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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Unfortunately, I'm not referring to the device on the front of an antique steam locomotive.

A lot of you guys think I'm anti - catch & release, anti - recreational and pro - commercial. Actually, I'm none of the above. I'm anti - bad practices, regardless of which group happens to be committing them. At this point in time, the bad practice is recreational anglers targeting pre-spawn Striped Bass - our own beloved rockfish, for C&R. These fish have survived the journey down the East Coast, survived the CBBT, survived the Virginia and Carolina Ocean fisheries and are on the final leg of this years' saga to the spawning grounds - laden with roe and milt to propagate the species. One final hurdle, a bunch of selfish anglers hoping to snap a picture of a large, pregnant female.
No one knows what the outcome is when one of these fish is hooked, fought to boatside and probably netted and held up for a picture. We know that the fish has to be exhausted, it's energy used up, or it wouldn't have quit fighting. We do have studies showing that holding the fish by the head and letting it hang straight down is definitely damaging to the spine and skeletal structure. We don't have any studies that I am aware of, of the possible damage to the spawning process. If this fish survives, does it abort it eggs instead of continuing to the spawning grounds? If it survives and does spawn, are it's eggs still viable? Have the eggs themselves been damaged during the fight, the boating, the holding and picture taking? How about the large males? When you bring a large, pre-spawn male aboard, he spews milt all over the deck. Has he literally "shot his wad"? Will he make it to the spawning grounds? Will he have any milt if he gets there? Will any milt that he may have remaining be viable due to the C&R process? No body knows for sure. We do know one thing - these large female fish are carrying, literally, MILLIONS of eggs. ONE dead fish on the way to the spawning grounds could potentially remove MILLIONS of juvenile fish from the Bay. I don't care whether these fish are caught on the Flats with a spinning rod, or anywhere else in the Bay on a trolling rig. The process and the stresses imparted are the same. It's a bad practice, and I don't care who says otherwise. If you want to C&R, wait until the spawn is over - at least you may only be killing one fish at a time instead of the potential to kill millions with every catch.
I don't consider myself a conservationist, I just believe I have a little common sense. But I wouldn't consider targeting these fish pre-spawn, evidently that makes me a much bigger conservationist than the majority of people posting here.
 

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Unfortunately, I'm not referring to the device on the front of an antique steam locomotive.

A lot of you guys think I'm anti - catch & release, anti - recreational and pro - commercial. Actually, I'm none of the above. I'm anti - bad practices, regardless of which group happens to be committing them. At this point in time, the bad practice is recreational anglers targeting pre-spawn Striped Bass - our own beloved rockfish, for C&R. These fish have survived the journey down the East Coast, survived the CBBT, survived the Virginia and Carolina Ocean fisheries and are on the final leg of this years' saga to the spawning grounds - laden with roe and milt to propagate the species. One final hurdle, a bunch of selfish anglers hoping to snap a picture of a large, pregnant female.
No one knows what the outcome is when one of these fish is hooked, fought to boatside and probably netted and held up for a picture. We know that the fish has to be exhausted, it's energy used up, or it wouldn't have quit fighting. We do have studies showing that holding the fish by the head and letting it hang straight down is definitely damaging to the spine and skeletal structure. We don't have any studies that I am aware of, of the possible damage to the spawning process. If this fish survives, does it abort it eggs instead of continuing to the spawning grounds? If it survives and does spawn, are it's eggs still viable? Have the eggs themselves been damaged during the fight, the boating, the holding and picture taking? How about the large males? When you bring a large, pre-spawn male aboard, he spews milt all over the deck. Has he literally "shot his wad"? Will he make it to the spawning grounds? Will he have any milt if he gets there? Will any milt that he may have remaining be viable due to the C&R process? No body knows for sure. We do know one thing - these large female fish are carrying, literally, MILLIONS of eggs. ONE dead fish on the way to the spawning grounds could potentially remove MILLIONS of juvenile fish from the Bay. I don't care whether these fish are caught on the Flats with a spinning rod, or anywhere else in the Bay on a trolling rig. The process and the stresses imparted are the same. It's a bad practice, and I don't care who says otherwise. If you want to C&R, wait until the spawn is over - at least you may only be killing one fish at a time instead of the potential to kill millions with every catch.
I don't consider myself a conservationist, I just believe I have a little common sense. But I wouldn't consider targeting these fish pre-spawn, evidently that makes me a much bigger conservationist than the majority of people posting here.
this is an interesting and very difficult to determine topic. certainly the 1-5% of C/R fish die, and therefore will not spawn. above that, it is likely that some percentage of fish become ill and survive or die weeks later in addition to the immediate death from CR. the question then becomes when factoring in sustainable harvest... would you rather catch and keep 10 fish/season, or catch and release 100?
although there is a ton of interest in the yoy index each year, the number of harvest sized rockfish may be more determinant on other factors especially diseases in juvenile fish as opposed to spawning success. as far as im concerned, im more worried about the 100s of 16" fish that every one of us release into those 80f waters in august

