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[Q]Scott_nra originally wrote:
Is that what we want? Who's benefit is it for? I don't know.
[/Q]As it happens, the Supreme Court has recently cleared this up. Outsiders like yourself can now take over a community and do whatever they want, regardless of what the locals and landowners want.[sad]
 

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Some how this thread and topic has switched from the issues of the health and sustainability of the Menhaden population in a realatively small concentrated area and the role that Omega may have in adversely effecting this assumed situation to personal and emotional issues of the economical situation that may or may not exist in Northcumberland. Persoanlly I see them as two separate and distinct issues and if I grew up and lived in Northcumberland, than know I would not want to see development sprawl enchroach upon the serenity of that area. Those who share this sentiment fight the good fight but you will unfortunately lose it. Similar situations have existed in other northern VA areas to inlcude Westmorland and King George's County and development is in full swing and builders and developers are buying up every prime lot and acre they can get their hands on (especially in the Colonial Beach Area). Check out the Windmill Point development and you will get the picture. Depending on what your priorities are determines if you support or oppose this transition..................but regardless it will never-the-less occur.

Since I am a self confessed selfish Rock Fish fisherman, my primary interest while maybe not admirable is to maintain some semblance of a sustainable Rock Fish fishery and in my opinion (only my opinion) that the delpetion of mendhaden along with diminishing water quality, dead zones and also......high fresh water content over the past years is impacting this great fishery. My obsession with menhaden clearly is not because I personally target them but rather that the prime species in our area that I do target (Rock Fish) is finding it far to difficult to find them.

It seem reasonable to assume that if a we are in fact encountering a reduction in the menhaden population in both the Bay and tributaries than strong indication should show up first in the tributaries (further away from the primary grounds) rather than the bay itself. I have no scientific proof but having averaged more than 400 hours a year fishing from the 301 bridge to Point Lookout over the past 5-7 years, I have no doubt that something is happending that is drastically reducing the menhaden population and my instincts lead me to belive that Omega is a significant contributer to this problem.

5 years ago menhaden were so prolific in the Potomac River that when your trolled through the schools of Menhaden your rods bounced from the number of fish being impacted by you lures and line. People this just does not occur today and were only talking about a distinct and measureable change over a realatively short time period of the last 3-5 years. If you'r a fish iswimming in the Potomac you better like sardine minnows and silver sides because that's about all there is to eat.

I use to get all the bunker I wanted from gill netters around Cobb Island who inadvertently caught plenty in gill nets and if you know the diameter of a gill net than you know I am talking big Menhaden. Not anymore. 3-5 years ago I could buy bushels of bunker from Willie Dean down in Ridge Maryland and in years past I have had to call in advance just to make sure he had any and often he had none to sell as he was struggling to provide bait to his local and long term commercial fisherman. Brush it aside if you must but there is a problem and it will continue to get worse and hopefully not to the point of collapse before we all catch on.

Truth be know we are all getting spun up and maybe taking things too personal for no reason at all. Omega is owned by a "Shell Company" (means they have no product themself) called Zapata Corporation. Zapata also ownes a company called Safety Corporation who is trying to making a living making products for the automotive industry (which we all know is struggling). When GM lays of 25,000 people you know this American Auto industry is in trouble. Both Omega and Safety Corp are showing significant reductions in sales and Profits and given that they represent 100% of Zapata's business base and given that the majority of the board of directors of Omega are from the Zapata family, it goes without saying that Zapata is probably not happy and if they have any business sense they will be looking to either trim back costs (not good for the employees) or divest, take the loss and move into more favorable markets.

For clarification purposes Omega employs approximately 200 employees in Reedville and most of them are not getting rich and when you working on a profit margin that is creeping below 2%, dividends and bonus's are pretty much not heard of and clearly not gemane to the majority of the good people who work at Omgega. Purdue my friend......... we disagree a bit on this subject but probably not as much as it may seem and we are proof positive that we can disagree a bit and still be friends. 2% may be the norm in your business field but you have to admit that it is approaching "Non Profit" status and leaves little room for error.

