Meet Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuaries’ Acting Director

Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council invites you to attend its fall meeting Friday, September 23, 2016, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Skidaway Island State Park.
The morning session will address several topics of interest for recreational fishing. Special guest speakers include;
· Russell Dunn, a national policy advisor for NOAA Fisheries who will present a snapshot of Fisheries’ recreational fishing plan and policies,
· John Armor, National Marine Sanctuaries’ Acting Director
who will speak about recreational fishing in sanctuaries, and
· Kim Iverson from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will give a brief overview of the Marine Resources Education Program (MREP) which was created for fishermen by fishermen.
Tim Tarver, CCA GA State Board member will also speak.
Sanctuary advisory council meetings are always open to the public with a comment period offered. Please join us! 
You can learn more here.

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Bulloch County Chapter Being Formed

Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia

Screen Shot 2016-07-08 at 11.02.28 AMWe’re in the process of forming a new chapter in Statesboro, GA – the officers have stepped forward and we will finalize the formation of the chapter in the next week or so. We’re excited that these folks are coming onboard! Stay Tuned!

Call To Action – The Shrinking Red Snapper Season – Let Your Voice Be Heard!

slide1 Call to Action CCA of Georgia Members Urged to Assist Our Gulf State Neighbors! Recreational fishermen along the Gulf of Mexico have been crowded into a very small corner when it comes to the red snapper fishery. NOAA has already awarded 70% of the commercial fishery to 55 individuals who do not even fish. These “Sea Lords” lease their rights to commercial fishermen for huge sums of money. That in itself is mind-boggling but the next move was to implement “sector separation” via Amendment 40 which split the recreational fishery into two groups: Charter operators and private recreational fishermen. These two groups, who previously were the best of friends, are now at odds with one another and fighting for table scraps, with the big dog, the charter for hire group coming away with the lion’s share of those scraps. Charter operators have been awarded 46 days in which they may take customers out to catch red snapper while the private fishermen have been crowded into a 9 day season which spans only one weekend. It gets worse. Sector separation was set up with a sunset provision that would end the practice of pitting fishermen against one another after 3 years. However, the charter operators are moving to have it extended indefinitely. This drives the private fisherman further into an ever shrinking corner. The charter operators are well organized, funded and focused, while the private fisherman is focused on his job and family and not nearly as in tune with this truly absurd process that is crowding them out of the fishery. That’s where CCA comes in with the power of its’ 115,000 members as the voice of the recreational fisherman. Why should we, as Georgians, be concerned about what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico? There are several reasons. First of all, many Georgians make the short trip to Gulf waters on a regular basis. Next, if this type of weed is allowed to foster in our neighbor’s yard it is only a matter of time before the seeds blow across onto our turf. Thankfully, at the urging of members of CCA of Georgia’s Government Relations Committee and others, several of Georgia’s Congressmen have signed onto H. R. 3094 as sponsors. Rep. Buddy Carter, Rep. Austin Scott and Rep. Jody Hice all are onboard.

Please take another moment to read the CCA News Release below and take action on this important legislation aimed at protecting your future access to all fisheries.