i wouldnt be concerned about the males at all. usually, when a female is spawning, she will have 5-10 males chasing her. there are more males than females in the spawning rivers, and most of the males are protected by the off limits areas for trophy rockfishing
 

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I must agree, use to do the spring trophy season. About four years ago, the 6 35lb plus fish we caught were all females , onced cleaned they were full of eggs. now i just wait for the fall season, try CBBT in the fall for the big ones
 

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You can't protect spawning fish by protecting them one or two months out of the year or by only protecting them in one area of their entire range. If you want to protect spawning fish, and more precisely the most prolific spawners (old fish), you have to protect them year round and everywhere they're found, from Maine to North Carolina and all points between.

Now, you could make an argument that spawning fish are more vulnerable as they concentrate on their spawning grounds. You could also argue spawning fish aren't interested in anything but spawning on their spawning grounds so they're harder to catch. You could also argue they're vulnerable and feeding as they school up off the mouth of the Bay and coast of North Carolina during the winter months as they fatten up for the winter. You could also argue that their vulnerable as they feed heavily to fuel their annual migration up and down the coast. My point is all of us who fish for stripers, whether in the Bay or on the coast, whether C&R or taking fish, we're all killing stripers, including the most valuable ones.

No one who fishes is innocent or better than the rest. One day, I'd like for recreational fishermen to agree to protect our most valuable fish year round and throughout their range. We'll still kill some big stripers from C&R, but there will be a lot more of them and that will fuel the future. Until that time, if it ever comes, education will get us a lot further than preaching and demonizing fellow recreational anglers. How 'bout we stay united and fight against commercial exploitation like our brothers in the Gulf Coast and southeast did for redfish? Look how that's paid off.
 

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You can't protect spawning fish by protecting them one or two months out of the year or by only protecting them in one area of their entire range. If you want to protect spawning fish, and more precisely the most prolific spawners (old fish), you have to protect them year round and everywhere they're found, from Maine to North Carolina and all points between.

Now, you could make an argument that spawning fish are more vulnerable as they concentrate on their spawning grounds. You could also argue spawning fish aren't interested in anything but spawning on their spawning grounds so they're harder to catch. You could also argue they're vulnerable and feeding as they school up off the mouth of the Bay and coast of North Carolina during the winter months as they fatten up for the winter. You could also argue that their vulnerable as they feed heavily to fuel their annual migration up and down the coast. My point is all of us who fish for stripers, whether in the Bay or on the coast, whether C&R or taking fish, we're all killing stripers, including the most valuable ones.

No one who fishes is innocent or better than the rest. One day, I'd like for recreational fishermen to agree to protect our most valuable fish year round and throughout their range. We'll still kill some big stripers from C&R, but there will be a lot more of them and that will fuel the future. Until that time, if it ever comes, education will get us a lot further than preaching and demonizing fellow recreational anglers. How 'bout we stay united and fight against commercial exploitation like our brothers in the Gulf Coast and southeast did for redfish? Look how that's paid off.
im not sure that commercial bycatch is a concern in rockfish fishery. the nets allowed will catch only a certain grade fish. the comm limit is 18-36" and has a more balance male:female ratio. a gill net will only catch fish of a certain size give or take about 5" bigger fish simply can not gill themselves and smaller fish swim through
 

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Legal fishing should not be criticized. Work to have the regulations changed if you don't agree with them. Anglers on this board legally chase these fish up and down the coastal U.S. with their migration and that's ok? We should catch and relase in the summer when temps kill the fish? Every large fish killed is a potential spawner no matter where its caught.
I personally do not think the sky is falling. The population seems to be fine and well managed, judging by the fish caught up and down the coast each year. Do you need a picture of every fish caught? Not me, but if I had a 50lber on the end of my line there would be a picture. Feel free to disagree, but let it rest!
 

