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lv2bass

Pollution in the Chesapeake , the story seldom told

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I lived on the Little Choptank and Fishing Creek , which is just South of the Big Choptank. I lived directly on the corner of both Rivers/creeks. Wow what a beautiful area it was, water clear as could be , every type of fish, bird, eagle you could imagine was present. Remided me of Stony Creek in the upper bay back in the early 50's . Fish galor, grass so thick , you could almost walk on it. Grew like a blanket of carpet to greet you each morning when I came to visit the waterfront. Grass shrimp in its grasp, crabs climbing like I remembered when I was a kid.

 

I am not talking about something 50 years ago, I am speaking about something from 1998 until 2004. It was a pure and simple National Treasure. I built the Autumn Leaf Bed and Breakfast there. Since sold in 2007 to another, now I think its called the Captains Roost and they rent it out on a weekly basis to families. Now back to the story at hand.

 

I often drove into Cambridge to get some breakfast sandwiches, since me and the wife cooked all week long , it was nice for some days to get a break and have someone cook for us as a change. One day I noticed the fields that were always either green with grass and weeds or brown dirt when getting ready to plant, had everything dead in the planting plots. There were four of them , each about 20 acres. So we are talking about 80 acres of crop land here. Well this particular day I noticed everything in the fields had died. I mean brown dead, no weeds, no grass , no nutten honey, gone. I said to myself wow, they must of sprayed that kill all substance , I think its made by Dupont, which kills everything except the damn flies and other bugs you would love gone forever.

 

This product is has been used on the Eastern Shore for about 20 years , maybe a little less. In lieu of cultivating the land, (i.e.) turning the soil (plowing) , results being to kill the weeds and make it ready for furtilizer and planting, they now just spray this crap upon the field. Like an Agent Orange , but surely safe as could be, for we all know Dupont or whoever, would never lie to the farmers. Just call India. I had to say that with my hand cuped around my mouth and only speaking out of one side, very much in a hush tone.

 

Ok, now we have the fields all dead. We have identified the culprit. But what is this all leeding towards??? Well , several days later we got a large thunder storm occured, dumping cats and dogs all over my lawn. Poured and I mean poured. Add two more days , and all my grass at the pier was turning a lime green from a normal dark green once it grew older. At first I said, boy look at all this new growth occuring. Something I had never seen it do before. Two days later it was all floating. Dead, piles on my ramp, all around my pilings, washing up onto the rip-rap. Took me days to round it all up and pull it out of the water. Not one strand of grass was left , all dead.

 

Now me not being a brain surgeon , never having a doctorate degree in anything other than boat repairs, it did not take this old man long to figure out that Kill All had much to do about something here. I am talking about 5 acres of grass all dead, gone forever. No lies here. The day I sold the place, I went down for one last check and not one morsal of grass was growing. I still take the boat by there every once in awhile and still , up until last summer, no grass ever came back.

 

Now Owe Malley can blame it all on chicken crap, nitrates, badly working septic systems,development, but for my money, I have one major contributor to all of this chaos, that has never been addressed. Most likely one of the main reasons for the bay's low oxigen levels, main reason for nursery depleations, certainly the main reason for loss of bay grass, so I can only conclude either the folks in charge of finding and solving the problems in the bay are a bunch of stooges, or are all highly paid lobbyist for Dupont or whoever makes that crap

 

Yes, it does help the farmers to extract one full step when planting,(saves them time and money) but its killing the bay. Not only that factor, but there are a host of other problems it causes. When you do not plow over the land , that land gets hard, and anything you add upon that land runs off into the ditches during the first heavy rain. Needless to say and all that furtilizer , instead of doing it s job and soaking in , it just ran into the ditch and the ditch leads directly to the bay. "Those four fields are planted each year now, using the same methods. Prior to that , they plowed those fields. Now again, I have no degree in bay science, I never operated on a brain, but I assure you , my brain and a little common sense just gave you a major contribution to the bays's problems. I have told the CBF in emails, contacted River Watchers, DNR, US Corps, EPA, and not one of those organizations have ever emailed me back. I am left to believe, if some of the real problems are solved regarding pollution in the bay, someone will be out of a job at CBF. Liberal politics at its finest. The bay is dying. Unless we change this practice it will continue on this path. Stop blaming septic systems. Owe Malley is pointing fingers at the wrong cause here. It makes him get the headlines, but in reality he is beating the wrong dog for stealing the ham hox. He figured out Maryland does not need to buy land to buffer the bay. He just changes the lands classification from agri or residential to wetlands and whalla he just took all your vvalue of the land and did not pay you one penny. Its how a liberal works, steals your money and smiles in your face, then blames you for bay pollution. Stop the use of Kill All products and the bay might have a chance to return again. Thanks for reading, Peter Creager III

