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New NJ tog regs coming today at 4PM...

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DIVISION OF FISH AND WILDLIFE

Mil Code 501-03

PO Box 420

Trenton, NJ 08625-0420

David Chanda, Director

www.njfishandwildlife.com

609-292-2965

 

December 6, 2012

 

Honorable Kim Guadagno

Secretary of State

State House – P.O. Box 300

Trenton, New Jersey 08625

 

Dear Secretary Guadagno:

 

The next meeting of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council will be held on the Thursday, January 5,

2012 at 4:00 p.m. at the Galloway Township Library, Jimmie Leeds Road, Absecon, NJ. To the extent

known at this time the agenda is as follows.

1. Roll Call

2. Compliance with Sunshine Law

3. Approval of Minutes for November 3, 2011

4. Enforcement Report

5. Legislative Report

6. Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Report

7. Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council Report

8. Shellfish Council Report

9. Committee Reports

10. Regulatory Actions

- Tautog Commercial and Recreational Measures

- River Herring Moratorium

- Possible 2012 Commercial Trip Limits for Summer Flounder

- Regulatory Proposal Update

11. Old Business

12. New Business

13. Public Comment

14. Date of Next Meeting March 1, 2012 (trying to reserve room in Toms River)

Under

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Blackfish Regulations to Tighten in N.J.

 

Minimum sizes, open seasons affected

 

By Daniel Nee

...

Anglers targeting tautog, commonly known as "tog" or blackfish, will face more stringent regulations on the species following a decision made Thursday by the state Marine Fisheries Council.

 

Federal regulators ordered New Jersey officials to reduce the recreational harvest of the popular food and sport fish by 53 percent, and council members complied by reducing the length of the open season on the species, as well as upping the minimum size limit.

 

"There's no good option," said council member Dr. Patrick F. Donnelly, of Brick.

 

The council met in Galloway Township Thursday to vote on a plan to reduce the annual harvest.

 

"We cut out of every season, a little bit here, a little bit there," he said.

 

In the end, council members approved a relatively complicated slate of regulations for blackfish, which opens and closes the seasons multiple times per year. The size limit will remain at 15 inches all year long, up from the current minimum size of 14 inches. Anglers will also be able to take fewer fish home.

 

The regulations approved are:

 

Date/Season

Size Limit

Bag (Possession) Limit

 

Jan. 1 - Feb. 28

15 inches

4 fish

 

March

CLOSED

 

April

15 inches

4 fish

 

May 1 - July 26

CLOSED

 

July 27 - Aug. 30

15 inches

1 fish

 

Sept. 1 - Oct. 17

CLOSED

 

Oct. 18 - Nov. 15

15 inches

1 fish

 

Nov. 16 - Dec. 31

15 inches

4 fish

 

The new regulations did not sit well with local party and charter boat captains, who said the reduction in season length, as well as the possession limit, could cost business in already troubled economic times.

 

"The customers are so used to having two more fish, and now we're going down to four," said Captain Ken Namowitz of the Mimi VI party boat, which sails from Point Pleasant Beach. "For us to get that one extra fish is a livelihood."

 

Other skippers decried the fact that boats from New York routinely fish in New Jersey's waters, including commercial vessels, affecting the local blackfish populations.

 

"We're getting a lot of hell from the New York sector. There's zero enforcement going on," said Capt. Chris Hueth of the Big Mohawk party boat, which sails from Belmar. "Their season is closed right now, and they're still fishing. What's taking place in the ocean, and I'm there everyday, is nuts. Guys are commercially fishing this stuff, and bringing it back to New York."

 

"We're getting penalized for somebody else's greed," Hueth added.

 

For now, there's no going back. The council has approved the regulations, which were required to be in place Jan. 1, according to Gilbert H. Ewing, the council president. Donnelly said the state council had few options after the edict issued by federal regulators to cut the harvest.

 

"We tried to maintain that fourth fish," Donnelly said.

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I don't believe the NJ stocks have a chance until there is an enforcement effort against NY boats fishing in NJ.

 

As for NY commercial fishermen, the NY regs are written specifically to allow them to land fish in NY regardless of where they were caught. NY doesn't give a damn about taking NJ fish. Yet NY DEC will patrol Raritan Bay to hassle NJ striper and fluke fishermen on their side of the line.

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I don't believe the NJ stocks have a chance until there is an enforcement effort against NY boats fishing in NJ.

As for NY commercial fishermen, the NY regs are written specifically to allow them to land fish in NY regardless of where they were caught. NY doesn't give a damn about taking NJ fish. Yet NY DEC will patrol Raritan Bay to hassle NJ striper and fluke fishermen on their side of the line.

 

NY protects their own. If we have a beef, it is with NJ not doing the same thing.

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Just looked at the NY regs again. As I understand them, under a full NY Food Fish license you can land tog from NY waters in NY according to NY regulations/seasons. But you can't get those now due to a moratorium. I guess they don't want to have too many commercial fishermen fishing in NY.

 

But....... One can get what is called a NY Food Fish Landing license for $500.00. Under that license you CANNOT now fish in NY waters because they are closed, but you CAN land fish caught anywhere else and brought into NY. So they can use that license to fish in NJ and take tog to NY. That is nuts. And unless there is going to be on the water enforcement in NJ, nothing will change.

 

Telling a hypothetical party boat of 20 people that they can only keep four does nothing. It is a rare day that all 20 get four fish and a very rare day that all 20 people get six fish. So, in my eyes, setting it at four fish does nothing. At best, on the best fishing days, you cut back 40 fish from 120 to 80 fish. What does that 40 fish equate to compared to what a NY commercial fisherman will take in one day? Is that one day of his fishing? A day and a half?? two days? That's why I think this is ********.

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nothing will change.

 

Nope. This will do nothing at all for the blackfish. From a broader perspective, cutting back 50% makes some sense...illegal fishing and the black market has a firm grip on the future of these fish,..it will reverse those cutbacks. Anyone that doesn't think so has their head up their ass.

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If we need to cut back on the harvest, and it makes sense to do so, fine. But cutting back to four fish for NJ recreational guys does nothing when others can fish NJ waters without regard to NJ regulations. If you want to improve NJ stocks, you have to get NY boats out of NJ waters.

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If we need to cut back on the harvest, .

 

The cutbacks look good on paper and make those look good whose job it is to wipe the Feds asses, but it wont solve the problem. the live fish market is the problem...i wish we could do something about that.

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