Angler #1

Making the Canal a Real Recreational

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Good Point Bob... But, in my humble way of thinking, we need to increase the Size to maybe 34/36 inches. 

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I'll say this, I'm a rec fisherman who has kept 1 fish in 10 years.  I spend time even during a blitz to revive my fish properly because the resource provides me with sanity...and that is priceless, to me anyway. I haven't fouled hook or killed a fish in the 10 year span other than the 1 I kept.  I respect the resource.

 

It's the same story, year after year.....Comm guys blame rec guys...rec guys blame comm guys.  The reality is BOTH need to give a little.  Our state in one thing, but the other states need to give as well since it appears by the numbers they do more damage. The blame game is funny...starts with Comm vs Rec then proceeds to location so let's dump on the canal because it attracts so much attention and has a lot of opportunity...... So I'll throw a dollar into the blame game and blame the other states.....

 

The reality is, unless everyone decides to respect the resource (meaning all states) we could all be sitting at home, rec or commercial. I would vote to limit rec catches to 1 per day in ALL states AND put a range on that one catch such as 28-36".....AND cut commercial quotas by 25 or 30%.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Canalfisher22 said:

I'll say this, I'm a rec fisherman who has kept 1 fish in 10 years.  I spend time even during a blitz to revive my fish properly because the resource provides me with sanity...and that is priceless, to me anyway. I haven't fouled hook or killed a fish in the 10 year span other than the 1 I kept.  I respect the resource.

 

It's the same story, year after year.....Comm guys blame rec guys...rec guys blame comm guys.  The reality is BOTH need to give a little.  Our state in one thing, but the other states need to give as well since it appears by the numbers they do more damage. The blame game is funny...starts with Comm vs Rec then proceeds to location so let's dump on the canal because it attracts so much attention and has a lot of opportunity...... So I'll throw a dollar into the blame game and blame the other states.....

 

The reality is, unless everyone decides to respect the resource (meaning all states) we could all be sitting at home, rec or commercial. I would vote to limit rec catches to 1 per day in ALL states AND put a range on that one catch such as 28-36".....AND cut commercial quotas by 25 or 30%.

 

 

Canalfisher22 I could agree with most of what you posted and the most important part of the post is we all must respect the resource from both sides of the equation. For me this is all about the the resource and saving a marked set of fish that inhabit the canal region that keeps getting smaller each year for a whole bunch of reasons, from heavy poaching being among the top reason along with simply to many fish are being removed during the year. The lack of care by the Army Corp has brought on this free for all take what ever , when ever the fish show in suicide mode has not helped / The increased environmental police have made some inroads to the poaching, but they simply do not have enough eyes on the waters to make a difference in keeping the poaching numbers down.   For me this is NOT a rec /com or com/rec discussion It may appear that way but it is not . It is clearly all about the fish we have here that come from several tribes and also several locations . It has been shown that once the marked fish in any species have been removed from the resource we will wind up with no or less numbers to fish on and also continue to remove. We have wittiness this phenomenon with Cod , smelt, Flounder, Sand Dabs , pollock to mention the lack of the local marked fish once gone are no longer around to reproduce and genetically keep up with ever increased amount of fishermen fishing from shore bound locations.It was my goal to have the Army Corp on board to change the way they manage the canal , take an interest in this resource  , thus perhaps even doing more policing in there own back yard. The suggestion to just allow one fish be taken by any one fishing inside the canal , would make the policing action better and equal for every one fishing the canal on a daily basis . Yes it would make it a pure recreational area , because only one fish would be allowed to be removed , but this should not affect  any true Commercial fishermen who make a living from the sea catching them, in my opinion. The reason why the Limits where changed for land caught bass was , from what I was told done to reduce the mayhem that has been going on inside the canal of recent times. At times when the fish have been on suicide mode the floaters increase exceptionally and that is seen by many who fish from a boat or are passing through the canal . I have spoke to several boat guys over this last year that have told me that were able to net enough keepers to make it worth while for them to bring them to be sold? Now they may have been  exaggerating, who knows, but I have heard enough to suspect it may carry some weight . I have also seen a few times over the past couple of years where those fishing on the bulkheads snagging fish of size , dead and floating , some go home and some did not. If you can believe all here who have repeatedly posted about all the poached fish they are observing being destroyed for what ever reason. These are the reasons I brought this up to see if we have any support to make an attempt to do something locally that will help the resource heal itself or not. Every one needs to take responsibility for our resources, we can not change what goes on in other states only here in Mass       

Edited by Angler #1

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On 1/5/2019 at 5:39 PM, Kones1 said:

Small potatoes, bottom dragging and netting off shore in the wintering grounds are the biggest problems. The destruction that the draggers do is a huge environmental problem as well as bycatch. The netters are a destructive force unto them selves as by catch and shorts can be seen floating by the thousands. 

