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I have been thinking about this for a while and what the heck, I'll share it with you PFFers. This years Red Snapper season is going to be unlike any we have experienced before for several reasons.



Everybody is aware of the SE Atlantic closures by now. If they are lucky Red Snapper will open up in late June but most likely will remain closed through December. That means the sole source of Red Snapper commercial and recreational is in our back yard the GOM.



If Amendment 32 passes as written it will allow the commercial sector to exceed their TAC quota every month for the year and simply take the overage off the top of next years (2011)TAC quota. The demand for Red Snapper won't go away or diminish much so it's a supply the demand situation. It does appear that the commercial sector is going to have a profitable year in 2010, how it's going to affect the rest of us remains to be seen.



Florida is a fishing state to say the least, surrounded on three sides by water. So it's a safe bet to say that east coast recreational anglers will be taking advantage of the availability of recreational opportunities on the west coast. After all, it's not that big of a deal to trailer your boat across the state of our state in most cases. So we will see an increase of recreational anglers, how many is anybody's guess and we won't know the impact on the recreational catch until after the season is over. Again this data will be based on the checks conducted by FWC spot checks and the Gulf Council's compilation.



Human nature is another thing that's going to have an impact on the situation. Last season is a classic example. Last year the season opened on a Monday. The day before season opened, a beautiful Sunday, FWC checks showed that more than half the boats stopped and checked had illegal fish on board, Red Snapper. I'm sure that some of the boats they didn't stop had them as well. Some of them probably did it because they weren't able to fish opening day, others were probably just fishing as usual. I'd have to guess that this is pretty much a constant in the equation and won't have much impact on the overall situation.



It's a good thing that the assessment of the Red Snapper stocks have been under estimated because they will be fished mighty hard this year.
 
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