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Pete, it's not just on farmland either. Look at the highways & power, cable or telephone line right of ways these days. This practice is being used there too & has been for many, many years. It's cheaper to spray than it is to trim trees, or cut grass around poles & signs. If any of it gets into a watershed it will have some effect, and anything that goes into the creeks, rivers & streams ends into the bay. There are many issues that face the bay, and I don't want to be negative, but frankly, I seriously doubt it will ever recover. It's all about money. There's no way anyone who has to pay the bill for cleaning up the bay wants that burden. The politics involved won't let it happen anyway. We can pour billions of dollars into foreign countries, but won't spend what's needed to fix our own. The Chesapeake is supposed to be a National Treasure. Sure don't seem to me like it's being treated that way! Such a shame! :mad:

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James, I never really thought about the residual effects. Sorry about my spelling on the post, I knew it was ham hock, just another brain fart. Certainly there were more spelling errors. I never looked but I guess the site provides spell check???

 

Yes, they spray at the base of telephone poles, jersey barrier, etc.., but I am not certain , its the same stuff. This field stuff is very very potent. Nothing lives when applied. Stays dead for months. Only the new sprouts for the crops come up. I would imagine they are genetically changed to allow them to grow. I know agent orange did a number on our troops in Viet Nam. That has been documented. No one is paying attention to this spray and the results it has on bay grasses.

 

Remember on very important factor. In the 1950's America was at its very dirtiest, when it came to dumping things into the water. Raw blood ran the rivers in Chicago red. Even in Maryland we had major pollutions and still the grasses grew, health effected but the fish were still suriving. Today most of those dumpings are cleaned up and were fined to such a degree it was no longer profitable to just dump and pay the fines. The U.S. Corp of Engineers and EPA, do numbers on firms that dump, plus the tracking mechanisms are much better. So I ask this question, Why? Why are there depleted and dead zones in the bay??? Bay grasses is most of that answer. Just take an Aquarium and let it get as dirty as you can, like mud almost, but if there is a good oxigen source, the fish live.

 

Kill the grasses , kill the nursery's, kill the oxigen, kill the cover for small fish to surive, everything dies without the grass. Now they been saying nitrates kill the bay. Ok, lets say that is partially true, nitrates cause algea blooms, which eat oxigen up. But if bay grass was present , it would balance out the depletions.

For now we are giving the bay a double wammy. Stop all of that Kill All product from being used, plow over fields before furtilizing and planting, and all those nitrates would stay on the land instead of running off into the ditches. When they say , they need buffer zones, hell just start plowing again and all that need will go away. Keep the crap from running right into the bay via a natural transportation systems which litterally surround the bay called ditches.

 

I keep coming back to my same point. Why blame all of these problems on a couple culprits , when in fact the main one is never identified anywhere. I am the only one I know who is yelling this as a problem. I have concluded that CBF especially wants to stretch out clean up effort as much as possible so the donatons and federal funds keep flowing. If the bay is cleaned up, guess who no longer has a job. EPA gets huge reductions, and CBF is now gone. Just proves to me that job security is more important then their actual mission statements. Just another example as to how our government never checks on the checkers.:confused:

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lv2bass - The kill everything doesn't float with the evidence of alage blooms and oxygen eating bacteria inthe deepest portions of the bay. The Bay is being fed huge amounts of nitrates and phosphous by animal wastes not being absorbe by clear field spreading. The groud is so full of theim the additional waste generated daily is being carried by run off into the bay. Chicken waste is putting 60% of all nitrate and 61% of all phosphous into the Chesapeake Bay.

 

Take a look at this and let me know what you think. Reading the full "Big Chicken" Report goes into the nitty gritty of the whole lack of qxygen mess that is driving the early die off of immature striped bass before they are capable of migrating for the fisrst time.

 

Check out the environmental report from the Pew Environmental Group, published in July, 2011. The leakage into the Susquhanna River from sources in PA are minimal compared to the Chicken Waste volumne from chicken meat and egg farms in the DelMarVa Area. The Title is "Big Chicken".

