There was a great Op-Ed in Field and Stream about upcoming (and very important) meetings in Florida that will further detail what protections are and are not given to bonefish and permit.
The news isn’t so great. It appears that the good folks in the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission think that “catch and release” means you can’t touch the fish, despite C&R being on the books in lots and lots of states and countries.
From the article…
At the FWC Bonefish Workshops in October 2009, FWC staff stated that the FWC interpretation was that “catch and release” was equivalent to “prohibited species”. Based on FWC’s interpretation, this means that even touching the fish (e.g., holding a bonefish to take a photo, remove a hook, or to measure) constitutes ‘”possession” and a fine/ticket if witnessed by an FWC enforcement officer. This interpretation is counter to responsible fisheries conservation.
Catch and release is used as a fisheries management tool throughout the United States and in many places in the world. In these locations, catch and release is interpreted as releasing the fish alive soon after capture. Responsibly photographing, measuring, and weighing of the fish are permitted in these states.
They also appear set to roll back protections for permit that would include opening the species to spear fishing in federal waters and eliminating spawning season closures.
The comments to Field and Stream bit speak with one voice in opposition to the thrust of the article. In fact, they use very similar wording and recite the same points. Kind of reminds one of the Bush team hitting the political talk shows all reading from the same playbook. Democrats aren’t organized enough to do that. It all smells very organized and that smell stinks.
Midcurrent.com had an op-ed directed at the permit issue.s
You can read the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s press release about the issue here. Once again, BTT is the leader on this issue.
Support BTT if you enjoy the tug of a bone, permit or tarpon.