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Virginia Setting Max Size for Striped Bass?

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The NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is accepting public comments on a temporary restriction for a no-possession limit for striped bass by both commercial and recreational fishermen in the Tar, Pamlico, Pungo, Bay and Neuse rivers and other joint and coastal waters of the Central Southern Management Area (CSMA). The public may comment on the proposed management measure at a public meeting to be held on January 16th at 6:00 PM at the NC DEQ Washington Regional Office located at 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington. 

Written comments will also be accepted by mail to:

Comments
Central Southern Striped Bass Supplement
NC Division of Marine Fisheries
PO Box 769
Morehead City, NC 28557

Public comment will not be accepted by email or over the phone. The only electronic means of submitting public comment will be through a link to a survey posted by DMF.
 

By offering a one-question survey, and telling the public that their comments cannot be submitted by email, DMF presents an impression of disinterest in public comment and a predetermined outcome. Why does the Division refuse to consider any other management options other than a moratorium? WRC size limits would result in a 97% reduction in rec harvest. Mirroring the WRC size and bag limits would also eliminate enforcement boundary disparities. 

Why does the Division refuse to consider any action on gill nets when the WRC has a published study that indicates the bycatch mortality from gill nets is the primary problem? Why was question number 2 not, "Do you support the removal of gill nets from the Pamlico and Neuse rivers?" Is it because they do not want to hear the public's answer to this question? Is DMF only concerned with the economic impact on gill net fishermen from an area closure and not the recreational industry (see guides and tackle shops) that would be hammered by a moratorium? It would be a whole lot easier to support a moratorium if we knew the gill net bycatch mortality was being addressed. Simply closing the directed commercial fishery will not protect the 2 and 3 year old size fish from the gill nets, illegally targeted harvest and bycatch mortality will continue.

So, answering yes or no to the question presents a "damned if I do and damned if I don't" dilemma as we all want action to protect the native striped bass in these rivers. If you answer yes, then the Division has all the ammunition they need to move forward with a moratorium, even if you add comments in support of additional management measures directed at the use of gill nets. If you answer no, will they even consider any management options you might offer in the comments section?

So, my response is to answer "no" to the question of support for a complete moratorium and offer the following in the comments section: "As an alternative to a moratorium, I support mirroring the WRC limits for recreational anglers, closure of the directed commercial harvest, and the removal of gill nets on the Pamlico and Neuse rivers inland from the respective ferry lines." You can provide your own response and comment at:

 

For years, fisheries managers have been spending approximately $600,000 per year to stock striped bass in the CSMA region (Tar-Pamlico, Neuse and Cape Fear river systems) in an effort to rebuild the native stocks. Studies have shown that despite these stocking efforts, there has been very little natural spawning and around 80-90% of the fish in the Central Region (Tar-Pamlico and Neuse) are now stocked fish. Despite the lack of native striped bass in these rivers, a small (approximately $60,000 annual) commercial harvest has been allowed. Presently, there are two extraordinary year classes of fish (2015 & 2016) that have shown up unexplained. These fish are about 16-20 inches in size and it will take two to three years to allow these fish to reach the size necessary to see if they will spawn and help jump start the long awaited rebuild of the native stocks. 

In an effort to help these 2015 & 2016 year fish survive to spawn, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC) changed their recreational harvest limits to a minimum 26-inch size limit and two fish daily creel limit during the open season. There is no commercial harvest in inland waters managed by WRC. CCA NC has been asking DMF to take similar action to protect these same fish in coastal waters. Mirroring the WRC recreational limits, eliminating the commercial directed harvest, and removing gill nets from these rivers would give us the best opportunity we have had in decades to see if these rivers can support a naturally spawning stock.

We are asking you to please voice your support for these recovery efforts. Attend the pubic meeting in Washington on January 16th if you can. Submit written comments or reply to the DMF survey link. Do not let the limitations of this public comment period silence your voice on how our public trust resources are managed.

 

  just got this email. thought i share

Edited by TimS
removed the link and formatting - the survey is on a domain we block here

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4 mins ago, Vaporizor said:
The NC Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) is accepting public comments on a temporary restriction for a no-possession limit for striped bass by both commercial and recreational fishermen in the Tar, Pamlico, Pungo, Bay and Neuse rivers and other joint and coastal waters of the Central Southern Management Area (CSMA). The public may comment on the proposed management measure at a public meeting to be held on January 16th at 6:00 PM at the NC DEQ Washington Regional Office located at 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington. 

Yea that should go well.  Be ready for a litany of reasons why the world will come to an end if they can't keep killing striped bass in these areas ;-)

Edited by vinnyb

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6 hours ago, DZ said:

What happens in the bull redfish fishery?  Is there a trophy tag?  Or are all trophy reds required to be released?

Depends on the state.  Some have an absolute ban.  Others, mostly in the Gulf, give out one trophy tag.  In Texas, I THINK, you can buy extra bull red tags after you've used your first (might be wrong about that one, not sure)..

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3 hours ago, Drew C. said:

Mike

 

i have a few comments here. First, philosophically, why would it be a waste to put the fish that you mentioned back? Why does it only have value if it’s kept? Keeping it, eating a small portion and throwing the freezer burned fillets in the trash is a waste. Putting that fish back into the water, where it will certainly be eaten by something is not a waste. Unfortunate, yes but not a waste. Keeping a fish or not should not be the thing that determines ‘value’. 

 

Second, those bigger fish that you mentioned, they all have consumption advisories. Ymmv  there. 

