BRUNSWICK — The Coastal Resources Division has formed a finfish advisory panel to advise the Department of Natural Resources in matters related to management of saltwater finfish species such as spotted seatrout and red drum.
Like the blue crab advisory panel and shrimp advisory panel, this group will be a subcommittee of the Marine Fisheries Advisory Council. The members will serve a term of two years.
Nine Georgia residents have been selected for the panel. Six members represent recreational anglers —two from Chatham, Bryan or Liberty; two from McIntosh, Glynn or Camden; and two from a noncoastal county. The recreational representatives are Lee Barber (Camden), Trey Leggett (Chatham), Brooks Schoen (Fulton), Bill Weeks (Glynn), John R. Rogers (Liberty) and Phil Jarriel (Tatnall). Three members represent licensed saltwater fishing guides with one from Chatham, Bryan or Liberty; one from McIntosh, Glynn or Camden; and one from any Georgia county. The fishing guide representatives are Ray Golden (Chatham), Wendell Harper (McIntosh) and David Newlin (Bryan).
Seats for the two commercial fishermen and one non-DNR fisheries scientist remain unfilled since no applications meeting the minimum requirements were received. The department will continue to seek qualified applicants for these seats.
Eligible individuals for a commercial fishing seat must be a Georgia resident, have possessed a Georgia commercial fishing license during the previous two years, have reported landings of finfish and must possess all other state and federal permits as required.
The non-DNR scientist will be experienced with saltwater fish population dynamics and management and affiliated with a non-governmental organization or academic institution based in Georgia.
“The finfish advisory panel will be working with us to address several areas of concern including harvest regulations for red drum and spotted seatrout, bow fishing in saltwater, and how Georgia participates in federal fishery management. These individuals all bring a unique and valuable perspective that will help the department develop conservation policy that balances the long-term health of our saltwater fish populations with the desires of fishermen,” said Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division.
The first meeting of the Finfish Advisory Panel will occur in August at a location to be determined.
Thereafter, the panel will meet quarterly.
Information about panel meetings will be posted at www.coastalgadnr.org.