CWitek

ASMFC Striped Bass Tech Committee offers suggestion to end overfishing

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The ASMFC's Striped Bass Technical Committee has come out with one set of management measures that would reduce fishing mortality to the target level.  

 

On the coast, 1 fish @ 35".

 

In Chesapeake Bay, 2 @ 21" in Maryland, 2 @ 22" in Virginia

 

That's roughly a 17% reduction, so commercial landings would presumably be cut by 17% as well.

 

Note that this is just to get fishing mortality back to target.  It is NOT a set of measures designed to rebuild the spawning stock biomass.  Also note that other sets of regulations could achieve the same goal, so those printed here are not a prediction of where ASMFC will necessarily go.  That will be decided over the next 6 moths or so.

 

http://www.asmfc.org/files/Meetings/2019SpringMeeting/AtlanticStripedBassSupplemental.pdf

 

 

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I question their ability manage fish stocks. We've had many regulations for over 30 years. When will the experts get the job done?  If they worked for me, I'd terminate them. They are impersonating scientists.

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5 mins ago, stripergene said:

I question their ability manage fish stocks. We've had many regulations for over 30 years. When will the experts get the job done?  If they worked for me, I'd terminate them. They are impersonating scientists.

We haven’t managed bass in quite some time. The data and the best advice of the fisheries people has been disregarded for socio-economic reasons. That’s why we have the issues we do. 

 

 

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I see the way Fluke have been managed. Here in New Jersey, we have to harvest 18 inch fluke, the spawners. You may have the best intentions, however it's difficult to hear excuses and blame it on socio-economic reasons. Incidentally, I've seen bass managed for many years. I've never been surveyed at the dock. I believe that the majority of recreational fishermen desire a healthy fishery but the data is archaic and decisions are made that don't reflect accuracy, although I understand that monitoring a moving biomass is difficult or impossible.

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I suppose it's better than nothing,but it feels like "Let's see if this'll shut some of 'em up", with the unspoken hope that they can continue to not manage effectively. I really would prefer a serious effort to rebuild the stock to a healthy level.

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I have attended a number of meetings 5 yrs ago to deal with this same issue.  It was obvious to everyone attending that the people making the decisions didn't have a clue as to what they were talking about.  Everyone attending walked out with the same conclusion,nothing is going to be done.  Here we are today. Pretty sad state of affairs.

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55 mins ago, stripergene said:

I see the way Fluke have been managed. Here in New Jersey, we have to harvest 18 inch fluke, the spawners. You may have the best intentions, however it's difficult to hear excuses and blame it on socio-economic reasons. Incidentally, I've seen bass managed for many years. I've never been surveyed at the dock. I believe that the majority of recreational fishermen desire a healthy fishery but the data is archaic and decisions are made that don't reflect accuracy, although I understand that monitoring a moving biomass is difficult or impossible.

You don’t like the fluke regs in NJ because it supposedly targets the spawning fish.  First, 18” fluke don’t magically appear in the ocean. They’re 17” before they’re 18” and so on. So unless one can prove that 16 or 17” fluke are overwhelmingly male there are some problems with that thinking. Second, @18” it’s fairly hard to get a limit. It won’t be all that hard at 16” or 17”. Ypu could go there but you would probably looking at a season that’s less than half of what you currently have. I doubt many would be happy with that. 

 

Back to bass, in NJ, you can keep 3 fish, 2 of which are over 28” and that’s makes them basically 100% female. So following your fluke logic - there’s a bit of a problem with consistency. NJ pounds the hell out of female bass and no one has an issue with it but good forbid the regs target female fluke....

 

The data and system that we have in place on the science side is quite good. The problem is that when the data shows a need for a decrease in harvest, well nobody likes that and we don’t often do what is needed. 

 

Virginia’s move from a conservation standpoint is not likely significant. Some fish will be saved but not enough. But from a policy standpoint - it’s pretty damn great. They recognized the problem and they’re doing something about it NOW. Not one other state has yet to do anything like that. They get it and are taking action. That should be applauded and copied. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 hours ago, CWitek said:

The ASMFC's Striped Bass Technical Committee has come out with one set of management measures that would reduce fishing mortality to the target level.  

 

On the coast, 1 fish @ 35".

 

In Chesapeake Bay, 2 @ 21" in Maryland, 2 @ 22" in Virginia

 

That's roughly a 17% reduction, so commercial landings would presumably be cut by 17% as well.

 

Note that this is just to get fishing mortality back to target.  It is NOT a set of measures designed to rebuild the spawning stock biomass.  Also note that other sets of regulations could achieve the same goal, so those printed here are not a prediction of where ASMFC will necessarily go.  That will be decided over the next 6 moths or so.

