R.R. Bridge Fisher

Whats the scoop?

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16 posts in this topic

 

Bob, I don't know the relative importance of the various sizes of spawning bass in the population.  The bigger females obviously produce more and larger eggs than a smaller female.  I don't know if there are studies that measure the viability of eggs from different sized females.  I recall some numbers the indicates a 28" fish produces around 250,000 eggs and a 34" female 1.2 million. I do know that Maryland and Virginia sample and monitor spawning activity and I'm going to check if they have a breakdown of the various year classes.

 

 As you, and the other old timers well remember,  when the restoration effort began the coastal states were harvesting immature females @ 16" and up and the Bay states immature females and males @ 12".  The biggest bass year class ever in 1970 was pretty much decimated  by the mid 70's by gross overfishing.

 

When we all came together under ASMFC to address the decline we  agreed that protection of spawning females (and males) was a primary objective of the plan; hence the 28" coastal size limit and the 18" Bay limits.  Additional key Plan components were a conservative rate of fishing mortality (quotas and bag limits) and maintaining a large spawning stock biomass. were also components of the first plan.  

At one of those early meetings quite a few fishermen from both regions attended and during a break  there was a heated exchange between watermen and coastal fishers with the watermen accusing the coastal folks of catching all the mothers and the coastal folks responding that the Bay fisheries were taking all the babies.  Talk about Democrats and Republicans. 

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