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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a lot of comment about imposing limits on cobia . There are many different suggestions....look on tidalfish and you can see. Many, many ways of reducing kill. There is a meeting of Finfish Subcommitte at VMRC next Tuesday at 6 pm room on 4th floor in NN. I think if enough of you are concerned, you should bring the subject up at that meeting. It will require a lot of people there supporting a review of the rules and regulations. But the place to begin is Finfish. I have heard from charter anglers (all summer) who want limits and all anglers, including charters. There is a concern that cobia received entirely too much fishing pressure this year. You have 15 recreational fishing clubs and representatives could gather the concencus of their members and present this to the Finfish Committee; It will be 9 month before Cobia return to the Bay--that certainly should be time to sort through all the suggested measures and come to some agreeable conclusion.

Bob Allen, not a cobia angler
 

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The only thing that one might be able to do is impose a vessel limit of something between 2 and 4 fish.

As many of you may remember I was involved with the reductions from 2 fish to 1 fish. At the time there was a moderate amount of opposition especially after the fact. A lot of that was because the commercial limit was kept at 2 fish.

One of the big issues that I can not say I know the answer to is the folks that will get grumpy if the commercial limits are not set the same, especially since they just upped the commercial hook and line vessel limit to 6 fish independent of the number of fishermen on the vessel. I thought that it was a bad idea at the time.
 

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Tom,
Please let us all know what the total commercial harvest has been this year so far. I think that information is readily available. I dont think the commercial harvest is the problem.
 

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if I am not mistaken, the boat limit is the same for both commercial hook and line and recreational number wise. If I am wrong, please correct me. I thought they were both 6 per vessel. The only difference is the number of fishermen required to be aboard. Why do you insist on pointing the finger at the commercial hook and line fisherman which is the most ethical and discriminatory form of commercial fishing? I am really interested in what the commercial hook and line take(documented) is verses the recreational and charter take is (estimated).
 

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The limits for recreational fishermen is 1 per person. Currently there is no vessel limit. So a 6 pack charter with a mate and captain is allowed 8 fish.

I am not pointing my finger at the commercial sector for doing anything. I did not agree with the concept of increasing the commercial fishing pressure as it that was part of the discussions at the Commission meeting when the rec limit was reduced years ago to not grow the commercial fishery and to keep an eye on it. . . .

The reason that I brought it up was not what the commercial sector is harvesting rather to point out the potential issues that can come up with the recreational objections to putting a recreational vessel limit of say 2 to 4 fish, which I do agree would be a good idea, when the commercial hook and line vessel limit is 6 fish.

The actual commercial harvest numbers will probably not be available until January or so as there is not weekly buyer's reports or anything.
 

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I know I'm really going to get blasted for this but tournaments , especially large ones on dangerously ,exploited ,stressed species are nothing more than "Bounty Hunts" The name has been changed to make them sound sporty.
 

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I know I'm really going to get blasted for this but tournaments , especially large ones on dangerously ,exploited ,stressed species are nothing more than "Bounty Hunts" The name has been changed to make them sound sporty.
Tourney day doesn't make much difference Catch a big fish kill a big fish VS hopefully getting paid for big fish
 

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I believe the biggest difference is that tourneys bring out an inordinate amount of fishermen at the same time that ordinarily wouldn't be there in those proportions to begin with. The possible negative outcome is particularly thoughtless during a species spawning season.
 

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I believe the biggest difference is that tourneys bring out an inordinate amount of fishermen at the same time that ordinarily wouldn't be there in those proportions to begin with. The possible negative outcome is particularly thoughtless during a species spawning season.
Fishing York spit area, I did notice a MUCH bigger crowd on tourney days . I do believe it increases the kill that day and overall that yr.
Do I think they should be stopped? No! Limits need to be in place to help protect fish so they are there for fishermen that choose to fish them.

BTW, What happened to big Reedville Bluefish Tourney? Omega protein took it away! ( from their home port!)
Rock tourneys are next to go!
 

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Since Cobia are migratory you run into the same problems you have with stripers. Unless the southern states take similar action Va.'s efforts will be fruitless. Especially North Carolina. Don't take this to mean that I am against protecting the species it's just that each state has its own agenda and don't seem to care about the big picture.
 

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Perhaps tournaments should move to a catch and release policy. Fish is caught, weighed by the boat. Of course visual proof would be required but how honest could people be if there was $5k on the line.
 

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Perhaps tournaments should move to a catch and release policy. Fish is caught, weighed by the boat. Of course visual proof would be required but how honest could people be if there was $5k on the line.
I believe a recent Turney had a boat limit of 2 fish.. Was a Awesome thought.
I'm sure it helped .. but fish are often kept (harmed) and released only when bigger one is caught and/or just not brought to weigh -in.
I am very glad to see the thought of many, changing to the more conservative side of catch numbers.

