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Virginia Setting Max Size for Striped Bass?

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12 hours ago, vinnyb said:

A trophy tag system would take care of this - everyone gets one trophy tag per season that would allow them to keep one fish over (insert appropriate poundage).

make it cost $500

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10 hours ago, KironaFly said:

I hope they implement a Slot Limit for Stripers. It works great for Snook ... so put it on the northern linesider.

Guys, stop with the slot stuff, even more so - stop comparing bass to snook. You know why a slot 'works' for snook? No commercial fishery (that means no targeted commercial fishing, that means no snook that comes in thru the back door at the local restaurant...), different biology, different life cycle, different distribution - snook don't have to run the gauntlet of the most populated areas in the country twice every season. Bass get pounded in the Chessie/Md/Baltimore/DC area, they get pounded as they pass the NY metro area, they get pounded in the Boston area. THEN repeat in the fall on the way back down. It never stops.

 

A slot alone will focus pressure on the slot size fish to the point you eventually won't see any bigger than the slot.

 

We need to lower harvest, period, done, end of story. We can't have a resource that gets crushed in the Chessie before it has a chance to reproduce even once. We can't have every yahoo screaming that it's my legal right to take a fish continue to take everything, we can't have the 'I only keep a few per year' guys continue to keep their few per year. Individually, obviously not a problem but when there's a few million people doing it, it's a wee bit of a problem. We can't have the recremercials continue to use this resource as a funding source for their boat/truck/gear/hobby. We need to stop blaming the commercials for the problem that is being caused by recreational anglers. Also, it would also be nice if people could have a basic understanding of the resource and not make claims that big fish don't reproduce all that well so it's ok to keep them...

 

We need a higher limit, we need a reduced season, we need to reduce harvest. Most importantly, we need to respect the science and manage the resource for its benefit, not the benefit of those that profit off the harvest.

 

It's really that easy.

 

 

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1 min ago, Drew C. said:

... Most importantly, we need to respect the science and manage the resource for its benefit, not the benefit of those that profit off the harvest.

 

It's really that easy.

 

 

I never understood what you are saying with these lines you post.

if you you are managing the fish for what is in their best interests I imagine you might have no directed fishery at all; science wouldn’t be needed either. Sure sounds you want more than a fish grab; you are advocating for a resource grab.

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2 mins ago, rollincoal said:

I never understood what you are saying with these lines you post.

if you you are managing the fish for what is in their best interests I imagine you might have no directed fishery at all; science wouldn’t be needed either. Sure sounds you want more than a fish grab; you are advocating for a resource grab.

When the data says there's a problem, when the data says it's time to reduce the harvest - you do so. You don't whine about socio-economic issues and allow unsustainable harvest to continue so a privileged few can continue to profit off a dwindling public resource. That's what it means.

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1 min ago, Drew C. said:

When the data says there's a problem, when the data says it's time to reduce the harvest - you do so. You don't whine about socio-economic issues and allow unsustainable harvest to continue so a privileged few can continue to profit off a dwindling public resource. That's what it means.

That’s not what you really said; sure seems that you are advocating for a resource grab, not that I’m against that. I’d like to value the fishery primarily in living fish as opposed to dead fish; but that would be beyond a fish grab...

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12 hours ago, C.Robin said:

I don’t think there is enough enforcement for a trophy tag system. Unlike hunters, fisherman generally don’t report their catch.

No different than it is now.  How difficult is it to poach a fish if you really wanted to?

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1 min ago, vinnyb said:

No different than it is now.  How difficult is it to poach a fish if you really wanted to?

Agree

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28 mins ago, Drew C. said:

A slot alone will focus pressure on the slot size fish to the point you eventually won't see any bigger than the slot.

I don't necessarily disagree but if the OP is accurate then Virginia has essentially created a slot limit with their minimum size (not sure what it is) up to a maximum of 36".  No?

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13 hours ago, C.Robin said:

I don’t think there is enough enforcement for a trophy tag system. Unlike hunters, fisherman generally don’t report their catch.

It's something of a stretch to say that hunters generally report their catch, too.  I don't recall the NY response rate, but in some other states that have released figures, it hovers around 50%.

 

Of course, that is better than the estimated 20% for recreational bluefin tuna, and 7% during a recent Alabama red snapper season.

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It turns out that the initial rumors of a 36" maximum size were inaccurate, although Virginia is looking at tightening regu

Where are the rockfish? Virginia looks to enact tighter striped bass regulations

 
recordstriperbarnes
Courtesy of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission

Fred Barnes shows off the 73-pound Atlantic Striped Bass that was certified in 2008 as a state record. The record was topped by one pound in 2018 by Cary Wolfe's 74-pounder.

