CCA Skidaway Oyster Roast 5 December 2021
CCA Georgia Benefit: Fly Fishing Film Tour (March 30th, 2022)
The annual Fly-Fishing Film Tour is a traveling roadshow of the best fly-fishing films in the world. Through a submission process, films are selected to bring some of the best content to the big screen in your hometown.
The F3T is more than just the film, our shows aim to create community, inspire, encourage and support conservation efforts worldwide.
Each evening is complete with a live emcee, raffle & door prizes from our premium sponsors, local fly shops and more. Come for the action, stay for the camaraderie, all while helping to raise money for the waters we love.
So, get ready to kick back, drink a beer or your beverage of choice, enjoy the cinematography that will get you stoked on the season ahead.
Get tickets for the tour or find out more info on our Schedule & Tickets page Click Here or at a partnered fly shop. Stay tuned for news about exclusive benefits and perks offered to our Outside+ members Click Here . To Follow the F3T on social media @flyfishingfilmtour for more information Click Here
Fish Shocking in the Landings’ Lagoons (March 2022)
Volunteers Are Needed!
This year we will be conducting our Electro- Fishing project on March 8th and 9th.
Electro -Fishing is one of the tools we use to determine the health of our lagoon which we use for stocking in April. Using a boat that sends a a slight shock to the water we scoop fish, weigh, measure, and release.
Anyone interested in watching or participating please send an e-mail to Rich Hackett at Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
We will meet at The Public Works building each day of the event at 8:30. We plan to shock 15 lagoons each day and will take most of the day. Please arrive in a golf cart if possible and bring your lagoon guide if you have one. You may watch or help scoop as time permits
Fish Shocking in the Landings’ Lagoons (2021)
A SHOCKING TALE!
Professional fisheries biologists, Skidaway chapter Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) volunteers and Skidaway CCA chapter board member, Rich Hackett, recently created shockwaves in our quiet community, quite literally that is. It was all part and parcel of our annual electrofishing program, one of several science-based survey methods, along with salinity testing and seining, designed to help ensure healthy and growing fish populations in our freshwater lagoons.
As the name implies, electrofishing uses electricity to temporarily stun fish so they may be weighed and measured. The process is not harmful to fish, which return to their natural state within a few minutes after being caught. The main purpose for conducting an electrofishing analyses is to determine the health of a lagoon based on predator/prey ratios. In our freshwater lagoons, the main predator species are largemouth bass and black crappie. Prey species include bluegill, redear sunfish, threadfin shad, and gizzard shad.
A bass-crowded lagoon, for example, will contain larger numbers of small, skinny bass in the 12–14-inch range, experiencing stunting in their growth. Such waters become bass-crowded due to a lack of bass harvest. Despite this unbalanced state, bass will continue to reproduce and consume all existing resources. A bluegill-crowded lagoon will contain an overabundance of these fish, causing stunting in the bluegill population. The optimum goal is a balanced lagoon which is the most desirable for all fish species. This balance is characterized by a healthy distribution of bass and bluegill over a wide range of sizes and age classes.
Rich Hackett, who has been coordinating the electrofishing surveys for the Skidaway chapter of the CCA for the past decade, notes that, thanks to generous contributions from island residents, the effort now involves 30 lagoons annually, up from the original sampling of just 10. Hackett added, “electrofishing is normally done in March since the water temperature is ideal and the newly collected data provides direction for the most appropriate distribution of fish stocking, normally a combination of bluegill and shad, in April. The program continues to provide valuable information on the health and balance of our fish populations. The lagoons are literally the best they’ve been in 10 years and can continue to improve.”
Recent Cast Away Club INFO (2021)
“CAST AWAY CLUB” TO KICK OFF ON SATURDAY, JUNE 19th
CCA Readies 2nd Year of Youth, Nature/Angling Program
Parents and youth leaders agree about the value of Skidaway youngsters not only spending time outdoors but also learning more about our island’s varied natural environment and our abundant fish and wildlife species. A great way to help achieve these goals is through The Skidaway Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association’s (CCA) youth nature and fishing program, the “CAST AWAY CLUB.”
