Right now (2007 season) the only big change proposed is the sizes/slot.I'm willing to bet ASMFC bumps our 28'' to 30 or 32''s.
All that talk of limiting gear/rods/boards/etc was just rumors .How could DNR enforce half of those crazy ideas with a shortage of officers ? There are still alot of rock but we do need to ease up on them somewhat. I'd like to see the coast go to 1 fish per man/day. I'm not against our summer limit being changed to 1 a day or bumped to two at 20''.Each year more and more people are fishing for rock.Hell-a 40'' fish doesn't even raise eyebrows on most boats anymore.6 yrs ago-that was a big fish. Skip
So do you think that everyone became better fishermen in the last 5 years? I think it's more probable that there are more fish and more big fish now then there was 5 or 10 years ago and thats why we are catch more fish. I hope that rockfish become the next whitetail deer. They get so thick, people won't be able to run accross the bay without hitting them with their prop.
The 40+ fish we're seeing now are mostly from our bumper spawn crop from, I believe 1996. These fish are getting whacked up and down the coast and one day the barrel is gonna run dry. Wouldn't surprise me to see ASMFC tweak the proposed DNR regs but that's another story. Bottom line is it takes a Rockfish 10-11 years to make it to 40". I agree with Skip I also think the coastal limit should be one fish.
It's hard to say if there are more or less rockfish. I think right now we are seeing alot more 36-40's than 32's and 33's. I do know that in the bay everything is cyclical. Right now we are on a good swing but it does not take much to comeply alter the populations of fish. Just look at sea trout in the past five years.
I'm saying that I've been catching more fish. That's ocean side, in the bay and in the choptank. I know that some years are slower than the previous for a perticular timeframe (two seasons ago was a slower trophy season for me than last year or 2004) but overall I've been catching more fish if I look at the year in total than I did say 8 years ago. If it's only me catching more than that does not mean much. If this is true that most fishermen are catching more, then it does mean something.
If the cap was set for Maryland however many years ago and Maryland was around the cap for years until the last two years and now the est. is that our catch has doubled the cap then something must have changed. Either the calculations (that are used to estimate the catch) have change (possible) or people are catching more. If people are catching more than you must decide why. Did fishing techniques improve (no), did fish stop attending school and become stupid (no), are twice as many people fishing (maybe more are but not twice as many), are there more fish in the water (possible):yes: .
It stands to reason that since the species has been protected from overfishing for however many years it's been now and people are starting to catch more fish that maybe the fruits of our efforts are starting to come back to us.:clap: I guess only time will tell. I don't claim to know everything there is to know:yinyang:. I just like to think outside the box once in a while. :rockon:
I think the reason I have been catching more fish is that the rock are hungrier because of all the Menhaden that have been pulled out of the water. If more MH were left in the water then maybe I wouldn't catch so many rock (seems like a fair trade).
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