What do we do? Letters below are from Florida residents. Serious fishermen and women, guides. The status of things is as such: The state established a closure area for snook and redfish. But they based it on Red Tide. What about the winter weather? There should have been a closure based on that alone. Redfish have been mysterious for five years. Those of us out on the water know it. The state didn’t have any idea until just recently. There are gaps in communication. Snook are in worse condition than 2010. That was our last major freeze. Our weather in January 2018 was similar. As you will see from the comments: People are ready for a better system. I believe strongly in Scott Moore. People would like me involved. I am fine with that. But something needs to happen. It can’t continue like this.

Who speaks up? Who does something about it? The answer is: A bunch of people need to. This needs to change and it needs to change now. We have to do a better job: As anglers, but particularly at the state level. I am still unimpressed with our fisheries management. They have to incorporate our input. They keep missing.

Neil Taylor
Owner, capmel.com
Owner and guide: Strikethreekayakfishing.com

We really need something to happen. These people in charge of making decisions for us are not getting it done. Snook have been in peril for eight years. People have made that a topic. The state failed before. And really right now: Failing again. They are making decisions because of Red Tide? What about the cold that killed hundreds of thousands of snook in January? Are they stupid? Are they just that uninformed. It is simply time to get the right people involved. Neil Taylor is one. Neil spoke up when everyone else was just shaking their heads. All Neil wants is what’s right. Neil touts Scott Moore. I talked to Neil about it. Neil says that Scott is the best historian in the history of the state. I’ll take Neil’s word on it that Scott has the knowledge. Now, the same problem. How do we get it done? It can’t go on like this. I write letters. If you ask me anything I’ve done has “fallen on deaf ears.” They should want to do it right. But you know what? They don’t do it right.

They expanded the zone but for the wrong reasons. Red tide isn’t what devastated snook. The cold weather is ignored. At least they finally got more of the right area closed but come on..

It is compelling. You have the smartest people in the state of Florida telling the FWC what to do: And they NEVER listen. How many people spoke up? Yet they still didn’t do the right thing. Again. Think about how much better off we could be after red tide IF snook were left closed two years longer. How many thousands more fish would be alive. And bigger. Bigger snook are female. We need big female egg bearing snook. We need new management.

I stayed out of it before.. But the common guy is right: The commissioners need to resign. Snook are dead all the way to almost Pasco County. They were already troubled statewide. They close them in southwest florida and that’s it? No. It is time for new leadership/ They failed before. They failed now. They will fail again. No more. I didn’t speak up. I should have. now I am finished with it all. I shouldn’t have had to speak up. This should have been handled better six years ago.

I live in central Pinellas. All our snook died in the last 48 hours. All of them. Decimation
http://www.tampabay.com/news/environment/Red-Tide-dead-fish-spread-across-most-Pinellas-County-beaches_171817626
They don’t close snook in our area? Are they stupid? They needed help BEFORE they died. Now it is a catastrophe. A complete catastrophe.

The state of Florida, so many signs that we are morally bankrupt. No greater an example than the Florida Wildlife Commission: The actual commission. They can’t make a right choice if it’s handed to them. And they have had it handed to them. And they lie. “We represent our stakeholders.” They haven’t done that in 30 years. And that wasn’t them who got it done. It is a system ripe for change. It would probably take the right governor. Or maybe president. Someone in office who knows what this is: It would be changed. Look at Neil Taylor. Neil has done nothing but represent positive policies. What have they done to work with Neil? Pity. They have the chance to do it right but they aren’t smart enough to just do it. Neil is smarter than any of them. Hands down. Neil doesn’t want the job. Neil,, like me, wants to see it being done right.

Basically, just another day. Instead of seeing progress, we see the same mistakes. No one in charge who knows a thing about the species of snook. All eyes on money. Forget it that we are endangering a species that only exists four places in the world. Forget it that we are losing millions of dollars of tourists flying in to fish for snook because we don’t have any. This was a real opportunity: Protect the juvenile fish we have to adult status. Bring snook back to a respectable level. Instead the state endorses the death of snook. And they look like idiots. It is wrong. We can’t get enough people together. If we could we could call for resignations. It is what should happen. They aren’t good at their jobs.