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I wouldn't care if it were C & R year around with a no kill restriction.I say this because during the 1985-90 moritorium,the fishing was absolutely fantastic for big Stripers in the whole bay..It was like the CBBT in the Upper Bay all summer & fall.It was no big deal to catch 25-50 Stripers a day from 26-30in.+ on 20# spinning gear in a few hours when conditions were right.We used heavy spinning gear to C&R the fish quickly to reduce stress.A quick fight.Fighting a big fish for a long time on light only kills it.I have no respect for the so called "Fishing Heros" that break records on light line & release a fish to die.
 

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im not sure that commercial bycatch is a concern in rockfish fishery. the nets allowed will catch only a certain grade fish. the comm limit is 18-36" and has a more balance male:female ratio. a gill net will only catch fish of a certain size give or take about 5" bigger fish simply can not gill themselves and smaller fish swim through
That's nonsense. Commercial bycatch is a concern and so is under reporting and illegal activity.

Susky, striped bass are not managed properly. I'm not saying things are terrible, but we don't protect the most valuable fish and as a result they don't make up the percentage of the total population that they should in a healthy fishery. Furthermore, I'm concerned that the full impact of disease isn't known and therefore isn't being considered fully by management. We're managing the fishery right on the edge. A couple bad years of recruitment and higher than normal natural mortality due to disease and things could, not saying they will, get bad real quick. A lot of folks want to celebrate the recovery and hit the gas, I'm just saying we should be more cautious, learn from the past, and conserve what we have.

Back to taxes. Cost basis. Depreciable basis. Adjusted basis. My head hurts. :helpsmilie: :confused:
 

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What happens when the Sripers get to Montauk or Cape Cod? These fish are ripped out of the water all summer and put back. How many of them wont make it to spawn the next year. If C&R was so detrimental to these spawners, I am sure there wouldnt be a season for it. I am no scientists, but I belive we should trust in those that are.
 

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susky

you best take the pic of the 50lber for us!

the fishery is very well managed, and is touted around the world as a major success. i guess the debate was would you prefer more CR opportunities or be allowed to take more fish home?


kenY

technically there is a slot of 18-28" for a regular fishery, and a 28"+ separate fishery... at least that is how i think they came about with the rules. i do favor a lower slot in general... targets more males...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ryason, the whole point is, these fish HAVE made it through the gauntlet. They've completed their journey and are almost home. They're BUSTING with millions of eggs and only have to be allowed to drop them unmolested. After that, they're on their own again, but they should be protected NOW.
 

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Ryason, the whole point is, these fish HAVE made it through the gauntlet. They've completed their journey and are almost home. They're BUSTING with millions of eggs and only have to be allowed to drop them unmolested. After that, they're on their own again, but they should be protected NOW.
Sentimentally, you're correct, scientifically, you're wrong.
 

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There seems to be a misconception about killing the millions of fry that never have a chance to grow up. Seems to me this argument needs to be more along the lines that the few fry that survive to adulthood need a chance to survive because they belong to a very special 50# + gene pool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Robert, scientifically how am I wrong? Can you quote a study that has been done on these pre-spawn fish, days or even hours before their spawn, showing egg and milt viablility after C & R? Don't try to quote the Flats study of 18" - 20" fish for release mortality - totally different ballgame. If you've got one specifically covering this scenario, I'd be more then glad to read it. In the mean time, if any of us are wrong - at least I'm wrong on the side of the fish and conserving the stock!!
 

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When you kill a female fish that has reached sexual maturity, it'll never spawn again, whether it's killed in April or in June. Protecting a fish a month before it spawns might make you feel good about yourself, but you're no better if you kill the same fish two months later. To truly protect this portion of the fish population, it needs protected twelve months out of the year.
 
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