Jump to content
Fly Tying
Harold Ray

Please sign this petition!

Recommended Posts

Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited Calls for Improvements in Tarpon Regulations

 

Former President George Bush couldn't have caught his tarpon if there were none out there to catch!!

 

IPB Image

Fish Tales: Former President George H.W. Bush Catches a Mammoth in the Keys

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,352058,00.html

 

BTU encourages its members and all concerned anglers to take action to ensure that a comprehensive regional multi-State management plan for tarpon is enacted as soon as possible!

 

Simply fill out the online petition below, so when we speak with fisheries managers we can show them how many anglers care about this issue.

 

 

Here's a link to the petition page:

 

http://www.tarbone.org/tarpon.cfm

 

Thanks!!

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

BTU calls for Improved Tarpon Regulations, Released 04/01/2008

 

Tarpon Populations Need Protection

 

• Research shows that adult tarpon migrate throughout the Gulf of Mexico, southeastern United States, and the Caribbean. In addition, genetic research indicates a single large tarpon stock.

• This means that this is a regional fishery and the resource should be managed as a single stock.

• Tarpon are long-lived (>80 years) and slow growing, which means that the stock is especially vulnerable to harvests.

• Therefore, the killing of tarpon anywhere impacts tarpon fishermen everywhere.

• It is clear that there are significantly fewer tarpon around now than there were 30 years ago.

• Catch and release recreational tarpon fisheries are worth billions of dollars per year in US waters alone. These fisheries rely on healthy tarpon populations.

• Indiscriminant and wasteful harvest of this important gamefish should no longer be allowed.

 

New Management Plans Needed

 

• Bonefish & Tarpon Unlimited strongly recommends a regional management plan for tarpon.

o Part of such a management plan would include the severe limitation of tarpon harvests.

• While some Management Agencies have management plans designed to protect tarpon stocks, others lag behind.

o Florida and Texas exemplify States with strong management plans that protect tarpon stocks

o Louisiana exemplifies States that should update their tarpon management plans

o The United States (Federal) and Mexico should update their management plans

 

Call for Action

 

• BTU encourages its members and all concerned anglers to take action to ensure that a comprehensive regional multi-State management plan for tarpon is enacted as soon as possible

• Suggested actions:

 

Contact the Regional Administrator at NOAA Fisheries (http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/leadershipbio.htm) and regional fishery management Councils (Gulf of Mexico

 

http://www.gulfcouncil.org; South Atlantic http://www.safmc.net) to:

demand that tarpon are added to the list of federally-managed gamefish (there is currently NO federal regulation of tarpon)

demand a federal management plan that prevents harvests of tarpon in Federal waters

 

Contact the State of Louisiana Division of Marine Fisheries (http://www.wlf.state.la.us/aboutldwf/divisions/marinefisheries) to:

request that tarpon regulations be updated to severely restrict or eliminate harvests in Louisiana State waters

 

Contact your State Fisheries Agencies to:

ensure your State laws restrict the harvest of tarpon

encourage your State to support a regional management plan for tarpon

 

Sign on to the BTU petition so when we speak with fisheries managers we can show them how many anglers care about this issue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do not fish for tarpon, but as fishers we have to protect what we all do, and not just what we alone fish. Mine Sig is here if you want it

 

jef

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark, thanks!!!!

 

Jef, I would appreciate your signature. What we're trying to do is protect them to a point so we'll have more in the future. In some places along the Gulf of Mexico, they are killed in tournaments and just for fun. They are magnificent, spectacular fish that deserve far more respect than that.

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest

Harold,

 

You got my sig, I stopped Tarpon fishing 5 or 6 years ago because the numbers just weren't there anymore. Something has to be done before the Tarpon end up extinct. There are no more kill tournaments in Florida but Tarpon still can be killed because inexperienced anglers play them too long, so the conservation effort must be from the bottom up, beginning with anglers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There are no more kill tournaments in Florida

 

Unfortunately, there are in Louisiana, and along that state's coastline you can take them anyway you want. Hopefully, Louisiana will change the laws to better protect tarpon in their waters.

 

but Tarpon still can be killed because inexperienced anglers play them too long, so the conservation effort must be from the bottom up, beginning with anglers.

 

This is a major problem. Training is the long term answer I suppose; it just takes a long time to train and to change people's concepts.

 

Thanks, T.B.