 

Here is part of it and the recommendations they said are needed to turn the mess around.

 

Pew Environmental July, 2011

 

TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH

 

The problems of manure management are not new—they have evolved alongside a growing industry that now occupies pockets of the nation’s Broiler Belt with Intense production. Associated problems have been seen for decades in areas from the Illinois River to the Chesapeake Bay, and during that time, policymakers have looked for practical solutions but often met harsh resistance from the poultry industry. The result of that tension is chicken production that has outpaced environmental management.

 

For the Chesapeake, in particular, the USDA’s recent assessment report may be the most telling. Despite a multitude of programs and more than two decades of education, the USDA finds that essentially every acre of farmland in the Chesapeake Bay watershed fertilized with animal manure requires better management. 65 According to the report, manure was applied to crops at the wrong time on roughly 84 percent of acreage. The rate of manure application, according to the USDA, was inappropriate on approximately 70 present of the acreage for nitrogen and 81 percent for phosphorus.

 

In our view, these striking deficiencies point to the fundamental and unresolved issue: too much manure in too small and area, a problem that appears to be growing across the Broiler Belt. It will only worsen if USDA projections for growth in poultry production are accurate and if regulatory controls do not catch up. The Pew Environmental Group believes that the time to meet that challenge is now, and the place to begin is an area where there is a deep understanding of water resource threats, a long standing commitment to restoration, and a history of multi-agency cooperation. The Chesapeake Bay should be priority number one.

 

 

CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION

Today’s poultry industry has evolved into a system of streamlined manufacturing processing and sales, allowing for mass production. This concentrated production has led to a chronic and growing problem of excess manure that, if left unsolved, will continue to cause deterioration of the Chesapeake Bay and its surrounding communities. Some approaches, including subsidizing transport of broiler litter, have addressed the symptoms of these problems but do not offer a permanent solution.

 

Poultry processors can no longer hide behind the image of the family farm when it comes to regulatory action. A new vision is needed to guide industrial animal agriculture in reforming its practices, respecting the environment and overhauling its relationship with contract growers. To prevent further degradation of the Chesapeake Bay watershed and to ensure progress on sectoring the bays ecosystem, the Pew Campaign to Reform Industrial Animal Agriculture recommends the following:

 

ONE - There must be a balance between waste generated by CAFO’s and the amount of cropland available for its disposal. The pollution issues raised by a regional concentration clearly indicate that, in areas of extreme density (such as the Delmarva Peninsula), caps on total animal density should be part of the solution in the absence of new programs to manage the manure in ways other than simple land application.

 

TWO - Industrial animal agriculture, particularly the broiler industry on the Delmarva Peninsula, should bear its share of the responsibility for nutrient pollution reduction, assuming the financial and legal obligations of proper waste management. To achieve this, growers and integrators should assume responsibility for adhering to carefully crafted and effective Clean Water Act permits.

 

THREE - The EPA and the states should develop a permit program for the management of manure transported off CAFO sites. The permit program should include careful coordination and monitoring across watersheds when more than one state is involved.

 

FOUR - To prevent unintended and unmanaged pollutant discharges from CAFO’s, the bay states should require all large and medium-size operations to obtain Clean Water Act permits. States in the Chesapeake watershed and the EPA should proceed with the existing cleanup agreement and timeline. Congress should continue to fully fund the cleanup program and reject efforts to stymie the process.

 

Finally, Pew urges that regulations applied to industrial animal agriculture in the Chesapeake Bay region be considered for application to this industry nationwide. By leveling the regulatory playing field, public officials can put a stop to industry’s often-repeated threat to move operations to states with minimum pollution safeguard. These threats serve only to undermine efforts to protect water supplies and rural communities, and to force elected officials and policymakers to establish “race to the bottom” standards that benefit no one.

 

 

Seems like the government regulators are overwelmed with Chicken Crap and are marking time, rather than considering the 4 recommendations listed above.

 

Chesapeake Bay is the nursery for the first 3 years of a striped bass's life. More and more striped bass are dying in the Bay, before they have a chance to make their first migration to the cold, clear and food rich waters of the Gulf of Maine.

