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-   -   The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery (http://www.spearboard.com/showthread.php?t=200021)

kwyoungspear 12-01-2020 09:18 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kmoose (Post 2201453)
Record number of tropical storms, covid crushing market demand, Bull shark population explosion. Is this a trick question?:rolleyes:

Just a few minor things

CuzzA 12-02-2020 08:46 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
2 Attachment(s)
A lot of data to look at.

A couple that stood out.

fishkilla 12-03-2020 08:36 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
i've caught about half of my Gag allocation for the year and 1/10th of the Red Grouper allocation. either i've lost my ability to find and shoot fish or there aren't near the amount of fish to shoot as used to be.

i remember just 10 years ago the entire bottom around the rock piles i dive swarming with mostly undersized gags. i haven't seen anything like that for a long time.

kwyoungspear 12-03-2020 04:34 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishkilla (Post 2201487)
i've caught about half of my Gag allocation for the year and 1/10th of the Red Grouper allocation. either i've lost my ability to find and shoot fish or there aren't near the amount of fish to shoot as used to be.

i remember just 10 years ago the entire bottom around the rock piles i dive swarming with mostly undersized gags. i haven't seen anything like that for a long time.

I’m sorry to hear that, I don’t know where you dive and don’t dive there so
I can’t say otherwise.

However the numbers you posted about total gag poundage don’t really support your claim of a sharp and steady decline over a 10 year period. The numbers don’t really shock me at all and make complete sense when you add in factors like less commercial fisherman, active storm seasons, red tide, and this years economic downturn due to COVID.

kwyoungspear 12-03-2020 04:38 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Where do you dive and what depths normally? I know red tide has put a hurting on inshore fisheries. The guys I know that dive in the deeper waters of SWFL seem to be constantly killing it and make me feel like diving in a kitty pool down here in the keys, and I’ve had the best year of diving in my life.

kmoose 12-10-2020 07:57 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kwyoungspear (Post 2201490)
Iím sorry to hear that, I donít know where you dive and donít dive there so
I canít say otherwise.

However the numbers you posted about total gag poundage donít really support your claim of a sharp and steady decline over a 10 year period. The numbers donít really shock me at all and make complete sense when you add in factors like less commercial fisherman, active storm seasons, red tide, and this years economic downturn due to COVID.

I dive hatch to Homosassa and the only different thing I have been seeing in grouper population is where they have been concentrating. The last two years have been bumper populations in much shallower water with the largest concentration in the 35-40' even throughout the summer when I specifically hunt 70-100'.

Fish have fins and they go where they are happy for whatever reason. The sharks in 60+' have exploded in population which could have an affect in the depths where most commercial divers fish. The ones I know have definitely been complaining how sharks have impacted their ability to harvest.

We also have to consider the big bend is still recovering from the last red tide event. The Hatch was especially hard hit and is taking the longest to recover. The good news is that hogs are in good numbers as well as juvenile red grouper. I am even taking keeper scamp in as shallow as 55'.

While I have certainly seen gags in worst shape over the past 20 years up here, I have seen them better too. The current fishery management seems to be working in for most species well enough to sustain a viable fishery even with the exponential growth of the recreational sector but may need adjustment as soon as a better method of recording actual recreational harvest is mandated and achieved.

If you are not finding fish at the same old spots..... well it's time to dust off #s you haven't been to in a couple of years or spend the evenings searching for new spots. I had great luck this year doing so on spots I haven't visited in years as they were not big producers at the time. I was super surprised when my bottom screen lit up and found during the dive the spot had evolved and was holding good fish. Everything in the GOM is constantly changing and if you want to stay productive you have to make some changes at the helm.

fishkilla 12-13-2020 11:48 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by kmoose (Post 2201587)
If you are not finding fish at the same old spots..... well it's time to dust off #s you haven't been to in a couple of years or spend the evenings searching for new spots. I had great luck this year doing so on spots I haven't visited in years as they were not big producers at the time. I was super surprised when my bottom screen lit up and found during the dive the spot had evolved and was holding good fish. Everything in the GOM is constantly changing and if you want to stay productive you have to make some changes at the helm.

