Outdoors briefs: Descending devices available for free for red snapper season

Descending devices

 

offered free to local fisherman

Just in time for the final weekend of the brief red snapper fishing season, Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary has procured more than 50 descending devices to give away free to recreational anglers. The devices will be given away on a first come, first serve basis — until they are all gone.

Pick up your descending device at the Gray’s Reef office on Skidaway Island on Nov. 9 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. The office is located at 10 Ocean Science Circle, Savannah, 31411. For information call, 912-598-2345.

Note: Gray’s Reef’s office driveway is on the right-hand side of the road, just before you come to the entrance to the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography.

The NOAA Fisheries is opening a brief Red Snapper season on Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 10-12. Descending devices protect deep-water fish that are caught unintentionally.

For more information on the open season, see the NOAA Fisheries website at http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/fishery_bulletins/2017/061/FB17-61index.html.

Anglers asked to help

with red snapper reporting

Charleston, SC — Recreational fishermen gearing for the red snapper mini-season will have the chance to voluntarily report their catches and releases of red snapper via a new pilot reporting website at MyFishCount.com. The recreational season will open in federal waters of the South Atlantic for two consecutive three-day weekends, November 3rd through 5th and November 10th through 12th.

After hearing the requests of anglers across the region, the Council and the Snook and Gamefish Foundation in partnership with Elemental Methods, have teamed up to make recreational electronic reporting a possibility for the 2017 red snapper mini-season through MyFishCount.com. The type of catch information anglers can record on MyFishCount.com include fish length, photos, depth fished, release method, and more.

To log catches on MyFishCount.com, anglers need to first register for an account on the website. Once registered, the easy-to-use website will allow each user the opportunity to create a trip log, enter catch information, and view past trips from one convenient location. The website is accessible from any internet-enabled device while in cellular range. To collect information while fishing offshore out of cellular range, anglers can download and print a log sheet to record catch information to later be entered into MyFishCount.com. The downloadable form will be available for the mini-season and available on the MyFishCount.com website and the Council’s website under the Red Snapper Reporting page.

Using MyFishCount.com during the mini-season is an opportunity to collect information about the current red snapper fishery and can provide information to inform the development of future recreational reporting platforms.

“It is also imperative that anglers use best fishing practices as they take advantage of this opportunity to catch red snapper,” said Chester Brewer, a recreational fisherman and member of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from West Palm Beach, Florida. “The use of descending devices and other best fishing practices will be highly beneficial in reducing fishing mortality as this stock continues to rebuild.”

Additional information on the pilot program, best fishing practices, and other items of interest for the upcoming red snapper season is available at the Council’s website at: http://safmc.net/electronic-reporting-projects/red-snapper-reporting.

To learn more about MyFishCount and to register for an account, visit MyFishCount.com or contact Kelsey Dick at the Council office at 843-725-7580 or kelsey.dick@safmc.net.

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