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Nothing we didn't already know....

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Our local newspaper started a weekly fishing column this year.   This week's partial content....  what RJ has been telling us all along.

 

MONTI: Fishing will be mixed bag in 2019

  • By Capt. Dave Monti sports@thesunchronicle.com
 
 
 
 

If you worked hard, you caught fish in 2018. Maybe not what you wanted to catch, but there were fish to catch.

The school striped bass fishing was awesome with a number of large fish taken at the Cape Cod Canal, at the Southwest Ledge Block Island, and with shore anglers catching keepers in the 30” range mixed in with all those smaller bass. However, the bass bite compared to recent years was way off the mark for most shore, Bay and ocean anglers.

The tautog season was great with anglers catching their limit and a number of larger fish, many over 15 pounds, being caught throughout the fall season. And, once again this year we filled out our fishing with large scup, a great black sea bass bite (particularly in spring at Buzzards Bay, off Newport and Block Island) and sea robins (which more and more anglers are keeping, cleaning and eating).

 

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What’s in store for 2019?

Even though a new striped bass stock assessment is done, data from it will not be used for management decisions until 2020. So for 2019, striped bass regulations are expected to be the same as this year… one fish 28 inches or larger/person/day. The striped bass fishing for keeper sized bass will hopefully improve in 2019 with some of the small-school size fish we have been catching in abundance maturing to keeper-sized fish.

However, the stock assessment, is not good. With the biological reference points we now have, specifically the Spawning Stock Biomass (SSB), the amount of spawning fish needed in the water to insure sustainable stock levels, is showing that striped bass are overfished and overfishing is occurring.

However, some fish mangers and policy makers, being pressured to keep people fishing for striped bass, are thinking about lowering the amount of spawning stock biomass needed in the water to insure a sustainable fishing. This is troubling and equated by many to lowering the basketball rim to eight feet because at ten feet it is too hard to get a basket.

Data presented to anglers at a Dec. 19 Rhode Island DEM public workshop on striped bass clearly shows show fewer and fewer keeper striped bass have been caught in Rhode Island and Massachusetts over the past four years. Lowering our SSB goal to take more fish is being frowned upon by most conservation minded anglers.

Additionally, the Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP), the way fish mangers measure recreational fishing harvest, has recalibrated its data due to enhanced data collection strategies.

The new recalibrated data shows that over the years, anglers have been catching more fish than originally thought. In the case of striped bass, the data is showing anglers have been catching more than twice the amount of striped bass than originally thought.

So next year we will be status quo on striped bass, and the prediction is that the striped bass fishing for smaller fish will be good, but the bite for the 30-, 40- and 50-pound fish will continue to decline in 2019.

 

How fish mangers decide to use new stock assessment data will be determined at the February Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting. We may have an indication of the 2020 season after that meeting.

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I'm a Montrealer who started  five years ago fishing for stripers on the Quebec side of the Baie-des-Chaleurs in the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence. According to Fisheries Canada, the stripers we find there all come from one stock, that spawning in the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. From a low of 5,000 around 1990, the number of spawners in that population was estimated by Fisheries Canada to be around 50,000 in 2010, 350,000 in 2017 and...  more than 990,000 in 2018. These figures come mostly from a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on the Fisheries website which also relate the measures put in place by Fisheries to conserve and rebuild that striper population.

 

I sent this info to Steve Culton who replied that this increase in the Miramichi population was probably due more  to the northwards migration of stripers from Eastern U.S. fisheries than strictly from those measures and this makes more sense to me than a threefold ingrown increase over one year.

 

So if there is indeed such a northwards migration, your fisheries regulators will have to factor this in their decisions.

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13 mins ago, Suave said:

I'm a Montrealer who started  five years ago fishing for stripers on the Quebec side of the Baie-des-Chaleurs in the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence. According to Fisheries Canada, the stripers we find there all come from one stock, that spawning in the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. From a low of 5,000 around 1990, the number of spawners in that population was estimated by Fisheries Canada to be around 50,000 in 2010, 350,000 in 2017 and...  more than 990,000 in 2018. These figures come mostly from a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on the Fisheries website which also relate the measures put in place by Fisheries to conserve and rebuild that striper population.

 

I sent this info to Steve Culton who replied that this increase in the Miramichi population was probably due more  to the northwards migration of stripers from Eastern U.S. fisheries than strictly from those measures and this makes more sense to me than a threefold ingrown increase over one year.

 

So if there is indeed such a northwards migration, your fisheries regulators will have to factor this in their decisions.

Good point Suave.  So what's the real state of the Atlantic Salmon in the Mirimichi these days.   Fished it many moons ago with my father, there and on the Cain`s tributary.   Great memories and great fishing back then.