Inaugurated in the summer of 2019 and paused last year through the COVID-19 pandemic, this popular program is set to debut on Saturday, June 19th, 9:00 to 10:30 at our Kid’s Fishing Lagoon located adjacent to the Oakridge Fire Station, near Crossover Bridge on Westcross at Log Landing Rd. This first session will include hands on learning about local fish topped off with a session of Fish Bingo (with prizes!) and time for family fishing. Rods, reels and bait will be provided by CCA volunteers.
Monthly programs through the summer will feature sessions on bees, bats, a variety of reptiles and hands-on nature crafts. Summer sessions are limited to 20 children (12 and under, accompanied by parent/guardian). Registration is required by June 17 at ccaskidaway.org. For more information, contact Susie Fusco at email@example.com.
January 2022 CCA Meeting
The January 2022 CCA Meeting discussed National Wildlife Refuges.
Below is a YouTube video of the meeting:
CCA Annual Fish Stocking
CCA Annual Fish Stocking
Amber Capps – firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Assistant to the Public Works Director
Fishing in our lagoon system has undoubtedly become increasingly popular over the last several years and even more so during these quarantine times! The Skidaway Island Chapter of Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) volunteers have been a long-time partner of the Association who generously provide their time, expertise and donations towards lagoon programs, events, and projects. Over the years, CCA has raised $400,000 in donations which has attributed to the growing number of residents who fish in the Landings’ lagoons.
Fish stocking is one of the annual programs that CCA volunteers participate in and fund which typically occurs in the spring or early summer when water temperatures are cooler and fewer predators such as otters and cormorants frequent the lagoons. Last month, a total of 5,500 3-4-inch blue gills were stocked in the following lagoons: 14, 22, 26, 66, 106 and 149.
Prior to the selection of lagoons for the fish stocking program, the following programs are completed to collect the appropriate data for stocking:
- Juvenile Seining – Nets are used to sample species of fish in each lagoon to determine how many young fish are present. This process also helps determine if the lagoon is experiencing the appropriate level of natural reproduction.
- Electrofishing – Electrofishing sends a weak electrical current through the lagoon water that temporarily stuns the fish. The fish are then collected, identified by species, weighed and measured. This information is then used to determine the relative weights of the fish, identify predator/prey relationships in the lagoons and determine the overall fishery health of the lagoons. Side note: at no point during this process are the fish harmed in any way.
CCA and TLA staff also closely monitor fish kills in our lagoon system and lagoons that have experienced fish kills are stocked at a higher rate.
Over the last three years, CCA volunteer and resident, Jeff Wong, has generously funded the fish stocking program. Mr. Wong is also a local business owner of The Omelette House chain (which is now open!), who enjoys catch and release fishing in our lagoon system. Since Mr. Wong’s involvement with CCA, he has conducted a blessing over the fish to “keep them healthy and promote a long lifespan”. We are so appreciative to Mr. Wong for his continued support of our fishery management programs!
To find out more about the CCA Skidaway Chapter or to volunteer to help with local fishery management projects/programs and/or make a tax deductible donation, call or e-mail Dave Devore: (912) 598-9423 or email@example.com.
Anglers shortchanged with four-day red snapper season
For immediate release Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anglers shortchanged with four-day red snapper season
Federal mismanagement virtually eliminates access to popular recreational fishery
Continuing a downward spiral in South Atlantic red snapper seasons, NOAA Fisheries has announced a four-day recreational season for 2020. While expectations in March were that the federal agency in charge of the nation’s fisheries would disallow any recreational red snapper season, the move to a four-day season is hardly a victory for anglers who have seen their access to the fishery severely curtailed for the last decade even as the red snapper population expands.
“A four-day season is marginally better than a zero-day season, but it is profoundly disappointing that this is the best result available after 10 years of intense scrutiny and federal management. This is certainly not where anglers deserve to be with a fishery that is clearly recovering and expanding,” said Bill Bird, chairman of the CCA National Government Relations Committee.
Since 2010, the recreational sector has been allowed to harvest red snapper in South Atlantic federal waters a cumulative total of 37 days despite increasing abundance of fish. In recent years, NOAA Fisheries has maintained that recreational bycatch mortality – red snapper caught and released by anglers when the season is closed that the agency believes do not survive – is calculated to be more than what the sector would be allowed to harvest, resulting in no season or extremely limited seasons.
