In an exceptional act of agreement, the recently departed 113th Congress did the right thing for boat owners. It extended some boat sales tax and mortgage interest deductions when filing a 2014 federal income tax return. The catch is a boat has to include a sleeping berth, cooking and toilet facilities, and is offered to new owners who paid substantial state sales taxes on a new or used boat purchase last year. If there is a loan taken, mortgage interest paid on the loan may be also be deducted from your federal income taxes, according to the nation’s largest boater’s advocacy group, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS).
Swordfish management is a success story. Overfished in the 1980s and ‘90s, the swordfish stock has since been fully rebuilt, thanks to domestic and international conservation measures.
It’s over 70 years old, a thin magenta-colored line appearing on over 50 different navigational charts covering the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, snaking along the route of the Intracoastal Waterway. Now, thanks to NOAA’s Office of Coast Survey and a public-private partnership with Active Captain, an interactive cruising guidebook, NOAA will be updating the “magenta line” on all of its newly-issued navigational charts to help keep boaters in safe waters. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) submitted comments on the proposal to NOAA, who had initially proposed removing the line entirely. However, responding to BoatUS’ and other boaters’ comments, NOAA will tap into users of Active Captain to update the route in an on-going effort that will benefit the boating community.
The recreational harvest season for Florida’s premier game fish, snook, opened Sept. 1 statewide. Unique to the region, snook are one of the many reasons Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World.
While the fishery is more than 90 percent catch-and-release, the FWC encourages anglers to use moderation when determining whether or not to take a snook home. Gulf snook populations were negatively impacted by a 2010 cold kill. Gulf snook numbers currently exceed FWC’s management goals but are still rebuilding to pre-cold-kill levels, which is one of the reasons why it is important to handle fish with care in this region and use moderation when determining whether or not to harvest one.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reviewed and discussed the current status of Snook populations in Gulf and Atlantic waters at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland before deciding to allow the recreational harvest of Gulf of Mexico Snook to reopen this September.
The harvest of snook in Gulf of Mexico state and federal waters has been closed since early 2010, when a cold snap negatively impacted the population, particularly juvenile Snook. In 2012, the Commission extended the temporary closure through August 31, 2013, in an effort to further protect this important species and give it time to recover more fully from the cold snap.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its June 12 meeting in Lakeland, approved a proposal to make tarpon and bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries and moved forward with a proposal to modify the types of gear used to target tarpon in Boca Grande Pass.
This catch-and-release proposal was adopted in recognition of the fact that the economic and fishing value of bonefish and tarpon greatly exceed their value as food fishes.
Started last year, there is a movement afoot to "shop local" on Saturdays. For many, this is not a movement, but a way of life, and not just on Saturdays. In Florida, one local staple is the bait shop. A wealth of information can be found for those willing to ask and listen.
Forget the big box stores and the publicly traded behemoths; forget the gas station bait dispensers. Even if you are the type who catches your own bait, it's still a worthwhile visit. For transplants from the Midwest, the bait shop is a necessity.
Of course, for the uninitiated, the bait shop is the place to get what you need, find out what's biting on what, where, and when to go, what's in season, and all other fishing-related 411.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has repealed two rules prohibiting spearing and using an artificial light while spearfishing or gigging in state waters off Collier County.
The Collier Board of County Commissioners sent a letter to the FWC in February requesting the change, which was prompted by the Jan. 13 hook-and-line capture of the first lionfish to be documented in state waters off the county. Lionfish are a non-native invasive species that negatively impact Florida’s native fish and wildlife. Currently, the most effective method for lionfish control and removal is spearing and removal with hand-held nets. Lionfish are rarely caught by hook-and-line.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its April meeting near Tallahassee, moved forward unanimously with a proposal to make Tarpon and Bonefish catch-and-release-only fisheries.
Undercover video shows thousands of pounds of dead fish, mostly red snapper, floating to the surface after one of the controversial demolitions in the Gulf—not only is it killing fish, but destroying their habitat forever.