New trout rules proposed

Jenny McBride, a University of Florida student formerly of Jensen Beach, shows off a nice spotted seatrout caught while kayaking in the Indian River Lagoon. The FWC will revist trout rules soon.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will meet Nov. 16-17 in Key Largo.

Agenda items to be discussed include management of redfish, prohibition of the harvest for hammerhead and tiger sharks, and perhaps the single item receiving the most attention by recreational anglers is proposals to change regulations for spotted seatrout by loosening commercial fishing regulations for the species.

Recreational angler organizations such as the Coastal Conservation Association and The Snook and Gamefish Foundation have spoken out against proposed rule changes that if adopted during this meeting would increase the rate of harvest of this economically and ecologically important species of fish.

Proposed trout rule changes include elimination of closed seasons for recreational anglers, increasing commercial season from three months to five months, allowing for commercial trip limit to be increased from 75 to 150 per day if two licensed fishermen are aboard and the allowance of a 75 trout bycatch for commercial fishermen using beach or haul seine net gear.

The meeting will take place at the Key Largo Grande Resort and Beach Club, 97000 South Overseas Hwy., Key Largo. Meetings will begin at 8:30 a.m. each day. There will be public comment at the meeting.

For meeting agenda including presentations on spotted seatrout, redfish and more, and to contact commissioners visit MyFWC.com.

Sea bass meetings for SAFMC

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has announced a series of seven public hearings to solicit public input on management measures for black sea bass, red grouper and wreckfish. Items addressed include possible reduction of rate of harvest for sea bass by the recreational fishing sector and ending overfishing and rebuilding stocks of red grouper.

Hearings will take place from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. each day and written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Nov. 21. The hearing location closest to the Treasure Coast is scheduled for Nov. 16 at the Radisson Resort at the Port, 8701 Astronaut Blvd., Cape Canaveral. Other Florida locations are Nov. 15 in Jacksonville and Nov. 17 in Key Largo.

For complete hearing schedule, briefing books and more information visit SAFMC.net or call 866-SAFMC-10.

Safe boating in Vero Beach

Saturday, the Vero Beach Power Squadron offers single-day instruction of America’s Boating Course beginning at 9 a.m. at the VBPS headquarters, 301 Acacia Rd., Vero Beach (next to the Barber Bridge across from the River House).

Instruction covers all the skills and knowledge needed to apply for Florida’s Safe Boaters ID card. Cost for supplies is $35. For information e-mail fuzdap99@aol.com or call Howard Daniels at 772-978-9769.

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