Coastal Conservation Association of Georgia

Nine-day red snapper season makes the case for state management Anglers urged to contact Congressmen to support HR 3094 Last week, NOAA Fisheries announced that the 2016 federal red snapper season for private recreational anglers – those fishing from private boats – will last just nine days, opening on June 1 at 12:01 a.m. and closing on June 10 at 12:01 a.m. , local time. The season for the federally permitted for-hire component will be 46 days, while the commercial red snapper season runs year-round using its privatized catch share system. The entire nine-day federal season this year includes a single weekend for families and friends to pursue the popular fish. It is the shortest season on record despite the fact that the total allowable catch of red snapper in the Gulf is the largest in the history of the species under management. This is as good as federal management gets for private recreational anglers. Nine days . Federal management has created a class of commercial Sea Lords (55 commercial operators who own more than 70 percent of the commercial harvest) and spurred development of hybrid ” catch share experience ” trips, in which charter operators lease fish from commercial harvesters to sell to recreational anglers. It has produced convoluted measures that are seen nowhere else in the management of wildlife in this country. Not in ducks or deer or bass. With the federal government now focused on private ownership programs for industrial harvesters and the charter/for-hire sector, the ability of recreational anglers to be a part of the process is being eliminated There is a better way. HR. 3094 , sponsored by Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), would transfer authority for the entire red snapper fishery to the Gulf states. The state fisheries directors for the five Gulf states are professional stewards of the resource, with extensive training in wildlife management in general and marine science in particular. They know what they are doing. Their state-based management plan for red snapper is based on concepts they have used so successfully on species like red drum and speckled trout in the Gulf. Neither of those fisheries were subjected to privatization schemes and the states still managed to provide an unprecedented level of access for their citizens. All have been cited as tremendous conservation success stories. The federal government has had decades to get red snapper management right and has given recreational anglers a nine-day season . The answer to complicated fishery problems cannot be to funnel access through fewer and fewer for-profit entities and leave everyone else tied to the dock. It’s time to let the states finally provide the remedy.

Please take a moment to click the link below and encourage your Congressmen to support HR 3094. Let’s put red snapper management in the hands of people who know how to manage both for the greatest conservation of the resource and greatest access for the public. Click the link below to log in and send your message: Coastal Conservation Association Georgia 2807 A Roger Lacey Drive Savannah GA, 31404 (912) 927-0280 Copyright © 20XX. All Rights Reserved. Coastal Conservation Association Georgia , 2807 Roger Lacey Drive Suite A , Savannah , GA 31404 SafeUnsubscribe™ Forward this email | Update Profile | About our service provider Sent by in collaboration with Try it free today

Chuck Smith and Sons 2016 Fly Fishing Trip

Screen Shot 2016-05-06 at 1.54.31 PMChuck Smith, life member of CCA and director of development, volunteer coordinator and special projects director  for the Skidaway Chapter took his three sons fly fishing on the Green River below the Flaming Gorge Dam near Dutch John, Utah in late April. This is the 21st annual trip for Chuck and his sons, and … to be continued

Skidaway CCA Chapter Holds Fishing Seminars

Landings fishermen and women were recently treated to a full day of seminars on resources, locations, and equipment for enjoying our local waters. Captain Jeff Soss of Savannah Fishing Adventures conducted the seminars that provided information for local anglers from beginners to advanced, who ranged in age from 9 to 78 years old. The day of instruction, held at Delegal Marina on Skidaway Island, was sponsored by the Skidaway Chapter Georgia CCA and The Landings Marinas. During the first morning presentation, Captain Jeff addressed beginners, focusing on their equipment, simple gear set-up, different bait fishing rigs, and knots. Fishing seminars-2Following a question-answer period, Captain Jeff moved on to more advanced topics, including species of fish to target, bait, rigs and gear, seasonal differences in fishing, top-water and bottom fishing tactics, and where and how to fish the significant tides along the Georgia coast. After answering more detailed questions posed by audience members, soft drinks, chips and hot dogs with fixin’s were available for participants. Following lunch, Captain Jeff hosted on-the-water sessions. Three fishers participated in each trip, visiting some of his “secret spots” in Delegal and Adams creeks, watching demonstrations of fishing techniques, learning how to “read the water” and seeing how tides affect where and how to catch fish. Participant Chuck Smith commented: “ We were shown how to recognize places where sportfish hold and ambush bait as it gets swept to them by tidal flows. A lot of good fishermen don’t want to tell their “Good Drops.” I really appreciated Jeff’s willingness to teach us how this process works.” Although weather predictions for the day were not favorable, the rain held off, and everyone gathered valuable information about fishing and our coastal fishing resources.Fishing seminars


Article and photos by Michael Welsh