will continue to be there based on the current fishing methods.”

Bannon said the Great Red Snapper Count information will be used by NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to create an interim stock assessment for red snapper. The Harte Research Institute for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University was the lead for the Great Red Snapper Count. The work off the coast of Alabama was led by Dr. Sean Powers of the University of South Alabama.

“We’re anticipating hearing about the interim assessment in the near future, and that will impact the 2021 season for all sectors – commercial, for-hire and private anglers,” he said. “But this will not mean a three-time increase in the quota. The data from the red snapper count isn’t the only factor that goes into an interim analysis. It’s an important factor but only one source of data that goes into the analysis.

“However, this is excellent news. It is something we had anticipated. We expected the method used would reveal there were more snapper in the Gulf. It was a very important study, and Senator Shelby’s office was instrumental in providing funding for that.”

Bannon said the results of the Great Red Snapper Count may relate to a number of other fish species in the Gulf as well.

“What we learned from this is whether we need to change some of the analysis methods for all species – the way we conduct stock assessments,” he said. “Do we need to continue to adjust our assessments closer to this model to ensure we’re getting accurate stock assessments.”

Bannon said the research that MRD and The University of South Alabama conducts in Alabama’s unparalleled artificial reef zones, which cover more than 1,000 square miles in the Gulf, was the genesis of the methods used in the Great Red Snapper Count.

“Because of the research done in our reef zones, we have said for the last eight years hat we had a very good understanding of the abundance of fish off of Alabama,” he said. “Now that we have that information from across the Gulf, it is good to know that the snapper stock is in better condition than some people anticipated. It’s a very positive outcome for red snapper anglers.”

Bannon said private recreational anglers can pick the days best for them to take advantage of the red snapper weekend extensions.

“We’re fishing to the quota,” he said. “If it’s not comfortable or safe to go, don’t go. The fish are still in the bank, so to speak. We will keep Saturdays and Sundays open until we anticipate the quota being met, and that could be as soon as the end of this next weekend.”

Click here to unsubscribe

This newsletter was sent to [Email]
Fishing Wire - 2271 N Upton St., Arlington, VA 22207
Copyright © 2020, Outdoor Wire Digital Network.
All Rights Reserved.