I do appreciate your optomism about the gulf of mexico fishery. as far as numbers i'm willing to bet $1,000 that i have 95% of the numbers in the NE gulf. there aren't any super secret wrecks, ledges, or rock piles that pop up on my sidescan machine. i've been running it non stop for 4 years now. i do find old loran numbers that i have acquired from old timers but i have never found a ledge or rock that i didn't have some sort of gps mark for. i have one wreck that i found 2 years ago that looks like a casualty from the hurricane that hit the panhandle. it's a big cat sail boat sitting in 90ft that was either intentionally sunk or got pulled off a dock and sunk. it still has it's bottom paint on it, rigging and some teak. my first dive 2 summers ago i shot 6 gags off of it and the amount of mature 10+ lb red snapper on it was staggering. there even was a jewfish that had made a home in one of the cracked hulls. i figured next year it would be amazing for gags. we dove it in May this year, traditionally where i dive the best month for gags for me. that dive this year the amount of red snappers was almost too much to visually handle. i shot 4 gags.

from 40 ft to 90 ft it's the same story. very few mature fish and hardly any undersized gags. nothing compared to 10 years ago. the story is the same at the fish house where there full time grouper boats are landing mostly 18 inch red groupers and targeting beelines. (i remember when we used to use beeliners for big red grouper bait) the amount of gags being landed might be the same over the last 4 years but i know on my end the effort has gone way up. longer trips and more dive locations. places that we used to shoot a dozen gags we shoot 2. we used to dive 25 spots on a trip now we dive 50. the price for fish is still high and there is no reason for a good fisherman to leave money on the table.

there is still 499,000 lbs of the allotted 939,000 lbs of gag to catch for this year and 850,000 lbs of the allowed 3,000,000 lbs of red grouper to catch for the year. if this grouper fishery is still healthy why aren't they being caught? we can all agree the red snapper fishery is strong. even with covid the red snapper guys have landed 6.4 millions lbs and only have 500,000 left for the year. i bet by Dec 31 that number will be down to about 200,000. gag and red won't move much in the same amount of time.

fishkilla 12-15-2020 07:06 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
looks like FWC and Gulf Council might share my same view point.

https://content.govdelivery.com/acco...letins/2b0915b


what will the next stock assessment reveal? will they do the same thing with red grouper and say the stock is not overfished or undergoing overfishing but will cut the TAC by 55%?



.

Spear One 12-15-2020 07:12 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
I have received a few of those “is something fishy” survey requests for several different species over the past couple years.

kwyoungspear 12-17-2020 07:53 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
So are you trying to sell your gulf reef permit? Because I’ll buy it

fishkilla 12-18-2020 08:12 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Boat, Gulf Permit, 1,500 lbs of red grouper, 3,000 lbs of gag, 125 lbs of shallow water grouper. 100K and it's all yours!

fishkilla 05-16-2022 06:35 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
word on the street is commercial gags are going to get cut by 75% next year. what is the reason for this?

is the gulf council trying to eliminate more fishermen?

is the gag grouper fishery in decline?

or is there something else i'm missing?


.

sharpshooter 05-16-2022 08:29 AM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishkilla (Post 2207390)
word on the street is commercial gags are going to get cut by 75% next year. what is the reason for this?

is the gulf council trying to eliminate more fishermen?

is the gag grouper fishery in decline?

or is there something else i'm missing?


.

Ben, what does the harvest data for the last 3 years show? What I do know is that most of my spots inside of 30 miles aren't producing like years ago. Of course technology on all fronts keeps marching forward making it easier to find spots.

fishkilla 05-18-2022 01:24 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sharpshooter (Post 2207394)
Ben, what does the harvest data for the last 3 years show? What I do know is that most of my spots inside of 30 miles aren't producing like years ago. Of course technology on all fronts keeps marching forward making it easier to find spots.

As far as harvest data goes there hasn't been much of a change commercially but I know we have had to fish twice as long and hit 3x the locations to get the same amount of gags. April/May used to be killer months for gags on my numbers. 700 lbs per trip no problem, now it's more like 200. Places that I used to shoot 15 gags in 2014 are now holding 1 or 2 fish.

Technology has definitely made the average fisherman much better. Between gps, radar that steals locations that other boats are on, side imaging sonar, and c-mor mapping there isn't a piece of bottom in an unprotected area that at least 25 people have. Most spots are now known by hundreds if not thousands of fishermen/divers. Quad engine boats now get to "prime" locations 70 to 120 miles offshore just for a day of fishing.

Diverboy067 05-19-2022 01:20 PM

Re: The Collapse of the Gulf of Mexico Grouper Fishery
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by fishkilla (Post 2207390)
word on the street is commercial gags are going to get cut by 75% next year. what is the reason for this?

is the gulf council trying to eliminate more fishermen?

is the gag grouper fishery in decline?

or is there something else i'm missing?


.

Not trying to start an argument, but as a recreational guy, that is good news. Why should commercial guys be shooting/catching gags in April/May when recreational canít? Why should the commercial season be different from the recreational season?

Wouldnít lower commercial quotas mean higher price per pound?


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