 

http://www.asmfc.org/files/Meetings/2019SpringMeeting/AtlanticStripedBassSupplemental.pdf

 

 

Thanks for sharing this.  A few questions come to mind which I am sure you can address.

 

Maybe I am wrong but at a glance this doesn't look too promising.  The more I think about it, the more crappy it appears.  Why 35" and not 36" like what was used in the past?  Also, why do we continue to kill bass that haven't had a chance to spawn or even grow?  Do we know for certain these fish are predominantly male?  Bass can live over 20 years but we will kill them at <= 4 years of age in MD and VA?  I don't know.  That doesn't make sense to me.

 

A 17% reduction doesn't sound like much.  A few years ago weren't we looking at close to double that reduction which didn't even work.  Shouldn't we be considering more restrictive measures to ensure we don't continue down this same path?

 

Maybe it's me but I feel like they are yanking our chain again.  Please tell me I am wrong.

 

 

Edited by jps1010

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Something is better than nothing at this point, but IMHO the rec harvest data is incredibly weak, On may occasions here I have mentioned that myself , 2 brothers and my father have NEVER had any interaction with he fish counters, that's a combined 195 YEARS , mostly boat fishing for them with myself mostly surf. My entire surf fishing club (100 + members) has one member who had a conversation with a fish counter in Montauk a few years ago. Friends who boat fish hard in the Shinnecock / Gardiners / Peconic area , again ZERO interaction , boats both kept in marinas and trailered, shore fishing and kayaks. This info has been answered with a conversation about statistics and random interactions but , sorry, the data sucks.

Edited by pakalolo

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Hopefully Virginia will serve as a precedent causing other states to take immediate action regardless of what ASMFC does. Unfortunately with VA being only 3% of the total removals, any savings achieved in VA will not have a meaningful impact on the biomass.  The Big four of Maryland, Mass., New York, and New Jersey represent over 75% of the removals. Without action in those states, it will only get worse.

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2 hours ago, jps1010 said:

Thanks for sharing this.  A few questions come to mind which I am sure you can address.

 

Maybe I am wrong but at a glance this doesn't look too promising.  The more I think about it, the more crappy it appears.  Why 35" and not 36" like what was used in the past?  Also, why do we continue to kill bass that haven't had a chance to spawn or even grow?  Do we know for certain these fish are predominantly male?  Bass can live over 20 years but we will kill them at <= 4 years of age in MD and VA?  I don't know.  That doesn't make sense to me.

 

A 17% reduction doesn't sound like much.  A few years ago weren't we looking at close to double that reduction which didn't even work.  Shouldn't we be considering more restrictive measures to ensure we don't continue down this same path?

 

Maybe it's me but I feel like they are yanking our chain again.  Please tell me I am wrong.

 

 

35" is what has a 50-50 chance of getting us back to Ftarget.  36" would increase the probability, but that's not what the Technical Committee was charged to do.  They were asked by the Management Board to use 50%.

 

Why we kill immature fish is a good question.  The Chesapeake has always killed small fish--at one time the size limit was 10 inches down there.  So that tradition continues.

 

Again, running the numbers, 17% has a 50% chance of reducing F to target.  A greater reduction would have a greater probability.  But note that 17% won't rebuild the stock.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

A specious argument. How do you know that in NJ we "pound the hell out of female bass?" Please explain what the external characteristics that determine the sex of a 16 or 17 inch fluke. I only know by sacrificing the fluke.  Therefore, how does one "overwhelmingly" determine the the sex of a 16 or 17 inch fluke? 

Edited by stripergene

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10 hours ago, stripergene said:

A specious argument. How do you know that in NJ we "pound the hell out of female bass?" Please explain what the external characteristics that determine the sex of a 16 or 17 inch fluke. I only know by sacrificing the fluke.  Therefore, how does one "overwhelmingly" determine the the sex of a 16 or 17 inch fluke? 

Seriously? - look at your regs. That should explain things quite well. NJ is the only state that allows its rec anglers to keep 3 fish. THE ONLY STATE. NJ lets you keep one between 28-43 and one over 43. Those fish are 100% female. You also have your bonus tag fish for an add'l fish over 24" - almost of those fish on the coast are female. Not one shred of conservation in that state, not one bit of giving a damn about a limited public resource. But hey, as long as there's fish in the cooler today it's all good!

 

 

 

 

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I deal with scientific facts. You haven't provided the data. Please prove it. I release my fish as do many others. Just because the regs allow 3 fish doesn't mean you catch them. Look at the 2018 LBI Surf fishing classic results. 40 bass with 688 anglers.

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