It was five years ago. “Reopen snook”. Killing the one thing they had right in the last 20 years. Snook were closed. They should have remained closed. The lessons, just not learned. Snook only closed in the red tide area? Are they stupid? Snook are in trouble statewide but particularly the Gulf side snook. The issues: No regional management. They just created regions in this partial closure. Gulf/Atlantic would have been appropriate regional management in this case. But there could be five to eight regions for editing management. The problem: There isn’t anyone involved that will get the right thing done. I sent letters in to every facet of the FWC. All of them. None of what I had to say made any difference. What do I know, I’ve only fished here for 60 years.

It is kind of facsinating really. The wrong people doing a job. Rick Scott, on TV blaming other people for the issues with water quality. Sorry, ,you are the governor. If I was the governor I would have done things to fix it. Our resources: No pure contact with the people who make decisions. I have sent in my input. Over and over. For many years. The contact I get back is minimal. Now, on nine years with a major snook problem, they are on their newest mistakes. The close one area based on red tide? What about all the other areas where “snook are worse”. Even after red tide, the area closed has more snook than I do. They don’t listen to a Neil Taylor. Neil knows snook. Better yet, Neil talks to everyone else in other areas who know snook. Neil is the only one who took it to task the last time. Others bellyached. Neil got into meetings. The barn door already closed Neil exposed their deficiencies and he did it with professionalism. That should have led to improvements. But, alas, the state has ignored Neil Taylor ever since. I know it because I called him. Would you believe that Neil apologized to me? Neil made an effort. A great effort. Nothing improved, not Neil’s fault but Neil apologized to me that things have not improved. Luis Barbieri, promises to Neil, unfilfilled. The entire “snook division” promises to Neil, unfulfilled. Captain Scott Moore. That’s Neil’s guy. Neil wants to be on the outside. He wants Scott on the inside. Neil is right. Scott is the guy to determine the future of Florida resource management. Take advantage of it while he is still alive. Neil told me “Scott’s been guiding 30 years longer than I have lived in Florida.” Neil tells it straight. Scott Moore tells it straight. Why can’t these guys be the ones making decisions? Seriously? “Commissioners.” Never met one probably because there’s not one of them that goes fishing. I hope they enjoy that cash they make for not doing a job. Because they are a joke. No way around it, compare Florida to Texas: Texas protects their resources. The people in those jobs know their stuff. Not here. People laugh at us. As they should.

I’ve got dead snook behind my house, hundreds of them today. We are “open”. They don’t know what they are doing. They should have been closed at least on the Gulf side if not statewide. I saw their boundary. They ignored everything else. Only red tide matters? Commission: Failure again. I wrote a letter. I never heard back. That’s not good. I believe we need to get people involved who actually know what this is about. These people very obviously don’t have a clue.

I am a lifelong Florida resident. I’ve been fishing since I was about ten years old. Snook were the big thing. They aren’t anymore. They could be again. Enough big females to create baby snook, the baby snook need to be protected to big adult snook. Pretty easy, more female breeders and big giant snook to “catch and release.” I believe that the FWC doesn’t have any concept of catch and release. Most of the people I know I consider peers, none of them would ever keep a snook. They might have ten years ago but none of them would keep one now. It is a miss. A big miss, to not protect a magnificent species. The FWC is worthless. Solution: Not easy. A better system has to arrive eventually. The way it is now: Tax dollars wasted on salaries for people that don’t know anything about the ecosystem or how to manage it.

I have watched from close up. I have watched from far away. None of it is good. they send me an email “snook are exceeding management goals.” do they say that to a Scott Moore? Of course they don’t. I could write for an hour but I won’t. The bottom line. Does anyone. I mean anyone, ,have any knowledge about Florida fish on this board? I would say, going back ten years the answer is NO. Bad for us. Snook suffer. Our entire ecosystem loses.

win or lose? well what do you want? If you want to catch jacks and ladyfish we are all right. If you want to catch a world class snook? Wait 20 years . Longer than that if the same management people stay in office. Joke. Joke. Joke. I don’t know any of them. That is a problem. Easily. I should know someone who is in charge of managing snook. Me, or someone who knows me. Reality. Nameless faceless people who can’t do anything more than cash their paychecks. That is pretty much it. Sorry, I tried. They didn’t want to know what I had to say.

