Dire Forecasts from the Early Nineties
Are trout all gone? According to this article from 1991 they were close to disappearing. The size has sure come back.
This article is an archive from the Orlando Sentinel. Granted, we do not always agree with their editorial position. Rarely, in fact. But they are a good paper with good writers and good work is done by that staff. But when we were looking through some articles about overfishing we found this gem from the nineties - 1991 to be specific.
It is very interesting to us right now because of events happening in the Gulf of Mexico. There, invalid data is being used to dramatically limit our access to the fish that is essentially part of our public resources. The red snapper season, for example, has been cut from half the year (six months) to around four days. Four days you say? Four days. Once the government (National Marine Fishery Services) felt enough pressure to expand from four days to forty, the environmental groups sued them to keep the access at four days. If the weather is bad the season is lost completely to recreational anglers.
Obviously the trout population is doing fine considering this beast caught on the Indian River by angler Jerry McBridge.
Here is how the government was collecting data back in 1991.
In a six-month survey of fishermen in Brevard county, the Florida Sport Fishing Association and the Florida Conservation Association found that of nearly 5,593 sea trout caught, only 817 were keepers, meeting the 14-inch minimum size limit. And only six of the 1,475 anglers interviewed filled their 10-fish bag limit.
(By the way - the trout fishery on both sides of the state has been stellar in recent years with LOTs of big fish being caught. By big we mean bigger then 26").