Title: Gulf Coast fisheries coordination office
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00093475/00001
 Material Information
Title: Gulf Coast fisheries coordination office
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: United States Fish & Wildlife Service
Publisher: United States Fish & Wildlife Service
Place of Publication: Ocean Springs, Ms.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00093475
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Gulf Coast

Fisheries Coordination Office

Douglas J. Fruge, Coordinator
Gulf Coast Fisheries
Coordination Office
PO Box 825
2404 Government Street
Ocean Springs, MS 39564
Phone: 228/875 9387
Fax: 228/875 6604
E-mail: FW4FRGulfCoast@fws.gov

Station Facts
* Established: 1991.
* Number of staff: one permanent
full-time, one full-time contract
* Annual budget (FY 06) $200,654.
Geographic Area Covered
* Southeast Region (Region 4):
Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and
Mississippi for Gulfwide
coordination of Fish and Wildlife
Service (FWS) interests in
coastal fisheries issues.
* Portions of Arkansas, Georgia
and Tennessee for issues in
watersheds of rivers entering the
Gulf of Mexico.
* Southwest Region (Region 2):
Texas for Gulfwide coordination
of FWS interests in coastal
fisheries issues.
Station Goals
* Restoration of anadromous fish,
particularly Gulf striped bass, in
accordance with interjurisdictional
* Recovery of Gulf sturgeon and
other species listed under the
Endangered Species Act.
* Proper management and
conservation of interjurisdictional
fisheries and other aquatic
resources, including their
habitats, in Gulf of Mexico coastal
waters and watersheds.
Services Provided To
* State and Federal partners in
restoration of Gulf striped bass.
* State and Federal partners in
recovery of Gulf sturgeon and
other species listed under the
Endangered Species Act.
* Interjurisdictional fisheries
management councils,
commissions and other
partnership entities in cooperative
management of Gulf coastal
fisheries and their habitats.

* Other FWS program offices.
Activity Highlights
* Administrative, oversight and
technical assistance in various
aspects of an interagency Gulf
striped bass restoration program.
* Chair the Gulf States Marine
Fisheries Commission's
(GSMFC) Anadromous Fisheries
* Provide fisheries technical
assistance to the FWS's Habitat
Conservation, Endangered
Species and Refuge programs.
* Represent the FWS on the Gulf
of Mexico Program's Nutrient
Enrichment Focus Team.
* Represent the FWS at meetings
of the Gulf States Marine
Fisheries Commission.
* Represent the FWS at meetings
of the Gulf of Mexico Fishery
Management Council (GMFMC).
* Coordinate FWS involvement in
Gulf coastal fisheries issues in the
Gulf of Mexico.
* Provide administrative support to
and supervise the FWS's Baton
Rouge Fisheries Resource Office
* Represent the FWS on the
Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico
Nutrient Task Force Watershed
Coordinating Committee.
* Chair the GSMFC's Technical
Task Force for revising the
Striped Bass Fishery
Management Plan for the Gulf of
Questions and Answers
What does your office do?
The Gulf Coast Fisheries
Coordination Office (FCO) is a
relatively new type of field station in
the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Our office provides a coordination
point for the work of many different
FWS offices that deal with Gulf of
Mexico aquatic resource issues.

Guli fi1 Coastisihei esCodtinaitio Office

The FWS works in cooperative
partnerships with many other state
and Federal agencies, fishery
management councils, commissions
and private organizations in
managing aquatic resources of the
Gulf and its river drainages. A single
FWS point of contact helps to
improve communication and
cooperative efforts within the FWS
and between the FWS and these
other organizations.

Are there other offices like .,i I in
the FWS?
In the Southeast Region of the FWS
there are two other fisheries
coordination offices the South
Atlantic FCO, located at Morehead
City and Raleigh, North Carolina;
and the Lower Mississippi River
FCO, located at Vicksburg,
Other FWS regions have similar
offices that generally coordinate
fisheries and aquatic resource
activities within discrete river basins.
These offices are generally referred
to as river coordination offices. The
Large Rivers FCO, located at Rock
Island, Illinois, coordinates a variety
of fisheries issues within the entire
Mississippi River basin, with an area
of responsibility that transcends
several FWS regions.

What are the FWS roles in managing
Gulf of Mexico aquatic resources ?
The FWS is chiefly concerned with
management of what are referred to
as "interjurisdictional" resources.
The term "interjurisdictional"
generally means a fish population
that crosses state or international
In the Gulf the FWS is primarily
concerned with restoration and
management of anadromous fish. The
term anadromouss" refers to a
species that spawns in rivers but
spends part of its life in the ocean.
Also falling into the interjurisdictional
category are coastal and marine
species such as red drum, spotted sea
trout, red snapper, and a multitude
of others.

The FWS participates as a partner
with the Gulf States Marine Fisheries
Commission and the Gulf states in
helping to manage such species in
state coastal waters. The FWS is also
a non-voting member of the Gulf of
Mexico Fishery Management
Council, which manages fisheries in
Federal marine waters (out to 200
Besides these roles, the FWS also
reviews development projects that
require federal funding or licensing
and makes recommendations to
reduce damages to aquatic habitats.
The FWS also enhances and restores
aquatic habitats through funding and
carrying out specific on-the-ground
projects. The FWS is also responsible
for implementing provisions of the
federal Endangered Species Act,
which applies to several species in
the Gulf.
What species in the Gulf of Mexico
are threatened or endangered?
The Gulf sturgeon is currently listed
as threatened. There are also five
species of sea turtles on the
threatened and endangered list. The
Green, Hawksbill, Kemp's Ridley, and
Leatherback sea turtles are
endangered, and the L,-.- 1 :I. r 1' Sea
Turtle is threatened. Also, the West
Indian Manatee, found primarily in
Florida, is endangered. The FWS
shares responsibility with the
National Marine Fisheries Service
and the Gulf states in managing and
recovering all of these species.

What anadromous species are found
in the Gulf of Mexico?
There are three anadromous fish
species in the Gulf: the striped bass;
Gulf sturgeon; and Alabama shad.
Anadromous fish spawn in rivers but
spend part of their lives in oceans.
Striped bass were native to Gulf of
Mexico rivers from the Suwannee
River in Florida to at least the rivers
draining into Lake Pontchartrain in
eastern Louisiana and southwestern
Mississippi. Striped bass populations
began declining earlier this century,
and by the mid-1960s had
disappeared from all Gulf rivers
except for the Apalachicola River
system of Alabama, Florida and
Georgia. The FWS and Gulf states
began cooperative efforts to restore

and maintain Gulf striped bass
populations in the late 1960s, mainly
through stocking of hatchery-raised
fingerlings, and this effort
continues today.
The Gulf sturgeon's historic range
was similar to the striped bass', and
populations declined similarly to the
striped bass as well. The Gulf
sturgeon was listed as threatened
in 1991.
The Alabama shad's historic range
was similar to the striped bass and
Gulf sturgeon, but also extended well
up the Mississippi River system.
Populations of Alabama shad are
thought to have declined significantly
over the years, and population data
are currently being evaluated in
order to determine what actions, if
any, should be taken regarding this
species. Dams that have been built on
many southeastern rivers are thought
to be a major reason for the decline of
anadromous fish species in the
Gulf of Mexico.

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