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MSK1962

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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6 hours ago, fishcrat said:

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

The way I, and others I have discussed this with, if the regulation is as you stated, means the following-

You can gaff a LEGAL sized commercial fish (34" or greater), otherwise, if not legal, you either hand grab or net the UNDERSIZED fish...….

6 hours ago, fishcrat said:
6 hours 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. 

 

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IN Fl when Bait fishing for reef Fish, Grouper/ Red Snapper/AJ one must you a Non Stainless In Line circle Hook, In Fed waters not specific  In Line or Off set Circle hook and again Non Stainless

 

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In 1997 the state had 3812 permits[many held more than one permit at that time under the guise of Charter] issued for Striped bass and among that list was Both Father and son , Chuck Casella , that has permits issued to sell bass along with Ralph Bergonzi who also served for awhile on that committee or so I thought . I paid to see whom was on the list back in another time to see how many members of a club had bass permit holders selling bass. We had 107 out of State permit holders on the list as well . I wish I had followed up in later years , but to have it copied was expensive and not free, but non the less revealing. It was also revealing to see that one individual held as many as 6  permits to sell fish under Charter designation . That was a common practice  during that time and that allowed then to catch more then just one limit of fish .

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1 hour ago, Angler #1 said:

I...…... It was also revealing to see that one individual held as many as 6  permits to sell fish under Charter designation . That was a common practice  during that time and that allowed then to catch more then just one limit of fish .

 

Ranks right up there with Dave Pickering's relentless pursuit of micro striped bass.   Yes?   

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