Knock knock. Who’s there. Losers. Anyone who lives in
Florida. Because the people who represent them don’t promote their resources. Period. Snook are imperiled. We have a chance to bring them back. But we won’t do it. Why? Because seven people want to covet the tourists. A sad error. A bad error. In my opinion: Ciminal.

I received a letter from Jessica McCawley which was nice.

You announcement today on snook and redfish has met mixed results. You have it part right. You would have had it more acceptable to the most knowledgable around here if you made this a “Gulf/Atlantic” thing. You seem to have neglected the impact of the January freeze. Problem with snook exist outside the area you have left closed. The fish that survived in 2010 to the north of Tampa Bay were decimated this January. Snook numbers are still precariously low in most of the Tampa Bay area northward. You have a chance to protect it all. You should. Talk to the pros. I don’t know a single guy who wants snook open. None. That makes this: A miss. Better than it could have been but a miss. If snook reopen September 1st in the other areas, expect trouble. The people are tired of it. They want snook back, it’s your job to help make that happen and allowing people to take them home is idiotic. Amend what you have done. Do it right.

If snook are to reopen everywhere else: You have failed. And you should not have your job anymore. Period.

You’ve got employees that say they side with me. But they can’t do anything about it. How busted is this system?

You quote Brian Gorski. I’ve known Brian for 18 years. Brian spends one one thousandth of the time of the water am Scott and I do. Why aren’t you interviewing one of us? Scott is in the hit zone. But I live where the snook were in worse shape to begin with. And after January it is worse than 2010 levels. But you all don’t study it. You do your assessments and say that things are fine. That’s fiction. Do you know the last time one of my clients caught a snook? Eight months ago. What’s that say? Busy schedule. Out there almost every day: Not a single snook caught. Before 2010 I was a premiere snook guide. My stats were 12 snook per trip, average size 32 inches. Fact. Look at what we have now. It is your job. Do it or we will find people who will do it right.

The response was mixed. I sided on the side of sadness. You had this chance and you didn’t take it. Why don’t you listen to all of us that are on the water 250 days a year? You base decisions on things people who don’t spend any time out there. That’s sad.

And thus, it is time for a change. If this is the way it is going to go: I will push for change. I only have 100,000 people behind me. What good will that do?

You came closer but you missed again. A dividing line? It should have been the whole coast. Our resources deserve the right protection. August 31, you guys should be meeting right now. You should be discussing closing the entire Gulf Coast for snook. Redfish, that would be a good boundary. Redfish aren’t as stressed to the north. Act. Do the right thing.

It’s probably getting to the time where we start over. Hire commisssioners who know something about what is actually going on. Snook are in a tough situation. What help do they get? Nothing. They declare a closed area, just basically based on red tide. What about what the January weather did to them everywhere else? Just another bad decision by nameless, faceless people. My 55 years here I have never met a commissioner. I wrote letters. I never heard anything back, once getting a form letter thanking me for caring but not saying that anything I had to say meant a thing.

Snook. A target of ridicule. Other states look at our ourdoor situation and they laugh at us. Snook is a good example. Out of town people get it better than a commissioner does. A snook’s value is alive. To the commission, snook’s value is in people taking it home dead (as long as they ponied up their snook stamp money.) We are failing again.

I guess it just never gets any better. It is 2018. A governor that blames the feds for water quality. Sorry but if you are the governor you kind of own it. A state agency that doesn’t know how to manage, well, pretty much anything. Snook are primed to come back if we protect the ones we have. Keep them closed until they are too big to legally keep. We all spoke up about it. What did they do? They said they are only closed where the red tide killed them. Sad. So sad. Our future is up to these people?? I used to be a supporter. Those days are gone. We need a new system. We need the right decisions being made.

We lose again. Dead snook everywhere. Never mind what happened in January. Not the right action. At all.
Whatever commissioners.

