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Dip in striper stock may herald new limits State to mandate circle hooks, ban gaffs to boost catch and release survivability.

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1 hour ago, Gwiz said:

I have not kept a fish in the past 3 years. I will not keep one this year.

Heck I don't keep em either........Darn fish market keeps taking em from me.........:)

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On ‎3‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 4:48 PM, Seadogg said:

Too bad the state can’t enforce the rules that already exist. Now they want to add more? Morons are gonna keep being morons. 

 

This state, as well as many other (I can presume) will create rules/laws to punish the 90-95% of the anglers who follow the rules/laws instead of targeting the 5-10% that were the cause for the rule/law in the first place.

It's a case of "closing the barn door AFTER the horse has gotten free".

 

Then they were given access to the license fees, but where did those funds go? To increase staffing? To provide better responses to illegal activity reports called in?

 

No...their first action was to update their existing fleet of SUV's and boats.

 

Any new rule or law they want to enact will be about as effective as trying to get ANY city or town to enforce a jaywalking or litter law.

 

You have a better chance or seeing Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster swimming together in a tidal pool!

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On 11/03/2019 at 11:14 AM, Angler #1 said:

The use of a net works out just as well when bringing in fish of disputed size. A gaff has its time under some conditions, however netting them makes it much better for the fish in the end especially if the fish is short , no matter what the species may be . Granted when things get hectic a gaff is faster . Any one whom has fished for awhile should have been able to know the difference in legal and not legal, but unfortunately for some they were all legal and got stuck , only to be released and be crab bait . For now a good change if it comes.

Just how hectic can it get with current fish limits.

 

The kill mentality is just never going to go away no matter how perilous the state of the resource.

 

Mike

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5 hours ago, FishermanTim said:

 

This state, as well as many other (I can presume) will create rules/laws to punish the 90-95% of the anglers who follow the rules/laws instead of targeting the 5-10% that were the cause for the rule/law in the first place.

It's a case of "closing the barn door AFTER the horse has gotten free".

 

Then they were given access to the license fees, but where did those funds go? To increase staffing? To provide better responses to illegal activity reports called in?

 

No...their first action was to update their existing fleet of SUV's and boats.

 

Any new rule or law they want to enact will be about as effective as trying to get ANY city or town to enforce a jaywalking or litter law.

 

You have a better chance or seeing Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster swimming together in a tidal pool!

Welcome to the nut house

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Here's the original article from Martha's VIneyard times  3/8

 

An ebb in the striped bass population stands to trigger a modest cut in commercial striper allowances and a possible increase in the size limits.

“The prognosis is not grim,” Michael Armstrong, assistant director of Marine Fisheries, said of striper stock vitality. However, in order to keep the population healthy and regenerative, he said the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is likely to reduce the commercial quota of the fish by approximately 15 percent. Armstrong is chairman of the ASMFC Atlantic Striper Bass Board. He stressed that percentile is speculative, and subject to an agreement of the 15 member states of the commission.

“The current dip in population is related to environmental conditions in the Chesapeake Bay from 2005 to 2010,” he said. More specifically, he said, the dip was related to “river flow conditions in the spring,” and stressed natural cycles and fluctuations were at play.

In the commonwealth, the present commercial size minimum is 34 inches. He does not anticipate this will change. However, he deemed it possible the 28-inch minimum for recreational stripers might be raised by an inch. Also, he said, it’s possible a size cap of 40 inches might be considered. He emphasized nothing is set in stone.

Armstrong said the state is poised to require the use of circle hooks for all striper bait fishing.

Circle hooks “reduce the incident of gut-hooking by 90 percent,” he said. Gut-hooking or deep-hooking occurs when a fish ingests a hook or gets it caught in its gills. The removal of such a hook for catch and release causes injury to the fish.

Armstrong wrote at length on circle hooks and the data that supports their utility in the final Division of Marine Fisheries newsletter of 2018.

“Massachusetts recreational anglers released almost 13 million striped bass in 2017,” he wrote. “If we apply the release mortality rate of 9 percent, that means over 1 million striped bass died after being released. That’s compared to only 300,000 that were taken home and eaten!”