 

 

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RJ,on

 

I do not doubt, nor have I ever said that chicken crap is a major contributor to bay pollution. How can one just paint what I am saying as not the major cause or one of the major causes? You say," the Kill All does not float, considering". I presented in my first post an actual occurence. I lived exactly where I said I lived. There was no other farmland on my whole penninsula, except for those four fields, and exactly what I said happened. How can anyone doubt the pure destruction of those products to our bay grasses. I saw it, I watched in less than a week after treatment upon those fields , my grass that was present for years vanished, dead, gone.

 

I also described the worse part of this use, if what I already described was not bad enough the land is not turned, not disrupted, laying flat when the furtilizers are placed upon it. First hard rain, all that furtilizer runs into the ditches, which eventually feed into the bay. More proof is in the ditches themselves, years ago, the ditches had grass growing , along with the cattails, and currently Fragmitie. No grass grows even near the ditches anymore, its all mud now. So you say its chicken poop. I agree , chicken poop does cause a large chunk of this problem, but a major , if not the major contributor is Kill All, no Plow systems now being used.

Why is no one talking about this problem. Its like , give the farmers a break here. I am speaking about the crop planters and not the chicken farmers. Burn the damn crap and that would be the solution for the chicken crap. Burn it at high degrees , burn it with a scruber type of ovens and therefor no residual pollutions (air) will occur. What is so damn scientific about that???? It will not solve the problem, only a portion of the problem. Chicken crap is bad, but pig crap is a lot worse. Look at the diches, see that chocolate brown water in them. That is crap breaking down. If it were good water from rain, it would be sort of clear, even in the ditches, like it was years ago. I am not talking about wetlands, I am talking about ditches, the highways of pollution.

 

Ok, let me totally agree with someone's findings here, let me throw up my hands and say the chicken crap is 100% right. What killed my bay grass? Where did all my crabs , oysters, and rockfish go? Most of all why did this happen after Kill All applied and heavy rains washed it all into my inlet, nmt five days after the rains? I asked the EPA testers who were launching their boat from Madison Bay ramp what they were doing. Oh, we are taking oxygen levels. I said what depth? 30' to 40' levels and always at the same place each time. Followed by don't tell anyone. Hell I did not know they were doing anything wrong. Still don't . You tell me. What were they hiding?? They acted like what they were doing did not present facts needed to base solutions upon. So this is one aspect of data collection, who is also fudging the figures? If that is what they were insinuating.

 

All I do know is when fields are plowed , they hold much more pollution upon that land. I also know if Kill All is not used , my bay grass would still be at my old pier and waterfront. I also know my rockfish are much harder to ficatchnd/, and the ones I do catch have sores. That is about all I know.

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lv2fish,

 

My apologies. It wasn't my intent to pick a fight with you. I agree with your personal experience on the effect of Kills All in you local area.

 

I just thought you shold be aware of the perversave effect and the lact of action by the powers that be concerning the largest source of CB pollution.

 

Please look up and read the July, 2011 report on the effect of animal polution on the Bay. Pew Environmental Group has done some elcellent work here.

 

The full report covers a wide range of pollutents and it shows the percentages of pollution from Chicken, Swine and Beef production including the amount each type

 

contributes to the Bay.

 

I lived in Harford Co, and worked in Baltimore in the mid 60's. The Chesapeake Bay produces the largest percentage of Striped Bass to the Biomass and it migrates the farthest north for the spring, summer and early fall. Most CB Striped Bass end up north of Cape Code and on up into the Gulf of Maine.

 

I'm concerned about the reports from my friends in MA, NH and ME that they are seeeing less and less small migrating bass. Their numbers have been dropping for the last 5 years, and the recreational and commercial harvest of Striped bass made of the the CB stock has declined 40% since 2006.

 

MAryland says that 65 to 75% of your young, (pre-migration) rockfish have the skin leisions and it is fatal for a large percentage of them.

 

 

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I just thought you shold be aware of the perversave effect and the lact of action by the powers that be concerning the largest source of CB pollution

 

I believe Pete (luv2bass) is well aware of the real problem as you've stated. Lack of action! However, he is pointing out that there are other issues that are also not being addressed, and thru his own actions in trying to get answers as to why, he's seeing a total lack of concern by those same powers! He & I recently had quite a conversation about this very topic!

