There seems to be two subjects in this tread - the removal of the slot due declining recreational landings & the opening of the fishery to spearfishing. The spearfishing matter will have very minimal impact on the striped bass stock and therefore is not issue for me. What bothers me is a drastic decline in the striped bass population. Any angler that says there has not been a decline either hasn't fished for stripers for the last 20yrs or has long term memory problems. Those anglers that only fish the ocean season or eel are somewhat unaware of what's coming down the line in the future. Those large rockfish are from the robust years of the '90s. Once these fish die of old age or are harvested, there are VERY few younger fish in the population to take their place.
I'm not sure how much direction the VMRC gets from the governor, but I do know that the VMRC and ASMFC have been historically short sited in their management of many species.
Thanks for the data.
Here are some problems with the data. I believe "effort" here is defined by days spent fishing in relation to catch (which really isn't the number of fish caught during an outing but number of fish brought to dock i.e. landings). This definition of "effort" is flawed because it does not account total hours spent on the water, number of hooks in the water, nor (and most importantly) the number of fish released. With this flawed definition of effort, a boat fishing one rod for an hour while catching 20 stripers and keeping a limit of 2 fish put forth the same effort as an boat running 16 rods with planer boards for 10hrs while only catching 2 fish of which both fish were kept.
Under these examples, it is obvious that fish were more abundant for the first boat and far less abundant for the second boat, but the "effort" definition would say that fish were equally abundant in both situation which of course they were not. In my mind this one reason the "science" is failing to show the actual decline of the species.
Another phenomenon that the current "effort" definition fails to account for is the "information age". In today's world anglers follow websites, facebook, text, cell phone, etc to keep track of when, where and if fish are biting. Prior to the information age, word of good or bad fishing spread much slower and in tighter circles. For example, a hot bite at the CBBT in today's world is spread to 1,000s of anglers the day it happens which lessons the real "effort" put forth by anglers to catch fish as compared to 15yrs ago. If the bite is poor, anglers will not fish which gives a false representation of "effort" as defined. Effort is based on the availability of fish much more so than the effects of the economy and gas prices.
A longer term sustainable fishery is critical to my livelihood. I am much more in favor taking conservative harvests in the present to insure a healthy fishery for the future. Too much, in fisheries, the opposite approach is taken which may be more "popular" at the time it is enacted but in the long run leads to the demise of all.
Last edited by Chris Newsome; 08-31-2012 at 04:06 PM.
Forget the study, clear out Omega before they clear out all the menhaden. Would help many species year round
Originally Posted by Tom Powers
So there has been an 8% reduction in quota during the last six years. Do you believe that there has only been an 8% decline in the Chesapeake population during that time?
HERE IS THE IMPORTANT ISSUE and why VMRC and ASMFC want us to believe that the striped bass population is "above target levels." If the regulators release the true state of the striped bass population, they would have no choice but to drastically reduce the menhaden harvest. As long as they tell us the striped bass population is great, what reason is there to reduce the menhaden harvest.
Originally Posted by Finnicky
THIS IS WHY ANGLERS SHOULD BE FIGHTING for better data that supports a declining striped bass population. Our argument to reduce the menhaden harvest is week so long as we stand by and let the regulators tell us that gamefish populations are in good health.
If we want real change in the menhaden issue, data that shows a malnourished, ailing and declining game fisheries is a must!
Wow, just posting the new regs...
My take on this, when we are casting around the islands in Oct/Nov, I can bring meat home to justify time, gas, oil, bait, tackle, ice, food and drink, instead of releasing 30"-32" Stripers all night.
Now you think I am not saving the planet, and I am not saving the Stripers for my great-great grandchildren.
The science sucks, and politics and money rule our ever-changing regulations. I think whatever fish are around for my great-great grandchildren will probably be illegal to keep (or fish for), and they will have to listen to the ancient stories of great grandpaw and grandpaw licking the trans-fat and bacon grease from their fingertips to their elbows in a festive fish fry. Ahh, the good 'ole days...
Official member of the Poor Boys Fishing Club
Clear Shot, ch 68
Add apathy to that list.
Originally Posted by Chris Newsome
Two points - my opinion, but facts as far as I am concerned.
1) The effort is down because the fish are not there. Has little to do with gas prices.
2) The quota is not being met because it is set too high for the available striper population. You don't increase the catch limits in an effort to reach the quota in a stressed fishery, you lower the quota.
I am in complete agreement with Chris on the state of the striper population.
You know guys . . . Folks started asking why it was done and I presented the reason.
I am pretty much on your side. I agree that stocks are depressed or at best flat. I am not sure how dire things are right now, but that is another matter. I was at the table (and seem to recall it was my idea but sometimes those kinds of thoughts can be fuzzy after the fact) when the no take slot and the one fish below 28 and one fish with no maximum size limits were put in place.
My opinion is that one of the worst things that happened to this fishery was the growth of the live eel fishery. To much extraction from the prime spawning stock. BTW protecting the fish moving into the spawning stock was the reason for the no take slot and the only one fish over 28" rule. In my opinion there should be regulations in the ocean fishery where you are only allowed one fish per person above something like 36".
On the effort data. That comes from telephone survey data. It is just number of angler trips, and port of departure. No what did you catch, how long did you fish, how many people went, etc. Also I think that it has been overestimated for years but at least it was done consistently.
The catch per unit effort comes from dock side surveys. In theory if there should be a sufficient spread of data so that the boats that use lots and lots of lines are surveyed proportionally to the number of boat with a limited number of lines. Oh and charters (which are very likely to be the lots of lines out guys) have their own input into the survey program.
I think everyone appreciates your knowledge & understanding of the regulations. Your experience has been very helpful to everyone on hear. Don't be discrouaged by the questions and comments because it is all part of the process, it is healthy part of the discussion/debate, and not directed at you. So keep up the good work.
Kudos go out to those that have asked the tough question about the health of the striper stocks, the lack of menhaden and the Chesapeake Bay overall.