Clams

Are stripers really in decline?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Maybe these law changes will help. At least it’s a small step for the fishery. “Worst sense 1992”.

 

 

Edited by BillB
Link to commercial site, removed.

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I hope that something is done but have a feeling the northern states and recreational fisherman will be affected the most. Maine and NH are quick to move on these things while as you move south the politics and greed drive decisions. 

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I live in Maine. I know states can take action but anglers need to stand up and take responsibility to. I love seeing people promoting catch and release. It sad to see because I want my kids kids to be able to fish for stripers to. I wish states wouldn't be so soft on law breakers and make an example out of them. 

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From a news site posted May 1, 2019 that has ads on it. I guess that’s not ok here.

 

Striped bass, one of the most prized species in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic Coast, are being overfished according to a new assessment of the stock’s health — a finding that will likely trigger catch reductions for a species long touted as a fisheries management success.

The bleak preliminary findings of the assessment were presented to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, a panel of fisheries managers, on Wednesday. The full analysis was not available. Its completion was delayed by the partial government shutdown, which sidelined biologists in the National Marine Fisheries Service who were working to complete the report. But, noted Mike Armstrong of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, who also chairs the ASMFC’s Striped Bass Management Board, the final results “will likely be the same when [the report] comes out.” 

The board asked its technical advisers to estimate the level of catch reductions needed to bring the stock above management targets at its May meeting, when the stock assessment is expected to be ready for approval.

“We know it is going to be pretty drastic,” said John Clark of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife, a member of the board.

The findings of the assessment were a bit of a surprise. Though the overall population was known to be declining, striped bass are often considered a signature success for fishery management.

The overharvest of striped bass, also called rockfish, sent their population to critically low levels in the early 1980s, eventually leading to a catch moratorium. The population rebounded, allowing catches to resume, and by 1997 the population recovered to an estimated 419 million fish aged one year or more.

After staying at relatively high numbers for nearly 10 years, the population began to decline, in part because of less reproductive success during the past decade and a half — a rate which is greatly influenced by weather patterns.

The decline led to fishing restrictions in recent years, but the new assessment shows that those restrictions failed to reduce the overall trajectory for the stock.

Using new information, the assessment has produced a more dire picture of the striped bass population.

The threshold for taking management action to conserve the population is triggered when the “spawning stock biomass” — an estimate of the number and size of reproductive age females in the stock — falls below 91,436 metric tons along the coast. The preliminary assessment found the spawning stock biomass fell to 68,476 metric tons in 2017.

The assessment also indicates that the spawning stock was not only being overfished, but had fallen below the threshold for several years. The scientists producing the report were confident in their conclusion.

 “The probability is very high that that is the case,” said Mike Celestino, a member of the ASMFC’s Assessment Science Committee who briefed the commission on the findings.

In a preview of the difficulty in finding management solutions, the assessment also suggests that, to some extent, some of the previous actions to control harvest had alarming side effects.

Restrictions that increased the minimum catch sizes in recent years appear to have increased the number of undersize fish that were caught, handled, released and died. Scientists estimate that 10 percent of caught-and-released fish ultimately die.

Data in the summary provided to the board showed that the number of fish that died after being handled by recreational anglers in 2017 exceeded the number they actually kept.

Andrew Shiels of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission called that “one of the most disturbing of all the issues that’s been presented today.”

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

That last article was from February. This is the one I tried to post originally. Written May 1.

 

“The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission said Wednesday that it will require new restrictions on striped bass next year, amid overfishing of the species known in the Chesapeake as rockfish.

The panel, which regulates a striped bass fishery that spans from Maine to North Carolina, launched a study of how a variety of conservation measures could reduce fish deaths by 17 percent. That includes reducing the number of fish that are caught and also the number that die from hook wounds after being caught and released. 

Measures states from Maine to North Carolina will be asked to consider include:

» New limits on the minimum size of fish that can legally be caught;

Possible new rules establishing “slot” limits on striped bass fishing, meaning only fish larger than an undetermined minimum size and smaller than 40 inches long can be legally caught;

» Closure of some portions of striped bass fishing season; and,

Requirement that special equipment known as circle hooks be used coastwide while fishing with live bait. (The circle hooks already are required in Maryland.)