 

I'm sure you'll agree, if the chemicals being used on farmland, instead of plowing, are killing aquatic vegetation, the vary plants that are supposed to be filtering the nutrients you've mentioned, prior to them getting out into the deeper water, then of course, anything that eventually gets into the water will likely result in low O2 levels & algae blooms. The various plant life of the bay are the filters, along with some filter feeder animals, such as clams, oysters & mussels, and some of the various bait fish, such as Menhaden. Remove them or greatly reduce their numbers & what goes into the bay will not be properly filtered, which is exactly what has been done over many years time. Add to that, the many others issues, such as sewage spillage, run-off from development & siltation, reduction of marshlands, and of course the various animal by products that are washed into the bay, and the whole mess results in what we have today. Sure, there has been some progress, and some issues are being addressed, but perhaps too little too late!

 

I certainly have to agree with Pete, it would be easy to eliminate the potential problem of the Kill All. However, as you've stated, the lack of action, because I'm sure the result of potential economic impacts, has let one more problem into the equation and continues to do so. I would bet there are many others!

 

Jim

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RJ,

Actually , I was not angry at all, but you are not the first person when they read my emails that either call or email me back , as to why I am angry. I can only blame it on me being an idiot when typing. Maybe that honest way I speak, sort of to the point, tends to go in the direction of an angry old man. I too am very sorry if you had taken it that way. That was never my intentions, and you are not the first to think that way about me. I wish one could see my face when typing like via skype or whatever its called.

 

 

 

What I had , living on the bay, in an area that was sort of pristine, was a microcosm of what has happened in the bay. I have no doubt that chicken feces along with pig, cattle , etc. are causing harm equal to or even more than what the Kill All products are doing. Remember , I tried to emphasis the point that in combination with that product being a real demon, the very form of application, (i.e.) spraying it, and not turning the soil also contributes to the fertilizers running off in a much higher amount. That too adds to the problems of the points you were making about the chicken crap, etc....

 

 

 

I am astounded , the CBF, EPA , gives no concern on both the products and the techniques of its application. Ground needs to get turned to make it live again. When you plant on hard ground , any farmer knows its against any past normal practice , up until this Kill All came along. Yes, the farmers save money, plenty of money, I will give both procedures and you may see the difference.

 

 

 

Normal plowed land: Hook up time, gas used, plow time, planting, weeding and spraying insecticides, some weed killer again . (4) steps

 

Kill All: spray and plant, fertilizer can be done in one or two applications depending on the equipment they use. (1) or (2) steps

 

 

 

Now this is what a farmer has explained to me about this product. My opinion of the Kill All product came from a personal experience. At best it can be considered a double whammy. The Kill All is killing bay grass, and the lack of plowing is allowing much more fertilizers to run off the planted fields.

 

 

 

Years ago , and I am not certain this is still the case, but Rendering Plants were a huge cause of bay pollution. You know where they were, when you drove by the river in which they were dumping the blood and guts.

 

 

 

So really , I meant nothing harsh towards you. I am always up in Bel Air , which is where my daughter lives off of Cedar Lane. What a beautiful county, and well organized with everything. I love it up there. Besides all of what has been said on this subject, one other important factor is those gill netters acting illegally. I know there was one at the mouth of th eLittle Choptank for months. I told DNR and MSSA about it. When the illegal netters drop those nets and do not retrieve , the fish sometimes become floaters, all bloaded up . Now sometimes you see floaters from fisherman who threw back Rock that had ate the hooks. That happens maybe two fish per day I see floating. But when the floaters go to fifty per day, there is a net left somewhere. Remember that is not including the Rock that were eaten and never floated to the top. Add one more thing called stress during summer throw backs. No Rock should be removed from the water in the hot summer months, unless you are keeping it. Hold it next to the boat and unhook it. So tell the guys in Jersey to ask Christy to get in touch with Owe Malley and solve the problem. Yeah, right.

 

 

 

Maybe we can drown a few worms this spring, if you wish.

 

Thanks ,

 

Peter

 

 

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Jim,

 

Great post, but one more thing. The reduction of one of the filter fish you mentioned, Manhaden, being sucked up like fish oil gold by the trollers out of Virginia. Did they ever conclude a reduction in catch and limits? About five years ago I saw them in line across the whole damn bay bridge span, nets out and sucking the fish up like a straw in a coke bottle. How many more things can we do to the bay before its dead forever. They concentrate on one guy who maybe took an extra fish, and let all these bastards rape the bay. I believe the Jersey boys call them Bunkers, which they use to fish for Rock. Rock love them.

 

If I go back eight years ago and before, Rock belies contained , Manhaden, silver sides, and some bay anchovies, maybe a crab claw. Now when I catch Rock , all that is in their bellies is small crabs. Nothing else, small crabs maybe about an inch long.

