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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When senior board members tell of the abundance of the fish in years past as compared to today, they normally get a big yawn. I have basically stopped commenting on this topic.

The Senior Editor of the Smithsonian printed pictures of typical catches from a Key West boat named Gulf Stream in 1957 and again in 1958 , 1983 and 2007. The boat has been updated to the Gulf Stream III and runs from the same slip. The contrast in the catches is striking.

I tried to get a link to the article, but since it is a short editorial, it is not included on their site. If you have access to the Smithsonian, look at pages 56 to 58 in the Sept issue for a pictorial of how the fishing has changed. The catch in 1957 (about the time I got serious about fishing) compared to 2007 is amazing.

Laura fished a day on the Gulf Stream III and ends the editorial with: " It was poignant to see so much excitement over catching [little] fish. The people on the boat don't have any sense that it has changed so much."
 

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When we use to dine at Red Lobster (haven't been there in almost 5 years now), we used to notice the old pictures of fishermen at docks from the 1930's through the 1950's with scores and scores of fish. There would be 12 to 15 huge tarpon lined up with two guys posing with rods :eek2:, or 50 or 60 grouper stacked up like cord wood with 2 or 3 guys posing :eek:. Those pictures would make my skin crawl, and by dinner many times, with a couple cocktails in me, I would often complain out loud in the restaurant about the pictures and the gross waste of natural resources.
:soapbox:
My wife, a conservationist in her own right, would often have to calm me down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jet-

Does your question ask whether we need to keep more than two or catch more than two?

I do not need to keep any stripers but would not tow my boat a long distance if I expected to catch only two.

I will see if I can scan the pics in the article. The fish landed by the FL head boat went from 100 plus pound grouper to 3 to 6 pound fish from 1957 to 2007. The comparison is amazing.
 

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looks like an average day on the Severn to me:))


I think that some of those grouper could eat that shark
 

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Hey Bill

Your call and post sparked some interest so I went to the Smithsonian website to look around. I came across an article titled "Our Imperiled Oceans: Vistory at Sea"(article here)which talks about a large reserve that was created in the Phoenix Islands in the Pacific, "Phoenix Islands, a remote, largely unpopulated archipelago 1,000 miles east of Tarawa. The 158,000-square-mile Phoenix Islands Protected Area, covering about 12 percent of Kiribati's watery domain, holds some of the world's most pristine coral reefs as well as a great abundance and diversity of tropical marine life. And it's the first reserve to place such a large area of open ocean off-limits to commercial fishing. The reserve is one of the planet's ecological bright spots, the boldest, most dramatic effort to save the oceans' coral reefs, the richest habitat in the seas."

While that part of the article is interesting, what is even more interesting is a discussion relating to your post and a syndrome called "the shifting baseline syndrome"

It was only in the 1990s that marine scientists became aware of what Daniel Pauly, a fisheries biologist at the University of British Columbia, calls the shifting baseline syndrome-the problem of establishing historic populations of marine life in a given species or community. Just what is a healthy number of, say, red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico? "Each generation [of scientists] accepts as a base line the stock size and species composition that occurred at the beginning of [that generation's] career," says Pauly. The result is that, over time, the expectation of the natural number of fish in the sea gets smaller and smaller-until the population is so small that even a modest environmental perturbation, or a tad more fishing, causes it to unexpectedly collapse, as the cod population collapsed off Newfoundland and Labrador in the early 1990s. Sound familiar?

  • Think that happened with blue crabs in the Chesapeake?....sure did.
  • Think that happened with sea trout in the Chesapeake and along the east coast?.....sure did
  • Think that happened with sturgeon in the Chesapeake?......sure did, wiped them out
  • Think that happened with oysters in the Chesaepake?....sure did, in fact our fisheries managers are so wacko that while they say we are at 1% of historic levels, they still allow for a commerical fishery that is clearly NOT sustainable...total joke (still waiting for CBF to come to their senses and make a statement like they did 10 years ago)
  • Think that is what happened with Atlantic blue fin tuna.?..sure did, they will be gone soon, the NC fishery is about all gone already
  • Think that is what happened with tile fish in Florida, and almost happened in Virgina?...sure did
  • Think that is what happened with cod in the Northeast? ....sure did
  • Think that is what is happening/happened with menhaden along the east coast and now in the bay?....bet it is..well in fact we know it happened, used to be 100 factories along the coast doing menhaden, now we have one(1). Why is that? It's because there are no more freaking menhaden to support the factories....
  • Think that is what is happening again with striped bass? (you would have thought we learned our lesson the first time)......I bet it is!

And I could go on, but I think everyone gets the point. If we do not get our head out of our rears sooner then later fishing for me when I 60 and then the next generation is going to put mildly, stink....

As Paul Harvey says, "Good day"

Brandon
 

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That's exactly the type of :censored: photos that plaster the :censored: walls of the :censored: Red Lobster that I'm talking about. Those huge groupers are more than likely Jewfish, all but :censored: wiped out in Florida!! :mad: :52: :hammer:
:soapbox:
 

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That's exactly the type of :censored: photos that plaster the :censored: walls of the :censored: Red Lobster that I'm talking about. Those huge groupers are more than likely Jewfish, all but :censored: wiped out in Florida!! :mad: :52: :hammer:
:soapbox:
----River Cat--

---Pictures like this on the ( Censored) Red Lobster wall, Remind some of us what fishing WAS all about in those days --( Not so much of a sport , but a Necessity)---The ( Censored ) tuna cans & ( censored) fish fingers were unkown --Your microwave button wasen't even developed till lately--

--I fully agree with you , Dead Fish to excess is to most in this day & age is REPUSEIVE, but with no comparison to History type ( Censored) pictures , the public would be not reminded --Think of all the talk over a Brandon's issues these pictures Could Create--

Think that happened with blue crabs in the Chesapeake?....sure did.
Think that happened with sea trout in the Chesapeake and along the east coast?.....sure did
Think that happened with sturgeon in the Chesapeake?......sure did, wiped them out
Think that happened with oysters in the Chesaepake?....

