Slappy

MA cod season

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On 4/17/2021 at 4:29 PM, Slappy said:

It's sad, we're still at a very low percentage of built stocks.  But it's also amazing how many cod there are it's easy to find them in the summer. it's also noticeable that I don't find them in spots that I used to. 

 

No new Englander should ever have to buy a cod!

Fisheries managers think the opposite and set up the rules so that you have to buy your cod. Commercial guys can keep cod year round. Recs get 4 weeks. 

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It’s a shame, ten years ago cod and flounder were making a huge comeback we had baby cod in our lobster traps at my mooring in front of rocky nook green cod in June on the nearshore rock piles tons on stellwagen and big Pollock there too, and the flounder stayed in the harbor til august they were almost a nuisance there were so many, then one winter of catch shares and big offshore draggers pounding the inshore waters and they were mostly all gone, it was and is an f’ing disgrace, I’m sure now the haddock are on the way to being wiped out too because with nothing left to catch the draggers cried poor mouth and were given a huge quota for the past few years, anybody see a pattern here? Msy and the management system based on financial hardship rather than science is clearly incredibly flawed

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2 hours ago, Slappy said:

What's your take on future seasons, is the stock improving enough for seasons expanding in future years?

 

Fishing in the kayak and only getting them on artificial I think my c&r mortality is exceptionally low. In 60' they don't get barotrauma and swim off strong. I know most anglers pull the out of significantly deeper water and the overall mortality is probably pretty significant. 

My take is that it’s going to be a long haul before we see anything like normal when it comes to cod. One group of scientists has postulated that there are 5 or 6 different “stocks” of cod in the GOM which, if accepted, will upset the whole apple cart. 

 

cod aren’t severely affected by barotruma so the depth they are caught at doesn’t make much of a difference.

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2 hours ago, z-man said:

Fisheries managers think the opposite and set up the rules so that you have to buy your cod. Commercial guys can keep cod year round. Recs get 4 weeks. 

For commercial guys cod are a “choke” species. If the do catch cod it counts against their sector’s cod quota, which is very small. They spend a lot of their time avoiding cod while trying to catch haddock. If the do catch cod the odds are that their sector doesn’t have enough cod quota and they have to buy cod quota from another sector, if they don’t or there isn’t enough quota for sale their entire ground fishing season is over.

 

most of the Atlantic cod I see for sale is imported from Iceland or Norway.

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1 hour ago, MakoMike said:

For commercial guys cod are a “choke” species. If the do catch cod it counts against their sector’s cod quota, which is very small. They spend a lot of their time avoiding cod while trying to catch haddock. If the do catch cod the odds are that their sector doesn’t have enough cod quota and they have to buy cod quota from another sector, if they don’t or there isn’t enough quota for sale their entire ground fishing season is over.

 

most of the Atlantic cod I see for sale is imported from Iceland or Norway.

Just add- " On observed trips" to the end of each sentence and you hit it right on the head. 

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Here is something I believe has a bit of weight. I am not a scientist but spent enough time in the party boat industry to make educated observation. My observations are also based on my time working in the GOM   Our local areas can only support so much of a biomass. When I started working on the boats in 06, Cod made up the majority of the bag and haddock weren't a huge portion of the catch with the exception of those April trips were catching a load of Haddock around the spawn was common. Say the average keeper catch was 3:1 cod/haddock. Regulations at the time were 24 inches on cod and 19 or 21 on the haddock, can't remember. Through the people I worked with and old timers, I was told the early 90's late 80's were the years of the nice market cod. Large cod were not uncommon and from what I am told a Haddock was like catching a unicorn. Correct me if I am wrong but I was too young to participate in the fishery at the that time so these stories are what I have to go off of. Fast forward to today and the fishery is primarily smaller haddock and not quite as many cod as we were used to seeing and certainly not the quality we were seeing early 2000's and 90's. 

 

From what I can see, I appears that the fishery changed, lots of cod/ less haddock to lots of haddock/ much lower amount of cod. Is it possible that there is a carrying capacity of what the local ecosystem can hold? I think there is. I think that the change in biomasses of cod haddock was potentially a product or maybe just sped up due to some poor fisheries decisions around 2010. I am sure some people here will remember the slaughter of the breeding congregation of cod by the Isles of Shoals that took place yearly around Memorial Day weekend. I still remember reports of a head boat that doesn't exist anymore limiting out 40 heads at 10 fish each, one stop shop. These aren't stories, it really happened. By the time they shut the area, it was too late. Then follow up the next year with the size limit dropping from 24 inches to 19 inches for a keeper cod at 10 a head. I tell you if that wasn't a one-two punch to the local biomass, I don't know what is. A couple years of cleaning out the egg layers followed by a couple years of killing the recruitment of fish into the spawning population, it's no wonder why the fisheries scientists aren't seeing the population rebound like they are hoping.  

 

Maybe the lack of cod in their niche created this explosion in haddock due to an abundance of food or favorable conditions for haddock spawn where the picked up the slack left by cod. Maybe until the haddock population in knocked down a bit, the cod population can't recover. 

 

Remember this is just my observations. I know there are those who will say that they catch more cod than they know what to do with. I am only able to comment on the hook and line fishery that I participated in but I can tell you, when you are doing the same thing every day, over seven months a year, year after year, you kind of get a decent picture as to what is going on.

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