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So I have to do a 15-20 min. presentation to my environmental law class at UWF on the florida gill net ban. Is there anyone here that has worked in commercial fishing at that time, law enforcement, noticed a change our fishery, or just plain used the things till the law went into effect? Anything anyone has to say about the topic would be appreciated and again, any little thing you have to say about it may be of use to me. I don't want my whole presentation to be google-ed facts, thats boring, Id like to have some words from people that it has effected....helped or hurt. Thanks all.
 

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I can appreciate any one going to school to better them selves. I hate that as of yet no one has responded. I grew up fishing with gill nets. My folks and family friends would always get together on the weekends and set the net. We used to camp at the KOA in Lillian Al. There was this one family we camped with that had a 1300ft gill net. When we would set that thing we would somtimes fill up 4 and 5 48qt coolers at a time with mullet after making only one set. Maybe this had somthing to do with why we can no longer use them. I do no that when they were banned that it was missed. It was a great family adventure that we always enjoyed doing together. Dont have an opinion from a commercial point of view. I do remember hearing people talk, just a short while after the ban that they had never seen more mullet in there lives since gill nets were outlawed. My dad still has his gill net stored in an old plastic garbage can. I guess he is hoping that one day he will be able to use it again. Still has the old fiberglass boat to go along with it. :usaflag
 

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You might want to look up the Coastal Conservation Association http://www.ccaflorida.org/

There is a search option at the bottom of the page.

You may also want to try the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

From what I understand - the gill nets were rapidly depleating the fish stocks of south florida. The snook population was taking a hard hit so this was seen as an option to keep the fish from basic extinction. Locally, I am not sure about the mullet netting and the numbers of mullet. Since the net ban was a statewide issue - Iwould doubtmullet was in jeopardy of extinction. All of this was before my time but hopefully it helps you with your report!
 

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thats the ban that limited the size of hand thrown mullet cast nets as well, correct? If so, it ruined local fish frys. I remember growing up and having fish frys at reunions, club events, fairs, etc. Mullet has to be fresh and it was cheap, so that was the fish of choice for such events. With the net ban, it killed the commercial mullet market and fish frys were never the same. My cousin was good with a cast net and would peddle some for a while out of his business. But I don't think that lasted to long

My kids will never be able to experience the joy of a good fish fry thanks to the ban. As a father, I will not have the opportunity to break their fish apart and pull the backbone out while trying to calm their excitement over the expectation of that plate of delicious fried mullet. Childhood memories will never be their's to experience.

Will that work for your presentation?
 

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PM Karon. She is the real deal. Also it may not be a bad idea to ask local seafood dealers their thoughts as well, such as Joe Patties.
 

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I will PM you! I did it for 10 years! I just saw this post! I can give you some data and State bio studies when the would go out with me. Let me go find it.
 

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Comercial fishing is not the enemy. There are other states that still utilize gill nets and are not fishing to extinction. Just another example of FLorida lawmakers not getting it right just like they are now doing with snapper laws. See it's a lot easer for them to just decrease limits or cut something out totally than to actualy come up with a solution.

Least thats opinion.
 

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spear-it (10/24/2007)Comercial fishing is not the enemy. There are other states that still utilize gill nets and are not fishing to extinction. Just another example of FLorida lawmakers not getting it right just like they are now doing with snapper laws. See it's a lot easer for them to just decrease limits or cut something out totally than to actualy come up with a solution.

Least thats opinion.


A FREAKIN MEN!!!!!
 

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my only contribution is talking to a retired gillnetter. i started fishing in the early 90's just before the net ban. i remember being able to throw a bait net and catch more finger mullet than i knew what to do with. now, i dont see as much finger mullet. maybe im looking in the wrong places, i dunno. but according to my friend, the mullet arent quite as plentiful now as they were before the ban. his theory is that the net ban initially increased the amount of mullet. which increased the amount of little mullet. which was food for reds and specs. so as the reds and specks population grew, then that slowly began to deplete the mullet population some as they ate more of the little finger mullet. this is just a theory. so what it takes is for someone to recall if there are more specs and reds now than before the net ban?

all in know is i can go out and still catch as much mullet as i need by castnetting. enough for a fishfry or just for dinner. not all the time. but most of the time if im serious about it.
 

