April 7th, 7pm.
I tried earlier this week to post, but was having technical difficulties. One reason for posting up was in response to the harrassment thread, and this response falls in along with that topic as well. Perhaps coggis' point, and one I happen to agree with is that we do pile on the watermen.
It would almost seem that there's a desire to run them through the mud as much as possible, in an effort to villify them, making our cause more justifiable.
Although I am a recreational fisherman, I know many watermen, and have watermen in my family. I am proud of that, and will sincerely attest that the vast majority of watermen I know are good, honest people.
I hope everyone can understand why some become bothered by the stereotyping posts.
It's easy for us to put "a few bad apples" in sarcastic quotes, when I would guess that there are but a few of us that really know any watermen.
Yes, this is a recreational site, but I think we forget we live in a glass house.
I agree that inchecked, nets can be very destructive to the stocks. But any group of fishermen can be, if not monitored, which I don't believe the dnr does to the best of it's ability.
The hook & liners can't make their quota now, without help from the poundnetters. When talk of closing the loopholes that allow that to happen arose, the hook & liners said, fine, then allow us an extra day a week, or an extra half hour at the end of our day to make the quota.
The Sportfishing Advisory Committee said, no.
Some may think the next poacher may be on the flats, but with the 17,000 miles of shoreline, it's so very easy for anglers to slip out on a point in the headwaters of any spawning river, smack a few big ones and be gone. I would submit that, that scenario occurs much more than many of us as recreational fishermen think about.
Fact is, we aren't monitored nearly as stringently or effectively as the commercial sector is.
The article in this section spoke of the importance of the forage species. Va is the only state that allows the commercial harvest of menhaden, right at the mouth of our Bay. Not much response to that thread.
The pollution threads get little response.
But a thread about 1 text to Brandon leaps to multiple pages.
And I believe that's the frustration you see from guys like myself, coggi, jimrockfish.
It's difficult for me to dive into the crusade to end netting for the sake of conservation as the crusaders advertise the Worlds Largest Rockfish Tournament.
Just seems a little hypocritical.
I mean no disrespect to anyone, I just hope to provide a little bit different point of view.
This probably happens here and there. However, over the years, I've certainly fished with several hundred different recs. I have no evidence, real or anecdotal to believe ANY of them had ever engaged in the behavior you describe. Based on that experience, I submit that you are talking about a tiny percentage of rec fishermen. When it happens, nail 'em with the proper penalties. And if they are a commercial charterman, the penalty should be higher because they are teaching poor stewardship.
Originally Posted by coggi
Last edited by paxfish; 04-13-2012 at 09:05 AM.
[QUOTE=paxfish;1830595] over the years, I've certainly fished with several hundred different recs. I have no evidence, real or anecdotal to believe ANY of them had ever engaged in the behavior you describe. QUOTE]
When talking about commercial fishermen, why can I not use this same response without being called a conspirator?!
You certainly can! In fact, I think that Calvert County watermen did a great job over the last year and in general with regards to poaching. I can only think of one net violation!
But, tarnishing the image, we have another bad apple across the river. Hopefully he stays out of the Patuxent:
Friend of mine fished Saturday. Came back to Sandy Point about 3:00 and was checked by DNR.
He asked if they had caught any one with illegal fish / too many / etc.
Officer told him no - only a couple out of date flare and one expired boat decal. That guy thought the fishing decal was two years like boat reg. is.
Friend said there were 3 officers checking just about every single boat.
What could be more mundane than dying of old age or of natural causes when there is death by misadventure to be pursued ? Skip
I assume you mentioned it on this thread, to show that there were not any recs caught poaching. I apologize, but I had to snicker wondering why a recreational fisherman with illegal fish would bring them back to a public boat ramp. I am sure a few would be dumb/bold enough to do that. It sucks that NRP is so underfunded, but I am glad to hear safety is the number one concern and they were checking boats at the ramp. If you remember, we lost quite a few fishermen during the spring season last year.
Originally Posted by 27 sailfish
Why are we still writing threads like this instead of working together as fishermen? Opening weekend was great, YOY was good, rockfish population is stable, and the State is working on a sustainable fishery.
Am I too naviee for thinking the us vs. them mentality could end? Old timers--fill me in. Has it always been like this?
I am an optimist by nature. As such, I wish I could agree with you.
Originally Posted by chesbay2
We had the first good YOY in 7 years last year. That's great. The thing to know there is that YOY success is very dependent on the amount of rainfall. Orders of magnitude more important than the number of spawning fish. Meaning, even low numbers of spawning fish will yield good YOY in good weather years. It's also important to know that those fish will not successfully spawn for 7 years (assuming the weather allows!)
The Chesapeake rockfish population is in rapid decline over the last 6 or 7 years. We are having a fair migratory trophy intercept season this year, but with mostly dismal YOY counts over the last 10 years, we're seeing the last big influx of breeders. Compound that with general over harvest of both predator and preferred prey, high Myco incidence (which we will shortly learn has 100% mortality), and LACK of will/vision at ASMFC and other organizations and you realize rockfish are in deep trouble.
This is nowhere near a sustainable fishery, and we are on the cusp of failure with regard to rockfish.