Recap: We pollute the water in which they live, we kill all the natural filters, we drop nets to kill larger Rock, we suck up every dollar out of the bay, we reduce coverage to coast guard and DNR cops to police these idiots, and yet we expect to have great fishing. It ain't happening.

The solution by Owe Malley will be , we get 100 fisherman in one boat and fee out pleasure boats so high , we all need to sell our stuff. Watch out , Liberal lunitic on the loose, with increased fees in one hand and finger pointing at recreational fisherman with the other.

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The Recreational fishermen's, and I are one, harvest has taken off like a rocket. In 1980 we were a nation of 150 million people and since 2007 were climbing above 300 million. I believe we are near 315 million souls and the largest number of anglers targeting striped bass are recreational anglers. Demographically, commercial fisherment are but a mere decimal point in the the volume of fish taken or caught and released. There has been a cap on commercial harvest for over a decade.

 

Up north, NJ and CT have eleminated commercial angling for striped bass. Mass has a pinhook season that may be as short as 15 days. NY has a quote system that is enforced by metal tagging every striper caught, and reporting the catch via telephone on a daily basis. When the individual quota of metal bands is exhausted, the commercial fisherman will lose his licence to fish commercially if he targets a single striped bass.

 

Stripers Forever is a organization theat continuallys points out how much the recreational angler spends on everything from fuel, to boat and everything inbetween (rods, reels, bait, motels, breakfast, lunch and dinner and visisting the local bait ships to buy rods, reels lures and those really neat fishing shirts.)

 

You do realize that even the satorial splendor, exhibited by thems that by LLBean, Orvis, Eddie Bauer, Gandier Mtn, Pro-Bass and Cabel's clothes suitable for angling is factored into the millions recreational anglers spend pursuing the No. 1 target - Striped Bass aka Rockfish in your part of the planet. Proportedly the amount of dollars spent on gear, clothes bait and accomodations

is so much more that the amouth of money the commercial fishermen generate, harvesting striped bass for market sale, that we can do nothing less than eleminate their livelihood and let the Recreational componet save the effen species.

 

Just checking to see if your are reading the runes the same way I am. :wave:

 

RJ

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RJ,

I hope the commercial guys just give up on Rock. No joke to me. True colors were shown for the last two years, so they can only blame their own for illegal weighted gill nets. Forget em.

 

Any day take a ride down the fantastic bay. First , start counting the amount of pound nets. I believe those are the ones who have a long finger, herding the Rock down its length, until it reaches the inside circle, where the rock swim in a circle until they empty such. Included in those takes are Terripins, and a large amount of other kinds of fish. They contain their fair share of dead turtles. My uncle was a commercial out of Princes Anne and as a child I used to go with him during the summer to empty the nets. It would contain hundreds of Terripans, even albino's, which I loved to see them as a kid. He would catch Rock, large ones, and even sharks, along with stacks of other kinds of fish. In those days things were plentiful.

 

Until the netting of Rock Fish is stopped again, and until the stocks come back , meaning more restrictions on recreational fishermen again, stocks will continue to go down, and blues will once again rule the bay. I saw an increase on larger blues last summer, which is just how it started twenty years ago when the first moratorium started. What a shame, and I am not only refering to the commercial guys, who got screwed by the illegal netters, I am also refering to recreational guys who would catch their limit , return to their piers, drop off their catch and return five more times that day in the same manner. Shame on all of us. I too have the same shame. I have caught fish deep hooked and too small to keep and put them back. I have caught nice fish in the summer and pulled them into the boat. I have even kept over limit a couple times to satisfy a neighbor or friend visiting. Sort of having the cowboy in me come to the surface. I point the finger but three are coming right back at me. When times got so good, we lived high on that hog. I am in favor of more catch restrictions for everyone, including recreationals. I am in favor of making it illegal for gill nets and pound nets forever. If you want to be a commercial guy, then catch fish the fair way by hook and line and reduce the calateral damage by nets. Use science to make judgements on future stocks and their limitations. Favorable hatch during seign test, then in five years open up to keeping two fish.

