East Coast snook now off limits as well
Anglers who have been making the trip to the state's Atlantic waters to fish for snook must now also practice catch and release. The season closed Thursday in all coastal and inland waters, including Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River. The season will reopen Feb. 1, 2012, on the state's east coast, but gulf anglers will have to wait until Aug. 31, 2012, before it will once again be legal to catch and keep the fabled linesider. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission closed the snook fishery in December 2010 after a series of cold fronts decimated the population. The extended closure is designed to help rebuild the population during the winter when snook are most vulnerable to the cold.
Grad students set up snook survey
Graduate students from the University of Florida have teamed with the Snook & Gamefish Foundation to conduct a survey regarding one of the state's most popular game fish. Information gathered from the 10-minute questionnaire will ultimately help state officials better manage this species that has suffered severe setbacks in recent years. The foundation, a consortium of recreational anglers, researchers and charter boat captains, has been instrumental in helping to preserve and protect Centropomus undecimalis for more than a decade. Basic membership costs just $20 a year and includes a subscription to the organization's newsletter. To learn more or take the survey, go to snookfoundation.org.
Fishing returns to John's Pass Bridge
The John's Pass Bridge, which connects Madeira Beach and Treasure Island, has been a fishing mecca for generations. But when the Department of Transportation rebuilt the bridge in 2005 it accidentally put up "No Fishing" signs where anglers had once been able to fish. Mark Hubbard, of the marina that bears his family's name and a noted blue-water fishing specialist; recently elected Madeira Beach mayor Travis Palladeno; and Treasure Island Mayor Bob Minning have partnered to reopen John's Pass Bridge to recreational fishing. Anglers can now fish all but the moving bridge spans. But be warned: This bridge is known for its monster snook. If you go, be armed with the right tackle.
Things to do
Join St. Petersburg Times Outdoors Editor Terry Tomalin at a book signing for Everyday Adventures, a Florida travel guide, which contains 80 adventures that cover everything from kite surfing to cave diving, 1-2:30 p.m. Saturday at Bill Jackson Shop for Adventure, 9501 U.S. 19 N, Pinellas Park. Call (727) 576-4169. The book is also available online for $14.95 at seasidepublish ing.com. To learn more, go to tampabay.com/everyday-adventures.
Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor
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