We were proud to partner on this project with the Coastal Resources Division (CRD). In this video, CRD Marine Biologist Cameron Brinton discusses how biologists and technicians placed more than 3,700 bags of oyster shell along the riverbank in an effort to recruit new, wild oysters. Oyster reefs are essential fish habitat, filter water and help stabilize banks against erosion. Learn more about CRD’s artificial reef program at www.CoastalGaDNR.org/HERU. CRD video by Tyler Jones.
Frustrated anglers might have a three-day season or no season at all in 2020
Washington, D.C. – March 6, 2020 – At the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council meeting this week, NOAA Fisheries announced recreational anglers from North Carolina to Florida could have a three-day 2020 red snapper season but may end up with no season at all. 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.
Under the current regulatory framework, a recreational South Atlantic red snapper season of three or fewer days is prohibited. Changing that framework requires a rulemaking period which is in its early stages.
Over the last decade, anglers have been baffled by NOAA Fisheries’ decision to radically limit public access to red snapper despite the plentiful number of fish they are encountering on the water. In 2018, the South Atlantic red snapper recreational sector Annual Catch Limit (ACL) was set at 29,656 fish. In the same year, NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) estimated that 3,174,288 red snapper were released alive by Florida anglers in the South Atlantic alone. Using the accepted 28.5% recreational discard mortality rate, the number of released red snapper that did not survive is an estimated 904,672 fish.
Read the complete article from Center for Sportsfishing Policy–>HERE
Courtesy of the Public Works Department and Coastal Conservation Association (CCA)
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the Association’s Public Works Department work together to implement the fishery management program throughout our lagoon system. That includes fish stocking, salinity testing, electrofishing, juvenile seining, amenity improvements and the installation of lagoon structures for fish habitat.
Each year CCA samples 30 lagoons by seining or electro-fishing on alternate years to determine population density and fish size. Sampling this year determined that the fish in nine lagoons (Lagoon 31, 122, 27, 70, 86, 51, 142, 131 and 145) were below average weight and required a better food supply. CCA purchased and stocked over 14,200 small blue gills to help increase largemouth bass and crappie size and improve the fishing experience in those lagoons. To date, CCA’s generous donations have resulted in well over 220,000 fish being stocked in our lagoon system.
The Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Skidaway Island Chapter is entirely dependent on donations, most of which come from homeowners in The Landings. In addition to managing the fishery program, CCA also produces The Landings Lagoon Guide that identifies which lagoons are freshwater and which are saltwater (brackish). The Guide also includes fishing tips to improve your enjoyment of fishing at The Landings. The Guide is available for $10.
For more information on the Landings’ Lagoon Guide or the fishery management program, please contact Hal Evans at email@example.com. CCA will begin the annual fund-raising campaign in January. If you would like to make contribution please contact our Treasurer, Jerry Thompson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hold Canadian-Owned Menhaden Harvester Accountable Anglers sign petition to uphold non-compliance finding against company ignoring Chesapeake Bay conservation measures
Omega Protein, the sole commercial harvester of East Coast menhaden, has brazenly announced that it knowingly went over its menhaden quota by almost 35 million pounds. The foreign-owned company harvested 67,000 metric tons (147,668,000 pounds) of menhaden from Virginia waters of the Chesapeake Bay and has been unapologetic about its intentions to no longer abide by the harvest cap lawfully set by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).
For this reason, the ASMFC voted unanimously in October to find the state of Virginia out of compliance with its menhaden fishery management plan. Virginia is the only East Coast state that still allows reduction harvesters in state waters. Commercial harvest of menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay has been under intense scrutiny for decades due to its concentrated removals of a critical food source for striped bass and other important sportfish in their primary spawning grounds on the East Coast. Some studies indicate the menhaden fishery could be reducing striped bass populations by as much as 30 percent.
Anglers have applauded the ASMFC for its decision to find the State of Virginia out of compliance due to the careless actions of Omega Protein and are now calling on U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to uphold that finding and ensure that no one is allowed to willfully ignore U.S. laws and regulations.
By signing this petition, you will be joining thousands of conservationists in their call for Secretary Ross to defend the marine resources of the United States and shut down the menhaden fishery in Virginia until Omega Protein comes back into compliance with the fishery management plan.
October 20th marked the return of the CCA Savannah Crab Tournament to our local waterways. A once anticipated event in our area, this was the first crab tournament CCA Savannah has hosted in over 5 years. Thanks to planning by Savannah Chapter President, Austin Thurlow, the Savannah team revamped the event with all new sponsors and donors. Savannah Bend Marina were our gracious hosts on what started out with ugly weather, but quickly became a beautiful Sunday. Prizes were awarded to the 10 heaviest male crabs per team, with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners. All junior anglers in attendance were gifted Rising Tide Memberships made possible by a donation from a local angler. All the crabs caught participants, and also by Ben Goldberg, were promptly prepared by Savannah’s 5 star cooking team. All in all, it was great a great start to what will be an annual event once again in the Savannah area.
