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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
YOUR OPINION ON PROPOSED FLOUNDER RULES FOR 2007:
The following options were agreed to by the ad-hoc members as the proposed 2007 flounder options last night. One of the options will be selected by VMRC Commissioners February 27th.

#1 --- 19 inch minimum size---- 6 fish per day /man ----- Closed days: NONE

#2 --- 18 .5 in. minimum........5 fish/man.........Closure:(1/1 to 3/31) and (7/23 to 7/29)

#3 --- 18 .5 in.. minimum.......... 3 fish...............Closure: TWO DAYS: 7/25 & 7/26

#4 --- 18.0 in. minimum......2 fish.........Closure: (1/1 to 3/31) and (7/16 to 7/31)

The public hearing will be at the Feb. 27th Commission meeting

It would be good for you to cut out this area, circle your choice , put our name and address on the paper and mail it to Jack Travelstead or : Rob O'Reilly, 2600 Washington Ave c/o VA Marine Resources , Newport News, VA. Or send an e-mail with your choice: [email protected] or:
Rob.O'[email protected]

BOB ALLEN, MEMBER OF AD HOC FLOUNDER COMMITTEE
 

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Thanks for the info Bob. Your post clearly indicates the proposed recreational restrictions, but what are they proposing for the commercial fishery? There is nothing more frustrating than spending a day on the water throwing back shorts only to go to a fish market to see "shorts" on sale (I am aware that some of these fish come from out of the area but that doesn't make it less frustrating).

What I would hate to see happen is a cafe style management system here on the Chesapeake that parallels the red snapper cafe style management I read about on the Gulf coast. The recreational anglers take the hit while the management doesn't address all factors contributing to yearly survival rates.

Lastly, I know the VMRC initiated a flounder tagging program this year. One of my neighbors works for VMRC and he mentioned that they haven't received very many calls about tags coming in. His impression is that either there are a lot of flounder out there or we don't have fisherman motivated enough to report tags. I haven't followed up with him about this but am curious to hear if you know how this study plays into management plans.

Thanks,
PD
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
From What I Understand, The Commericals Take A Similar Reduction...ours Is Rather Large Because We Went Over Quota Last Year...
Ny Must Take A 49% Reductiion
Connecticut A 14% Reduction
Nc 8%
Deleware 30%

Coastwise The Average Reduction Is 42% For Recreationals

And So On...

\by Doing Some Rough Math Va Recreational Anglers Are Allowed 404,000 Fish While The Coastwise Commercial Flounder Take Will Be About 3.5 Million Fish (the Size Limit Is Small Because Many Small Flounder Are Trapped In The Cod End And Will Die, Therefore Nmfs Allows Them To Keep Almost Everything They Catch, Rather Than Have A Large Discard Fishery)----(do Not Quote Me )... The Coastwise Landings For Recreationals Is 2.5 Million Fish(approx)

Those Commercial Caught Fish Are Landed In Different States In Differning Amounts...but The Coastwide Commercial Catch Is Less Than Last Year(?)

These Calculations Are A Little Over My Head, But Rob O'reilly(vmrc) Can Answer Them With Authority...

Whatever Is Adapted By Vmrc, I Believe You Will Be Releasing Alot More "shorts" --which Is The Intention Of The 2007 Proposed Rules And Regulations. Va Anglers Must Land Fewer Fish Than In 2006

As For Tagging...i Have A Little To Add--very Little!!

Years Ago There Was An Effort To Tag A Large Number Of Flounder In The Inlets Of The Northern Eastern Shore...very Few Of Those Tags Were Ever Returned...some Speculation Is That The Fish Migrate East And West And During The Winter Months, Trawlers Got Them All(?) Pure Speculation--no One Knows What Happened To The Many Tagged Fish??

On The Other Hand , Thousands Of Flounder Were Tagged At The Buckroe Beach Fishing Pier --when It Was Standing &before Hurricane Isabelle Got It, And Almost All The Tags Were Caught Right Off The Pier ...even The Next Year...the Fish Returned To The Same Location...

A Small Number Of The Tagged Fish Were Caught Long Distances Away...nc, Cape Charles. Etc.

But It Remains A Puzzle What Happened To All The Tagged Fish Over On The Northern Eastern Shore??

Bob Allen, Hampton, Va
 

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That's a lot of info Bob :eek:

So now for a really silly question....how do they estimate the number of fish caught. There is no reporting mechanism (beyond people registering for citations) that I know of so they have to be guess-timating that number somehow (at least for the recreational catch).

As for the commercial fisherman, wouldn't their catch be determined by pounds of fish? They would need new nets to allow smaller fish to escape, so historically they haven't changed the size limit for commercials because it's too expensive to change the nets...rather they've changed the poundage quota. If this is the case, there will still be smaller fish staring me in the face at the fish market :eek:

I'd be curious to know how big the incidental cod net catch is. I know for the red snapper situation in the Gulf the Shrimpers by-catch is huge...effectively impacting the red snapper population more than fishing.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand how this thing works. If you've read any of my other posts I've consistently supported regulation for conservation....and I consider myself a huge sportsman thinking of future outings with my little boy. It just makes me uneasy when we start using fuzzy math to figure things out.

