Southcoastphil

How much biomass depletion has just occured?

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Greetings all,

I'm starting this thread to go further on a specific sub topic from "A Good Morning" here in this forum, which is about how many large fish have been killed in just the last few weeks and what can be done to change that situation.  I'm constraining this argument to biomass, and not including fecundity, just to  make a point that might get your attention.

I've been out four times in the last week or so, for two to three hours at a time.  Fishing has been great, but the number of dead fish that I've seen on the rocks, the grass and the pavement is deplorable.

How much large-striper biomass do you think has been removed in the last two weeks?  (stop here for a minute and just guesstimate a number. 5,000 pounds?  10,000 pounds?  Less?  More?)

(TLDR:  30 TONS)

 

I only fished for two hours on Monday (my most recent day) and during that time I saw no less than 30 dead fish, minimum size 20#, average (=mean) size I'd estimate at 25#, over the 1/3 mile that I walked.  Saturday was again two hours, during which time I only walked a few 100 yards, but saw at least 20 dead fish, but much larger, with the smallest being about 22-25 and the average easily being 30#.  Thursday was a blend of the other two days, but more miles walked.

If I extrapolate only my observations from a few hours during a few days, on a very limited section of shoreline, it becomes chilling.

To keep it simple, I'll constrain this to just the location that I observed:

BIOMASS DEPLETION/location = Mean # kills/day x mean weight/kill x 10 days (I acknowledge that I used two weeks in my initial question.  I'm simplifying it both to make the math a lot easier for some readers and to share my bias for using conservative values.  I also choose to skip all of the statistical tools like deviations around a mean, sample size errors, etc.)

Assumptions (and conservative ones at that), all limited to this 1/2-mile stretch: 

1.  Two 2-hour periods of active catching/day = 4 hours active catching/day

2.  Mean # kills/hour = 15

3.  Mean weight/kill = 20 #

Back to our simple formula:

60 kills/day x 20#/kill x 10 days = 12,000# biomass depletion/this location.  (Divide by 2,000#/ton to get the number of TONS, which is...well you can do the math.)

When we assume that, conservatively, there are four other 1/2-mile long spots with similar characteristics, the argument becomes:

12,000# biomass depletion/location x 5 locations = 60,000# biomass depletion over the 10-day period.  (Same math applies to get to TONS of biomass depletion, so now do the math.)

Is 30 TONS a number that you find chilling? 

One SOL member posed a question along the lines of "is it ok to keep big fish, because you can?"  To that I (and many of us *might* concur) I say no, simply because we tend to understand conservation.  HOWEVER, the biomass depletion issue falls primarily on the anglers who argue "it is legal.  I'm not breaking the law by killing one striper per day, regardless of the size."

Thus, the remediation seems to be to change the laws.  Slot size limits have been used by fisheries biologists for decades to manage certain species.

Rather than bemoan the fact that we (and many other coastal states) do not have slot limits, I ask WHAT CAN WE DO TO INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF IMPLEMENTING SLOT LIMITS?

Remember, mates, TONS!

Edited by Southcoastphil

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Very good thread hate to say I want them to move on but please fish move on --  keeping large in the numbers being taking will hurt in the years to come.

I have restrained from going except Monday AM and I remembered why I hate mornings even during the week now

 

Tper

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If you take into account that the east end of the canal is essentially the only place on Cape Cod producing any amount of shore based fish, then the damage has already occured.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall catching large bass all over the Cape Cod beaches and islands when I was young. That no longer seems to be the case.

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excellent topic Phil and I no longer keep fish unless I've injured them beyond recovery. I am amazed at the number of fish that are taken and especially when we have the numbers that we have now in the Ditch and really the best fishing I've seen in years. I worry about the fishery.

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7 minutes ago, bob_G said:

If you take into account that the east end of the canal is essentially the only place on Cape Cod producing any amount of shore based fish, then the damage has already occured.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I seem to recall catching large bass all over the Cape Cod beaches and islands when I was young. That no longer seems to be the case.

the guys I know who fish the beaches keep it quiet:cool:  

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Think it all a do about nothing.........Been hearing this same BS for years and every year they catch big fish and every year you guys cry and yet the next year they catch a bunch more big, old fish..........Give the management plan and the people who manage it a lil credit..........And plz if I hear the gamefish idea one more time i'm gonna puke!.........:upck:

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2 minutes ago, robc22 said:

Think it all a do about nothing.........Been hearing this same BS for years and every year they catch big fish and every year you guys cry and yet the next year they catch a bunch more big, old fish..........Give the management plan and the people who manage it a lil credit..........And plz if I hear the gamefish idea one more time i'm gonna puke!.........:upck:

and this catching big fish and killing them, year after year, makes sense to you?

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What bugs me the most is the thought of how many thousands of pounds are collecting freezer burn or rotting still attached to a rack in a dumpster somewhere. By all means if you NEED the fillets, take care of them and cook them, be my guest. It's too easy right now, the greed and gluttony is literally laying on the service road for all to see, thank god there's just one fish limit. At least we can just blame commercial fishing when there's not a bass to be had in 5 years.

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18 minutes ago, Southcoastphil said:

and this catching big fish and killing them, year after year, makes sense to you?

Oh stop already.........Again have a lil faith in the management plan...........It was authored in 1982 and with the addendums it has been doing a good job.........Just answer me this........If we have been killing all the big fish for years where the heck did all the fish they are harvesting now come from?........Look at riptides posts....endless big fish and they are being caught in multi state areas...........Give it a rest...............I know rec/comm. blue crabbers in the mid atlantic area who are begging that more bass be caught........The striper mortality on blue crab is through the roof........oh wait....somehow ur stripers are more important than their blue crabs.......Gotcha!......:cool:

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