Bottom line is that economically in my opinon, Omega is a small fish in a big barrell and while they do contribute to the ecomomics of their area, the negative impact they have on the Menhaden and the environment in general may not be worthy of the perceived benefit. Possibly if VA legislation was not managing the Menhaden industry than possibly we would not have this issue and one must wonder why Menhaden is the only species that is controlled by Government Legislation.............surely politics is not involved!

Fisherman are a passionate and at times obsessive breed of people and I have to believe that if Local County, Government and Industry officials cared about their own people as much a fisherman care about Menhaden and their perceived impact on Rock Fish that growth and enchroachment would not be the only solution to existing concerns.

Jim (Instigator)
 

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Good, honest post, Jim. You're right in that one can't stem the tide of "change". But, if you bite, kick and scratch, you sure can put if off for awhile.[smile]
And while you're at it cleaning up the bay, why don't you talk some of those Marylanders into not sending so much sewage and runoff down this way.[smile]
Also, speaking of the declining quality of water, menhaden, rockfish, etc...most people I know are catching as many rockfish as ever, and just as large as ever. Maybe you're doing something wrong??[grin]
 

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Captain George.........................If you don't claw and bite until the last condo is built down there I will be very dissapointed. You ought to see these folks living on Cobb Island and how upset they are that they are proposing and will eventually build a 300 slip Marinia, Hotel and 300 condos on Swan Point. If you live in Cobb Island all your life and plan on dieing here what do you care if the property value escalates as all you accomplish is higher realestate taxes and a nicer gift to your children. having only been here 7 years I don't want the expansion but choose to focus on more attainable goals such as drinking more beer and buying more tackle as that while at time painfull, (so says my wife) is at least attainable.

A big ouch on the subject of Maryland sending waste water down your way and shame on those responsible for it. I am not sure if were referencing the same occurances but the first was on Cobb Island about 2 months ago and the second just occured up in Port Tobacco less than 2 days ago. It amazes me that the people involved are not fined for these actions at the waste water treatment plants because if I discharge bad bilge water from my bay boat I can be fined $5,000.

Point well taken on needing to hone my skills on Rock Fish as enough is never enough. This spring was a shot of fresh hope as the fishing was excellent and the number of fish between 35-40 inches was impressive and it bodes well for the years to come. Then again we had near perfect conditions this year. I fish the bay maybe 5-10 days a year so I clearly claim no specific knowledge of the Bay. I find that as I get older two things occur and the first one is that my patience with people tends to minimize a bit and my need and compulsion to always have a great day of catching diminishes a bit. However, I never tire of good company and good beer while out on the water.

Hope to meet you some day!

Jim (Instigator)
 

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I am always amazed at the fact that those sewage spills never even make the headlines. I never even heard of those that you just mentioned. Hard telling how many more happen that we don't know about. The problem I see with raw sewage spills that never gets discussed, is the amount of chemicals in there. Just think what the average home owner dumps down the drain from chemicals to metals. Jim I feel you hit the nail on the head when you said alot of fresh water. I remember the 5 years ago that you mentioned very vividly. It was a drought year and we were catching all kinds of fish in the river including trout. At the same time Omega was still taking menhaden like they have done for over 50 years I believe. The last few years have been extremely wet years and fishing hasn't been as good. If I was a fish, I wouldn't swim up the bay into MD waters either. It would be like sitting in those smoking rooms in the airport.

Anyhow, regarding what's best for Northumberland. As far back as I can remember, people from the city have always came out to the country trying to tell everyone whats best for the country. What has always amazed me is that the same people don't know anything about the place they are trying to change. Oh well, I guess you live in the burbs or city long enough you become intelligent beyong your wildest dreams. Keep in mind. On a final note, I think most people understand this, but Mofo was exagerating quite a bit in most of what he saida. We don't all not have running water down here. Well gotta go run out to the outhouse and bury a democrat.
 