CCA Volunteers and Camp R.O.C.K Youngsters Both Learn Lessons at Fishing Outing
We typically think of outdoor education in terms of learning new skills, such as building a campfire or tying a fishing knot. Time spent outdoors, however, also has a way of instilling important personal attributes such as patience and perseverance, not to mention discovering how working together can make a big difference.
These life lessons all came into play recently when more than two dozen youngsters attending SAFE Shelter’s Camp R.O.C.K (Recognizing Our Children’s Kreativity) joined volunteers from the Skidaway Chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) at the Kid’s Lagoon for a morning of fishing. Camp R.O.C.K. is an eight week day camp for children staying in the shelter that combines education and summer fun.
After a quick orientation, CCA volunteers teamed up with a camper or two and spread out along the bank of the lagoon, everyone hoping to catch a few bluegill. Most all of these youngsters were new anglers, so learning to cast and working up the courage to hook on a worm (yuck!) were the starting points for most everyone. One of our volunteers, David Goslin, recounted his experience.
David was teamed up with a young girl named Kennedy who, with a little coaching, learned to cast with her Zebco rod and reel. When she forgot to release the reel’s button from time to time she turned to David and said, “I failed.” But she kept at it.
It was a hot morning and the fishing was somewhat slow. Kennedy had not yet caught a fish. She would, however, run over to other kids and look at and admire the fish they caught. As the morning wore on Kennedy became increasingly disappointed. But she kept at it. “Around 11:00 am, I heard the counselor say it was time to go,” recalls David.
Kennedy was now down to her last cast. It was a good one and almost immediately the bobber went down and Kennedy reeled in a nice bluegill. Her first fish, and the last one to be caught that morning. Her counselor said to her, “See what happens when you don’t give up!”
Kennedy ran back to where the other campers had gathered with her rod in one hand and the fish still on the line in the other and a big grin on her face. No doubt it was a highlight reel moment for her. And for David? Well, he got a big hug.
Mother Nature can be a tough taskmistress. When we attain our goal in the out-of-doors it is a true and honest achievement and, to top it off, an experience of value for all involved.
We would also like to thank our friends at the Oakridge Fire Station for taking the time to show the campers around the fire house and fire engines before they returned to camp.
Best Fishing Practices workshops/ presentations available to interested ocean bottom anglers. Attendees will have a chance to win SeaQualizer descending devices (a $50+value). The workshop will last about 40 minutes and focuses on best fishing practices for the Snapper/Grouper complex of species.
D.C. – January 2, 2019 – The recreational fishing and
boating community is celebrating the enactment of the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2018 (Modern Fish
Act), which was signed into law by President Trump December 31. The Modern Fish
Act finally recognizes in federal law the differences between recreational and
commercial fishing and adds more appropriate management tools for policymakers
to use in managing federal recreational fisheries.
“Millions of American families take part in saltwater
recreational fishing and boating activities and support multi-billion dollar
industries that generate hundreds of thousands of jobs in our country,” said
Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy.
“Today, we are thankful for this important milestone for federal fisheries
management and marine conservation, and we look forward to continuing to
improve public access to our nation’s healthy fisheries.”
The Modern Fish Act, introduced in the U.S. Senate
by Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and U.S. House of Representatives by
Congressman Garret Graves (R-La.), enjoyed strong bipartisan support from a
long list of cosponsors representing coastal and non-coastal states alike. On
December 17, the Senate unanimously passed the Modern Fish Act (S. 1520)
followed by overwhelming approval in the House (350-11) on December 19.
is historic for the recreational boating and fishing community, capping years
of hard work to responsibly modernize recreational saltwater fisheries
management,” said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association.
“The Modern Fish Act is a critical first-step solution towards establishing a
framework for expanding access to recreational saltwater fishing, while
ensuring conservation and sustainability remain top priorities in fisheries
management. We thank President Trump and Congress for making the Modern Fish
Act the law of the land and look forward to working with them in the coming
years to advance polices that protect and promote recreational saltwater
recreational fishing industry is grateful to see this legislation enacted,” said
Glenn Hughes, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “We
look forward to continuing to work with Congress, as well as NOAA Fisheries and
the regional fishery management councils, to improve the management and
conservation of our marine fisheries.”
