Milky White Flesh in Snapper - Update

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote kitno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Nov 2023 at 11:38am
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One snapper from Wednesdays trip to Mokau had milky flesh. Not really bad but noticeable.

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for snapper I frequent the Bowentown end of Tauranga harbor. For many years I have avoided snapper fishing December and January because 3 out of 5 will be milky or close to it. From the end of January on a very occasional pale one but that's it.Once march arrives it's fish city and their gut cavities have loads of fat - no whiteys at all. I have consulted all the "experts" I could from both the commercial and recreation worlds - no common consensus. Some say water temp, others say spent (from breeding). Water temp does not add up in my book.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Kandrew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2023 at 9:41am
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Out for a fish yesterday, slow day with lots of small fish caught that would have still had their nappies on they were that small.

We got talking and wondering if what we are seeing is a result of the changes to the fishing limits some time ago. If the white filet issue is a result of the fish starving, then has increasing the size and decreasing the amount you can take caused an explosion in smaller fish quantity eating all of the food supplies.

In the last few years I have never seen so many small hungry fish in the gulf, so should we look at decreasing the size and amount you can take but bring in a maximum length limit of say 50mm .

Just a thought.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Mc Tool Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2023 at 9:56am
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Mmmm, 50mm ,I wouldn't need to chop the tail off that to get it in the pan 😁.
Early Sunday morning tho 😁😁, usually the worst time for being clever😁
I wish I was young again .... Id be heaps smarter than this time
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2023 at 11:08am
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Originally posted by Kandrew Kandrew wrote:

Out for a fish yesterday, slow day with lots of small fish caught that would have still had their nappies on they were that small.

We got talking and wondering if what we are seeing is a result of the changes to the fishing limits some time ago. If the white filet issue is a result of the fish starving, then has increasing the size and decreasing the amount you can take caused an explosion in smaller fish quantity eating all of the food supplies.

In the last few years I have never seen so many small hungry fish in the gulf, so should we look at decreasing the size and amount you can take but bring in a maximum length limit of say 50mm .

Just a thought.
Result of Nathan Guy rebuilding the bio mass.We screamed at the time but now seems the right thing to of done. Go back to 270 and 10 limit like west coast? 

Yesterdays catch 1 very translucent as you would expect but the rest were pale but not milky,more than likely diet ? All  males as had the white in the guts.
"Times up"
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote wayno Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Dec 2023 at 10:35pm
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Went out on Friday from Whakatane to the mussel farm off Opotiki, 3 on board mates boat.
Hooked onto a buoy at 8.15am, had 21 snapper, 2 kahawai, 2 gurnard and 1 terakihi in the bin by 9.30am.
One of the best days fishing I have experienced in a long time.
Biggest snapper measured 66.6cm, touch over 13lb. Lots of 50-55cm-ish, and nothing under 35cm kept.

Not 1 of the snapper had white flesh, plenty had roe, and all healthy and hungry as hell.

Been quite a few trips since I've seen a milky white snapper down this way.

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Ive caught the white fleshed snapper, a few over the years, never thought anything different about them
They tasted exactly the same as the grey-ish flesh snaps, altho never experienced a mushy one

About 2 months back, I bought a fresh mullet for bait fishing the next day.
If mushy means a real buggar to fillet, similar to frozen fish that has thawed out, then gone to mush, then that was the fresh mullet I had that day..... the targetted snapper still ate it



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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 Jan 2024 at 5:08pm
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So this morning I snagged about a doz gurnard - some stonkers.
2-3 of them had milky white flesh. They still looked in good nick, big fillets etc.
I can't say if I have seen this before or not. I just noticed it this time around. I suspect it is not a snapper only issue.
Got 1 verry good snap - in good condition.
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Originally posted by Alan L Alan L wrote:

So this morning I snagged about a doz gurnard - some stonkers.
2-3 of them had milky white flesh. They still looked in good nick, big fillets etc.
I can't say if I have seen this before or not. I just noticed it this time around. I suspect it is not a snapper only issue.
Got 1 verry good snap - in good condition.
Alan

