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Striper Seasons Poll Version 2 - Do we want to adjust the fall season dates?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After reviewing the results of the first poll, wanted to do another poll with another proposal. Please understand, these are just polls to gather thoughts and opinions with no action taken or positions formed, just soliciting thoughts.

What if separated the rivers from the bay itself? My recommendation would be something like:

Rivers: Same as is now, 4 Oct - 31 Dec (88 days)
Bay: 1 Nov - 27 Jan (88 days)

Where we drew the line would be a separate question. The mouth of the river or just use the bridge as the dividing line is a thought. I don't think there is much striper action in the bay (open water) during the month of October so I don't think anyone would be giving anything up and the anglers fishing the rivers get to keep the current season as is. One would still get the same 88 days of fishing in either area.

Again, can't make promises and don't even know if we could get this approved but we have to start with what anglers want and go from there. Thanks for the input on the first poll. Lots of good comments.

Virginia Saltwater Sportfishing Association (VSSA)
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Personally, I feel this is overcomplicating an already crazy regulated fishery. Again, I vote to leave it how it is. Sometimes the fish are there and sometimes they aren't. That's fishing, and that's mother nature. Sometimes they're not in your back yard and you have put some effort in and go find them. Say what you want, but there was some unbelievable fishing this year. And even right now, as I had a great day in the river today. But that's the beauty of fishing, there may be seasons to keep a fish, but you can catch them any day of the year. I also think it's funny how a lot of guys complain about the bay being over fished and then complain to keep more fish for themselves. Question: If you those dates were implied this year, would you guys in the lower bay be catching fish right now, or last year or the year before? That's a honest question as I have no idea what's happening down there right now.

Thank you Mike Avery for all you help and concerns for our fishery.
 

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Yes, I would really rather keep the focus and pressure on Omega and not delve into other less important issues at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Agree on Omega. We have been keeping the pressure on while our legislators are in Richmond. Here is some recent activities.

All anglers, please share.
Please take a moment to write your delegate about Menhaden in the coming days. Next week our state representatives will meet in Richmond for their winter session. There are 2 important bills that need the attention of all anglers in Virginia. They are HB 150 Menhaden fishery; VMRC to adopt regulations to implement Interstate Fishery Management Plan and HB 151 Purse nets; prohibits fishing for menhaden in certain waters.
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Chesapeake Bay Defense Foundation, VSSA, and many of our local fishing clubs have been involved in supporting these bills. Several VSSA reps, CBDF reps, and many club reps were at the meeting in Norfolk on 6 Jan hosted by the CBF expressing support for these bills. These bills are sponsored by Del Barry Knight and will go to subcommittee next week. While the subcommittee members are not fully known yet, VSSA has sent a letter to each committee member of the House Agriculture Chesapeake and Natural Resources Committee. Next week once the committee is formed and members assigned, VSSA will reach out again to hammer home the message. If these bills don't survive the subcommittee, they will die.
Now is the time for you to ask your delegate to support these bills. Even if they are not a member of the committee, your delegate can get involved to ensure success. These bills will not stop Omega from fishing in our waters but is an important first step. Here is a sample letter you can send via mail or email. (This is the letter I sent to me rep). Phone calls are also encouraged.
More to follow.....
------------Sample Letter to your delegate, edit as you please-------------
Dear Del (lookup your delegate http://whosmy.virginiageneralassembly.gov/,)
Did you know that Menhaden is the only saltwater fish in Virginia NOT managed by the VMRC and remains managed by politicians in Richmond who know little about fishery management?
Menhaden are considered the most important fish in the sea. They are filter feeders that clean the Chesapeake Bay, increasing the health and viability of the waters. Menhaden are at the bottom of the food chain and are pivotal for many other marine species populations.
Over fishing menhaden has been a problem in the Chesapeake Bay. It is the only fish that is not regulated by the Virginia Marine Resource Center, and should be taken out of the hands of politicians and regulated using scientific research. The process of commercial fishing for the menhaden has placed huge strains on ecotourism for charter fishing, because trophy fish leave once their food is massively taken out of the waters. The Virginia Tourism industry suffers because of the unsightly fishing techniques close to the shoreline. Their method produces a large runoff of scales in the water and a smelly froth that leaves tourist on the beach. Furthermore, Virginia is one of two states that allow fishing for menhaden within its rivers and bays. The Chesapeake Bay is the nursery for much of the entire east coast, and it is extremely important to me. Last year there was 349,873,884 pounds of menhaden taken from our waters.
I ask you to do the right thing for Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. Please support legislation to move regulation of the menhaden fish to scientific experts and other measures to ensure the health of the Chesapeake Bay and the menhaden population. The sake of the Chesapeake Bay is at stake, and the livelihood of my family and friends as well.
There are 2 bills being introduced into the Agriculture committee next week sponsored by Del Barry Knight. As my representative, I am asking that you get personally involved to help these bills survive and get passed by the GA.
• HB 150 Menhaden fishery; VMRC to adopt regulations to implement Interstate Fishery Management Plan.
• HB 151 Purse nets; prohibits fishing for menhaden in certain waters.
Sign your name and address.



 

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Menhaden are considered (By many to be) the most important fish in the sea. They are filter feeders that (are a key part of natures cycle That) clean (s) the Chesapeake Bay, increasing the health and viability of the waters. Menhaden are at the bottom of the food chain and are pivotal for many other marine species populations.
 