Modern Fish Act signed by the President provides an opportunity for
significant, positive change on behalf of millions of recreational anglers who
enjoy fishing in federal waters,” said Jeff Crane, president of the Congressional
Sportsmen’s Foundation. “We look forward to working with NOAA
Fisheries, the regional fishery management councils and the states to fully
implement the provisions of the bill and improve federal fisheries management
for America’s saltwater anglers.”
is proud to be a part of this important coalition, and we are grateful to our
champions in Congress who stood by us during the intense, sometimes contentious
negotiations on this legislation,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation
Association. “There is still work to be done, but this is a valuable
first step. We are hopeful this opens the door to an ongoing discussion of
tools and processes that can be developed to better manage recreational
fisheries in federal waters in all regions of the United States.”
bill becoming law is the most significant step forward in federal recreational
saltwater fishing management in the forty-plus years of the Magnuson-Stevens
Act,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.
“Recreational fishermen, conservationists and businesses united around a set of
principles and worked together to get this bill passed and we will continue to
work together on priorities like forage fish management and improving data
collection in the future.”
recreational fishing and boating community would like to thank the sponsors of
the Modern Fish Act, Senator Wicker and Congressman Graves, who led this
bipartisan effort in the 115th Congress to improve federal fisheries management
for America’s 11 million saltwater anglers. We also appreciate the support of
Senators Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Cory
Booker (D-N.J.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.), and Congressmen Steve Scalise (R-La.),
Rob Bishop (R-Utah), Marc Veasey (D-Texas), Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Gene Green
(D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), and Austin Scott (R-Ga.).
The Modern Fish Act will provide more stability and better access for anglers by:
Providing authority and direction to NOAA Fisheries to apply
additional management tools more appropriate for recreational fishing,
many of which are successfully implemented by state fisheries agencies (e.g.,
extraction rates, fishing mortality targets, harvest control rules, or
traditional or cultural practices of native communities);
Improving recreational harvest data
collection by requiring federal managers to explore other data sources
that have tremendous potential to improve the accuracy and timeliness of
harvest estimates, such as state-driven programs and electronic reporting
(e.g., through smartphone apps);
Requiring the Comptroller
General of the United States to conduct a study on the
process of mixed-use fishery allocation review by the South Atlantic and Gulf
of Mexico Regional Fishery Management Councils and report findings to Congress
within one year of enactment of the Modern Fish Act, and
Requiring the National Academies
of Sciences to complete a study and provide recommendations within two years of
the enactment of the Modern Fish Act on limited access privilege programs
(catch shares) including an assessment of the social, economic, and ecological effects
of the program, considering each sector of a mixed-use fishery and related
businesses, coastal communities, and the environment and an assessment of any
impacts to stakeholders in a mixed-use fishery caused by a limited access
privilege program. This study excludes the Pacific and North Pacific Regional
Fishery Management Councils.
A new show will soon be opening on our island but the only tails that will be shaking in this act are those of one of America’s favorite gamefish, the hybrid striped bass. Thanks to the Skidaway Island Chapter of the Coastal conservation Association (CCA) and Jeff Wong, owner of The Omelette House chain, more than 1700 hybrid striped bass fingerlings were released this past week in six of our island lagoons.
A hybrid striped bass, also known as a wiper or whiterock bass, is cross between a female striped bass and a male white bass. While these fish are sterile, they are quick growers and from their current size of a few inches long will, within two years, grow to football shaped speedsters weighing in at four to six pounds. To promote this growth, your island CCA chapter has already stocked designated lagoons with thousands of threadfin shad, a favorite hybrid bass food.
The fish were brought in by a tank truck from a fish hatchery in Arkansas and their release into our lagoons was supervised by the Landings Association environmental manager, Sean Burgess. With each bucketful of fish, Sean added lagoon water to acclimate the fish to the different water temperature. After a few minutes, Sean would tilt the bucket sideways in the water and the fingerlings would eagerly dart out into their new home.
Sean noted that lagoons receiving these hybrid bass were carefully chosen as optimal habitat for these fish. All chosen lagoons, for example, are among the islands largest ensuring cooler water temperatures in the summer. Most all these lagoons are also ones connected to other lagoons, enabling the bass to eventually migrate throughout the system of connected waters.
Hybrid striped bass are known for aggressive feeding habits often schooling in large numbers on the surface to feed on pods of baitfish. These breaking fish are easy to spot and can be caught on a variety of popular lures including casting spoons, buck-tail jigs, soft body fish replicas, and inline spinners.
While this show won’t be ready for primetime at least for another year, you can begin your fishing plans by obtaining a copy of CCA’s Lagoon Guide which will include information on the six lagoons that have been stocked with hybrid bass. This guide provides data and diagrams on all 150 of our island lagoons and a wealth of information on both the wide range of freshwater and saltwater species that inhabit our island waters. To get your copy, please contact Chuck Smith at email@example.com or call him at 912-598-0518.