jason colby

Quincy Flounder Fishing

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Below is a letter I just wrote this morning to a NJ customer (I "blind copied"  a Boston Globe writer as well as the editors and publishers of all the popular magazines AND the DMF director/deputy director as well.):
 
Hi Mike!
 
With the ****** weather and the "weak" flounder fishing (so far), I cancelled today, tomorrow and Monday in the best interest of everyone, me included (I put the boat in a safe location). 
The next afternoon opening I have is June 13th and the next morning opening is June 23rd. Quite frankly, the flounder fishing has been "underwhelming" and I do not know if I will keep the boat in Quincy much past the middle of June unless the fishing improves.  At this rate, I am seriously considering not fishing flounder at all next year. 
This is all quite a shame because I warned everyone what would happen if they allowed the intensifying of dragging for flounder as of 2013. Since then we have seen a 10-15% reduction in available flounder in Boston Harbor year over year and as of this year we have close to 5% of what was here in 2012. AND the average size is less than 1/2 of what they were then because the draggers do not allow the fish to grow. By this time of the year, 3+ pound fish were quite common but as of this year we have seen only one.
Rather than drive all the way here from New Jersey "for this", I suggest that you wait for July fishing in Westport. However with the commercial quota increases the "mis-managers" gave the commercials, it won't be long before the sea bass fishing is destroyed as well.
 
Yours,
 
 
Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters

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The lack of management on the draggers that ply our waters has and will continue to be a troubling process. To allow the draggers to ply these waters when the stocks are in reproduction mode and not enforce any type of closer to the inshore areas this is happening will always have an negative impact on an already impacted resource and that is the shame of non caring management practicals.   Peace and Prayers

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Just now, Joe G said:

Many times it’s best to just accept the reality of the situation and move on.  This is one of those times.

Joe, In our lifetime we have seen this scenario repeat itself over and over. It has to stop! 

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39 mins ago, jason colby said:

Joe, In our lifetime we have seen this scenario repeat itself over and over. It has to stop! 


I understand the frustration, I honestly do. 

 

I read what you and Carl have experienced over the years in meeting and conversing with the officials and all to no avail.  All your time and energy for nought. Their agenda is set.  There is no stopping them. 

  

Why continue to :banghd: ?   

 


 

 

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4 mins ago, Running Ape said:

They need to be bought out and sunk, with their licenses retired.

It's not the draggers fault that the idiot fishery managers allow them to rape, pillage and plunder. They are doing what is legal (in most cases). At issue is "legal" is killing every last fish in the ocean while in pursuit of "unlimited haddock", as is the regulation in Massachusetts state waters for draggers. That gives them "an excuse" to be out there before dawn and often until late in the day to try and fill their boat with as many pounds of haddock as they can catch while discarding (dead) virtually equal amounts of cod and flounder.

At this time of year we "should be" catching flounder limits or, at worse "near limits" on every trip. So far I have only seen limits on less than 50% of my trips since mid-May when it got significantly better than early May. I mean this is "prime time" and if we can't get limits now then the fishing is hurting. This trend has been going steadily downhill since they depleted the cod and changed over to flounder and haddock.... 

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Why don't the Managers require a Rule trawl to separate out the haddock from the cod and flounder? 

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18 mins ago, MakoMike said:

Why don't the Managers require a Rule trawl to separate out the haddock from the cod and flounder? 

To separate the dead flounder and cod from the dead haddock?

Mike, have you ever seen a dragger haulback with thousands of pounds of fish??

"At best", you can put a couple of percentage points back alive.

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5 hours ago, jason colby said:

To separate the dead flounder and cod from the dead haddock?

Mike, have you ever seen a dragger haulback with thousands of pounds of fish??

"At best", you can put a couple of percentage points back alive.

Do  you even know what a Ruhle or separator trawl is? It’s a rig where the real net is above the headrope. The haddock zoom up and get caught, the cod and flounders pass through a net with no cod end.  So back to the real question, why is Dan McKiernan not requiring this kind of rig.

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7 hours ago, MakoMike said:

Do  you even know what a Ruhle or separator trawl is? It’s a rig where the real net is above the headrope. The haddock zoom up and get caught, the cod and flounders pass through a net with no cod end.  So back to the real question, why is Dan McKiernan not requiring this kind of rig.

Good question! Back in 2013 one of the things that was really pissing me off was the fact that a "research organization" (Gulf of Maine Research Institute ) was sending out email blasts to commercial fishermen to come and get their "free nets" that supposedly catch flounder but let the cod pass through. I was outraged that my tax dollars were helping fund this obvious nail in my coffin. I have no way of knowing how many boats took them up on the offer but :

1. there is apparently no desire to exclude flounder (The GOM has a "far too large" quota that they don't meet and state waters have no observers or accounting that works. Crime pays.) and

2. how can you separate cod from haddock when they are the same size and they are swimming together?

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4 hours ago, jason colby said:

Good question! Back in 2013 one of the things that was really pissing me off was the fact that a "research organization" (Gulf of Maine Research Institute ) was sending out email blasts to commercial fishermen to come and get their "free nets" that supposedly catch flounder but let the cod pass through. I was outraged that my tax dollars were helping fund this obvious nail in my coffin. I have no way of knowing how many boats took them up on the offer but :

1. there is apparently no desire to exclude flounder (The GOM has a "far too large" quota that they don't meet and state waters have no observers or accounting that works. Crime pays.) and

2. how can you separate cod from haddock when they are the same size and they are swimming together?

It’s based on differences in the behavior of the two species when they encounter a net. Cod will elevate only slightly over the bottom rope and then pass into the net. Haddock otoh zoom up a few feet before they pass into the net. The separator trawl is basically two nets. The one on the bottom that catches the cod is left open so the cod pass right through. The net on the top is closed with a typical cod end and it catches the higher rising haddock.

it’s a very common set up these days in the GOM where cod has become a choke species.

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2 hours ago, MakoMike said:

It’s based on differences in the behavior of the two species when they encounter a net. Cod will elevate only slightly over the bottom rope and then pass into the net. Haddock otoh zoom up a few feet before they pass into the net. The separator trawl is basically two nets. The one on the bottom that catches the cod is left open so the cod pass right through. The net on the top is closed with a typical cod end and it catches the higher rising haddock.

it’s a very common set up these days in the GOM where cod has become a choke species.

I just spoke to a federal fishery observer who fishes with me and he said he has never seen any boat using a separator, other than a turtle excluder.....

I very seriously doubt that any boat in Ma. state waters uses one and I also doubt that such a thing can be any more than 50% efficient. I'm going to ask a dragger friend about what is the story with them and write again on what is said....

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9 mins ago, jason colby said:

I just spoke to a federal fishery observer who fishes with me and he said he has never seen any boat using a separator, other than a turtle excluder.....

I very seriously doubt that any boat in Ma. state waters uses one and I also doubt that such a thing can be any more than 50% efficient. I'm going to ask a dragger friend about what is the story with them and write again on what is said....

Its very very different from a turtle excluder. I'm sure a google search would turn up some pictures.

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