GA DNR Requesting Voluntary Release of Spotted Seatrout Operation “ROE”

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GA DNR Requesting Voluntary Release of Spotted Seatrout Operation “ROE”

Postby jsfiddler » Wed Jan 10, 2018 8:21 pm

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Since late December water temperatures in Georgia estuaries have been below average and in early January inland water temperatures dropped below 44 degrees – a critical level for some marine organisms. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and many anglers are concerned about the status of species that support the state's valuable recreational saltwater fishing activities including spotted seatrout.

"Water temperatures in the mid to low 40s are lethal to some fish species, such as spotted seatrout. We documented low water temperatures during the winter of 2009/2010 when angler reports and observation by state natural resource agency staff indicated that seatrout populations in the Carolinas and Georgia were adversely impacted by the temperature drop," explained Doug Haymans, director of the Coastal Resources Division of DNR. According to Haymans, staff are currently monitoring water temperatures coastwide as they continue to remain below 44-degrees. Even when fish are not killed immediately, they can suffer physiological stress that leads to mortality.

Coastal Resources Division is requesting anglers voluntarily release trout over 18 inches in length during the period from January 10th through September 2018. Operation ROE (Release Over Eighteen) is a precautionary effort that should protect larger more prolific spawners and result in increased egg production during the 2018 spawning season. This cooperative, angler driven effort, along with favorable environmental conditions should lead to a strong year class of juvenile trout going into the winter of 2018/2019.

“The Georgia seatrout population is comprised largely of age one and age two fish - smaller younger fish that represent much of the spawning stock that are susceptible to stress during these cold conditions and suffer higher rates of mortality as a result,” states Pat Geer, Chief of Marine Fisheries at Coastal Resources. “We know that older larger fish can produce substantially more eggs and are more tolerant to cold water conditions. The spawning season immediately following such a cold event may consist primarily of the older and larger trout that survived. Protecting larger older fish following a cold winter event may help the population rebound in the absence of smaller fish that may have been lost”.

Fall sampling (prior to the cold winter event) yielded above average numbers of spotted seatrout captured as part of Coastal Resource Division’s Marine Sportfish Population Health Survey. This survey is a long-term standardized survey designed to monitor the status of many popular recreationally important marine species in Georgia. This higher abundance along with proactive angler participation should help seatrout numbers rebound quickly. Coastal Resources Division will continue to monitor the situation heading into the spring spawning season.

Click here to download a PDF of the Operation ROE Fact Sheet

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Spotted Sea Trout Operation ROE (Release Over Eighteen)

Postby BlackBeard » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:18 pm

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Georgia Spotted Sea Trout Weight to Length Chart

Postby chum » Sun Jan 14, 2018 10:29 am

Spotted Seatrout Operation “ROE” (Release Over Eighteen) is in effect
DISTRIBUTION: N.West Atlantic Ocean
MAX SIZE: 20 lb / 9 kg
MAX LENGTH: 32 inch / 80 cm
MAX AGE: Unknown
ENVIRONMENT: Saltwater

Georgia Speckled Sea Trout Record:
Seatrout,Spotted 9 lb. 7 oz. Tommy Hall (1976) - (I'm Guessing around 28"-30")
HINT: We really need to start adding length data to the records DNR.

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Fishing off Melbourne area, in Florida Luke Ledbetter has reeled in a massive spotted seatrout estimated about 14 pounds and 34.2 inches

Best thing I could find for Georgia
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I'm not making any conclusions but everything over 18" is basically 3/4 of all Trout. I would suggest that many states offer up a citation program for releases like that. I'm sure GaDNR could figure out how to make us pay for the certificate with a "convenience" fee.
Until then, the kids are hungry and I got alot of kids to feed. :D

Because the spawning season immediately following such cold weather consist primarily of older fish, it is important to protect them so the population can rebound if smaller fish have been lost, Haymans said.

The DNR said that 1-year-old trout are typically 11 inches and produce 3.2 million eggs annually while 2-year-old trout are 15 inches on average and produce 9.5 million eggs. Trout that reach 3 years average 18 inches in lengthy and can produce nearly 18 million eggs each year.

Fishing regulations require the release of any spotted seatrout shorter than 14 inches.

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Re: GA DNR Requesting Voluntary Release of Spotted Seatrout Operation “ROE”

Postby jsfiddler » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:42 pm

Good post chum, that made me consider the following:

  • Most of the states that have or did suspend Trout fishing also have all to mostly public accessible shoreline.
  • 90% of Georgia shoreline is not public accessible without a boat of some kind. This in itself adds an additional layer to Georgia recovery that other states do not have.
  • Georgia just raised the size limit to 14"
  • Most Georgia creeks have good direct tidal flow and ocean access, whereas some places: Texas, NC, Daytona, etc, have large lagoon structures with limited in/out flow.
We will have to see what happens this spring, I think it is to early to start predicting what is going to happen.
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Georgia Fishing Report: January 19 and Operation ROE

Postby jsfiddler » Fri Jan 19, 2018 8:44 pm

According to DNR's own fishing report today, the Spotted Sea Trout are doing just fine.
SALTWATER (GA COAST)

On Friday, an angler fishing the Brunswick area from the bank caught and released 35 trout up to 21 inches. He was bouncing plastics on the bottom. He caught his first 6 trout on a Keitech 2.8” swimbait on a Flashy Jighead before losing his only one. He then switched to a plain 1/8-oz. jighead and Assassin Sea Shads to do most of his damage. The best colors of Sea Shads for him were mama’s 14K and bone diamond. He caught a couple fish on minnow plugs. In the Brunswick area, some trout and redfish were caught in deep holes in the creeks by anglers fishing live bait and grubs. Fiddler crabs fooled sheepshead along bridge pilings and other hard structures at the St Simons Causeway accesses...St. Simons Bait & Tackle...said that anglers fishing the pier caught whiting, croakers, and yellow tails on dead shrimp. A few blue crabs are still being caught. You can monitor the marine forecast HERE.


It was in the twenties the past couple days no? The coastal water temps only hit about 50 no?
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