----Also Think of what Maryland's Sacrifice was to Create a World Class Striped Bass Fishery --So Every Tom, Dick, Harry & Julie can Rape in the Ocean --Wake Up , We are considered the Underclass, the Thieves, the Rapists of what we Nuture, Protect & Provide to the rest of the G D ( Censored) East Coast -

--Prediction ---Some of you , as well as my self may hear the words I heard as a boy , Go fishing please so we can have a good meal tonight --Or , in winter , Go hunting & bring back some meat for the table --

--With the Nickels ya got to rub together, Red Lobster may not be a Vible answer to Fish Dinner

--WB---Your Quote-
"Does your question ask whether we need to keep more than two or catch more than two?

I do not need to keep any stripers but would not tow my boat a long distance if I expected to catch only two."

---Unfortunatly --For those that use my charter service, You answered a question about long distance Customers --geo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
capt george-

Over time the idea of catching fish for the sport of it and quickly releasing most of them to live, get larger and spawn again may catch on with charters too. Not everyone agrees with doing that now, but as the resource continues shrinking, the thinking may slowly change. I have witnessed a change in many of the guys I take fishing. More are willing to let the fish live.

Even though the fishing at the CBBT continues to be good in winter, each year the schools are fewer and smaller and the average fish is smaller. I only started fishing the CBBT on a regular basis in 2000 when I bought my 21 Parker. In eight years the decrease in fish, even at this Mecca, has decreased. I go by what I see and question the numbers published.

There was a surprising number of fish at Montauk this year but the schools were not huge. The schools were very dense, as you could see in some of Brandon's excellent pics. What is not known is how many of those fish are Hudson River fish and not Chesapeake Bay fish.

Back about five years we experienced three miles of big ocean stripers off of VA Beach. We have not witnessed that since. The entire afternoon amounted to one long drift in fish. Those are experiences that you tend to measure today's fish against. Going out and catching a two fish limit of 18" fish, if that is all you catch, is pathetic.

As far as charters are concerned, there is another factor hurting them now. At Montauk, with plenty of fish of good size, most of the charter boats remained in their slips. Let's hope the economy turns around before more captains have to turn to other means of support.
 

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That's exactly the type of :censored: photos that plaster the :censored: walls of the :censored: Red Lobster that I'm talking about. Those huge groupers are more than likely Jewfish, all but :censored: wiped out in Florida!! :mad: :52: :hammer:
:soapbox:
The pictured fish are Jewfish, now known as Goliath Grouper. There has been a complete moratorium on taking them for approx. the last 15yrs. In fact, it is illeagal to even remove one of any size from the water to unhook and release. As a result of this moratorium the population has rebounded to the point that some fishing groups are calling for it being dropped or modified. I point this out for two reasons: 1. Moratoriums on catching a particular species do work. Witness the comeback of rockfish here in the bay.
2. Being greedy, catching the breeding stock will deplete a species, much sooner that you'd think.
I lived and fished in Key West for more than 25 yrs., starting at the tail end of the kind of catches shown in that picture. I did not like all that I saw happening then. With that in mind, I am not going to keep any breeding Spring trophy rockfish in the future. Maybe I shouldn't even fish then. How about you?
Creekster
 

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It is easy to look back and point the finger.

Who knows what people will say about the way we fish in 25 or 50 years.

If we could just get the politics out from fishery management - things would be alot better :thumbup:.

I grew up fishing a small farm pond that held about 40-50 LM bass.The local kids caught and released these fish for years.We all shared them and knew if we kept them-there would not be anymore.

Tight limits/closed seasons and C/R only areas ensure enough fish for EVERYONE to enjoy :yes:.
 

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WB,
I agree with you one hundred percent. I am seeing the same all around not just at the CBBT. How many times have you been to PLO this fall? Five years ago, I would see you or Simon there once every other week. I know why you haven't been! There aint no fish there!

It's the same story everywhere. Charters are going to great lengths to liveline because there arent enough fish to chum on any more and they are all undersized. I am finding that before I could catch stuff almost any time on good locations. A few years ago it switched to only catching when the tide is moving. Now it seems to be that you have to have a moving tide during an early morning or afternoon low light.

Breaking fish are all over the place but it used to be you could drift several hundred yards behind the school and still hook up. Now, the only hits come from the center of the pods. There aren't thousands of fish in the school, there are a few hundreds. And, I haven't caught grey trout in two years.

I am right with you, and I can identify the problem easily. I wish finding the answer was as easy.
 

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Not to worry, the CCA and CBF who have collected and spent hundreds of millions of your donated and tax dollars are on top of this issue and are taking immediate action.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Not to worry, the CCA and CBF who have collected and spent hundreds of millions of your donated and tax dollars are on top of this issue and are taking immediate action.
Now I feel much better.:rolleyes:

I am not going to heap scorn on our conservation/fishing organizations because some volunteers work very long and hard to try to do the right thing, but the results overall have been dismal.
 
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