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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
VMRC meeeting coming up--open to public. ALL COME....

Finfish Advisory Committee will meet

Agenda:

1. Discuss practice of killing cownose rays by bow hunting.l

2. Discuss transfer of spiney dogfish limited entry permits (continued)

3. Implimenting MRIP which is replacing much despised MRFSS (recreational fish catch survey)

4. Regional management of recreational Summer Flounder
 

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Good information Bob. Hope folks attend and get involved. Thanks for posting this.

Kevin
Weekend Mistress
Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association
 

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Thanks for posting this Bob. But, I don't get it...the agenda that is. With the exception of maybe item 4, what is on this agenda to be excited about? Why are they not talking about a hard issue like the effects of the cold stun the past 2 winters. How it devastated large Speckled Trout populations and what might could be done to further mitigate damage to the stock. Now that would be an agenda item that might draw a crowd and get folks involved. "1. Discuss practice of killing cow nose rays by bow hunting". Really? Did not realize that this was such a front burner issue. The FMAC has not met since March and yet this is the agenda. Jeez. And yes, I have already suggested that Speckled Trout be included in the agenda, but was told that the agenda is full. Maybe next time - right!
 

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You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him think [drink]

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YOU CAN LEAD A HORSE TO WATER BUT YOU CAN'T MAKE HIM THINK [DRINK]
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
OK guys: try this on for size:
There is a lot of comment about imposing limits on cobia . There are many
different suggestions....look on tidalfish and you can see. Many, many ways of
reducing kill. There is a meeting of Finfish Subcommitte at VMRC next Tuesday
at 6 pm room on 4th floor in NN. I think if enough of you are concerned, you
should bring the subject up at that meeting. It will require a lot of people
there supporting a review of the rules and regulations. But the place to begin
is Finfish. I have heard from charter anglers (all summer) who want limits
and all anglers, including charters. There is a concern that cobia received
entirely too much fishing pressure this year. You have 15 recreational fishing
clubs and representatives could gather the concencus of their members and
present this to the Finfish Committee; It will be 9 month before Cobia
return to the Bay--that certainly should be time to sort through all the
suggested measures and come to some agreeable conclusion.

JEff Deem is chairman of finfish and usually allows time for additional subjects if there is demand. Concerned recreational cobia anglers should make the demand that this subject be opened.

Bob Allen, not a cobia angler
 

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Bob is absolutely right. You have to have a crowd at this Cobia meeting to affect consideration for change. I was at the Finfish Subcommittee meeting for Speckled Trout held in July. Only about 8 or so anglers attended. The anglers voiced their concerns, provided proof of dismal catch records compared to previous years, even VIMS chimed in that tagging numbers were extremely low. In other words, there was a strong case for protecting what few Specks were left - the picture was bleak! Absolutely nothing came from the meeting...nothing. So you better have a CROWD and they need to be vocal. Some hard data supporting your concerns is always a help. Heck, I thought we had a rock solid case for change - didn't happen. John Brown
 

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Yes, cownose rays. A video was posted from some bowfishing tournament in Maryland. I have not seen it but it got various groups upset and they have approached the Governors of Virginia and Maryland to stop it. It showed up on the VMRC agenda as a proposal to make it illegal to bowfish for sharks and rays. We basically said what the heck is this about? and sent it to Finfish for them to look at it. http://www.bayjournal.com/article/bloody_tournament_video_intensifies_calls_to_manage_cownose_rays

As for speckled trout...what do you want? That is a serious question. Action has been taken. The recreational bag limit was reduced from 10 fish (all could be trophies) to 5 fish and only 1 of which may 24 inches or larger. There were also regulations put in place to make the commercial fishery a by-catch fishery when they approach their quota. This is the first full year with these new regulations so we do not know their affect yet but the spring of this year, there was a big push by recreational anglers to INCREASE the bag limit and the number of large fish that could be kept. So just a matter of months ago, the request from you, the recreational angler, was to INCREASE the take. The Commission refused to even take that request to public hearing and that was the impetus for that scheduling that Finfish speckled trout meeting. What had come out of Finfish was a recommendation to INCREASE both the recreational bag limits and the commercial quota for speckled trout. Again, this was just this year.

As for cobia, getting a boat limit for recreational anglers would not be hard to do....but much like the speckled trout thing, recreational anglers need to decide what they want. I expect that the Commission would have no problem enacting a boat limit if that was the consensus of recreational anglers. If the major fishing clubs and charter boat groups supported it, it would get done. But if one group wants this and another group wants something else, there is not likely to be any change. There is no stock assessment/science now that would cause VMRC to impose stricter regulations.
 

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When did the increase for speckled trout request happen? Id imagine it was before the big freeze in Feb 2015 that wiped them out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When did the increase for speckled trout request happen? Id imagine it was before the big freeze in Feb 2015 that wiped them out.

It did--and that was what was so confusing. finfish supported the request from anglers for increases...then the freeze and paoachers...then several of us who realized what was going on attended the VMRC monthly meeting and presented the new facts...staff contiued with the Finfish request as did several fishing clukb offisers, who were not well informed...VMRC, lead byj Ken Neil, obliged our request that "no public hearing on the proposal be granted".

So now we are in a "nature imposed" moratorium. There are NO speckled ttrout to be caught, so for this year we do not need a VMRC imposed moratorifum...God imposed one for us.

Now lets give a fishereman's prayer that God will replenish the Spec stocks in the Bay over the next few years.

There is not much left in the BAy for the recreational anglers to go after ---except cobia !~!???

Bob Allen
Hamptnm vA
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Even though the agenda for tues night does not look interesting to everyone, the cobia / r does not overfishing issue is probably going to come up. The more folks that are interested and attend the more meaning each issue gains. The spec trout issue may come up again? If one is to ever understand how fisheries management works (or does not work?) in VA this meeting is a good place to begin. On the agenda: Finally after 12 failed years of MRFSS , the VMRC does recognize MRFSS as a failed experiment; now they are working on a new survey of recreational anglers: MRIP Marine Recreational Information Program....Will it do what is needed? Highly questionable, if it does not do the job, how long will fish managers keep it before MRIP crashes and burns as did MRFSS? Come and join the discussion. I always go and enjoy the meetings. There is something for everyone.

Bob Allen
 
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