Bonefish, Tarpon Rules could change
Tarpon and bonefish may soon become catch-and-release fisheries if state officials adopt the proposed rules governing these prized recreational fish. The Florida Fish and Conservation Commission is considering eliminating the tarpon bag limit. Instead, it will allow anglers to harvest or possess a single tarpon in conjunction with a tarpon tag only for the purpose of pursuing an International Game Fish Association record. Officials are also considering tightening gear rules for tarpon and eliminating the existing bonefish tournament exemption permit. The proposal also includes an allowance for temporary possession of both tarpon and bonefish for the purposes of photography, measurement, weighing or collecting scientific samples. But first state officials are seeking public input. A hearing is set for 6 p.m. April 1 at the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute's Steidinger Auditorium (100 Eighth Ave. SE, St. Petersburg).
Area guide tops in gulf tarpon DNA
Local fishing guide Robert McCue was recently honored as the Gulf Coast champion for his contribution to the ongoing Tarpon Genetic Recapture Study. McCue, of Ellenton, collected 216 DNA samples from fish that his customers caught and released in 2012. The study uses DNA fingerprinting techniques to track individual tarpon so fishery managers can better understand this prized species' migration patterns. Since 2005 when the study began, volunteer anglers have submitted more than 16,500 of the nearly 18,000 samples inventoried in the study's database. In 2012, anglers took 4,726 samples, exceeding the project's annual goal of 4,000.
Check it out
Dinner and smoke
Got a hankering for gator or wild hog? Register now for the Clearwater Ducks Unlimited chapter's Cigar Smoker and Wild Game Dinner, scheduled for Thursday at Pappas Ranch Steakhouse (2630 Gulf-to-Bay Blvd.). The entry fee of $35 includes food, draft beers and a hand-rolled stogie. For tickets, contact Joe Gavigan at (727) 422-5272 or e-mail [email protected]
Send news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.
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