Captain Tim Jarvis has moved on to the fishing “Chum Line Fishing Report” and I have been asked to take over for him on the regulatory and conservation fronts. I hope I will be able to adequately fill his shoes from this point on.
Conservation as it pertains to fishery management and water quality are a couple of my passions, so you are going to hear a lot about that going forward. Same for regulatory issues and I plan on keeping our members informed of the ever changing legal and political issues that affect our sport. I am also going to concentrate this column solely on our home inshore and offshore waters and communities, so if you are traveling and need some input as to regulations you can give me a call, since you will no longer find it here.
Manatee speed zones in Flagler, Volusia and St Johns County kicked in on May 5th. That’s old news but the new news is that our manatee population is actually increasing and on the move. The sea cows are looking for food and moving our way since their food supplies to the south are dying. I have literally bumped into manatees in places I had never encountered them in the 15 years I have lived here. Please be extra careful on the flats and in the creeks since these animals are not the brightest bulbs on the planet. Same for the ICW and the docks there. We have manatees grazing a couple of days a week at our house.
Kill switches or EOCS as the feds call them, became required on all boats below 26ft without a wheelhouse April 1,2021. Again, old news but the new news is that our local and federal law enforcement agencies have moved beyond the “educational” stage to the enforcement stage. So please wear your lanyard any time the boat is on plane. This is a federal law and you can check the specifics on the Coast Guard’s website.
Snook Season ends July 1—September 30 in Atlantic waters
That’s about it for this month but stay tuned; we are working on some pretty cool projects to help improve our water quality and fishery.