The state of Florida, so many signs that we are morally bankrupt. No greater an example than the Florida Wildlife Commission: The actual commission. They can’t make a right choice if it’s handed to them. And they have had it handed to them. And they lie. “We represent our stakeholders.” They haven’t done that in 30 years. And that wasn’t them who got it done. It is a system ripe for change. It would probably take the right governor. Or maybe president. Someone in office who knows what this is: It would be changed. Look at Neil Taylor. Neil has done nothing but represent positive policies. What have they done to work with Neil? Pity. They have the chance to do it right but they aren’t smart enough to just do it. Neil is smarter than any of them. Hands down. Neil doesn’t want the job. Neil,, like me, wants to see it being done right.

Basically, just another day. Instead of seeing progress, we see the same mistakes. No one in charge who knows a thing about the species of snook. All eyes on money. Forget it that we are endangering a species that only exists four places in the world. Forget it that we are losing millions of dollars of tourists flying in to fish for snook because we don’t have any. This was a real opportunity: Protect the juvenile fish we have to adult status. Bring snook back to a respectable level. Instead the state endorses the death of snook. And they look like idiots. It is wrong. We can’t get enough people together. If we could we could call for resignations. It is what should happen. They aren’t good at their jobs.

It was five years ago. “Reopen snook”. Killing the one thing they had right in the last 20 years. Snook were closed. They should have remained closed. The lessons, just not learned. Snook only closed in the red tide area? Are they stupid? Snook are in trouble statewide but particularly the Gulf side snook. The issues: No regional management. They just created regions in this partial closure. Gulf/Atlantic would have been appropriate regional management in this case. But there could be five to eight regions for editing management. The problem: There isn’t anyone involved that will get the right thing done. I sent letters in to every facet of the FWC. All of them. None of what I had to say made any difference. What do I know, I’ve only fished here for 60 years.

It is kind of facsinating really. The wrong people doing a job. Rick Scott, on TV blaming other people for the issues with water quality. Sorry, ,you are the governor. If I was the governor I would have done things to fix it. Our resources: No pure contact with the people who make decisions. I have sent in my input. Over and over. For many years. The contact I get back is minimal. Now, on nine years with a major snook problem, they are on their newest mistakes. The close one area based on red tide? What about all the other areas where “snook are worse”. Even after red tide, the area closed has more snook than I do. They don’t listen to a Neil Taylor. Neil knows snook. Better yet, Neil talks to everyone else in other areas who know snook. Neil is the only one who took it to task the last time. Others bellyached. Neil got into meetings. The barn door already closed Neil exposed their deficiencies and he did it with professionalism. That should have led to improvements. But, alas, the state has ignored Neil Taylor ever since. I know it because I called him. Would you believe that Neil apologized to me? Neil made an effort. A great effort. Nothing improved, not Neil’s fault but Neil apologized to me that things have not improved. Luis Barbieri, promises to Neil, unfilfilled. The entire “snook division” promises to Neil, unfulfilled. Captain Scott Moore. That’s Neil’s guy. Neil wants to be on the outside. He wants Scott on the inside. Neil is right. Scott is the guy to determine the future of Florida resource management. Take advantage of it while he is still alive. Neil told me “Scott’s been guiding 30 years longer than I have lived in Florida.” Neil tells it straight. Scott Moore tells it straight. Why can’t these guys be the ones making decisions? Seriously? “Commissioners.” Never met one probably because there’s not one of them that goes fishing. I hope they enjoy that cash they make for not doing a job. Because they are a joke. No way around it, compare Florida to Texas: Texas protects their resources. The people in those jobs know their stuff. Not here. People laugh at us. As they should.

I’ve got dead snook behind my house, hundreds of them today. We are “open”. They don’t know what they are doing. They should have been closed at least on the Gulf side if not statewide. I saw their boundary. They ignored everything else. Only red tide matters? Commission: Failure again. I wrote a letter. I never heard back. That’s not good. I believe we need to get people involved who actually know what this is about. These people very obviously don’t have a clue.