 

On 1/5/2019 at 6:57 PM, Mikx said:

Much bigger factors are the destruction of habitat, pollution, by-catch and a luck of forage. Rod and reel fishing -- not so.

 

Make a separate license to fish the Canal and use that money to pay for the 24/7 law enforcement.

Destruction of habitat? There is far, far more available habitat than there are bass in need of habitat. Habitat is only a concern when the carrying capacity of the rest of the available habitat is reached. Habitat destruction is a non-factor - if striped bass ever reached a history high level of abundance we can start looking at habitat destruction as a cause for slowing population increase. Sort of the exact opposite of where we are now.

 

Lack of forage?  All I see is forage...it's the bass that are lacking. Bass eat bunker - there are bunker everywhere - and almost zero bass on them. Forage may have been a concern in the early 2000s when the population was growing - forage isn't the reason why the bass population is crashing, it's fishing. 

 

Pollution? Where is there pollution now that wasn't there in the late 90s/early 2000s when the population was growing? 

 

It's not a secret what the problem is - it's fishing. The millions of people times all the trips they take times all the fish they keep.  Commercial fishing is regulated with quotas, there are tags required, you can physically count the number of bass harvested by commercials. Recreational fishing isn't regulated with quotas, just targets - and estimating the harvest is crazy difficult - there's no tags, there's no requirement to report every fish, there isn't even a way to do if you wanted to. We are all killing too many bass - that's why they are in trouble...not forage, habitat or pollution.

 

Literally the first step to addressing the problem is that we all have to agree that we are a big part of it :)  Closing the canal to commercial fishing isn't going to change anything - it's not going to save the striped bass - the quota will still be filled from other areas. The problem is bigger than the canal - it's the ASMFC and the industry advocacy organizations that learned how to control it.

 

TimS

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yes we as fishermen,no matter how we are catching them are part of the problem,regardless if yo let everyone go or keep every fish you can legally.every fish that dies when one isn't created will lead to a decline

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On 1/6/2019 at 3:19 PM, rst3 said:

 

Here's the rec take in fish #s by state in 2016

 

1) Maryland: 595,000

(Yes, a bunch of males in there.. but still.)

 

2) New York: 290,000

 

3) New Jersey: 271,000

 

4) Massachusetts: 131,000

 

The canal harvest is indeed a substantial minority chunk of Massachusetts' total take, but Massachusetts and its canal do not impact the overall population nearly as much as fishermen in other states. 

 

Sometimes, I think all the hoopla over the rec take in the canal is well intended but misplaced. The true slaughtfest occurs further south, in other states.

 

Not sure where that chart came from - I suspect they were for ONE of the three numbers used to estimate harvest - A1 (observed or physically counted dead fish) - B1 (reported harvest) and B2 (release mortality (10% of total released fish) Below are some tables I just got from the time series query on this page: https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/topic/recreational-fishing-data

 

These are the 'official' recreational harvest numbers A1 and B1 - that's the number of rec harvested striped bass by state - I did 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 rather than just a couple years so folks can see trends if they exist:

rec-A1-B2-2014.png

 

rec-A1-B2-2015.png

 

rec-A1-B2-2016.png

 

rec-A1-B2-2017.png

 

2016 Mass recs harvested 230K bass

That same year MD harvested 1.5 MILLION (little guys mostly but absurd anyway)

NY harvested  700K

NJ harvested 660K

 

2016 was an outlier, Mass rec harvest in 2014 and 2015 were around 500K.  Most years Mass rec harvest was number three behind MD, NY and NJ. 

 

TimS

 

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All of the recreational harvest numbers are just made up numbers.  No one knows how many bass anyone keeps.  All they can do is take the number of saltwater fishing licenses sold and assume each angler kept "X" amount of bass.  An angler may have keep 0 bass a year or 100, no one knows.  There's also no way of knowing how many people are fishing without a license and also keeping bass (this number is probably huge).

