Expect short red Snapper season in 2012
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council held a meeting Tuesday in Austin, Texas, and it ended with bad news for the recreational red snapper fishermen. Federal scientists believe recreational fishermen may have exceeded their annual quota by 1 million pounds despite a short, 48-day season. That means next year's red snapper season could be fewer than 48 days. Just last Friday, an emergency rule was published that added 345,000 pounds to the quota due to fish not caught during the Gulf oil spill. There was a possibility that a fall season would be added, but that will not happen with this announcement. The reason for the exceeded quota is because federal data showed the average weight of red snapper caught this year was 6.22 pounds, up from 5.34 pounds last year.
Popular scallop count draws near
The Great Bay Scallop search, led by the nonprofit environmental conservation group Tampa Bay Watch, will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Aug. 27 starting at the Fort De Soto Park boat ramp. This resource-monitoring event has been conducted nearly annually since 1993 to help scientists determine the health of the bay's waters. Because scallops are sensitive to pollution, they serve as good indicators of changes in water quality. The search will include 45 volunteer boaters and approximately 200 volunteer divers who will count the scallops, which are protected in Tampa Bay. For information, call (727) 867-8166.
The scallop totals from the past six searches:
* Highest total in count's history
Things to do
Thursday: Kayak fishing seminar with guide Neil Taylor, who will discuss techniques for artificial baits. 6:30-7:45 p.m. at Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure in Pinellas Park. Information: (727) 692-6345.
Sept. 17-18: Bruce Watters Green Fleet Regatta hosted by St. Petersburg Sailing Center just off the Pier downtown. The regatta is for young and new sailors, ages 7 to 12 years old. Registration is at 9 a.m., racing starts at approximately 11:45 a.m. Information: (727) 896-8101 or SPYC.org.
Rodney Page, Times staff writer
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