I am a lifelong Florida resident. I’ve been fishing since I was about ten years old. Snook were the big thing. They aren’t anymore. They could be again. Enough big females to create baby snook, the baby snook need to be protected to big adult snook. Pretty easy, more female breeders and big giant snook to “catch and release.” I believe that the FWC doesn’t have any concept of catch and release. Most of the people I know I consider peers, none of them would ever keep a snook. They might have ten years ago but none of them would keep one now. It is a miss. A big miss, to not protect a magnificent species. The FWC is worthless. Solution: Not easy. A better system has to arrive eventually. The way it is now: Tax dollars wasted on salaries for people that don’t know anything about the ecosystem or how to manage it.

I have watched from close up. I have watched from far away. None of it is good. they send me an email “snook are exceeding management goals.” do they say that to a Scott Moore? Of course they don’t. I could write for an hour but I won’t. The bottom line. Does anyone. I mean anyone, ,have any knowledge about Florida fish on this board? I would say, going back ten years the answer is NO. Bad for us. Snook suffer. Our entire ecosystem loses.

win or lose? well what do you want? If you want to catch jacks and ladyfish we are all right. If you want to catch a world class snook? Wait 20 years . Longer than that if the same management people stay in office. Joke. Joke. Joke. I don’t know any of them. That is a problem. Easily. I should know someone who is in charge of managing snook. Me, or someone who knows me. Reality. Nameless faceless people who can’t do anything more than cash their paychecks. That is pretty much it. Sorry, I tried. They didn’t want to know what I had to say.

Knock knock. Who’s there. Losers. Anyone who lives in
Florida. Because the people who represent them don’t promote their resources. Period. Snook are imperiled. We have a chance to bring them back. But we won’t do it. Why? Because seven people want to covet the tourists. A sad error. A bad error. In my opinion: Criminal.

It is on tv all day long. It is a pretty easy one. The fish are dead. Why would we allow harvest of a top species when we lost such a high percentage of them? Who are these people. Honestly, it looks like not a single one of them understands the score. This is so disappointing. What can I do? What can anyone do?

I have told the people: If you kill a snook, don’t come to my seminars anymore. If you kill a snook I don’t want to be in the same room as you. My 300 days this year didn’t amount to much. I told them to keep snook closed. A lot of the other guys did the same. Did it do any good? They only kept them closed in the red tide affected areas? What about the freeze. Up here we lost more fish than they did down south in the red tide. Why are they closed and we are open. We have just enough smaller fish that if protected past slot, we might have a fishery again. But not if you allow people to keep them. They are easy to catch. They will get weeded out and we will have NO SNOOK. Thanks to the FWC.

The majesty of snook. Ask people I know. They’ll tell you how it is. Ask someone who works for the Florida Wildlife Commission and they’ll tell you a snook is no better than an African carp.

Subject: Snook

The 2018 failure: They don’t listen. The last time we spoke up too late. This time we spoke up early and they still handled it wrong. Pity: We could have an improved fishery in a couple of years if the people who are in these positions had any idea what they are doing. Seriously: The hundreds of letters they got meant nothing? Did they not realize every person who took the time to write one of these letters has more clout than any of them? I quit. I won’t write to them anymore about anything. They obviously don’t care what anyone else has to say. Great system.

I’m about tired of people who don’t know a thing being in charge. This is yet another sad chapter in the Florida annals.

Everyone I know wrote letters: Snook should be closed. And closed for a long time. You can’t get any clearer than that. We are the most knowledgable. That input should have been weighted properly. As usual, it wasn’t. They continue to mismanage our natural resources. And we are the ones that suffer. I’m at 50 years fishing these waters. This is the worst snook fishing has been in that entire time. Small snook, it has the chance for a comeback but not if you tell people they can take them home. Taking home a snook is criminal.

Why not just allow the gillnetters to finish them off? The people at the FWC are endorsing the destruction of this species anyway.

I wrote to the commissioners, just as people told me I should do. I saw the letters other people wrote. It did not make a difference. Snook reopened anyway. What do I know? I’ve only been fishing the species for 60 years. Snook are almost extinct. We are stupid enough to tell people it is OK to keep them? Florida scientists? Whatever. I have never seen one on the water. So, they are supposed to know more than I do? That’s funny.

