But wait, it gets even better! When the topic of the Speckled Trout closure came up for discussion, we requested that they keep the harvest of Speckled Trout closed thru the summer so the larger fish would be given plenty of time to spawn. Since mature females will spawn every 4 to 6 days starting in May and continuing throughout the summer, this would be our best recipe for maximum spawning success. DMF staff recommended ending the closure on June 15, which according to them, would get the fish through the most intense spawning weeks of May and June. We would have been fine with that. No harvest for anyone until June 15, but that is where our commercially run MFC stepped in.
Commissioner Bradley Styron, fish house owner and dealer, pushed through a motion to let commercial gill netters catch and sell 50 pounds of Speckled Trout per day, as long as those trout equaled only 10% of the other fish caught by the fisherman. This will go into effect this week! So here we go again with paying folks to have accidents! We already know how that is working out with our Red Drum don't we? We would never have recommended a closure of the trout harvest for recreational fishermen if we had known that they would still allow the harvest and sale of trout by commercial gill netters! This is wrong, and it is unfair!