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AUradar (10/24/2007)thats the ban that limited the size of hand thrown mullet cast nets as well, correct? If so, it ruined local fish frys. I remember growing up and having fish frys at reunions, club events, fairs, etc. Mullet has to be fresh and it was cheap, so that was the fish of choice for such events. With the net ban, it killed the commercial mullet market and fish frys were never the same. My cousin was good with a cast net and would peddle some for a while out of his business. But I don't think that lasted to long



My kids will never be able to experience the joy of a good fish fry thanks to the ban. As a father, I will not have the opportunity to break their fish apart and pull the backbone out while trying to calm their excitement over the expectation of that plate of delicious fried mullet. Childhood memories will never be their's to experience.



Will that work for your presentation?




Funny, but I don't think the size of a hand thrown cast net was addressed. And I have to agree that fish fries just aren't the same. I think they should have made some sort of concession to the privately owned and used nets like the one mentioned above. Perhaps a limit of 500' of some special tax stamp or limited season would have been ok because it was a great time pulling the little boat net and its something our kids will never see.



Of course, there are more trout, reds, mullet and everything else now so maybe its a good trade. The kids get to see fish in general even if they won't get to use the gill net.



But seriously, there is one comment I want to make that is serious. When the net ban proposal was out, I was led to believe it banned nets in general with the exception of hand thrown cast nets. In fact, I remember tons of shrimp boats being sold and people claiming that the shrimpers were going to be forced out of business. Lo and behold, it didn't eliminate in shore shrimping and it should have. Instead, it ruined the recreational private guys hand pulled shrimp nets and concentrated all the shrimp boats with Joe Patti. BS!
 

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Xanadu (10/25/2007)

Funny, but I don't think the size of a hand thrown cast net was addressed. And I have to agree that fish fries just aren't the same.
It did limit the size cast net people could throw. I was young when the ban took place and just remember people talking about it. But I do remember people having to get smaller cast nets as a result.

I need to clarify my comment. The fish frys I was talking about was when people went to the market to buy large quantites of fish for the event, not personal caught with the cast net. Mullet was cheap and was the fish of choice. I remember we switched from mullet to grouper throats, which was probably a good thing. But once Penny's closed in Southport, or actually before that, grouper throats just got to expensive.
 

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AUradar (10/24/2007)My kids will never be able to experience the joy of a good fish fry thanks to the ban. As a father, I will not have the opportunity to break their fish apart and pull the backbone out while trying to calm their excitement over the expectation of that plate of delicious fried mullet. Childhood memories will never be their's to experience.quote]

Now thats just plain ridculous :doh The fishing is much better without the nets, now if we can just get the shrimpers out of the bay, we can damn sure have a fish fry
 

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about the size of net being reduced....i gotta say, a 14 foot net is still legal. how many folks can throw a 14 footer with perfection? and that aint big enough? WOW! just my thoughts on the net size.

and we get hung up on mullet, because its a food-fish in our area. but in other places in FL its not as sought after as food. but other species are--spanish mackeral and pompano, for example, are also protected by the net ban. let me ask the pier anglers, how was pompano fishing this year? and the guys who fished in the 80s, how was it back then? sometimes we forget the associated species that also benefit from this net ban. just another .02.

cheers.

drew
 

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Capt. Moore Better (10/25/2007)

Now thats just plain ridculous :doh The fishing is much better without the nets, now if we can just get the shrimpers out of the bay, we can damn sure have a fish fry
I guess tonge and cheek just doesn't fly around here.

And you missed the whole point. Go buy a hundred pounds of fish from a market for a large club party, family reunion, etc. What are you going to buy? Used to be able to get mullet cheap and that was the goto fish. Can't anymore due to the net ban. Thats one result of hte ban. Not saying the ban was wrong or right, simply saying it reduced the amount of mullet avaible at fish markets.

And yes, I miss having fried mullet at such events.
 

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AUradar (10/24/2007)

My kids will never be able to experience the joy of a good fish fry thanks to the ban. As a father, I will not have the opportunity to break their fish apart and pull the backbone out while trying to calm their excitement over the expectation of that plate of delicious fried mullet. Childhood memories will never be their's to experience.


what a bunch of hogwash.. If you care about your kids eating mullet to the point it brings you to tears, go buy a castnet and learn how to throw it.



