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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All

The menhaden harvest fleet should be around in the bay or along the coast. In an effort to drive awareness about the large amount of forage fish these guys take, I wanted to start this thread. If you spot the fleet or even one of their boats please post in this thread.

  • When (date and time)
  • Where (river name, approximate location either in the Atlantic or in the Bay)
  • Any notes about your experience
  • Lat Long Coordinates if you have them (can be approximate, but need to be close as possible)

Hopefully we make a difference and get their catch reduced so we can save the forage fish that feed stripers, cobia, red drum, and all the other species
 

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What ever happened with the petition thread you had up? What came of it?
 

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Good question Billy...........I know I had at least 15 turned in..........
 

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My last trip down the bay was a couple weeks ago but at that time they were between the Rappahannock and Wolftrap. I recall seeing several boats
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Good question about the petition. We are still collecting them. Several tackle shops around the region are distributing them. I have not counted them all yet,but there is a very large pile here in my office that I would say has at least 1000+ We definitely need more.

They are being used in conjunction with a few groups to get accomplished what action items are spelled out. I hate to be vague, but given some commerical lobbyists monitor this board I do not want to tip off anything that could hurt our cause. Bottom line, is things are in progress to try and get some things done.

This is not about being green peace, this about a grass roots effort to change policy so we have forage fish so we have sustainable fish populations so we can all continue to enjoy the sport.

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The petition is below. You can simply print this page out and fill it in and send to me or download a PDF version here via email scanned in ([email protected]) or snail mail it to me.

You can send petitions in via snail mail to:

Lateral Line Foundation
PO Box 1816
Easton, MD 21601

I will be looking for local bait and tackle shops to put this petition in their shops and collect signatures. If you are a shop owner or work at a shop and are willing to do this I will list you in this thread as a sponsor of the initiative along with all your contact information for your shop and link to your shop to help you for helping the fish. Email me at: [email protected].

NOTE: NO ONES ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER OR ANYTHING WILL BE SOLD OR USED FOR ANYTHING ELSE THEN SUPPORTING THIS EFFORT.

Let's take all the energy we put into posts and actaully see if we can make a difference

Brandon

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Menhaden Reduction Petition

The below voting citizens and recreational anglers request the following:

1. The undersigned request that the State of Virginia cut the current menhaden harvest within the Chesapeake Bay and territorial sea to a combined total of 60,000 Metric Tons per year.

(The current limit is 109,000 MT within the bay, there is no limit for the waters outside of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel but within VA waters. Once they reach that limit they simply move the gear outside of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel)

2. Request that the legislature modify state code section 28.2-409 such that all state waters less than thirty-five (35) feet deep are included as exclusionary areas, in order to protect important recreational and commercial species which live at the bottom of the water column from capture or disturbance by the seventy-five (75) foot deep purse seines.

3. That the season for menhaden within Virginia's territorial sea be closed between the Saturday following the third Friday in November and the Sunday preceding the first Monday in May. This closure is requested in order to protect the juvenile menhaden that are leaving the bay and to reduce the gear conflict issues between the purse seine fishery and the recreational and commercial striped bass fisheries.

4. That any species covered by a commercial quota that are retained by the purse seine fishery as part of their allowed 1% by-catch be estimated and counted against those commercial quotas. Specific species of concern are striped bass, speckled trout, bluefish and summer flounder.

Signature

Full Name:

Address

City ST Zip

Email Address: @

Phone number
 

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I have a suggestion to add to "where" the latitude and longitude position if possible. If we could add latitude and longitude position then we could track on an electronic chart of the Bay where the industrial reduction fleet is fishing especially when we catch them fishing in shallow nursery areas.
 

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Don't forget that the localized depletion of Menhaden in the Bay means fewer little fish filtering out an overabundance of algae. That filtering action clarifies the water, thus enhancing the health of critical SAV. More underwater grasses means everything down there is better off.
 

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While fishing at the 3rd island of the Chespeake Bay Bridge tunnel (hampton) seven menhaden boats came past headed from the ocean up towards Reedville.......they were all pretty high in the water...that is: they probably had no menhaden. I have heard that the last day of fishing for the Menhadedn by OMega Protein inside Ches BAy is tomorrow (Nov 20th)?

Could they be going back for Thanksgiving Holiday for the crews R & R than go back into the ocean after Thanksgiving? Or were these boats being re-positioned from Louisiana and Texas , Omega Operations there to the Ches Bay? The Omega refining plants took big hits from the Hurricanes the last couple of years. Those majy not be back in production yet?

Anyone know anything?

Bob Allen Hampton VA
 

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They are probably heading up the bay to get some of the last bait schools before the bay close in November.

Prior to 1987 all menhaden fishing ended in the state waters of Virginia on the Saturday following the third Friday in November. The regulations were then changed to allow the fishing of menhaden just east of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (ocean side) until the Friday before Christmas. At this time of the year the menhaden are migrating out of the Bay and into the ocean where they will spawn. Also at this time of year the striped bass are congregating at the mouth of the Bay and this draws an extremely large amount of recreational fishermen and associated economic impact to the area. There have been numerous conflicts between recreational fishermen and the menhaden fleet reported to VMRC over the past several years. The economic input of recreational striped bass fishing in VA is estimated to be $168.2 million as compared to the $32.9 million contributed by Omega Protein
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
From experience usually these guys will continue to fish in and around the mouth of the Chesapeake. As mentioned above there have been conflicts with recreational anglers. I myself and Cory R. have almost been netted ourselves when they once set their nets around Cape Charles where we were fishing and they literally pushed us out of the way.

PLEASE post or email or PM me if you spot them around the mouth of the bay with best you can get numbers.
Also if they are near you fishing please take as many pictures as you can of them and send them to me.

Thanks

Brandon
 

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Omega Protein will be in Forbes next month. They were found to be one of the top 200 small businesses in the country. Becouse of thier profit margins, longevity, and productivity, No need to go on you can read all about it yourself.
 

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Omega's stock is at $3.90 as of today. That's down about 76% from August 08. Maybe Forbes sees this as a great company. Looks like the market see a company where insiders dumped over a million shares with the stock at its overinflated peak this summer:

OME: Insider Transactions for OMEGA PROTEIN CP - Yahoo! Finance

A company that has overfished its resource to near sub economic levels and where people may finally wake up and put an end to this environmental destruction in the few states that still allow it. I can see some signs of movement to action in the GOM

Save the Bait

Let us know how we can restart the action on the Virginia front. I've signed the petition and would love to do more.
 

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There was a lively discussion on charter boat guide licenses in VA and it will come up before the VMRC on Tuesday.

It is Time that all of us not be distracted by stuff like that. Omega Protein continues the destruction of the ecology of Ches Bay.

A discussion on the industrial harvest of menhaden inside the ches bay would be timely, considering that there are now caps on the harvest set by ASMFC. It would be nice to get an update on what ASMFC thinks of how th ings are going.\\

Also Dr. Kirkly is coming the the close on his 3 year study of economic and social impact of the industrial harvests o menhaden by Omega Protein in the Bay.

I think it is time to revive an interest in the continual and ongoing Ches Bay destruction from Omega Protein.

Bob Allen, Hampton Va
 
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