Petition to FWC Marine Department, Sonya Rood, Bo Rivard, Michael W. Sole, Robert Spottswood, Gary Nicklaus, Joshua Kellam, Gary Lester
Stop The FWC From Reopening Fishing Of The Critically Endangered Goliath Grouper
Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is considering reopening fishing of the critically endangered Goliath Grouper. Local fishermen have pressured the agency, stating that the grouper populations have recovered and they fear the groupers are consuming too many game-fish and lobsters. What Does Science Tell Us? 1. A recent Florida State University research team published a paper on their findings stating "The Goliath Grouper is still Overfished and Critically Endangered!" 2. A recent research paper by Dr. Sarah Frias-Torres shows that overfishing is the reason for declining fish and lobster stocks; not Goliath Groupers. 3. An analysis of Goliath Grouper stomach contents by the University of Florida found that 85% of their diet consists of crabs and other crustaceans. The other 15% was found to consist of slow moving fish such as pufferfish, catfish, and stingrays; not game fish. 4. Florida State University researchers published a peer-reviewed paper showing that reef fish abundance and diversity is higher when Goliath Groupers are present on those reefs. This study shows that goliath groupers act as ecological engineers, creating life for many marine species. 5. Florida's Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), along with other entities, have conducted several stock assessments of Goliath Groupers, with the most recent survey taking place in 2016. The FWC's recent assessment concluded that Goliath Grouper populations had recovered. However, these results were rejected by a panel of independent scientists brought in by the FWC to review the study. The panel rejected the manner in which these assessments were conducted and labeled the findings as an inconclusive measure of population. Currently, the Goliath Grouper is still listed as 'critically endangered.' The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) concludes that if permits to harvest the grouper are sold for $300 (an approximation), the current proposal to issue 400 Goliath Grouper permits could bring in roughly $120,000 to be used for 'scientific research' aimed to protect Goliaths. In addition, they state these captured fish can be sold for food. Need More Information? 1. The Goliath Grouper has become a huge, thriving, piece of the ecotourism industry along Florida's East Coast. One, out of the roughly one-hundred, scuba operators in South Florida stated that he brings in an estimated $500,000 each year, generated by taking divers to see these groupers in the wild. By protecting these animals, the long-term economic benefits to the state of Florida far exceed the value generated by a one-time kill. 2. Dr. Chris Koenig's research revealed that the flesh of the Goliath Grouper contains high levels of mercury. Mercury levels in these fish were found to approach 3.5 ppm, far exceeding federal health advisory warnings. The FDA prohibits the sale of any fish with mercury higher than 1.0 ppm. With mercury levels higher than 0.5 ppm, the Natural Resources Defense Council recommends avoiding consumption due to the danger of mercury poisoning. 3. Former Chief Scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Sylvia Earle, warned that "Killing the Goliath Grouper would be killing the growing economic benefits derived from divers who want to see these Iconic animals, who are often as curious as us. 4. Some say that a 'sustainable' annual harvest of Goliath Groupers is possible, but many scientists agree that the current population would not last more than a year or two after opening such a fishery.
Petition to J. Kevin Pearson, Garret Graves, Louisiana State Senate, Bill Cassidy, John Bel Edwards, Louisiana State House, Steve Scalise, David Vitter
Louisiana to make all waterways accessible to fisherman
Copied from WAFB Cheryl Mercedes - Some Louisiana fishermen are fighting an old law that makes it illegal for them to access private waterways. They claim it's limiting their recreational space and driving dollars away from the state. One of the main attractions of the Bayou State are the miles of scenic waterways, which have allowed Louisiana to reel visitors into what is known as Sportsman's Paradise. But with more people buying property on the water, an estimated tens of thousands of acres of the state’s treasure are no longer accessible to fishermen. Angler and secretary of the Louisiana Sportsmen’s Coalition (LASC), Sean Robbins, says property owners are taking extra steps to keep unwanted boats out. “It's getting to the point where they are having local law enforcement agencies, like the sheriff's office and justice of the peaces, write criminal trespassing tickets to people,” Robbins said. The LASC has launched a video campaign aimed at raising awareness about the issue and letting landowners know anglers are running out of places to fish. It also raises concerns over a loss of state tourism dollars. Louisiana is the only state in the country that allows private land owners to restrict motorboats. “To me, it's exactly the same situation as a plane flying over private land. The FAA controls that and it is accessible to all airplanes,” Robbins said. If one lawmaker has his way, things could turn around for sportsmen. House Bill 391, authored by Representative Kevin Pearson of Slidell, would allow public access to all running waters in the state, including waters passing over any privately-owned water bottom. “I am not trying to deal with the water bottoms, despite the fact there is land considered dually owned by the state and a landowner. We have companies such as Houston-based Apache, having local sheriffs and their water patrol issuing tickets to boaters in our waters. Obviously, Apache cannot do the same in Texas. If we pride ourselves in bring the Sportsman’s Paradise, something must change soon. It is getting worse and not better. I should also mention that these landowners are only paying about .13 per acre in property taxes. We have neglected this issue for too long and it is unfair to the sportsmen and women of our state,” Pearson said. Robbins worries if something does not change, it could cast doubt on the future generation of fishermen. “I think it's going to snowball and progress to where those who are rich are going to be able to pay to play, and those who are not won't have the opportunity to. I think it’s a shame that that is so enshrined in the culture of Louisiana, and it’s so fragile, and for it to be subject to these archaic laws,” Robbins said. The bill goes before the Civil Law Committee on Tuesday, April 10.