Thanks for helping me get my arms around this Bob.
 

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we're in a catch 22 situation with managing the rec fisheries. We catch less and less fish that weigh more, consequently size limits go higher and the fish are heavier and we gotta' cut back and the next year the size limits are higher and.......believe me it's a quagmire and soon enough it will be all fisheries. If it keeps up most will be on the sidelines, and the rec fishery infrastructure will be destroyed. We're in the beginning stages....
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pointing dog: the commercial fishermen must submit a record of every catch. that report is checked against the records of the purchaser. Recreational anglers operate under a very different system: The Marine Recreational Fishing Statistitcal survey (MRFSS). Many years ago, the federal government , as a part of their fisheries management program instituted this (MRFSS) program to track whether a fishery is increasing or declining in population. The MRFSS relies heavily on telephone and dockside surveys combined with a computer program to predict what is caught by recreationals. The key word here is that the survey can only predict trends over long time periods and had never been intended to be used for determining an indivicual state catch statistics. Only a couple of states are willing to pay money to hire the personelle to do accurate recreational surveys. Virginia is not one of them. The system is flawed and National Marine Fisheries Service , who contracts out the survey to a commercial , for-profit corporation, realizes the system is inaccurate from month to month and year to year, neverthe less it is pretty good at tracking long term trends in a stock. It is a terrible way to determine statewide quotas...fisheries managers reply:"that is all we have".. The Magnusun Stevens reauthorization legisltation, just barely made it out of Congress a couple of months ago includes some language that is directed to the flawed MRFSS. Unfornutaely, a federal recreational fishing license for all recreational salt water fishermen is part of the wording. Managers beleive if they have a federal list of recreational fishermen, the survey would be more accurately targeted to those who actually do the fishing. As of now, it is very random, interviewing by phone (from the phone books)persons who have no idea what recreational salt water fishing is. Once they determine that they have a sample, it is entered into a computer program which , in some cases, can multiply one single reported fish by 50,000. So if on dockside interview is in a poorly selected area, or done on a bad day--or conversly a good fishing day, then the final reported catch will be skewed wildly...NMFS because of huge recognizable rockfish errors after hurricane Isabelle and a couple of wild years with tautog reporting, NMFS has admitted that improvements must be made in the MRFSS. No additional funding has been provided and who knows how long changes will take...maybe never. Stay tuned.

Bob Allen, Hampton, VA
 

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we're in a catch 22 situation with managing the rec fisheries. We catch less and less fish that weigh more, consequently size limits go higher and the fish are heavier and we gotta' cut back and the next year the size limits are higher and.......believe me it's a quagmire and soon enough it will be all fisheries. If it keeps up most will be on the sidelines, and the rec fishery infrastructure will be destroyed. We're in the beginning stages....
Sounds like u have got the idea....My 2 cents- it`s all a money game!!! But with new regs.
on flounder like these the avg. fisherman will get busted somewhere along the line, and the $ flow starts..I believe that the hit the piers and com. headboats take will be up there.
resulting in lost revenue, when the last time u heard of a nice catch of flounder 19" long
come from a pier or a head boat..Only once in awhile..While most of the "big" flounder
caught r caught by 10% of the fisherman, that leave 90% to hunt for the few they do
catch. So just how many of that 90% will hang up fishing and pull their $ out of the economy??? That part I`m sure hasn`t been looked at..When the powers that be had
the limit at 17.5" why not just leave it there??Now we have to adapt again..These flounder
laws r getting as bad as tuna laws. My take, put it back to 17.5" at 5 fish and leave it there.
Put the regs. on the comm. boats!!!!!!!!!!Make them adapt for a change!!!!!!!!!!

Capt.Skid :eek:
 

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Like I said on another post related to this matter:

Option 5: 8 or 10 fish at a 16" minimum and go out of compliance.

Stand up to the ASMFC for once! Fort Sumter again, fire the first shot.

Point #1 - This is not about Commerc. vs Recreational. Certain environmental groups want to use legislation to over-protect this FULLY RECOVERED species and they are making you guys bear the brunt of it. All they want to do is be able to tell their constituents ($30 a year membership members) that they accomplished something.

Point #2 - The northern states fish mainly in the ocean where they catch a larger class of fish. They could care less about 15, 16 or even 17" fish. They want us growing the fish for them in our Bay nursery just like the stripers. Northern states, northern environmentalists and norhtern scientists are sticking it to us again.

People on this forum get frustrated by issues like this and then they drag out the old commercial fisherman to kick and drag through the streets and make things alright again. Bob Allen, predicted this, Tom Powers predicted this and I predicted this. You knew it was coming. Where is the RFA and CCA on this?

I am not saying any of this to be a pot stirrer or get people fired up as many will say I am. I am absolutely, very serious about my proposal. As a matter of fact I got the idea from Richard Welton about 5 years ago when he proposed the same idea at meeting while president of CCAVA. Remember that Bob, Tom?
 

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Wouldn't it be better for most people to allow a 16" or 17 " fish with less fishing days and a reasonable creel limit per person say 3 or 4 ? As I stated on other boards or threads no one here or at the VMRC meeting is taking into consideration the average recreational fisherman and his family and this is just plain wrong and self serving.
 
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