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Outdoors news and notes: State keeps snook season closed in Gulf of Mexico for at least another year

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Snook to Stay off limits in Gulf for a Year

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted Thursday to keep the recreational snook season in Gulf of Mexico waters closed for at least another year.

Snook have been off limits in the gulf since a January 2010 executive order was issued after a series of cold fronts killed tens of thousands of warm-water-loving creatures on both coasts. It was one of the state's worst fish kills in decades, and gulf snook stocks appeared to be harder hit than those in the Atlantic. As a result, Atlantic anglers were able to fish for three months in fall 2010, but that fishery closed again until September 2011.

Gulf anglers thought snook would be available for harvest this Sept. 1. State biologists determined that the species is not in "biological jeopardy" in the gulf, but commissioners still decided to give the stocks 12 more months to recover.

"If we have a bad winter this year, we will benefit from this caution," vice chairman Kenneth Wright said in a statement. "If we don't have a bad winter, we will let all these breeding fish come through the slot (28 to 33 inches in gulf). We'll really have done something good, and we'll have protected some of these fish."

The gulf recreational season is now expected to reopen Sept. 1, 2013. Local anglers still can catch snook during the closure, but those fish must be released. Snook season is unchanged in the Atlantic, where the seasonal closures are from Dec. 15 through Jan. 31 and from June 1 through Aug. 31.

For more on the regulations, go to MyFWC.com.

Solunar tableS

AM PM

Minor Major Minor Major

6/29 1:55 8:05 2:15 8:30

6/30 2:45 8:55 3:05 9:25

7/1 3:40 9:50 4:00 10:25

7/2 4:35 10:50 5:05 11:20

7/3 5:30 11:45 5:55 0

7/4 6:30 12:15 7:00 12:50

7/5 7:35 1:20 8:05 1:45

Terry Tomalin, Times Outdoors Editor

Tide adjustments

The charts show the rise and fall of tides measured in feet and plots the tides on a one-week timeline. Times and depth may vary depending on weather conditions. You can compute the tides from these adjustments:

North (Anclote River) High Low

Anclote Key (south end) -01:37 -00:47

Bayport +01:13 +01:39

Cedar Key +01:16 +01:03

Crystal River, Florida Power +01:13 +01:33

Hudson, Hudson Creek +00:06 +00:01

Indian Rocks Beach (inside) +00:19 +00:10

North (Anclote River) High Low

Mangrove Point, Crystal Bay +01:34 +01:54

Pithlachascotee River +00:18 +00:52

St. Joseph Sound -00:34 -00:42

Steinhatchee River entrance +01:33 +01:32

Suwannee River entrance +01:22 +01:21

Withlacoochee River entrance +01:23 +01:58

South (The Pier) High Low

Anna Maria, pier -02:10 -02:19

Egmont Key, Egmont channel -02:15 -03:20

Gandy Bridge +00:59 +00:57

Gulfport, Boca Ciega Bay -01:32 -01:05

John's Pass, Boca Ciega Bay -02:14 -02:04

Madeira Beach Causeway -01:32 -01:45

Mullet Key Channel (Skyway) -02:03 -02:01

South (The Pier) High Low

Pass-a-Grille Beach -01:34 -01:30

Pinellas Point -00:22 -00:29

Redfish Point, Manatee River -00:30 -00:14

Safety Harbor +01:32 +01:34

Sarasota Bay -01:38 -00:58

Corey Causeway -01:18 -00:44

Venice Inlet (inside) -02:02 -01:38

Outdoors news and notes: State keeps snook season closed in Gulf of Mexico for at least another year 06/28/12 [Last modified: Thursday, June 28, 2012 9:16pm]

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