While circle hooks aren’t used on lures and plugs, Armstrong said anglers can reduce the damage these cause to stripers by smashing or grinding down the barbs on the lure hooks, and only employing a single treble hook on a lure.

Armstrong said the ban on gaffing stripers would be the first ever for a fish under Massachusetts regulation. He said it’s conceivable it may only apply to recreational anglers because commercial fishermen may need to employ gaffs because of the conditions they work in.

Donald Scarpone, president of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association, said he supports circle hooks and a moratorium on gaffing stripers.

Scarpone also said he is in favor of stricter size limits for stripers.

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Yesterday a couple of us buzzed up Route 495 to Westboro to attend the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) meeting at the splendid  almost new Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters.  Most regulations proposed by  the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have to be approved by the MFAC, a 9 member board comprised of folks involved in Massachusetts marine fisheries.  The current MFAC consists of a lobsterman (also President of the Mass Lobstermen's Assoc.), 3 for- hire (charter) captains from along the coast, a shellfish grant owner, a New Bedford fishing boat owner, a multi gear North Shore fisherman, and a Cape Cod boat owner and officer in a large and diversified commercial fisher's organization.  There is currently one vacancy due to a mobile gear fisherman's resignation.  There is currently also no recreational fisher or representative on the Commission; a deficiency I hope will be corrected in the near future.  More extensive biographies of the MFAC are available on the DMF website.  This body received and debated DMF Director's Dave Pierce's recommendation and approved the following:

 

- For this year, no gaffing of undersized recreational or commercial fish.

 

- For 2020, mandatory use of inline circle hooks by recreational fishers fishing for stripers using whole or cut natural baits.  This would not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure or weighted treble hook. Commercial fishers and anglers aboard for-hire vessels would be exempt.  There is still a lot of skepticism about circle hook usage and possible exceptions to mandatory rules which will hopefully be ironed out by next year.

 

-For this year approved the importation of other states' legal sized, tagged whole commercial fish during the Mass. commercial season.  A Boston fish dealer said there would be little impact on the relatively small amount of Maryland commercial fish that would come in during the open commercial season here because they don't want to compete with Mass caught fish.  The DMF has been examining this and has concluded the same thing.  A big problem last year was the extended Mass commercial season into November which prevented the normal inflow of other state's smaller commercial fish which normally happens after our season closes.  We'll see.

- No changes in either the commercial season opening (June 24 this year) or the open commercial fishing days of Monday and Thursday.  Now we wait and see what the ASMFC has in store for the next addendum (plan amendment.)  which I believe they are trying to put in place for 2020.

-And lastly, for the record DMF hasn't had access to commercial fishing license revenues since the early 2000's as the dedicated Marine Fisheries Fund and a lot of others were eliminated by the Romney Administration. DMF does have a hard won dedicated fund for recreational fishing license revenues which is used for public access, recreational fishing education (I know, they need more recreational rule signage, particularly in the Canal),   habitat protection, and other programs.  There is a Recreational  Fishing Advisory Panel to oversee this fund.

The Environmental Police have never had a dedicated fund but they do have a trust fund to which a portion of some fines and penalties go to.  I don't know the details of this fund but it's not used to add boats and vehicles. Most of those additions happened back in the early 2000's when the Feds were slathering huge amounts of money around to all the law enforcement agencies in response to 9/11.  The current Environmental Police (EPO) agency is underfunded and understaffed but positive things are beginning to happen.  The last political hack Colonel was fired and a professional EPO Capt. has been installed in the Acting Director role.  The Commissioner of the Dept of Fish and Game and the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (and others)  and have been able to add 12 additional EPOs in the current year's budget and I believe 6 are due to begin field training next month.  They'll still be way below their 140 or so authorized staffing.  I've also been told that an EPO will be assigned full time for the Sandwich/Bourne area. 