 
  • After years of chatter about the declining population of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay, the state is looking at tightening its regulations for upcoming seasons.

At Wednesday's Finfish Management Advisory Committee it was announced that the Secretary of Natural Resources has suggested looking at alternatives to current length and bag limits for one of the state's most popular gamefish.

During the recently concluded Chesapeake Bay fall season, anglers could keep two fish a day that measured between 20 and 28 inches, although one fish could be longer than 28. Dozens of fish longer than 40 inches, considered prime breeding stock by biologists, were harvested last fall — far fewer than previous seasons.

 

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission "striped bass committee will look at the stock assessment and consider any changes to regulation when it meets in February, but those changes wouldn't come into play until 2020," said Secretary of Natural Resources Matthew J. Strickler, himself a recreation angler with a masters degree in marine science from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

"We think we should be more proactive and get something in place that will help this tremendous fishery recover."

The commission's preliminary stock assessment for a fishery that extends well up the northeastern coast isn't good. It appears the species is being overfished by both commercial and recreational fishermen. So it's likely the agency would implement tighter restrictions. A couple of decades ago, the fishery had been depleted to the point where the agency issued a moratorium on fishing for striped bass.

At Wednesday's advisory meeting, there appeared to be some misunderstanding as to what the secretary was asking for, and social media blew up with talk that he had ordered the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to make changes.

"That is totally incorrect," said Steve Bowman, commissioner of the VMRC. "The secretary and I have talked about striped bass because, obviously from what we're seeing and hearing, the population isn't what it should be.

"Has he ordered a directive? Absolutely not."

 
 

A major point of concern for Virginia's anglers would be to have the state work with Maryland fisheries managers so that regulations are equal between the two states that share the bay's rockfish population.

Bowman gave assurances that the conversation would begin soon.

In the meantime, the advisory committee has been tasked with coming up with the best possible solution pleasing the most anglers while still meeting the call for changes.

 

One idea being supported by anglers on one Facebook post is to adopt size and bag limits similar to those that prevent the taking of big red drum. Since new rules were enacted a couple of decades ago, the species has made a remarkable comeback and the population of big trophy fish easily could serve as a benchmark for regulatory success.

Anglers in Virginia can keep three drum a day that measure between 18 and 26 inches. All others must be released. Anglers can earn an award in Virginia for released fish measuring longer than 46 inches. Last year, Virginia waters produced 864 reds that met that standard.

In contrast, state waters produced only 192 striped bass that met a 40-pound keeper minimum last year.

The last really good striper season was in 2012, when 906 fish of 40 pounds or more were caught, and 425 measuring at least 44 inches were released.

"We want our pros and the advisory committee to give us some ideas so that we can present them to the angling public to help this fishery," Bowman said. "We want to be proactive and protect this very important fish."

lations, and might consider a slot.  Here's a story from yesterday's Virginia Pilot.

 

 

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First, point I would make is that slot limits do work. They're a management tool and I doubt anyone would disagree with their effectiveness. However, I never meant to suggest that they are the only or magic fix for a fishery / resource problem.

 

For sport fishing in Florida they employ a more comprehensive management plan then you'll find elsewhere. As an example, you need to get a license (funds management agents) to fish. They implement seasonal restrictions along with slot limits. They cut back on / restricted the commercial fishing for mullet (one key base of the Tarpon / Snook food chain). They actually could do more on the shrimping commercial take, but by and large they're ecosystem focused.

 

So Florida ... as one state ... recognizing the dollar value of recreational fishermen over commercial fishing interest does pretty well. Because their state economy is very much tourism / snowbird based ... they're more motivated to protect the resource for those users.

 

With Striped Bass ... you don't get that because of multi-state competition. For the most part, Maryland is far better than Virginia when it comes to protecting the Chesapeake Bay (and Striped Bass there in) as a resource. And what comes out of the Chesapeake (Stripers, Shad, Herring, Menhaden) effects the entire East Coast fishery. We all know this.

 

So I'll just say ... I'll welcome multiple resource management tools applied to Striped Bass and the base of the food chain. Restricting / better regulation of commercial fisheries over Striped Bass & Menhaden specifically I'm all for and have been an activist & advocate for that along the Northern Neck of Virginia.

 

Just sayin' ...

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This is a hard one for me for one reason. I usually only keep a fish or two a year being ones I can’t return alive. Problem being they are usually bigger fish caught from the surf that exhaust themselves during the fight. I would just hate to throw a dead fish away just because of a size limit. The tag system is appealing and would help some but not as much as many think because many of the larger fish caught are on charts by people who only fish once or twice a year. But then tags are a tool to address not having to throw back dead fish. 

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