However, BTT is now proposing an expansion of the protected spawning months to include the month of April as well. The group’s ongoing Permit Acoustic Tracking Project in conjunction with two Keys guides’ associations has revealed that large numbers of these fish actually start showing up in April, when harvesting is still allowed. BTT says many guides back this proposed expansion to help protect not only offshore spawners on the wrecks and reefs, but permit that travel from the flats into deeper water to spawn. “The permit we fish for on the flats are out on the wrecks and reefs, spawning and being harvested in April. Extending the closed harvest season to April provides needed protection for those spawning fish that drive our industry," says Captain Doug Kilpatrick, commodore of the Lower Keys Guides association.