 

Regarding the human population increase and its effect on Rockfish. I don't see it where I am fishing (i.e.) Mid lower bay area. I do see it on the jetties like Sandy Point and certain fishing bridges, but again the catch there has never been fantastic so I do not believe it is effecting the rock populations that much if any. I see hope if we conserve. I think NJ, NY, MA, DE, PA, saw a large increase and they too feasted. Well the feast is over and time to recind. Oh, this year alone I spent over $1800 on new equipment, and the season has not even started yet. One Stella alone cost me $800, one rod $200, plus more lures, added to the thousands I already own. I am addicted to this crap. I don't know the answers, but I am willing to try anything. I also have a heart and realize that not all commercial guys did illegal things, but I am also an old guy from the bay and realize that the commercial guys know exactly who the gangsta's are and just keep quiet about the whole thing. If it was my means of making a living and they were causing me harm , I would not have one problem reporting their asses and telling them I did it. As far as I am concerned they can all head south and start yelling "SHOOT EM ELIZABETH".

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I'm sure both of you know that restrictions & regulations are for honest folks. The crooks don't care. In addition to all the pollution issues, we certainly need more & stricter enforcement of laws, and harsher penalties for those who will not abide by such laws. I believe that the recent media coverage here has caused that to happen somewhat, but don't know if that's the case in the other Atlantic states. All jurisdictions need to get on the same page.

 

I'm also well aware of the demographics of recreational angling. IMO, Stripers should have gamefish status and commercial harvest should be eliminated. I recall seeing pictures & reading about how game animals & birds were harvested commercially at one time, and that was eventually stopped due to declining populations of both. I'm sure there were folks then who lost that means of livelihood. This is no different.

 

As far as keeping excesses, I'm happy to say I'm not included in that group. Pete, your a good man for admitting your past mistakes! In the past 5 or 6 years, I've probably only keep a dozen fish, all legal size & none over 24". I prefer C & R for Stripers, and frankly if I'm looking at eating fish, there are others I like better. However, I also know there are many folks who do not share my attitude.

 

Regardless of who or what is placing the most strain on the resource, I'm sure we all agree it's in trouble & there needs to be action now. If it takes 10 years to resolve the current problems, there will not likely be any Stripers left for any of us!

 

 

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At the time I started to love Rockfishing the most, it was taken away from us for about ten years. At first I hardly caught even one each time I went fishing. As time progressed it went from one, to three, then to five , then to the prodominate species. By the time they finally opened the season to the limits we now fish under, I was hitting 30-40 keepers per day. Kept only what was allowed but if freezer was full did the C&R thing. However as I said, when I took a neighbor I would keep my limit and his limit and let him have all the fish.

 

Now I take two fish at the beginning of the season and the rest is C&R. No bragging about learning my lessons here, just making a point that fishing for Rock has been fairly terrible the last two years. Something is very very wrong. I would love to blame the commercial guys, its such an easy target , considering the bad apples. I could even say , yep its all that chicken crap, Maybe its errosion, maybe still chemicals from years ago, no, its those nasty septic systems, that kill all product, Maybe even that puse face Owe Malley finally got someting right.

 

Personally I believe its a combination of many many things, the perfect storm, which will resignate to many other states, many other fishery's, many levels of water quality. Most , if not all the problems have been identified, so where is all the action???? Who has the set of balls to put a hault to all the crap? Who will stand up and say I had it, I want my bay back? Who can jump over the line of commiting political suicide, and say what needs to be said, and most of all do what needs t0 be done. At one time I gave up my love for Rockfish for ten years or so. I put in the time, waited, nothing illegal, hoping for their return, and when they did come back I took a special pleasure , knowing I did my part.

 

So let all the study stop, forget about more reports, more science, we got enough. Years ago we could never really threaten NY for dumping into the branches that feed the bay, We could never say to Pennsylvania, stop or we will shoot. Now we got something. Its called a fishery, either they stop or we sue. We stop or they can sue. I am sick of all the test, reports, digesting of data, its time to act and not just react. Shut the seasons down for at minimum five years. Put teeth into the laws regarding EPA proof that chicken farmers are dumping manure, Stop BG&E at Brandon Shores from letting the ash from burnt coal from flowing into the bay. Stop the salt mounds and coal piles off Clinton Street from doing the same. No run off will be allowed. No illegal sales to eateries of illegally caught Rockfish. Believe me there are plenty buying up the illegal catches on the shore. Stop Beth Steel plant from dumping. Don't believe for one moment that crap about how much they are cleaned up. Just visit their pond systems. They still dump to this day.

