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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recieved an email from Stripers Forever saying this...

"the 2008 annual fishing survey results are in. It may be no surprise to many of you that the overwhelming majority of anglers see the quality of the striper fishery as declining. In many areas the fishing has dropped off so dramatically that some veteran recreational fishermen and guides fear we are on the brink of another population crash. "

I responded telling him that I'm all in favor of making rockfish a game fish but I could not agree that the quality or quantity of rockfish were anything other than great this year and last year.
He responded with this....

"Joe,
As you can see from the survey results, only 34 Marylanders responded to the survey. Of those only 4 felt fishing was better, 7 thought the fish were larger and only 1 thought there were more. Whether they all fished in the Bay, we don't know withour going back to the original surveys, but its a good bet many of them did. Of the 4 guides who responded, three thought their guiding businesses were worse than in previous years.
So I guess we'd have to disagree with that assessment. Also knowing that up to 70% of the Chesapeake Bay fish carry the myco virus worries the heck out of us. Personally, I'd never eat one.
George Watson"


He wouldn't eat one?

What's with this guy?

Is he comparing this year with last year and claiming that there are not more and bigger fish?
Well...... Last year was a very good year. Just because the rock aren't better than last year doesn't mean anything is wrong.

Again....What's with him?
 

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The problem is the overall population of Stripers. We did not have huge, reliable shoals of breaking fish all summer like we normally would. There is a nice slug of 96 years class fish out there, and there is a good group of 2002 year class about to mature to spawning age. Those fish were in the 28" range this year.

But the overall trend is steadily down for the last four years. I think everyone is very interested in the reults of the next population assessment.

Also - Stripers Forever started in the Northeast, and they had a very poor year up there overall (Brandon's Montauk pics notwithstanding)

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
"the overall trend is steadily down for the last four years."

Sorry....but I don't know a single fisherman who believes that.
 

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Joe, most of the fishermen I know absolutely believe that the population has steadily declined in the last four years. Were you fishing prior to 2002?

I'm not defending the survey, btw. I don't know how they gathered the data. But it definitely tracks with the experiences of the fishermen I know. And the population data in the ASMFC graph above tells the story.

In fact, fishermen all over the Northeast are getting worried.
 

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Joe, most of the fishermen I know absolutely believe that the population has steadily declined in the last four years. Were you fishing prior to 2002?

I'm not defending the survey, btw. I don't know how they gathered the data. But it definitely tracks with the experiences of the fishermen I know. And the population data in the ASMFC graph above tells the story.

In fact, fishermen all over the Northeast are getting worried.
Why should one have assumed the Striped Bass population would have continued to grow to infinity?

There had to be a point where the numbers had to level off and or decline to a sustainable level.

How about we as a group, push for a reduction in the large end of the harvest, rather then being greedy and wanting it all.
 

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I asked stripers forever to send someone to the Pax CCA meeting to be a guest speaker. They said they didn't have anyone in MD that could give a presentation on their organization. It spoke volumes to me...
 

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A survey of fishermen now determines the health of the overall stock... :rolleyes:

My input then is that it has been the best fall in years. Stocks are extremely healthy. While I still dont have my 50lber, there have been more reported caught than years past. Heck there have been more fish caught close to the world record this year than any year in recent history.
 

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A survery of fishermen now determines the health of the overall stock... :rolleyes:

My input then is that it has been the best fall in years. Stocks are extremely healthy. While I still dont have my 50lber, there have been more reported caught than years past. Heck there have been more fish caught close to the world record this year than any year in recent history.
If you read through stories written leading up to the crash, you'll find a similar set of circumstances. Big fish and lots of them. But the bottom fell out of the population on the lower end. And we continued to harvest like crazy. And the whole thing fell apart.

I hope we see a great rebound in the next ASMFC population counts. But if it continues falling off a cliff, I think we need to respect history and learn from our lack of action in the late seventies.
 

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We artificially inflate the population by putting a ban in place for 5 years. In our near sightedness, we forget that a large increase in forge needs to occur to support our newly recovered fish. Reality soon sets in as does malnutrition and a disease that affects 70% of the population.

Still wonder why the numbers are down?
 

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As far as "not eating one"
1- The "myco virus" is not a virus at all, but a bacteria that affects fish, and is easily killed by cooking (no sushi for me!!)
2- It only rarely affects humans, usually only those people who don't have a good immune system, like cancer patients on chemotherapy.

I am an Infectious Diseases specialist, and I eat them all the time. Don't let a fish germ keep us from eating a good filet.
 

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We artificially inflate the population by putting a ban in place for 5 years. In our near sightedness, we forget that a large increase in forge needs to occur to support our newly recovered fish. Reality soon sets in as does malnutrition and a disease that affects 70% of the population.

Still wonder why the numbers are down?
Yeah... let's just ignore the 800lb gorilla in the corner..

From a recent article..

"It's not like a big fish kill where you wake up one day and there is a big pile of them washed up on the beach; these slowly die," said Rob Latour, associate professor of fisheries science at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, and a co-author of the paper. "It is very difficult to observe these deaths."

The study overcame that problem by using information gathered from 1,420 striped bass collected from 2003 through 2005 by the Chesapeake Bay Multispecies Monitoring and Assessment Program, an ongoing VIMS program aimed at unraveling the Bay's complex food web.

Scientists examined each fish to determine whether it was infected. The results showed an increasing rate of infection for striped bass from age 1, when about one in four females and one in eight males was infected, to age 5, when about 80 percent of the males and 90 percent of the females had the disease.

After age 6, the prevalence rate stayed roughly the same for males, but dropped in half-to about 40 percent-for females.

That information was used in a model designed to help predict the impact of disease on aquatic populations that was recently developed by Dennis Heisey of the U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center in Wisconsin, a co-author of the paper.

After a series of analyses using the model, the scientists found that data best fit a scenario in which the odds of survival among infected fish was greatly reduced.

In any given year, a female striped bass infected with mycobacteriosis has a 49 percent chance of surviving compared with a non-diseased fish, according to the model. Males also appeared to have a lower survival rate, although the model was less definitive about that.

"The model is interpreting the low disease prevalence in older animals as being indicative of mortality," Latour said. "If prevalence is going down, that means that more diseased animals are dying. So when you take a sample, you get fewer [infected fish] because they are already dead."

The model hinges on the assumption that fish infected by the disease will ultimately die. The paper notes that there is no evidence that fish can heal themselves. Studies of mycobacteriosis in other fish have indicated the disease is progressive, and ultimately fatal. Lab studies have also shown that with striped bass.

Nonetheless, some have have suggested that striped bass may recover because of the appearance that external lesions have healed on some fish. But Gauthier said that when those fish are examined, active disease is still present inside.

"The fish is not cured, at least as far as we know," Gauthier said. "There really is no evidence for regression of the disease."
 

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Originally Posted by Seahunter
We artificially inflate the population by putting a ban in place for 5 years. In our near sightedness, we forget that a large increase in forge needs to occur to support our newly recovered fish. Reality soon sets in as does malnutrition and a disease that affects 70% of the population.

Still wonder why the numbers are down?


"Artificially"????? Huh??? What, as if it's perfectly natural to have 500+ boats pulling 6 - 26 baits each during a Saturday in May?? So far as striper mortality goes, that 5 year period was the most "natural" going back 300 years! As to the second (malnutrition) point, the best thing in the world that could happen now is an "artificial" period like that for the bunker.
 
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