Petition to Kinnickinnic River Corridor Planning Committee, City Council - City of River Falls, SEH , Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Restore the Kinnickinnic River through Dam Removal
Help the Friends of the Kinni restore the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal! The City of River Falls, Wisconsin has undertaken the “Kinnickinnic River Corridor Planning Process”. As a part of this process, the City Council is scheduled to decide on February 27th, 2018 whether or not to surrender the City’s Federal dam license for the River Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC #10489). Surrender of the license allows for subsequent river restoration through dam removal. We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge the Kinnickinnic River Corridor Planning Committee and the City Council of the City of River Falls to act now to adopt a plan that calls for surrender of the FERC license for the River Falls Hydroelectric Project (FERC #10489). As a part of the Kinni Corridor Planning Process, we further request that the plan include timely decommissioning of the hydroelectric facilities, and the complete restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through removal of BOTH the Upper “Junction Falls” Dam & the Lower “Powell Falls” Dam from the Kinnickinnic River. The Kinnickinnic River in River Falls, Wisconsin is the pride and joy of our community. Our City's Comprehensive Plan states: "The Kinnickinnic River is perhaps the finest coldwater resource in the Upper Midwest, if not in the entire United States. Designated as an Outstanding Water Resource by the Wisconsin DNR, the Kinnickinnic River (also known as the 'Kinni') is one of just two Class I trout streams in Wisconsin that flow through a City of 10,000. This natural gem is truly unique and the center piece of our community which is located on the falls of the Kinnickinnic River." And yet today our waterfalls are no more. (Learn more here.)Today, a diversion dam sits at the site of the former "Junction Falls" waterfall of the Kinnickinnic River. The ledges of our former waterfall sit dry today below the dam because the water which would otherwise cascade over our "Junction Falls" waterfall is instead diverted through a 200' long, 6’ x 6’ tube called a penstock in the side of the cliff, completely de-watering the river.There is no greater damage that can be done to a river than to remove all of the water from its banks!Furthermore, a full mile of our otherwise pristine, cold-water, world class trout stream is currently destroyed and buried below the stagnant, tepid waters impounded behind the two remaining dams in town. The two 15 acre impoundments (mill ponds) are completely silted in and do not provide any recreational opportunities nor valuable fish habitat. The destruction these dams inflict on our beloved Kinni produces a meager 1% - 2% of the electricity our community consumes, through the generation of hydroelectricity at the 375 kWh facility. The complete restoration of the Kinnickinnic River through dam removal is a unique opportunity to: Make exceptional use of this public waterway resource Re-create the "Junction Falls" waterfall in the heart of the River Falls community Restore a full mile of world class trout stream Improve the water quality of the Lower Kinni Increase opportunities for recreational and white-water kayaking Create additional urban open green space Improve storm water management And bolster the vitality of our Main Street Community. Please help us FREE THE KINNI and Put the FALLS Back in River Falls!! Visit us on Facebook to learn more.https://www.facebook.com/kinnickinnic/
Petition to South Dakota State Senate, South Dakota State House, South Dakota Governor
I stand with SPORTSMEN on Public Trust Water Access!
"Here is your country, Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children's children. Do not let selfish men or greedy interests skin your country of its beauty, its riches or romance." -Theodore Roosevelt Please stand up and speak out with South Dakota sportsmen and recreational users for access to public water. Senate Bill 199 will be moving to the floor for debate. WE need YOU, whether you are a resident or non-resident to help us support SB-199 and preserve access to our public waters from being placed into the hands of a few. Please take a moment, to read the highlights of the bill and sign our petition to let the legistors of this state know we want our waters to remain in the hands of the public. Please take a moment, read the highlights of SB-199 and sign our petition letting our elected officials of this state know we want our public waters to remain in the hands of the public. Senate Bill199: http://sdlegislature.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?File=SB199P.htm&Version=Printed&Bill=199&Session=2018 - -Thank you from Non-Meandered Water Group in conjunction with Ice Fishing South Dakota, Open Water South Dakota and Hunting South Dakota I Support Senate Bill 199 Public Water Compromise I stand for: CONSISTENCY; Closed for one, Closed for All. I stand for: PROCESS; Due process for opening & closing all water access. I stand for: PRIVACY; Landowner deserve a 660ft privacy/no wake zone. I stand for: RECREATION; Beneficial use for everyone. I am a fisherman for life. I will always be a fisherman. It's not something I do, it is who I am. Fishing is not an escape. It is where I belong, where I'm supposed to be. It is not a place, but a lifelong journey. It is a passage my father showed me, and I will show others. When you understand all this, you will know me, and we will fish together--Fisherman's Oath