"Limit Your Catch - Don't Catch Your Limit"
Our last meeting of the year was a special one. Our newly married friend and FWC Education Specialist, Jennifer Saranzak-Simms worked a full eight-hour day at her job in Cedar Key and took the time after an already long work day, to drive all the way down to Crystal River to spend the last meeting with us reviewing and wrapping up much of what we had learned over the last year. She was at our very first meeting of the Nature Coast Lady Anglers back in March 2013 and has been an integral part of why this group continues to strengthen in friendship and angling skills so it was only fitting that she be here to send us off into the new year.
Saltwater Fish Measurement
Conserving Florida's Marine Fisheries
Florida Saltwater Fishing Regulations
She went into great detail when explaining the importance of recognizing each species of fish in order to comply with the harvesting laws. "I didn't know" is not a valid argument to an FWC officer when (s)he sees an illegal fish in your cooler. Jennifer made perfectly clear the reasons why each regulated species has size limits, allowing smaller fish to reach maturity and allowing larger fish to breed. We also learned why season closures are important to the survival of some species of fish and why bag limits are set on other species.
She also showed us a Power Point slide that displayed a map which illustrated the demarcation line between Federal waters and Florida State waters, State waters - being 3 miles off shore on the East side of Florida (the Atlantic) and 9 miles from shore on the West side (the Gulf of Mexico) and how the regulations are different for some species depending on where you are fishing.
Finally, on the topic of regulations, she pointed out the various Florida Management Zones and how each zone has what the sport calls a Grand Slam. This is officially called the Florida Saltwater Grand Slam Program
which gives anglers recognition for landing three different (very specific) species of fish in one day. These species will be different depending on the management zone you're fishing in. However, due to some confusion among anglers, this program is currently being reviewed and changes may be coming soon.
Introduction to Marine Fisheries Management
She started at the beginning and explained how biologists first get involved. They conducting research on each regulated species. We learned about the different strategies they use to collect fish, and how the general public, that's me and you, can get involved and volunteer to help with some of the research teams. The information collected includes size, number and location of fish caught, as well as the number of fish that were released or harvested. Based on this collective information, the FWC Management Team makes suggestions regarding the minimum and maximum size limits, slot limits, bag limits and season closures to the FWC Commissioners who then vote on the suggested regulation changes. To read the entire PDF version of this pamphlet, click here.
Fishing Lines Magazine
Not only did we have time to laugh and joke about some great pictures from that event, we also talked Jennifer, the newlywed, into bringing some pictures of her own - wedding pictures! What a treat it was listening to her describe the ceremony, introduce us to her family, her new husband, and many of the members of the wedding party. It was a beautiful beach wedding with incredible sunset photos. Simply beautiful people and scenery. Congratulations to David & Jennifer! We ladies wish you both nothing but the best for your future together!
That being said - 2014 will run even better than this past year as we've learned so much along the way. So many opportunities will be planned out well in advance and guest speakers will be lined up in advance as well.
Until then, we wish each and everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year -
Thank you all for your kindness & support this past year.
Nature Coast Lady Anglers