Those who don’t learn from the mistakes of the past are doomed to repeat it. Welcome to the Florida Wildlife Commission. We have the second worst weather event in 50 years this January followed by the worst red tide in 13 years: Snook are reopened? Are you kidding? I would say it is time to call for the resignation of these people. Get people in there who know how to make proper decisions. They messed it up five years ago reopening snook. This was an easy one: A chance to make up for the previous idiotic decision. Nope. The word on the streets is that they are bowing to tourism. If that’s true pushing for resignations is even more critical. Tourism is great for Florida but we can’t damage our state just for a tourist.

I received a letter from Jessica McCawley which was nice.

You announcement today on snook and redfish has met mixed results. You have it part right. You would have had it more acceptable to the most knowledgable around here if you made this a “Gulf/Atlantic” thing. You seem to have neglected the impact of the January freeze. Problem with snook exist outside the area you have left closed. The fish that survived in 2010 to the north of Tampa Bay were decimated this January. Snook numbers are still precariously low in most of the Tampa Bay area northward. You have a chance to protect it all. You should. Talk to the pros. I don’t know a single guy who wants snook open. None. That makes this: A miss. Better than it could have been but a miss. If snook reopen September 1st in the other areas, expect trouble. The people are tired of it. They want snook back, it’s your job to help make that happen and allowing people to take them home is idiotic. Amend what you have done. Do it right.

If snook are to reopen everywhere else: You have failed. And you should not have your job anymore. Period.

You’ve got employees that say they side with me. But they can’t do anything about it. How busted is this system?

You quote Brian Gorski. I’ve known Brian for 18 years. Brian spends one one thousandth of the time of the water am Scott and I do. Why aren’t you interviewing one of us? Scott is in the hit zone. But I live where the snook were in worse shape to begin with. And after January it is worse than 2010 levels. But you all don’t study it. You do your assessments and say that things are fine. That’s fiction. Do you know the last time one of my clients caught a snook? Eight months ago. What’s that say? Busy schedule. Out there almost every day: Not a single snook caught. Before 2010 I was a premiere snook guide. My stats were 12 snook per trip, average size 32 inches. Fact. Look at what we have now. It is your job. Do it or we will find people who will do it right.

The response was mixed. I sided on the side of sadness. You had this chance and you didn’t take it. Why don’t you listen to all of us that are on the water 250 days a year? You base decisions on things people who don’t spend any time out there. That’s sad.

And thus, it is time for a change. If this is the way it is going to go: I will push for change. I only have 100,000 people behind me. What good will that do?

You came closer but you missed again. A dividing line? It should have been the whole coast. Our resources deserve the right protection. August 31, you guys should be meeting right now. You should be discussing closing the entire Gulf Coast for snook. Redfish, that would be a good boundary. Redfish aren’t as stressed to the north. Act. Do the right thing.

It’s probably getting to the time where we start over. Hire commisssioners who know something about what is actually going on. Snook are in a tough situation. What help do they get? Nothing. They declare a closed area, just basically based on red tide. What about what the January weather did to them everywhere else? Just another bad decision by nameless, faceless people. My 55 years here I have never met a commissioner. I wrote letters. I never heard anything back, once getting a form letter thanking me for caring but not saying that anything I had to say meant a thing.

Snook. A target of ridicule. Other states look at our ourdoor situation and they laugh at us. Snook is a good example. Out of town people get it better than a commissioner does. A snook’s value is alive. To the commission, snook’s value is in people taking it home dead (as long as they ponied up their snook stamp money.) We are failing again.

I guess it just never gets any better. It is 2018. A governor that blames the feds for water quality. Sorry but if you are the governor you kind of own it. A state agency that doesn’t know how to manage, well, pretty much anything. Snook are primed to come back if we protect the ones we have. Keep them closed until they are too big to legally keep. We all spoke up about it. What did they do? They said they are only closed where the red tide killed them. Sad. So sad. Our future is up to these people?? I used to be a supporter. Those days are gone. We need a new system. We need the right decisions being made.

Neil Taylor

Neil Taylor

Full time kayak fishing guide, Neil was an advocate for conservation since before the time he started guiding.Outdoor writer, speaker and radio show host, Neil connected closely with Captain Mel Berman and did many positives with Mel to promote ethical angling. After Mel passed away, Neil managed www.capmel.com and eventually became that web site’s owner.
Neil Taylor

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