BTW, Sorry the thread got hijacked and noone answered the original question yet.
 

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spear-it (10/24/2007)Comercial fishing is not the enemy. There are other states that still utilize gill nets and are not fishing to extinction. Just another example of FLorida lawmakers not getting it right just like they are now doing with snapper laws. See it's a lot easer for them to just decrease limits or cut something out totally than to actualy come up with a solution.

Least thats opinion.
I don't know; but Lane and I fished out of Shell Beach, Louisiana last Thanksgiving, and the condo on the canal was right next to several mullet fishermen. We talked to them, and it seems they used to fish in Florida and Alabama until they could no longer use the nets. These fishermen were catching mullet and sending them to Japan for the roe, but only the yellow roe will do. They threw away litterally thousands of good sized mullet because they had white roe; just let them float down the canal - were soooo numerous even the pelicans got tired of eating them.

Now,if that was happening in the part of the world that we could see, how many other places was it taking place in? How long will that fishery support that kind of conservation? - or lack thereof!:doh
 

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I grew up fishing here in the 80s and early 90s, left the area in 95 and just moved back this summer. I have a before and after picturewithout the influence of the "rebuilding years". I am amazed at the quality of fishing here now. 15 years of fishing the bay back then I NEVER caught or even saw a King or Spanish in the bay and if you hooked a red it was a banner day. I remember when I was 13 or 14 I caught 2legal reds in the bay and talked about it for weeks. We would intentionaly go fishing for white trout. Yes there are a few things that will be missed and those things have been addressed in this forum but over all, as a recreational fisherman, I love what the net ban has done for our waters. I can't speak for the commercial side and the scientific stuff, I don't know enough about it. I am just a guy that loves to put a line in the water when ever possible.

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks everyone for your input. Its not due till nov. 13th so theres still plenty of time. I hope to get in contact with everyone who wants to help. Again, I hate using google facts, it makes for a boring show.



The interesting thing that iv found so far is how the voting went. I wasnt here when it happend so I dont know but as I understand it it was easy to swing the vote. Iv been reading about advertizing campeighns that showed sea turtles and dodolphinsn nets and won the popular vote who had no facts, then the recreational guys (me) where saying "hell ya, no more nets, got my vote", thats why the commercial guys are mad.
 

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True statement at the end. Those were abandon nets left by the few A..holes that we had in our bunch. I never ever.......... Cought a Dolphin or turlte or any other marine mammal. I did have them come up to my net and pluck fish out and eat them. Sam with pelicans and snake birds. The only time a Selective Gill net wich they are called. Pecause every net is for a certain species. We have mullet nets that only were for mullet. Any other fish like reds trout would blow through the net due to the mesh strength. Mullet can see thick twine. Trout nets were made out of Nylon because they have strong mouths. When opening there mounths the can pop the mesh. Trout mesh sizes were 3 1/2 inch mesh for the big ones. They reduced the catch to 150 a day and closed the season down for spawning. I have never seen so much propaganda in my life about gill net fishing. But there are several different kinds of gill netters. You have the selective fisheries and then you have the drift netters. Those were the ones who would set there nets out and drift for hours catching anything that swam by. These nets had a Single straight gill net with walls of 7 inch mesh on either side. So whatever swam in got tangled up. So I just want to educate some of you on Gill nets. I did it for 10 years and was very active in the conservation as most commercial fisherman are. Once they got rid of the weekend fisherman and out of state guys It helped. When they put the season closuers in for the mullet run and trout we started to see stocks comming back. It was a tuff battle to change the Laws with the MFC to better our fish stocks just like the red snapper deal. I just get tired of the Bullshit about how better it is. All fish populations go in cycles and to let you in on a secret the reason their looks like more fish is because the fish are not scattered from the comercial guys running over them daily.

I had many State Biologist come out with me and do studies on my boat to get data and fish samples not just on the fish I was selling on game fish like trout reds and ohter species that we caught in the net. So I feel like I have done alot for the fisheries before any body was on this ban wagon of Conservation and enviromental bullshit. I would hope everbody is

a conservationist to a point and wants to help nature when ever they can.

So before you put your blinders up about Gill netters their is a certain group of them that did more for the fisheries than any of you will ever do.
 
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