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I just read in another post that a commercial boat was able to net 5000 lbs. of striper in the lower bay; but to recreational fishermen the bay is closed. Is this really the case? If so this seems extremely lopsided. Any info will be appreciated.
 

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Commercial fisherman have Tags. These are good for one year. They can use them anytime they want too. Some like to save their Tags and use them when the big boys show in the Bay. Check out the VMRC web site....DBIGFSH
 

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The commercial fishery is managed by a hard cap quota. In the VA portion of the Chesapeake Bay their quota is equal to the recreational quota. Their season is open from Feb. 1 through Dec. 31. There are many restrictions in the spring during the spawning run, such as mesh size limitation to 6 inches maximum and maximum size limits. In my opinion it is a good thing that it is open most of the year as it would be a complete mess if both the recreational and commercial harvest were concentrated in the fall season.

The commercial harvest is counted through a mandatory reporting program which is monitored by cross checking with MPO's on the water intercepts (for active days) and buyer's records. Failure to comply can lead to both the loss of their striped bass permit or temporary loss of of their waterman's card. As a side note the Commisson revokedthe commercial harvester's license for John T. Johnson for 90 days, followed by a one-year and nine-month probation period. I don't know the details but you can listen to the commission meeting agenda items by going to:

http://www.mrc.state.va.us/commission_summaries/cs0207.shtm

The recreational harvest is "counted" through a National Marine Fisheries Service recreational fishing survey program.

The commercial ocean quota is about 1/10 the size of their bay quota. There is no quota or cap on the recreational fishery in coastal waters. All the recreational fishery has in the coastal waters is a two fish limit, 28 inch minimum and a 6 week closure in the spring.

Tom
 
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