 

Third, years ago I did more than a few trips with Capt Al Anderson in RI. Al probably tagged more fish than any other person. On one trip we had a bass that was badly hooked, bleeding from the gills. Al tagged it. When I asked him about it he said the outcome was far from certain. He told me that whenever he had a badly hooked fish that he tagged he noted on the tag card. On occasion he would get returns from fish that he assumed would die but obviously didn’t. 

 

Fourth, fish are very hardy creatures . If they were as delicate as we thought at times there wouldn’t be many in the ocean. That doesn’t mean that they don’t need care when being handled but I think they are capable of surviving a lot more than we think. 

 

If you’re seeing fish that are too tired to put back upscale the tackle, fight them harder, etc. 

 

I have kept my share of bass over the years, some for the table, some to win a prize, fish too gravely injured to be put back, etc but I’m done keeping them at this point. I think the last time I kept one was 2013. Never again. They all go back now. Hopefully they survive but if they do turn over they’re still going back. 

I guess the main point here is we just have a different opinion on what constitutes a waste of fish. I understand how hardy a fish may be but after trying to revive and they are still floating belly up the chance is nil. While getting them in fast helps but if you fish rocky areas like I do you know that they sometime get themselves stuck in the rock more or less fighting themselves to death so heavier tackle wouldn't resolve the issue, especially since I already use heavy equipment. Need to recognize that the consumption advisories you see do not say don't eat any fish and in fact the bigger fish are what make up the major part of the fish sold commercially to the public to eat. While none of the one or two fish I keep a year goes to waste I would agree that a good amount of the recreational caught fish is wasted in the end. A friend used to owns a hotel that caters to a lot of people fishing local charters and he was often complaining about people leaving fish in the rooms after they left.    

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On 1/10/2019 at 4:16 PM, TimS said:

^^^Lies. They have larger eggs and more of them which produce larger, more viable young with a better chance of surviving than the young of smaller bass :read:

 

TimS

I did read once, and yes I'm sure of it, that really large females have less "fecundity" than their smaller sisters. But as much as I have tried I have never been able to find that source again.

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7 hours ago, kurazy kracka said:

combine that with charters that run 2 trips a day all summer long usually with 6-8 people and those fish stand no chance.  I was given a Groupon to go on one years ago.  The charter was trolling illegal rigs (more than legal limit of hooks per umbrella rig) and pulling in 4 fish at a time per setup.  It was disgusting.  Their whole goal was to put enough meat on the boat for a limit for all parties and get back to the dock quick as possible.

 

That single charter is effectively wiping out 224 20-25" bass a week all summer long. June-September that is almost 3600 fish that single charter has killed.  there are TONS of these charters on the bay too.  They on their own are wiping out millions of pounds of bass each summer before they grow enough to migrate and spawn.  Then factor in the recs that have boats and go out. Every one of them feels the need to take their limit home usually for the whole boat too.  There are even more of these guys out there.  From the bay bridge on a nice weekend day you can literally see 100+ boats all out there looking for bass.

They need to tighten up regs in the bay, knock it down to 1 fish per person.  That would probably cut the kill number down by more than 50% as some anglers only in it for the kil/meatl wouldn't feel it was worth going out for a single fish and I doubt people would want to spend $100+ to go out on a charter and end up coming home with 3lb of meat all said and done.

 

The only problem with your argument is that at the time of year you are taking about ALL of the legal fish in the bay are MALES

Edited by MakoMike

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4 hours ago, Stonesipher said:

 They only START to breed around 28" so why oh why would we protect them until they are just ready to breed????  

That is untrue. The vast majority of 28 inch fish have already spawned at least once.

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1 hour ago, MakoMike said:

That is untrue. The vast majority of 28 inch fish have already spawned at least once.

That’s why I used the word “around “. Regardless they are plucked out soon enough after words. Do you have a issue with say 32 or 36 minimum?

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1 hour ago, MakoMike said:

The only problem with your argument is that at the time of year you are taking about ALL of the legal fish in the bay are MALES

 

Gonna have to disagree with that. Stripers don't spawn until the age of 5-6 and a 19" fish(keeper) is only 3 years old in the bay. 

Most fish in the bay have not migrated yet but how does that make them all males?

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30 mins ago, kurazy kracka said:

 

 

Gonna have to disagree with that. Stripers don't spawn until the age of 5-6 and a 19" fish(keeper) is only 3 years old in the bay. 

Most fish in the bay have not migrated yet but how does that make them all males?

Females being to migrate long before they begin to spawn.

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42 mins ago, Stonesipher said:

That’s why I used the word “around “. Regardless they are plucked out soon enough after words. Do you have a issue with say 32 or 36 minimum?

No issue at all,I caught plenty of fish when the size limit was 36 inches.

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14 hours ago, MakoMike said:

I did read once, and yes I'm sure of it, that really large females have less "fecundity" than their smaller sisters. But as much as I have tried I have never been able to find that source again.

I also read that, albeit a long time ago.  I believe I may have also heard Bob Pond of Stripers Unlimited mention it.

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I saw something recently referring to the big girls as BFFF's because they are just that. Big Fat Fecund Females. No scientist here but I have also heard over the years more than a few times that a 45-50# fish produces about 5,000,000 eggs while a 15 to 20# fish can only produce about 500,000. Whatever the truth is, we can be sure that the ASMPC scientists do actually know those numbers but whether or not common sense will prevail, once the politicians come into play, is another thing altogether.

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