Tonite at 6pm there is a critically important workshop that will improve FL offshore rec fishing data collection- Louisiana implemented something like this last year and revealed a huge discrepancy in the NMFS red snapper estimates used to implement federal closures. This is the "define the universe of anglers" that will narrow the scope of fishing surveys and reduce the uncertainty that is being used to cut so much of our our Total Allowable Catch. The feedback I am getting from FWC is that they need more public feedback.

Gulf Offshore Recreational Fishing Permit Proposal Workshops

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is holding public workshops on a proposal for recreational reef fish data collection that would better define the population of offshore reef fish anglers for survey purposes using a mandatory permit or registry system. These improvements would enhance current recreational harvest data collection efforts for Florida’s reef fish species in the Gulf of Mexico, including red snapper, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, greater amberjack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, vermilion snapper and gray triggerfish. Stakeholders are invited to bring input and any questions about this proposal to any of the following meetings. Meeting locations and times are listed below.
◾Monday, March 3: Fort Myers (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST), Bass Pro Shop, 1004 Gulf Center Dr.
◾Tuesday, March 4: St. Petersburg (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST), Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, 100 Eighth Ave. SE
◾Wednesday, March 5: Perry (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. EST), Perry City Council, 224 S. Jefferson St.
◾Thursday, March 6: Destin (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CST), Destin Community Center, 101 Stahlman Ave.
◾Tuesday, March 11: Phone Conference (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. EDT), please RSVP to the Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554 to obtain instructions to join the meeting.
◾Wednesday, March 12: Pensacola (6:00 – 8:00 p.m. CDT), Escambia County Extension Office Auditorium, 3740 Stefani Rd.

For questions or comments, please contact the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management at 850-487-0554 or Marine@MyFWC.com.