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The bottom line:  I’m still out there every day.   I’m not pleased with what I’m seeing.   Problems because of mismanagement.   Problems because of increased fishing pressure.     Just problems in general that I’m not sure why they exist:   Things are not what they were ten years ago.   They just aren’t.   It’s not doom and gloom.   It is reality.   I’m curious about so many people who have their heads down in the sand.    People who should be speaking out.   They see it.   They don’t want to say anything and discourage charters.     Shortsighted.
The time is now.     We need the people in charge to do something about it.   My initial attempts at getting things started went slow.    Then, a response.    Now, we will see what transpires now that this door has been opened.   I can tell you this:  It’s better than it was before.   But talk is talk:  Action will be the determining factor.    I will do my part.    I have been asked to continue this quest.   There are not less than 10,000 people who support my efforts.     Countless more that I haven’t ever met who would like my efforts to reach some kind of success.    I won’t quit until I have been successful.
I received the following from Melissa Recks:On behalf of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Governor DeSantis, thank you for your continued involvement in Florida’s nearshore fisheries.  The FWC is proud to serve as the managers of Florida’s fishery resources and, in doing so, ensure the continued availability of the state’s numerous seafood and sport fishing resources.  Having said that, I know that you feel your knowledge and expertise have not been properly used in the management process. The FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management works closely with the FWC’s Fish and Wildlife Research Institute and other research institutions, as well as the numerous guides, fishers, and other interested stakeholders to understand both the status of our fisheries and the fishing experience anglers hope to achieve when fishing off Florida’s coast.  Your feedback and information are important to us, especially given your many years of experience with these fisheries.  We are listening.  We consider your input along with, and within the context of, all the other research and social information that is available to us from various sources, including your colleagues in the fishery.  I hope that you will continue to work with us as we all strive to conserve and improve Florida’s fisheries.  Sincerely, Melissa RecksSection LeaderDivision of Marine Fisheries Management
Expertise is something I have.   What I have been trying to do all along is help the system do the right things.    I’m a former pro baseball umpire, in my fifteenth year guiding.     I have seen things change in the past five years, and not in a good way.    Our resource was in excellent shape for 20 plus years following the 1994 net ban.    Snook took their hit from the 2010 freeze.   Errors in that species management are why they are not back to where they should be.   I fought that battle after the  mistakes were already made.   I got the respect of the people for doing so.     Roughly five years ago, things  with redfish went into a steady decline.    Skip to two days ago.   A location where I would take people and they would catch up to ten redfish.   In five hours:   Never even saw a redfish.    That’s not good.    A pure numbers game:   The rules haven’t kept up with the progress.    How many new people move here every day?   How many of them are fishing?    Humans are hard on stuff.     We need to get the rules right but hatchery programs may also be of assistance.   I personally believe saltwater species are so good at procreating, hatchery stuff isn’t necessary.    Given the stresses of the species, it may not be a bad idea.   But something needs to be done.   Things are tougher.    Trout will do fine on their own but serious evaluation on rules changes would be a good idea.     Enforcement needs to be talked about.    The chances of getting caught with an illegal fish is basically zero.    And that’s no good.   We are not protecting our resources.   
I honestly believe the best move you can make:  Put Captain Scott Moore on staff.    Pay the guy to decide the direction of your program.   He will help you to fix the problems.    He would make your system successful.   I have the approval of my peers with this proposal.   Scott has the respect.   He earned it.   You should consider it.    You should not only consider it, you should do it.   I would assist Scott.   Everyone I know would step up to help Scott however they could.     Think about it.    If you go that way, I see major improvements in a system that just doesn’t work right.    
From my standpoint:  If you don’t do something, the complete collapse of our ecosystem is becoming possible.   
Neil Taylor
From where I sit:   The success of this administration lies with what changes they make in this arena.   There are major problems.   Scott Moore could resolve the whole thing.    I could help the whole thing.    But neither Scott nor I are currently involved.   And the resource is suffering.   To me it is nothing short of depressing.    Oh, to go back to how things were ten years ago…
It isn’t doom and gloom.   But it is worth talking about and it is up to you to take some action.     Things are not what they used to be.    We could do things where we could help to bring it back.    My fifteen years guiding:   I have seen that things have deteriorated.    My colleagues, just less likely to say anything.    But the knowledge is there:   Things are tougher.     I have talked about the species.     This needs to be an open discussion.     Restrictions need to be tighter.     Enforcement needs to be addressed.    The chances of a poacher getting caught are almost zero.    That’s not good.    Snook never recovered from the 2010 freeze.    If the FWC made different decisions, that fishery would be a lot better.    They failed.     I fought them at the time.    I won the fights but they had already made their incorrect decision.     I looked smart and continue to look smart.    The same situation exists:   A good number of small snook, we should protect those fish to adult status.    It is that simple.     Redfish aren’t cold sensitive.    But redfish have disappeared.     Once dominant, now you can go weeks without seeing one.    That’s not good.    Those are the two species where attention is most needed.   

ntaylor

ntaylor

Former baseball umpire, now fishing guide. Graduate of the University of Arizona.
ntaylor

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