 

When Owe Malley blames the septic systems, he is as wrong as wrong can be. If you have a working septic system, (i.e.) two large holding tanks, one solids one liquids, a good tile field, that system does very little to hurt the bay waters if any. That part is all bullcrap. Now if the shore homes are old and the systems are broken or not working, much different story there. Maryland should fix those systems, bill the owners, and if they do not collect , put a lien on the property when it is sold by its current owners , so Maryland can collect its bill. Thats fair to all. No do not throw the owners out of their homes, just fix what is broken. Charge very little interest if any. No, what Owe Malley does is steal from each and every tax account, steals from Peter to pay Paul type of thing. I say designate a pool of money attached to both commerce and to private concerns that will go directly to fix the septic systems that are broken. Problem solved???? Then go after farmers and do not allow Kill All. Farmers need to plow again. No flat land spraying. So what if a ear of corn goes up five cents. Most of the corn crop is going towards alternative fuel anyhow in the form of ethanol. Whats another penny a gallon???? Then you got buffer land for bay protection, planting of nitrate eating crops,

 

One very improtant factor is storm run off from Baltimore City , and from all the roads surrounding the water. I say something years ago about natural trout streams in Maryland and how they deteriorated when a road was built near them. Personally I feel run off from roads and paved land is more of a factor than any other cause other than Kill All, no plow of fields.

 

Basically we have the solutions, we need actions. I am willing to let it all be placed on hold for several years if that is what it takes to fix it all.

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Hi guys, I've held a class "C" Waste Water Treatment Plant License in Pa. since 1992. I've seen a lot of crap thru the years and learned thru higher education & experience how to handle it. I grew up hunting, fishing & trapping and had a father who had spent his life in the protection, conservation & education of/about our environment. When he passed in 2000 he was a Commissioner for the Pa. Fish & Boat Commission. He was one of the initial members of the Tri-state group of advisors that the CBF morphed out of. He was instrumental in the establishment of the 1st Shad & Striper moratoriums. I'm not beating my chest here, just noting where my experience/knowledge comes from. All of the problems stressing the bay are known. Each/all of you are correct in your identifications.



             I'm going to attempt to clarify HOW "excess" nitrates and phosphates along with suspended solids kill an aquatic area. In a correct balance of nature these 3 fertilizers would promote weed growth not kill it. Currently they are creating oxygen producing algae blooms which in a correct balance would produce/feed a large population filter feeders. However, because the filter feeders have been reduced to dangerous levels the unconsumed algae becomes a suspended solid as it multiplies & dies. Just because the algae dies does not cancel it out as a food source. What next feeds on it is the problem that creates the "Dead Zones". This "food" settles to the bottom where, as their deposits deepen faster than vegetation and Aerobic organisms can consume it, enters a state of Eutrification. This is when nature provides Anaerobic organisms that take over. These are bad "BUGS"! They fart Hydrogen Sulfide (Methane) & piss Hydrochloric Acid which combine to make Sulphuric Acid. Simply put, their digesting of the "food" displaces Oxygen in the water & the Acid kills ALL aquatic life. (except for the bad guys)



              Now, The farmer's weed killers do kill aquatic growth when it's application runs off into tributaries. So does the thousands of Green Lawn & private yard keepers improper use of weed killers that run off. The laws & fines are in place against these practices. The problem lies of enforcement in the proving of who,what, when, where, & how much. History has shown that the offense has to be catastrophic before someone pays. The only prevention has to come from banning the substance/s and their use. Paraquat, DDT, & Dioxin are examples plus 10's of other substances. Do farmers or property owners want to kill aquatic growth? Of course not, but it's hard to educate someone who shrugs and says, "So what?", or Who, me?



               RJ, you know where I'm at on this, but I'll state it for all. Sure we need keep working on stopping manure & herbicide run offs, but a quicker, more doable fix is in restoring the filter feeders to the bay by moratoriums. The Herring ban & Proposed Menhaden catch reduction are a dang good start but I believe more is necessary. Only by fixing the damaged links in the food chain will the Bay heal itself. History has shown this.


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EPA is all over companies up here for dumping stuff in the susqi. Many times the fines are in the millions. Even one of the coal power plants up here got fined for dumping water in the river that was to hot and cuasing fish kills. Same plant also just made the top 100 list for the amount of polutants it releases into the air. Not sure why they aint all over everything down there. Like I said in another thread up we have been told that Lancaster County's runoff is hurting the bay and we are the dirtiest. Now its looking like that isnt the case.

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