CCA Florida, Duke Energy and the FWC are dedicated to the conservation of Florida’s coasts. Ingman Marine is a proud CCA Sponsor and we strive to help in any way we can. Our Placida dealership location Manager and Lead Sales Manager Mike Brimer, along with his son, helped joined in on the Redfish release to aid in the recovery efforts of the latest Red Tide bloom.
The Coastal Conservation Association, along with Duke Energy and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission partnered together to continue their Red Tide Recovery initiative. With the help of local volunteers, the Red Tide Recovery initiative was able to release 10,000 juvenile Redfish off of Port Charlottes shores on August 6th, 2019.
Gulf of Mexico Red Tide Devastation
In 2018, Red Tide killed off a large portion of the redfish population on the west coast. Because of this, early on, it was stated that redfish have become catch and release. At the publish date of this article, Redfish are still on the catch and release list for Pasco County all the way down to Collier Counties, Gordon Pass. For now, they will remain on the catch and release list until May 2020. Ingman Marine is so excited to help replenish this iconic fishery for our community.
The Red Tide Recovery initiative was launched post red tide devastation that occurred beginning in late 2017, throughout 2018 and into early 2019. This was one of the longest streaks of red tide that Florida has ever seen. To compare; a normal red tide bloom happens for a few days or months (at most) in late summer to early fall. This over year-long bout of red tide killed tons of local sea turtles, manatees, fish and other forms of sea life.
The 10,000 juvenile Redfish were between 7-8 inches and were all hatchery-reared to provide a better chance of survival than fingerlings. The Duke Maricultural Center located in Crystal River; Florida donated these fish to help the west coast continue red tide recovery efforts.
Since the launch of the Red Tide Recovery initiative, over 34,000 adult and juvenile Redfish have been released along the west coast of Florida. The heaviest hit areas by red tide have been given priority for the 34,000 released Redfish.
The first initial release took place on Feb 5th in Pasco County. In March, more releases took place in Collier County, Pasco County, and Charlotte County. Since March, Redfish releases have continued along Florida’s west coast counties. In May, 8,000 juveniles were also released in the panhandle. The first 8 releases each included about 25-30 adult redfish and about 2,000 juveniles.
All specific locations have been determined by the biologists at the Duke Energy Maricultural Center. Various Locations have been chosen throughout 8 different counties. According to the CCA, releases only took place after the specified waters were identified, cleared of harmful levels of red tide.
Keep your eyes out for CCA’s next release near you by checking the CCA Website. Local volunteers are always welcome to join the releases.
Social Media Intiative
Along with the Red Tide Recovery initiative, the partners started the ‘Release them for Tomorrow’ social media initiative. The devastation to the redfish fisheries were so detrimental that species have been placed on the “Catch-and-Release Only” list.
The ‘Release Them for Tomorrow’ social media hashtag was also launched to spread awareness. The idea was for anglers to take photos with their catches and to post the hashtag ‘#releasethemfortomorrow’ along with the image. The fisherman would then release the fish back into the ocean. Hopefully, to see another day and to grow & thrive in the now clean west Florida waters.
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Are you new to Florida? Are you interested in learning more about Redfish? Do you just want to join the social movement? Take a look at this Redfish Fishing Guide to learn more. We only ask that you take a picture with your catch, post it with the hashtag and then release them back into the water.