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Mr. Mofo, I believe you ought to be reeducated a little bit about economics. Either that or go back to counting the scales on eels.

If Omega and others have been fishing the Bay for 50 or 100 years and the county is still depressed, what the [email protected] good did the reduction businees do for Northumberland? Besides that, is there anything that says the reduction fleet can't go out into the ocean to find better quality fish with higher oil content and capture more profitable fish rather than wiping out the Bay stock? Just maybe an enforced cap would force them to make some better decisions about how to run their business.

What you want is the perpetuation of the same old thing. That business didn't build a stronger and more progressive community, all it did at the very most was make people think they were supporting the community. Don't let their PR fool you.

When I look at the tax bill increase on my house and see the dozens of new houses being built around me, I've got to assume that the larger tax base is going to do way more than Omega could think of doing to raise the kind of revenue needed to revamp the schools and other infrastructure you are talking about. Their business is at best static and more than likely shrinking so how is the reduction businees going to increase the tax base?

I don't like to see 200 people loosing their jobs, but the good, skilled, and motivated workers will find other jobs either in the county or elsewhere. However, I don't believe that CCA's goal is to put Omega out of business. Even if that were to happen, soon the whole thing will be a moot issue anyway. This happens all the time. It takes a while for the adjustments to work out , but they always do so quit playing the employment card. If you are really concerned about the health of the Bay stay focused on that issue and let the politcians figure out how to deal with the Omega problem.
 

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It's the politicians that are going to put the management of the menhaden under VMRC if that is ever going to be done. Right now the untrained and lobbiest influenced pols have the say so. I hope that CCA and other interested groups can convince enough right minded pols that it is in the best interests of the Commonwealth and the future of the Bay for VMRC to handle the job.
 

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Here is some information in regards to Northumberland County (Yes that is the county that Omega is in).......

This is census data.......(http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/51/51133.html)

Median household income, 1999 $38,129
Per capita money income, 1999 $22,917
Persons below poverty, percent, 1999 12.3%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2000 $129,100
Population, 2003 estimate 12,742

The Median income is about $8,000 below the state average. Now if you look at the population that is of working age (over 18 and under 65) then you have a working population of 7,033. Omega has an average of 200 workers. So they hire 3% of the counties workers. Also, persons living below poverty line is about 2.5% above the state average.
 

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Purdue 1, I have no doubt that Qmega payroll helped to keep the families of their 200 employee out of the poverty level back in 1999. Let's take a look at the situation as it is now. We have seen an influx of new people into the county and things have changed.
 

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Dave you miss my point. Actually I didn't really make a point.

That was the last census data available. In my humble opinion, it discredits the original post in regards to how bad things are in our county and the reliance on Omega for jobs. Things in the county are not that bad according to the numbers (all emotion aside)....and your right that was 5 years ago. Heck, we got our first traffic light since then...and the area is developing as we speak, it is just happening a little slower.

Of course Omega has done good things for the community. Probably much more back when the operation was privately owned...but you can't discount the fact that they have helped the community. They are a legitimate business making a legitimate product. I know turning them into some evil dark doomsday of a company makes everyone who is trying to shut them down feel better about it. As was stated earlier Reedville is not faceless.

I have actually enjoyed this thread, for the most part it is one of the few threads on the topic that didn't turn into bashing and barber room talk. I even got to spar with my good friend from Cobb Island. Jim I gotta admit, the 2% is pretty extreme, however, the hurricanes sure put a hurt on them last year.
 

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Actually I also have enjoyed this thread even though the originator took off on us.

