OK so let's see there is this federal law that says that the NMFS is REQUIRED to generate a database of recreational fishermen so that they can do a better survey. . . If you want that law changed you have to go to congress. . . I am not in a position or mood to do that. I don't know of any national recreational fishing organization that is seeking such a change.
Option 1. . . We keep our license the way it is. . . We will be REQUIRED to get a permit just like you do for tuna, etc. in order to fish for striped bass, etc. when you do your name goes into the federal database and the money goes to NMFS.
Option 2. We do away with the recreational license . . . and still have to get the permit and your name goes into the federal database and the money goes to NMFS and we lose the $500,000 to $1,250,000 a year that we use for access and reef projects, in addition to all of the other projects also ($500,000 to $1,200,000) many of which folks like Jim object to.
Option 3 We modify our license system such that it complies with the federal system. What else it does, changes to the fee structures, issues of privacy are all issues that have to be worked through in the next 12 to 24 months.
Bob is bringing up the matter way in advance of any changes. I posted that the exact changes have yet to be determined and that VMRC is going to be seeking representatives from angling clubs, etc. in the next several months in order to work through many of these issues and what OUR recreational license will look like in the future. I also post the recommendations from the working group that is going to NMFS.
I would suggest that you folks that don't like the federal law to go to your congressman/woman and ask them to change the federal law. If you don't like what is happening with the license money then seek out your state representatives and/or attend the public hearing tomorrow or on the 14th. The rest of you I would suggest that you go back to your respective angling clubs, etc.; decide who you want to be YOUR representative and send an email to Jack so that he can know who is interested when the time comes.
Jim, on the tags, that might work for the really big fish and one day in the future we might be there. I would suspect that bull red drum will be the first species once they recover sufficiently that they can again be harvested. That being said, I would hope that I don't have to tag every 22 inch striper or 20 inch flounder, or 18 inch tog or 14 inch croaker that I keep. The harvest of all of these species and more is determined using this survey system. Any future system that is used to replace it must address all species targeted by recreational anglers.
Shucks Tom, I don't think you ought to be keeping 22" stripers to begin with and the way you guys have been managing the flounder that 20" flounder might be the minimum for a keeper pretty soon. "One day in the future we might be there," I love your ability to look forward in fishery management. geeze.
btw, the projects I object to are the ones that do not improve fishing and do little more than give money away, show no return on investment, and lack specific goals that are to be accomplished. In the real world these things are important but when the government is playing with our money they don't seem to care.
Want to know where VIMS got their research money before the license? It came from the state budget! Now it comes out of our pockets.
Want to know where they used to get money for ramps? It came from boat registrations. VDGIF has been using that money lately to expand their infrastructure.
Want to know where the money used to come from for kids projects? Clubs earned it themselves and hosted the projects as a part of their own civic service. Now, we pay for it.
Want to know where the money used to come from for law enforcement? It used to come from the state budget. However now increasingly it is coming from our license fees.
Tell the whole truth, Tom. Many people out there do not know it.
An example could be taken from the Tagging program. While it helps provide raw numbers about caught fish, where they go and how long they might live, much of the other data is a total waste. Location for example. We fish therefore we lie!
how is location data a total waste for the tagging program? the location data provided valuable information to the program. it is my understanding that in fact this same location data was responsible for identifying that our tautog populations are in fact seperate from that of the northern (md/nj/etc) tautog populations which, by the way have been heavily restricted. the location data was used to prove that the populations are in fact seperate and behave completely differently - northern tautog populations have been shown to migrate while our populations have not. this distinction kept VA from receiving the same bag limit reductions that our northern neighbors received.