 

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33 mins ago, fishcrat said:

Yesterday a couple of us buzzed up Route 495 to Westboro to attend the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) meeting at the splendid  almost new Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters.  Most regulations proposed by  the Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have to be approved by the MFAC, a 9 member board comprised of folks involved in Massachusetts marine fisheries.  The current MFAC consists of a lobsterman (also President of the Mass Lobstermen's Assoc.), 3 for- hire (charter) captains from along the coast, a shellfish grant owner, a New Bedford fishing boat owner, a multi gear North Shore fisherman, and a Cape Cod boat owner and officer in a large and diversified commercial fisher's organization.  There is currently one vacancy due to a mobile gear fisherman's resignation.  There is currently also no recreational fisher or representative on the Commission; a deficiency I hope will be corrected in the near future.  More extensive biographies of the MFAC are available on the DMF website.  This body received and debated DMF Director's Dave Pierce's recommendation and approved the following:

 

- For this year, no gaffing of undersized recreational or commercial fish.

 

- For 2020, mandatory use of inline circle hooks by recreational fishers fishing for stripers using whole or cut natural baits.  This would not apply to natural baits attached to an artificial lure or weighted treble hook. Commercial fishers and anglers aboard for-hire vessels would be exempt.  There is still a lot of skepticism about circle hook usage and possible exceptions to mandatory rules which will hopefully be ironed out by next year.

 

-For this year approved the importation of other states' legal sized, tagged whole commercial fish during the Mass. commercial season.  A Boston fish dealer said there would be little impact on the relatively small amount of Maryland commercial fish that would come in during the open commercial season here because they don't want to compete with Mass caught fish.  The DMF has been examining this and has concluded the same thing.  A big problem last year was the extended Mass commercial season into November which prevented the normal inflow of other state's smaller commercial fish which normally happens after our season closes.  We'll see.

- No changes in either the commercial season opening (June 24 this year) or the open commercial fishing days of Monday and Thursday.  Now we wait and see what the ASMFC has in store for the next addendum (plan amendment.)  which I believe they are trying to put in place for 2020.

-And lastly, for the record DMF hasn't had access to commercial fishing license revenues since the early 2000's as the dedicated Marine Fisheries Fund and a lot of others were eliminated by the Romney Administration. DMF does have a hard won dedicated fund for recreational fishing license revenues which is used for public access, recreational fishing education (I know, they need more recreational rule signage, particularly in the Canal),   habitat protection, and other programs.  There is a Recreational  Fishing Advisory Panel to oversee this fund.

The Environmental Police have never had a dedicated fund but they do have a trust fund to which a portion of some fines and penalties go to.  I don't know the details of this fund but it's not used to add boats and vehicles. Most of those additions happened back in the early 2000's when the Feds were slathering huge amounts of money around to all the law enforcement agencies in response to 9/11.  The current Environmental Police (EPO) agency is underfunded and understaffed but positive things are beginning to happen.  The last political hack Colonel was fired and a professional EPO Capt. has been installed in the Acting Director role.  The Commissioner of the Dept of Fish and Game and the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs (and others)  and have been able to add 12 additional EPOs in the current year's budget and I believe 6 are due to begin field training next month.  They'll still be way below their 140 or so authorized staffing.  I've also been told that an EPO will be assigned full time for the Sandwich/Bourne area. 

 

Thanks for the info-

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Fishcrat for your information they have never ever has a true recreational Representative on that committee to my knowledge in all the years I have fished these waters. 

My definition means that one who only fished for the purpose of recreational endeavors. No part time striped bass commercial permit, No charter boat captain or any one that had affiliations with commercial users in some form or another.

 

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Regulations for idiots..........Should they hold ur hand everyday as well coz u don't know how to be a responsible user of the resource? Scotty beam me up plz............ 

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1 hour ago, robc22 said:

Regulations for idiots........coz u don't know how to be a responsible user of the resource.

Fixed it. 