 

HT

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33 mins ago, Suave said:

I'm a Montrealer who started  five years ago fishing for stripers on the Quebec side of the Baie-des-Chaleurs in the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence. According to Fisheries Canada, the stripers we find there all come from one stock, that spawning in the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. From a low of 5,000 around 1990, the number of spawners in that population was estimated by Fisheries Canada to be around 50,000 in 2010, 350,000 in 2017 and...  more than 990,000 in 2018. These figures come mostly from a "Frequently Asked Questions" page on the Fisheries website which also relate the measures put in place by Fisheries to conserve and rebuild that striper population.

 

I sent this info to Steve Culton who replied that this increase in the Miramichi population was probably due more  to the northwards migration of stripers from Eastern U.S. fisheries than strictly from those measures and this makes more sense to me than a threefold ingrown increase over one year.

 

So if there is indeed such a northwards migration, your fisheries regulators will have to factor this in their decisions.

Welcome to SOL

 

Pm me when you can...

 

We are almost neighbors...

 

^..^

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HT: I don't know from personal experience:as I have never fished the Miramichi although I fished regularly for salmon for 35 years but only in Quebec. I do know however that salmon anglers in the Maritimes and Quebec and more so in New Brunswick are seriously concerned about depradation of young salmon (for example smolts on the Miramichi when they swim down to the sea) by stripers. There are now regular reports here in Quebec of stripers being caught in salmon streams by salmon anglers, sometimes 50 to 60 miles from the sea. To be followed...

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On ‎1‎/‎8‎/‎2019 at 1:14 PM, snapper1 said:

According to Fisheries Canada, the stripers we find there all come from one stock, that spawning in the Miramichi River in New Brunswick. From a low of 5,000 around 1990, the number of spawners in that population was estimated by Fisheries Canada to be around 50,000 in 2010, 350,000 in 2017 and...  more than 990,000 in 2018. These figures come mostly from a "Frequently Asked Questions"

To me it is quite depressing to hear that the Dartmouth , York and  Miramichi are not same as they were 25 years ago. Rusty rats and Green Highlanders and maybe a few blue charms on a 9 1/2 for a 9 with a C.F.O. VI  is in my memories .

 

FT

 

Edited by Fishin Technician

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It is indeed FT. I do not fish for salmon anymore but the fishing partner I had for over 20 years and with whom I fished the Dartmouth (where I caught my first salmon in 1975!) and York in the 80's and early 90's still does and, through him and others, I keep abreast of what is going on with salmon angling in Quebec. Last year was a really  bad year with low water conditions (at least in the Gaspé) throughout the summer and, worse, and that seemed to be the case in all rivers,  low runs as well. So the trend continues...

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14 hours ago, Fishin Technician said:

To me it is quite depressing to hear that the Dartmouth , York and  Miramichi are not same as they were 25 years ago. Rusty rats and Green Highlanders and maybe a few blue charms on a 9 1/2 for a 9 with a C.F.O. VI  is in my memories .

 

FT

 

Hi FT

The previous post and quote were from SUAVE, not me.

I do not agree with SUAVE's  post and Mr. Culton's conclusions as there have not been any (none) US tagged stripers reported to the department of fisheries up here.I guess it's just a matter of time though...

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Snapper1: it's more an hypothesis than a conclusion as there is no evidence yet as you pointed out. And it's also tough to believe that you can go from 350, 000 to 990,000 spawners (if the figures are real) in one year within the same population. 

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5 hours ago, Suave said:

Snapper1: it's more an hypothesis than a conclusion as there is no evidence yet as you pointed out. And it's also tough to believe that you can go from 350, 000 to 990,000 spawners (if the figures are real) in one year within the same population. 

I agree.

Earlier estimates were probably wrong, or the new numbers are inflated...At least that would be my guess...

 

Have a pleasant evening in the snowstorm :howdy:

 

^..^

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I was very fortunate that I started fly fishing for Stripers the year after they lifted the moratorium.

 

I had heard about the Stripers and my first time fishing for them was on a late night whim. The place I fished for them the first time was an estuary that I fished regularly for Sea Run Browns. I was fortunate enough to hook up on about 7 or 8 schoolers that were at least as big or bigger than the Sea Runs I caught and that is what got me started. 

 

I was was very lucky to fish my new found love through the peak periods all the way into what is now a very evident decline.

 

There is a lot of talk about 2018 and what a bad year it was and lots of questions now about how will 2019 fish.

 

I did not get to fish the fall this year due to my illness but I suspect it would have been the same for me as everyone else.

 

I think what I have found over the last 10 or 15 years is that with the steady decline in numbers of fish as well in  their size and the very evident decline in big fish that my expectations also declined proportionately and so with that when each new season rolled around I somehow did not feel disappointed at the end of the season.

 

What scares me now is I sort of have preconceived expectations for 2019 and if I don’t meet those expectations then things will be really bad with little hope that the fishery will ever rebound in my lifetime.

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