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Perhaps I'm not understanding correctly, but if it was changed to two separate seasons with the river seasons staying the same and the bay season shifting to later in the calendar when you say there are more fish caught in the bay, doesn't that just mean more fish taken in total from a fishery that you're concerned about being prolific enough as it is ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perhaps I'm not understanding correctly, but if it was changed to two separate seasons with the river seasons staying the same and the bay season shifting to later in the calendar when you say there are more fish caught in the bay, doesn't that just mean more fish taken in total from a fishery that you're concerned about being prolific enough as it is ?
The issue is how much do we want to fight for our share of the resource. Virginia is very conservative as compared to other states. MD bay season is from April to Dec while VA gets a short spring and short fall season. Other states have 2 coastal rocks per person and VA has 1. VA always seems to be the only state that steps up to conserve while other states fight for more of their share. I want VA anglers simply to have their fair share as compared to other states. But yes while staying within our quota for recs. It comes down to what anglers want to do. If no change is what anglers want, then VSSA will not take any action but just want to ask the question to get input.
 

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I would like VMRC to step up . I believe there could be a temporary adjustment just as they say-- the regs can (and do) change at any time.
Have not voted (yet) and hear good arguments from both sides. Do I feel many in lower bay have been screwed this season? Yes
Is it fair to make a change that hurts many others , no.. Is better than last polls choices , I say yes.

I Agree, the real issue is menhaden. More menhaden= more rock available and season can be changed to help all.
 

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I can not for the life of me figure out a way that an option such as that described can be conversationally equivalent which is the benchmark that VMRC would have to prove to ASMFC before being allowed to change the regs.

The problem is that MOST years fishing in the rivers is done by Dec. 1st so there is very little credit for closing that month. Similarly most years there is very little catch in the bay in Oct. so there is no credit for closing that time.

The other problem is that the intercept data is probably not sufficient to determine where folks caught fish just where they were landed and if it was coastal or inshore waters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Are these polls approved by the VSSA board or are you acting alone? Rec anglers have it pretty tough already with the various seasons and closures, no need to make it harder.
Yes VSSA board approved doing polls for striper. We had a lengthy discussion on Thursday about polls and what we do with results. In cases where the results like this are very mixed, VSSA would probably not take a position but would likely just forward results to fishery managers for awareness and discussion but not push for action. Where results are more universal where we have more agreement, we then might take a stand (with board approval). These are just polls which is really the only way to gauge angler positions. We are doing stripe now because the bay season just closed so it's fresh on everyone's mind.
 

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Since I am a BAY fisherman, I would like to see the season moved into January. Last couple of years we haven't had any lower Bay season since the water temps have kept the fish up North (whether in the Bay or Ocean) so I would like a longer shot at this prized fish.
 

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I can not for the life of me figure out a way that an option such as that described can be conversationally equivalent which is the benchmark that VMRC would have to prove to ASMFC before being allowed to change the regs.

The problem is that MOST years fishing in the rivers is done by Dec. 1st so there is very little credit for closing that month. Similarly most years there is very little catch in the bay in Oct. so there is no credit for closing that time.

The other problem is that the intercept data is probably not sufficient to determine where folks caught fish just where they were landed and if it was coastal or inshore waters.
I somewhat struggled to understand what you meant. I could not understand why ASMFC would be involved in setting up Va regs, unless they think we are taking more that allowed.

Are you saying there is not enough catch data on recreational fishing that increasing availability to Va rec fishermen over a broader amount of time would get ASMFC involved in VA regulations. ( because we may be going over our quota and can't prove it one way or the other)

Do you know, if other states have to prove Rec Quotas? And If they do why don't we?
Example: I hear Maryland's striper season is open longer time period, do they have rec catch data?
 

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It is not that complicated in MD. You are either in a river or not during trophy season.

Like I said in the other thread, if VA has a January bay season. I am coming to your state with my money. I am not coming in Oct. since I can play C&R in MD waters in Jan if the VA season is closed too.

With a January bay season, your economy will thank you. Charters, marinas, hotels, restaurants, etc.
 

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Inasmuch as rec. anglers have had little to no success in the lower bay for several years now, they have not come anywhere close to meeting the allotted quota. Changing he season to the sliding date scale that was proposed earlier on would be appropriate. Would it mean more stripers taken, yes; but would be within the allotted quota.

As pertains to getting Omega Protein out of fishing within state waters, it is extremely important that "ALL" of us contact our state representatives imploring them to support legislation to ban that fishing or not get our votes next election. That they would understand. However, many seem to feel that that is everyone else's responsibility. Lets all get with the program now!
 

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Changing the striper season in Virginia

Inasmuch as rec. anglers have had little to no success in the lower bay for several years now, they have not come anywhere close to meeting the allotted quota. Changing he season to the sliding date scale that was proposed earlier on would be appropriate. Would it mean more stripers taken, yes; but would be within the allotted quota.

As pertains to getting Omega Protein out of fishing within state waters, it is extremely important that "ALL" of us contact our state representatives imploring them to support legislation to ban that fishing or not get our votes next election. That they would understand. However, many seem to feel that that is everyone else's responsibility. Lets all get with the program now!
Good point about not meeting quota. We simply do meet it because the migratory fish have not arrived in December in the numbers that they did in the past. My take at this point in time based on this fact is to tell VMRC to just give us January and if that fails take our case to higher authorities.
 
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