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i would sign the petition but first i'll give you a run down on tarpon populations in my area here in south louisiana, primarily from the mouth of the mississippi river east of me to penn rod slip west of me, tarpon move into these areas in great mass, not many people fish for them, only a few die hard fishermen, the oldest running gulf coast rodeo targets tarpon as their primary fish, the grand isle tarpon rodeo, i've attended this rodeo for years and have never seen tarpon killled in numbers that the biologist would lead you to believe, on a good year there may be two or three tarpon entered. hundreds of boats fish this rodeo, most all fish are released unless they take a fish that could possibly win or break a record, i've seen tarpon in mass schools here, still do, in numbers that are jaw dropping when they come in to feed on the abundant mullet populations in summer and early fall. i've been a shrimp fisherman all my life and have worked alot around these feeding areas for tarpon, they still seem to be around in numbers they were years ago by the sightings we see, small tarpon in the 10 to 50 pound range come into the mouths of bays leading into the gulf like locas. you can watch them rolling constantly on mullet, so many that you have a hard time targeting other species because the tarpon harrass your lures so much, hugh schools of shark follow them in to feed on the mullet also.. i've trawled the texas shrimp opener for 25 years from july to august, i've seen the tarpon being chased by sport fishermen on a daily basis, the areas from galveston to aransas pass south are popular for this species and boats chased them or rather harrass them constantly , so many boats that it seems like a parade exiting the passes at daylight to run to the tarpon grounds, same in florida, in the last three years i worked the florida coast, mainly from dry tortugas to key west i saw more fisherman chasing tarpon than i had in the last 30 years here in south louisiana. so much so that the fisherman would come into the slip where the shrimp and lobster boats docked to fish for tarpon that would hang around the docked boats for food we would throw to them only to watch them feed, sport boats would offer us big money to save bushels of by catch to intice the tarpon to take their baits, i saw many times sport fisherman trying to buy the discarded lobster heads from unloading docks to bait their hooks and fish for the tarpon that would enter the slip to feed on this discarded food source for them, yes tarpon love lobster heads, you could watch them all day long feeding alongside the lobster boats that came in daily as the deckhands poped heads off the lobsters and threw them over the side.

 

i never saw a fish landed by these fisherman. but it was a constant onslaught from fishermen all day long in the slips we docked in in key west. they would hook fish, really big tarpon, fish in the 150 to 200 pound class, they'd jump a few times , break off the line, the fishermen would high five each other and rerig more bait to hook another tarpon, in the clear waters you would see hugh tarpon swim by just below the surface with mono draging behind them forever, some fish with what seemed like many lines from being hooked and broken off only because they were there to take an easy meal that commecial fisherman gave them, the place was exploited by sport fishermen to a point that it was embarrassing to watch. around dry tortugas the tarpon are still there in great numbers, swimming around the docks at the fort in crystal clear waters you can watch them all day long, even swim along with them as i did on numerous occasions

 

the tarpon that biologist claim are in dire straights are strong and well here. these fish are not a food source here, more of a nuisance than anything to fishermen targeting the more popular species like speckled trout and redfish. most fisherman out for the more popular species fish with light tackle and it's a very rare occasion to hook and land a tarpon, even the smaller juvenile fish are a threat to gear being used to catch redfish and specks. on an outing last year for bull reds we hooked possibly 20 or so tarpon and not a single fish was landed, infact they were on the line for only a few seconds.

 

these tarpon here are not and have never been a popular target fish for everyday fisherman, to target these fish requires special advanced gear, boats that can run during a hookup which is the way they are fished here during rodeos that have them as a target species, you never ever see tarpon fished here as you would see in florida, flyfishing and baitcasting for tarpon are unheard of here, you can't sight cast to them because of the murkiness of our waters that come from the river. they are seen only when rolling on bait which is in select locations when the mullet schools arrive. they come here in hugh numbers, they have been for years, as long as i can remember, i hope they continue to chase mullet here, to watch tarpon crash schools of mullet is a sight to behold, they have a place here to feed and grow, with hardly any harrassment by humans. maybe thats the reason we still see these hugh masses of tarpon come in at these times of the year.

