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Florida Permit need your help! - Success!

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Florida Permit need your help! - Success!

Further to our earlier story asking for anglers help and support in lobbying the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission over their permit regulation plans, there is some good news.

At their September 2nd meeting in Pensacola, FL, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission members decided that the draft rules recommended by FWC staff need further revision.  In an interview with the Keynoter newspaper, Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto said "These are our rock-star game fish. We asked staff to take another look at what we need to do to protect permit.  Permit is among the greatest fish we have in the Keys. We want to step back and figure out how to better protect it."

During their discussion on the draft regulations for permit, the Commissioners discussed numerous possible changes to the proposed regulations. These included:

-          Manage permit as a separate fishery from pompano (the two are now managed together as a single fishery);

-          Consider making permit a gamefish

-          Manage permit for a high abundance stock, as they already do for snook

-          Revisit gear recommendations

BTT’s Director of Operations, Dr. Aaron Adams, attended the Commission meeting, and spoke during the public comment session for permit. Adams opened his statement commending the Commissioners for their responsible approach to management of snook, which suffered significant die-offs during the January 2010 severe cold. (Commissioners decided to continue the catch-and-release-only designation for snook on Florida’s west coast, which suffered the most from the cold, through August 2011.).  Adams opened his statement stating that “I heard some great words used during your discussion this morning about snook - responsible, proactive, conservative management, healthy resource.  BTT’s request is simple, we ask only that you apply the same standards to permit that you do to snook.”  Adams then summarized BTT’s concerns with the proposed regulations.

BTT is pleased that the FWC Commissioners took the long-term approach to management of the permit fishery, and will continue to work with FWC staff to develop regulations that ensure the fishery is healthy into the future.

BTT proposes that FWC staff consider the following for new regulations for permit in Florida:

-          Establish new regulations for permit only (make permit and pompano separate fisheries with separate rules)

-          Establish a minimum size for harvest of permit at 30”. This will ensure that permit are sexually mature and able to spawn at least once prior to being harvested.

-          Maintain harvest regulations of 1 per person per day and 2 per boat per day.

-          Establish a spawning season closure, to cover the peak spawning season.

-          Initiate an education campaign for permit vs pompano identification

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