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DEC's SBCA program

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Ok got a letter today regarding the DEC's Striped Bass Cooperative Angler Program. Now there are different views supporting it. Some feel that information we supply will be used by commercials and/or against us. I also feel that with all the information already given, why no action on the decrease in stocks? While I supported this program in the past I am wondering just what has the DEC done to help.

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It has been said the commercials use the data to help target the bass. So if the info helps them it's a no vote for me. As to who takes how many is another argument. So why are you against the DEC, other than they watch you like a hawk?

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No commercial fisherman worthy of the name is going to look at recreational data to figure out where bass concentrates. He's on the water every day, and has a better feel for the fish than most of us will ever dream of. Make that a commercial with a couple decades of experience on the water, and he will have more information stored in his head about where fish will be during any combination of time, tide, wind, water temperature, bait, etc. than anybody who spends 40 hours each week in a land-based job.

 

Things such as a cooperative program can be a good thing. What it can provide is "catch per unit effort" data, that is often a very valuable indicator of abundance. Just looking at raw MRFSS/MRIP data can be deceiving. Harvest may be up or down, and total catch, including releases, may vary, but what does that data mean? If catch is down, but angler effort is also down, it probably doesn't mean much, while a steady decline in catch over the course of a few years, when effort is steady or rising, is a bad sign (just as increasing catch, when effort is steady or declining, can be a good sign). The size of fish reported can show year classes moving through the stock. Trends can also be detected. For example, harvest may be steady or increased, and CPUE may appear to be pretty constant, but there is still the possibility that bass are less abundant, but more "catchable." For example, if a lot of the harvest is attributable to fish caught off the South Shore between Memorial Day and the 4th of July, when bunker schools are concentrating large bass off the South Shore and making them both easier to locate and easier to catch in quantity, but CPUE is down notably at other times and places, there may be reason for concern.

 

I think that the bottom line is that such a program has no downside and a possible upside, so that anyone interested in participating probably should do so.

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I totally agree with CW. Believing the Comms are going to use year old data to key on striped bass is paranoid thinking at its finest.

What part of the Comms harvet 30% of the striped bass and the Recs 70%. Those are the facts. The number of Comm licenses to fish NY Waters is probably less than 200 indivuals.

compared to thousands of rec anglers.

 

They are not the enemy. Their quotas have not been increased for more than a decade. No one makes a annual wage targeting striped bass alone.

 

Facts not fear because you have been conditioned to think of them as evil. They are just trying to make a living, just like the rest of us.

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