 

 

the point i want to make is never believe everything biologist write or say, they collect data at a desk on a computer. very little hands on data collecting, talk to the people that live on the waters, fisherman that spend their lives providing for their families is where the real story is, in my 25 years in the gulf as a commercial fishermen i can count on the fingers of my two hands how many times i have seen these data collectors out there in the real deal world, when they are calculating on their computers we were in the mist of the data fields. watching, hearing, learning what the real story was, is and always will be. i've fallen to stock of this controversial data collection by biologist in our area, not to say they are all this way, i'm sure their are good people out there in this flield of study. i've seen the national marine fisheries people dropping baby kemp ridley sea turtles from a helicopter ahead of shrimp trawlers in bellpass, the hugh support vessel anchored just a mile or two away. i saw this with my own eyes, i was a leading vessel in the blockade that took place in i believe 89 in the pass and blokeade of galveston pass. my boat, the Audrey G was the boat pictured every evening when headline news would come on broadcasting the plight of the turtle that we were supposidly bringing to extinction. a hugh white boat with a playboy bunny emblem on the cabin roof. you may recall seeing when i chased and stopped the ferry leading to bolivar, news helicopters buzzing over me filming the whole thing, it played on the news for weeks, that was me, myself, my brother ( the Anna G ) and 6 other boats from my area were the evil doers according to our nightly news. we were trying to save out lively hood, to make a point, the numbers given from biologist about turtle kills were simply lies, my greep was the fact you could kill a human by abortion but spend your life in jail by accidently catching a turtle. my brother and i were each fined two hundred fifty thousand dollars, yes you read that right, $250,000.00. alot of zeros to try and save your lively hood, how many commercial fisherman you know that would go to that extreme, 7 days later we blocked bell pass, we were fined again each 7 thousand five hundred dollars. thats how i felt about the data collection of biologist working the gulf coast area, how much liable data can you collect riding your truck to your desk and sitting at your computer? NMF put people on a few boats, captains and deckhands were ask off the record to turn a blind eye to numbers being written down, payments made to these fishermen to closed their mouths? these pencil pushers never took into consideration how close and family oriented the fisherman are, there were no secrets, not for any amount of money. my fines can attest to that

 

where was the since in this? these are some of the ways of these biologist that would make you believe tarpon in louisiana are endanger of extinction over rather over harvesting, i know the numbers, i know what these people are capible of, i've seen it first hand, they have millions of dollars of backing by goverment agencies, they have to find reason to aquire this money and if you get in the way of their jobs and their paychecks, it's your lively hood that becomes a thing of the past or rather endangered because afterall, those turtles and tarpon are more important than anything else, including a human life.

 

 

respectfully

 

Bud Guidry

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Bud,

 

Along the Texas coast, we see nothing like the nimbers of tarpon seen years ago or like those you describe in Louisiana, and we have mullet, too. For years, seeing a tarpon has been the great exception rather than the rule among those I know who fish the Gulf all of the time. Only now after several decades and a lot of conservation work have tarpon become more plentiful, enough so to be seen more frequently off the jetties at Aransas Pass higher on the mid-Texas Gulf coast. There have been more, still not plentiful as you describe, farther down around Brownsville.

 

When I was in college, tarpon were far more numerous here. We left Texas A&M on Friday evenings and headed for the Gulf, spending the weekends there fishing. At that time, it was anything goes just about as far as fishing. There were unlimited red, trout and you could nearly say that about tarpon, too, but all that changed with overfishing, nets and heavy bycatch from fishing boats.

 

I realize you and your family have a tough job as far as fighing weather, regulations, equipment expenses and general overhead. None of us are fishermen so we have no idea of that side of the business; we are sportfishermen. We fish the Gulf, near shore and up to 4 to 5 miles offshore in kayaks, open Gulf, beyond the breakers, shoreline and around the rigs, sometimes on weekends, but often throughout the week, too. I normally am off from 7 to 10 days a month, and much of that time is spent on or around the Gulf.

 

From all I can learn, tarpon are migratory. If you have an unlimited supply along Louisiana, that unlimited supply is not migrating here. Only now, the last 3 to 4 years, are we seeing more, and nothing like that seen in the 60's and before. All we want is a return of larger numbers so we can enjoy fishing for tarpon once again somewhat like we used to do. I don't think anyone here catches them for food, at least no one I know, but we do fish for and/or catch them for fun. All of those I know are catch and release on this species.

 

As for Ridleys, my friends and I also work the Ridley nesting season to save eggs for hatching and restocking along the Texas coast. We don't have a lot of those, either, but with the hatching and restocking program, we are getting more. They are released along the Texas PINS shore because they return to the shoreline where they were borne to nest again throughout life as best can be told.

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry to rain on this parade, but the reason for falling tarpon stocks in the Gulf has everything to do with Mexico, and virtually nothing to do with a lack of fishing restrictions in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Very few tarpon are killed in those states, but thousands perish in Mexican nets and fishing tournaments.

 

Bud,

 

Here is another view on texaskayakfisherman.com. I know there are many causes for the fall in numbers along the texas coats compared to years past. I know nothing of what goes on in Mexico.

 

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...