Purdue, I agree your statistics for Northumberland (sorry about calling it Northcumberland the other night after about 8 beers) is really not that far off the state average. In fact if you were to remove the county's around DC (Northern VA) you would be at or above the state average in most categories. Most counties south of Fredrickburg are on par with North Cumberland. For Example:

Northumberand:
Median household income, 1999 $38,129
Per capita money income, 1999 $22,917
Persons below poverty, percent, 1999 12.3%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2000 $129,100
Population, 2003 estimate 12,742

VA Average:
Median household income, 1999 $46,677
Per capita money income, 1999 $23,975
Persons below poverty, percent, 1999 9.6%
Median value of owner-occupied housing units, 2000 $125,400

The price you pay for growth and prosperity is best show as follows:

Northumberland Person Per Sq mile = 63.7
VA Average Person Per Sq mile = 178.8 or almost 3X

Northcumberland Languages other than english spoken at home = 2.5%

Va Average of Languages other than english spoken at home = 11.1%

The percentage of young people (under 18) in Northcumberland is much lower than the state average (18.6 versus 24.6%).

The percentage of older people(>65) in Northcumberland is much higher than the state average (26.2 versus 11.2)

Compared to your neighbors to your North (Westmorland), Northumberland is a rich county (I did not know that)

As purdue mentions these statistics are 5-6 years old and much has changed in your area. Friends of mine bought a small lot on Dymers or Dyers Creek (may not have the name right) just North of Windmill Point and are building a 2,200 foot home and it is costing them $600,000 plus.

Homes built on Cobb Island in 1998 for $225K are approaching $700K today. Things have changed here on Cobb Island but it is still much better than Waldorf MD or anywhere within 40 miles of D.C.

Last but not least, as much as I like it here on Cobb Island, if I was retired I would rather be on the water in Northumberland. Unlike Purdue, I can't deal with a 200 mile round trip to work and 110 miles for me is bad enough. Hey who knows, 5 years from now you may be stuck with me as a neighbor.

Jim (Instigator)
 

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Jim-a-gator, you brought up some good points. The best one by far was that Mofo took a powder as soon as a couple of TFers took exception to his biased attempt to puke up antifacts about the situation.
Looks like we have a looser at VMRC.
 

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Yeah Dave. Take it easy. You know all you have to do is show you care. You don't have to have any facts right, or any facts for that matter, or even a solution to anything...you just have to care...or make someone feel good so they can sense something.
 

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Hey George, how are you? I've lost track of what you are doing these days. I hope things are going well for you.

Just for the fun of it, does your disagreeing with me on most everything mean that you're a looser too?[wink] Just something to think about.
 

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[Q]capt. dave originally wrote:
Just for the fun of it, does your disagreeing with me on most everything mean that you're a looser too?[wink] Just something to think about.
[/Q]As it happens, I agree with you on MANY things. It's your delivery that sometimes bugs me.[smile]
Sort of like Rush...I actually enjoy what he has to say on occasion but his juvenile habit of "name-calling" gets on my nerves.
 

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[Q]Scott_nra originally wrote:
Yeah Dave. Take it easy. You know all you have to do is show you care. You don't have to have any facts right, or any facts for that matter, or even a solution to anything...you just have to care...or make someone feel good so they can sense something.
[/Q]Well, good morning to the peanut gallery. Speaking of solutions, I haven't heard any from YOU either.[smile]
By the way, that Trophy of yours doesn't happen to have a 2-stroke motor, does it? If you really want facts, I can dig up a few supporting the position that 2-strokes have done infinitely more harm to the bay than Omega Protein ever has, or ever will.[smile]
 

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George, my delivery was a bit crusty and so was I, but you know if someone can't take something like that in stride they have a bigger problem than I do.

Scott, don't fall for that two cycle trap. They are two different problems. I could probably find evidence that farm run off has done more to hurt the Bay than 2 cycle engines, but what do either of those issues have to do with depleting the menhaden resource?
 

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[Q]capt. dave originally wrote:
I could probably find evidence that farm run off has done more to hurt the Bay than 2 cycle engines, but what do either of those issues have to do with depleting the menhaden resource?
[/Q]If CCA and others are most concerned with cleaning up the bay, it has EVERYthing to do with it. Does the CCA discourage 2-cycle use among it's members? (and I agree that farm runoff is a major problem that dwarfs the "filter-feeder" issue).
 
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