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On 1/5/2019 at 6:57 PM, Mikx said:

Much bigger factors are the destruction of habitat, pollution, by-catch and a luck of forage. Rod and reel fishing -- not so.

 

Make a separate license to fish the Canal and use that money to pay for the 24/7 law enforcement.

 

Really?  Seperate license for the Canal.  Then when the Canal goes back to normal and the fish show elsewhere, a seperate license for the new hot spot.  Then, when the fish move elsewhere, another tag for there?  

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Well now that all the experts have chimed in and we all have such varied and passionate Opinions where are we ? What will be done ? What’s to become of our beloved fish and the environment in which they dwell ? And the accessibility to be able to chase them ?

Edited by Kones1
Add we

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56 mins ago, Kones1 said:

Well now that all the experts have chimed in and we all have such varied and passionate Opinions where are we ? What will be done ? What’s to become of our beloved fish and the environment in which they dwell ? And the accessibility to be able to chase them ?

Nothing will change...………………….

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52 mins ago, Kones1 said:

Well now that all the experts have chimed in and we all have such varied and passionate Opinions where are we ? What will be done ? What’s to become of our beloved fish and the environment in which they dwell ? And the accessibility to be able to chase them ?

Kones we will continue to post here about all of the lack of fish and no longer it will be about the food sources. Right or wrong It would seem that what ever it may be that can be brought to bear in saving one local area for the future appears to be dead in the water . We will all continue to put up the good fight , tell the world that to many poachers fish here , To many people fishing on less fish, High Mortality rate among the imprinted local striped bass population . Climate changes having perhaps some causes in where the fish show, Increased Seal populations and now we have to also deal with Mr. Whitey among the schools of bass swimming. Our Striped bass  in my opinion will eventually go the way here on the East Coast like every other aquatic resource we have lost along our shore lines , like the COD<Smelt,FLOUNDER< SAN DAB<FLUKE < POLLACK , and TOUTOG  to mention some resources we here all had available to fish on from shore. We once had a 12 month fishing experience from our coast lines and now we have only a small reminder of those times and the Striped bass is one of the rare remaining resource available to true recreational fishermen that are limited to fishing from the shore lines of our coast.

We did have a discussion on this late last fall and from the discussion some here indicated that they would become involved in formulating a way to save these locally marked fish , but that is no longer the case . Empty voices from some who continue to bitch about every reason when things go of the charts with Poaching, to many fish being taken, and the poorly handling of released fish and finally the stacking of fish for market. These have all been the subject of conversation here over these past few years , but apparently it is not true?

Given that the support I was shown in the fall to attempt some change in formulating a group of concerned fishermen is no longer around . I will not continue to embrace any chance of making any type of changes by myself . My life has been stressful enough as of late and this is something I do not need in my last few years on this earth ,  We are bound to repeat the ways of the past when it comes down to another resource going south for what ever reason.  Sailing off into the sun set of life , knowing that I have attempted to save the striped bass along with other coastal species in another time with MR>POND and the Bass Brigade from Boston, for future generations of recreational folks who take there families out on the water to fish for fun.  

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26 mins ago, b-ware said:

Nothing will change...………………….

Bernie it is sad , you most likely are correct and that is the shame of it

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50 mins ago, b-ware said:

Nothing will change...………………….

But it has changed but not for the better........Over not under regulation has bought us 2 this point. Be careful what you ask for.....It can bite u in the butt down the road.........

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22 mins ago, robc22 said:

But it has changed but not for the better........Over not under regulation has bought us 2 this point. Be careful what you ask for.....It can bite u in the butt down the road.........

Rob, I for one , is not asking for more regulations...…….The ACOE is not in the fish management business and the State and Federal rules and regs are just fine with me.  As fishermen, we are the only user group that pays a fee to fish the canal, as a group we participate the least in clean up efforts and as a group we have the most law enforcement calls against us.

 

Several seasons ago, and I have mentioned this here in the past, a local club met with the ACOE about the problems with fishermen on the Canal and offered to start an educational campain including singage with the rules posted.  The Corps is just not interested ………………………  Bitchin about the Canal is a good winter pastime but that's about it....IMO

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Nothing that we as anglers do is going to make any difference.

The SB stocks will collapse...........AGAIN.

 

and then, hopefully, the fisheries managers will take the necessary drastic actions to restore the SB stocks like before.

 

Many people shooting fish in a barrel at the ditch these last few years have no idea of what it was like last time the stocks collapsed.

But they will soon enough.

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