The commission met Tuesday poised to act amid  since the species recovered from the brink of extinction 30 years ago. A recent study found that in 2017, the number of spawning female striped bass along the East Coast was at its lowest level since 1992.

 

A commission panel is expected to conduct its study over the next few months before presenting it to the interstate agency in August. The recommended fishery reductions would go then to the commission for final approval as early as October. It would be up to states to decide how exactly to achieve the 17 percent reduction in fish mortality, using one or more of the measures the commission has offered.

 

 
Edited by BillB
removed link to com site

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It makes me so mad..the surf fishing here (long island) for bass in the 90s and up till 2010 or so was freeeking awesome...probably early 90s you could keep 1 fish @ 36" then went to 1 @ 28" then ooo look at all the bass!!!lets let them keep 2 fish each now(on the boats)...wile we all see it happening before our eyes. So sad and unbelievable..we would all still be catching 30 to 50 pounders from the surf every year.

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Way too little, way too late !

Want an example ?

 my fishing log data. 2004 July 10th...... stripers landed to date, 1006.

                                 2019, July 10th......... stripers landed to date, 156.

enough said.

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My May/June this year was 25% of what it was last year.   Size is smaller too.   July has started out a little better, but not much.   Today I fished the beach from 4:00 AM-7:00 in clouds with a perfect surf.   I managed one 25 inch fish.   I say decline.    

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4 mins ago, MartyK said:

My May/June this year was 25% of what it was last year.   Size is smaller too.   July has started out a little better, but not much.   Today I fished the beach from 4:00 AM-7:00 in clouds with a perfect surf.   I managed one 25 inch fish.   I say decline.    

I have had similar results. 4 trips to the beach this year and only one 22” fish to show for it. Absolute terrible fishing. 

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Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission website- 

http://www.asmfc.org/

 

These guys make the rules. And they will be accepting public comments if it’s approved.

 

From their site-

”The Draft Addendum will be presented to the Board for its consideration and approval for public comment in August. If approved, it will be released for public comment, with the Board considering its final approval in October for implementation in 2020. Additionally, the Board postponed a motion to initiate the development of an Amendment until its next meeting in August.”

 

 

 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Guess I'm still the oddball.  At this time last year I only had 26 bass 20" or greater with 3 keepers.  At that time last year I'd say it was 10 rats to every 20+" fish, so the estimate would be 150ish fish today.

 

That count this year where I'm counting everything and has more 20+" fish than 20"< fish, is 402 total fish, of which 232 were 20+", 1 keeper.  

 

Now, I'm not saying the fishery is not in decline, far from it.  The drop in rats has me seriously worried about the future, although I do enjoy the plethora of larger fish.  There are many crazy 24-26" fish that fight way over their pay grade, providing great sport in shallow water.  You know things are nuts when stripers start channeling bluefish, hitting plugs and flying out of the water shaking their heads.  Often they get very creative in sending that plug back at you when the successfully shake the hooks out!!

Edited by Roccus7

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Posted (edited) · Report post

1 hour ago, Roccus7 said:

Guess I'm still the oddball. 

Truer words were never typed.

Edited by MakoMike

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Roccus7, you’re not an oddball. It’s interesting to hear about 24-26” fish but that is the problem down the coast. You should be seeing 40”+ fish! If they actually managed things right you would be. 

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4 hours ago, Roccus7 said:

Guess I'm still the oddball.  At this time last year I only had 26 bass 20" or greater with 3 keepers.  At that time last year I'd say it was 10 rats to every 20+" fish, so the estimate would be 150ish fish today.

 

That count this year where I'm counting everything and has more 20+" fish than 20"< fish, is 402 total fish, of which 232 were 20+", 1 keeper.  

 

Now, I'm not saying the fishery is not in decline, far from it.  The drop in rats has me seriously worried about the future, although I do enjoy the plethora of larger fish.  There are many crazy 24-26" fish that fight way over their pay grade, providing great sport in shallow water.  You know things are nuts when stripers start channeling bluefish, hitting plugs and flying out of the water shaking their heads.  Often they get very creative in sending that plug back at you when the successfully shake the hooks out!!

I think Roccus7 is pulling our leg:) Don't you think so?

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