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Yesterday a couple of us buzzed up Route 495 to Westboro to attend the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission (MFAC) meeting at the splendid Division of Fisheries and Wildlife Headquarters.  Most regulations proposed by

the Division of Marine Fisheries have to be approved by the MFAC, a 9 member board comprised of folks involved in Massachusetts marine fisheries.  The current MFAC consists of a lobsterman, 3 for- hire captains, a shellfish grant owner, a New Bedford fishing boat owner, a multi gear North Shore fisherman, a Cape Cod boat owner and officer in a large and diversified commercial fisher's organization.  There is currently one vacancy due to a mobile gear fisherman's resignation.  There is currently also no recreational fisher or representative on the Commission, a deficiency I hope will be corrected in the near future.  More extensive biographies of MFAC are available on the DMF website.  This body received and debated DMF Director's Dave Pierce's recommendation and approved the following:

For this year, no gaffing of undersized recreational or commercial fish.

For 2020,   next year the d

    

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Angler #1; as a matter of fact there have been several members of the MFAC that had no commercial fishing ties and I don't believe ever held a bass permit.  Hal Lyman was on the Commission and was the publisher of Salt Water Sportsman and a staunch defender of recreational fishermen.  Both Rip Cunningham and Spider Andressen  worked for Hal and later took over the magazine.  Both were on the Commission at different and continued to represent the interests of recreational fishermen.  I know, they all had vested interest and derived income from the magazine but they were not commercial fishermen.   Charles "Chuck" Casella was on the Commission from before 2000 for over 25 years and also was a staunch supporter of recreational fishing until he, along with most of the Commission, were purged after the Director replacement fiasco.   Chuck did recently hold  a commercial bass permit so I can't be sure he didn't sell some fish.  I don't know whether he was one of the 2000+ bass permit holders who never reported selling a fish or one of the 1750 permit holders who sold 1-1000 lbs or one of the 250 who sold over 1000 lb.  Individual catch info is confidential.  

 

Robc22; what's wrong for another regulation for the idiots in this hugely overregulated state?  At least this no gaffing regulation provides some enforceability which can be determined at a distance unlike whether one  is yo-yo-ing legally or illegally or using circle hooks.  I did learn yesterday that there is a legal definition for a circle hook which hopefully doesn't necessitate another measuring device.  Lord help an EPO who falls overboard.     

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25 mins ago, fishcrat said:

Angler #1; as a matter of fact there have been several members of the MFAC that had no commercial fishing ties and I don't believe ever held a bass permit.  Hal Lyman was on the Commission and was the publisher of Salt Water Sportsman and a staunch defender of recreational fishermen.  Both Rip Cunningham and Spider Andressen  worked for Hal and later took over the magazine.  Both were on the Commission at different and continued to represent the interests of recreational fishermen.  I know, they all had vested interest and derived income from the magazine but they were not commercial fishermen.   Charles "Chuck" Casella was on the Commission from before 2000 for over 25 years and also was a staunch supporter of recreational fishing until he, along with most of the Commission, were purged after the Director replacement fiasco.   Chuck did recently hold  a commercial bass permit so I can't be sure he didn't sell some fish.  I don't know whether he was one of the 2000+ bass permit holders who never reported selling a fish or one of the 1750 permit holders who sold 1-1000 lbs or one of the 250 who sold over 1000 lb.  Individual catch info is confidential.  

 

Robc22; what's wrong for another regulation for the idiots in this hugely overregulated state?  At least this no gaffing regulation provides some enforceability which can be determined at a distance unlike whether one  is yo-yo-ing legally or illegally or using circle hooks.  I did learn yesterday that there is a legal definition for a circle hook which hopefully doesn't necessitate another measuring device.  Lord help an EPO who falls overboard.     

Hal fished with Frank Woolner  were partners and since Frank sold bass it is assumed that Hal also did , this was before you needed a permit to do so I fished with Frank on occasion he often dropped his fish of at a market or so he told me. Chuck also was not a true recreational person in my definition Nice guy on the other hand however Being a charter boat skipper to me is also being a commercial guy and Chuck ran a charter boat , so he was not immune to how things would go at times on the board in my opinion. I worked with Rip in another time when the bass first were going in decline at the state house along with The then Director of Marine Fishery and State Secretary and he also did not always lean towards the recreational   side of things . He was as political as many are who get on that board over the years and side more with Commercial aspects of the resource then the recreational side. Just my opinion in this matter.

 

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