Yrs ago some of the guys that fished my area were well know as "the best founder fishermen" in the area. These guys though they invented slow trolling for flounder! ( Real big heads) I know they spent all day long out there and several days out of the week. "Rumor" was they kept way over the limit. And it seemed like it was accepted practice! or at least ignored by many.

I am sure things like this are responsible for some of current situations.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cobia are migratory--VA can manage the recreational catch in VA waters, but this may be an issue for ASMFC.

Bob Allen, not a cobia angler
 

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Just look at the top caught every year and you will see a decline in sizes. There are alot of "cookie cutter cobia" out there from 42-46" but the larger class of fish has declined. No person paying $750 for a charter or that can afford to buy a boat needs 200-400# of fish a day. And yes n.c. has horrible fish management too. I hope these fish are protected sooner than later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Last night at the PSWSFA Board meeting, the President of Club and the leading recreational advocate as a Vice Commissioner on VMRC opened the discussion on Cobia. HE said he would encourage the VMRC to reduce the pressure on Cobia if the recreationals could present a viable option and agree on that one option to present to VMRC. He said he cannot help if there are several options , but the all Tidewater Cluks, recreationals and other fringe recreational organizations must agree on one or two options to protect the great cobia fishing Va anglers enjoyed this summer.

There were some options discussed-briefly among the 20+ recreational anglers in attendance. A limited season, larger minimum sized limits, limited the number of cobia on any vessel--recreational and charter to 4 fish, no matter how many anglers on aboard, Charter captains and mate are considered "crew" and not considered anglers --there fore captain and mates will be unable to claim any cobia. (only paying customers on a charter may keep cobia).

There is a Finfish Advisory Committee on Oct 20th in downtown NN at 6 pm..at the request of many recreational anglers Finfish Chaiman, Jeff Deem , has Cobia on the agenda. It is not necessary that any final recommendations come out of Finfish at this time, as Cobia will not be in the Chesapeake Bay until next JUne...

All Clubs should discuss this issue and attempt to come to some concolusion about how to approach the Cobia/overfishing issue.

The decision MUST involve all cobia fishermen.

Discussion supporting protection for VA/Bay Cobia was interspersed with additional comments:

Many are of the opinion that overfishing of Cobia has depleted many Cobia ( NC SC GA bays) habitats to our south in NC, SC and Georgia. Others contend that those states get the first crack at migrating Cobia moving from Florida to Va ; that did not turn out to be true this year--leading to other comments that Cobia are found worldwide and that the stocks that visit Chesapeake Bay may not be the same stocks that come into the heavily fished southern bays of NC< SC , and Geogia. I believe recreational anglers did hammer the cobia south of us again as usual, but Va had some of the best Cobia fishing in years??

One knowledgeable angler pointed out that Chesapeake Bay tagged cobia do seem to return to the VA Bay. But that many tagged Cobia in VA waters disappear--they are not recaptured in Florida or the Gulf of MExico(which has a large cobia fishery)

There is growing feeling that Chesapeake Va fish are just that--Chesapeake Bay fish.... no statistics support that theory.

Cobia spawn in Cheapeake bay all summer long...they appear to be continuous spawners....So attempting to limit the catch during the spawning time is impossible.

The VMRC is aware of the concern, but VMRC cannot make a decision with what limited scientific information they have on Virginia Cobia.

Perhaps an all-court press must be mounted to tag every Cobia caught in VA waters , so we have more idea of the status of our fishery.

The recreational anglers must come together and decided if we consider Cobia in danger and we also must consider what we want from VMRC.

See you all on the 20th at 6 pm Cobia is one of several issues on the menu; look at the VMRC site to see the agenda.

Dr. Bob Allen, PSWSFA, VCAC, VSSA
 

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I am willing to go and advocate for a reduction in kill due to exponentially increased pressure on this fishery, me included.

Only going if others are willing to make an effort, numbers matter. I will drive from the southside if can I can get a carload. LMK.

Mike
757-five-three-six-6682
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
There is a Finfish Advisory Committee on Oct 20th in downtown NN at 6 pm..at the request of many recreational anglers Finfish Chairman, Jeff Deem , has Cobia on the agenda. It is not necessary that any final recommendations come out of Finfish at this time, as Cobia will not be in the Chesapeake Bay until next JUne..
THIS IS MERELY A BEGINNING DISCUSSION....DO NOT EXPECT FINAL DECISION NOW...

BOB ALLEN
 
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