Hi Alan, milky flesh isn't unusual in gurnard. I have caught many long fish at this time of the year that would be much heavier in cooler weather. Were you fishing in a harbour? The ones we catch over the west coast are generally in better condition than what we catch in the harbour. Gurnard spawn at least twice a year and I've never seen a skinny one with roe. I've never seen a skinny one with milt either, because the males are small and we don't keep them
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2024 at 7:15am
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No not fishing in hrbr. Open ocean, 35m.
Caught the snapper in same spot - which was in good nick.
I will pay more attention next time as to how often I see this. I just noticed it because a few of the fillets in the pile were noticeably different. Then given all the discussion on the snapper I could see they were milky white.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2024 at 8:35am
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Alan. We have perfect snapper from the Firth yet the gurnard were mushy.Who knows what's going on but don't think it's food supply.maybe water temps being warmer or too much fresh water where we were
"Times up"
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Alan L Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Jan 2024 at 3:33pm
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Yes - I doubt it is food supply - they were spitting out all sorts of stuff - some crab things I have never seen before.
They seemed in good nick.
BUT - we did have Gabrielle near a year ago and the rivers washed out heaps of silt. There is a small river adjacent to this beach.
Having said that - the crays and paua seem to have survived. Their biggest threat is Xmas poachers. And they would be closer to any silt deposits and less able to move on.
I just hadn't noticed this in the fish before and generally we don't catch enough snapper to come across it in snapper. But that is changing - we are getting more snapper every year lately, for last 3 yrs or so.
I will start paying more attention.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote v8-coupe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2024 at 9:09am
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A couple of days ago we headed out, anchored up in the same spot for the morning. Between the four of us we kept 11 fish. All looked ok as did the fish we released. When we got home and filleted them, 10 were ok and 1 was milky though not mushy. Although I am no scientist or marine biologist, I am not sure starvation is the cause. Having said that "starving fish" is a very emotive headline and is being used as ammunition by those wanting to restrict recreational and commercial fishing, as well as those who just want control and use of the resource for themselves.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Reel Deal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jan 2024 at 6:07pm
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Yeah not starving related but skinny could be a symptom of a virus? Was a lot around after said bad weather with heavy rain and run off? I got my first for a few weeks milky from yeah and chicks 3 days ago not to mushy so was eaten no probs.
The gods do not subtract from the allotted span of men's lives the hours spent on fishing - Assyrian Proverb
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (2) Likes(2)   Quote Tzer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Jan 2024 at 7:29am
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Originally posted by v8-coupe v8-coupe wrote:

Although I am no scientist or marine biologist, I am not sure starvation is the cause. Having said that "starving fish" is a very emotive headline and is being used as ammunition by those wanting to restrict recreational and commercial fishing, as well as those who just want control and use of the resource for themselves.


Yep and Legasea are using it to great effect by blaming commercial fishing activities rather than offering up any evidence to the fact but hey lets not let the truth get in the way of a good story. It seems that the most affected areas are those of high population density could it also be that enviromental issues are a contributing factor but like v8-coupe, Im no scientist or marine biologist but have an open mind as to what the causes could be.
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Just filleted 6 snapper which have been on ice overnight,5 beautiful translucent fillets but the 1 (2.3kg) was not clear,bit soft but gut full of mussels and crabs. 


"Times up"
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Pcj Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2024 at 5:55am
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Yesterday catch,1 milky flesh snapper, had bugger all gut compared to others.
"Times up"
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Originally posted by Pcj Pcj wrote:

Yesterday catch,1 milky flesh snapper, had bugger all gut compared to others.

It is strange that people are catching the odd milky flesh snapper, when others are perfectly healthy, to me this says that it is not a lack of feed issue, as if it was a lack of feed then you would expect most of the fish to be milky fleshed, it seems that there is some other mechanism at work here which is causing the fish not to feed properly, who knows what though.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (1) Likes(1)   Quote cirrus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Apr 2024 at 9:49am
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Catching milky flesh snapper is normal. Not a catastrophe, not the end of fishing as we know it. It is normal,always has been . Snapper get like this after spawning. A few posts ago pcj  noted that some of his catch were roed up . Very late in the season. Normal spawn is october to December. Snapper spawning going into winter would produce very low survival rates of offspring, and perhaps even the adult fish. Strange.time to spawn.
So,some have spawned or will soon spawn again. But not all. Some will be milky white fleshed,but not all.
Lack of food. Where is the data ,the science. There is none.  If as they say the snapper stocks are around 20% of original biomass,then in theory there should be 80% more food .
In recent years so much negative speculation about the poor health of the gulf.  Kina barrens etc etc.  Have yet to find Kina in the gut of any snapper. 

None of this speculation backed by science or data. 
Its as if they ,whoever they is ,dont want you fishing there any more.
The gulf is doing just fine. Snapper are there,all sizes. Anchovy schools arrived as they do in autumn. Kahawai ,mackeral ,etc ,thousands of birds following them.  Seems normal and healthy to me.. 
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I’ve just finished filleting the fish I caught today, 1 white and completely mush 2 others thin and borderline. I have been fishing the lower firth all summer where’s there plenty of food, mussel farm pipi and cockle bed and a rāhui on shellfish from the local iwi along most of the Thames coast and I haven’t caught a white filet fish yet. Having said that I don’t tend to catch the large amount of small fish like I out in the gulf.

Today like most days this year using micro jigs I was catching so many small fish I was nearly sick of them. I would have thrown back 50 no problem.

So I think it is a food problem, I recon this all started when they increased the size limit, I have fished the gulf for 40 years and I have never seen so many small fish this year.
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