“Federal recreational data collection methods are not believed to be reliable by most private recreational fishermen; but the manner by which they calculate bycatch mortality for anglers is a particularly questionable component,” said Bird. “As the population increases and anglers encounter – and release – more red snapper, it becomes apparent that the healthier the population is, the less access anglers will have to it. That is the definition of a fundamentally flawed system.”
The introduction of a descending device requirement earlier this year may provide a path to greater access, but until the results can be quantified and determined in a stock assessment, it is unlikely NOAA Fisheries will credit the conservation ethic of recreational anglers with a longer season. Even if NOAA Fisheries supported the descending device requirement, which it did not, the process of quantifying those savings could take years and it is doubtful whether it would truly reflect the degree to which anglers are participating.
“Recreational anglers want to do everything they can to reduce dead discards in every fishery, which is why we actively supported the requirement for descending devices in the South Atlantic even though many anglers already use various tools to successfully release fish alive,” said Ted Venker, conservation director for CCA. “There are questions over everything in this fishery and if the past is any indication, we expect NOAA to apply the same questionable methods to calculating the true positive impact of descending devices. If that is the only lifeline the fishery has to work with then perhaps it is time to push for state-based management of this fishery to get a workable system for recreational anglers.”
The South Atlantic red snapper season is set to open July 10 – 12, and on July 17.
CRD adds two vessels to offshore artificial reefs
CRD adds two vessels to offshore artificial reefs
Brunswick, Ga. (June 5, 2020)
The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’s Coastal Resources Division on June 3, 2020, added two new vessels to artificial reefs about 20 miles offshore of St. Catherines Island.
(Click here for a video.)
Sales of the “Support Fish Habitat” license plate funded the project, along with the Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia.
“These vessels will provide essential fish habitat off Georgia’s coast and will eventually become populated with corals, sponges and other marine life,” said Paul Medders, the Artificial Reef, Habitat Enhancement and Boating Access leader for DNR’s Coastal Resources Division . “In about two years, these reefs will become prime fishing spots for offshore anglers, as well as a unique place for SCUBA divers to visit.”
The first vessel, an 82-foot shrimp trawl named the Frank and Marie, sank at reef CCA-JL 22 nautical miles east of St. Catherines Island. It rested on the seafloor at 2:40 p.m. in about 64 feet of water. The Frank and Marie joins New York City subway cars, steel structures and other materials at reef CCA-JL.
The second vessel, the 180-foot Tangiers Island, sank in 70 feet of water at 9:40 p.m. about 200 feet from a similarly sized former Coast Guard buoy tender placed there in 1989.
All materials placed in reefs are meticulously cleaned and prepared prior to their sinking, and placement of reef materials is permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to ensure navigation safety.
Artificial reefs are beneficial off Georgia’s coast due to the state’s unique geology. The Georgia Bight extends from Cape Canaveral, Fla., to Cape Hatteras, N.C., and concaves inward from the Atlantic Ocean along Georgia’s coast.
The resulting geologic features include a vast, shallow slope that extends about 80 miles offshore to the continental shelf. This gentle slope is largely flat, sandy material with very few natural rock outcroppings that would normally be home to reefs.
To provide opportunities for reef growth, CRD has created more than two dozen artificial reef areas, each of which includes multiple sites within reefs. These artificial materials – whether a vessel, tank or concrete rubble – provide living organisms the surface and shelter they need to thrive in Georgia’s marine environment. While the substrate is artificial, the ensuing reef growth is completely natural.
“Without these artificial materials, we would not have significant reef growth in Georgia,” Medders said. “DNR has been placing these materials since the 1970s, and over time, we have built up an impressive array of artificial habitats for scores of species.”
Numerous recreationally and commercially important fish species congregate along reefs in the middle of the continental shelf, including snapper, grouper and black sea bass.
Likewise, migratory fish pass through these waters, including Spanish mackerel, king mackerel, cobia and wahoo. Artificial reefs also provide shelter for endangered loggerhead sea turtles, which use the reefs to find refuge from predators like sharks.