EXTENSION CONNECTION: New options for gulf anglers

Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 at 03:04 PM.

Another example is a weighted milk crate — also known as a fish elevator — that you lower until the fish can swim out on its own.

New fish descending devices can increase many rockfish species’ survival rates. Possibilities of similar effects on reef fish in the Gulf and South Atlantic are being explored and researched.

The Gulf Council has voted to remove the venting requirement in federal waters, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is considering a similar change for state waters.

Using venting and descending devices is a last resort; consider them only if the fish cannot get back down on its own.

Knowing when and how to use these devices is crucial to helping improve released fish’s survival rates.

See http://catchandrelease.org for the Florida Sea Grant agents’ webinar, "Get That Fish Back Down,” which describes the latest descending gear tools and includes videos on various tool uses.

Brooke Saari is a Sea Grant Marine Science and Natural Resources agent at the Okaloosa County Extension office in Crestview.

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