jason colby

Quincy Flounder Fishing

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5 hours ago, jason colby said:

We were definitely "discussing" the state water increase for Massachusetts and the topic of the GOM increases came later. On that subject, the GOM TAC went from 210 MY to 880 MT in a very small set of years with an "undetermined" stock outlook. You openly supported those increases. WHY? 

The George’s bank population was rising and that was the abc the ssc recommended.

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9 hours ago, MakoMike said:

The George’s bank population was rising and that was the abc the ssc recommended.

Our "conversation/debate" was never about "Georges Bank Stock" (whatever that is). It started as state waters of Massachusetts with me trying to round up public comment comment to oppose Diodoti's proposal to double the state water daily commercial catch. You and Paul Risi, in the most rudely ways possible, were in full support of the increases (first the state water one then the GOM increases).

Again, why did you support the increases?  

 

And before you say you did not, I can easily copy/paste your own words right here ....

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6 mins ago, jason colby said:

Our "conversation/debate" was never about "Georges Bank Stock" (whatever that is). It started as state waters of Massachusetts with me trying to round up public comment comment to oppose Diodoti's proposal to double the state water daily commercial catch. You and Paul Risi, in the most rudely ways possible, were in full support of the increases (first the state water one then the GOM increases).

Again, why did you support the increases?  

 

And before you say you did not, I can easily copy/paste your own words right here ....

You still don’t get it and you probably never will. That’s why you failed so miserably as an advisor. The council at that time was probably 95% commercial fishermen ( today it’s 100% commercial fishermen) us recreational advisors have to pick our battles very cautiously. Winter flounder isn’t even within the purview of the recreational advisory panel. All you do with your constant anti-commercial rants, is to piss off the council members who then will not approve any proposals favorable to the recreational fishermen.

you could use a course on how to influence people.

Where were you in the fight to get the recreational vs commercial splits revised last month on the MAFMC’s proposed revision to the fluke, sea bass , scup and bluefish quotas? You only care about your own bread and butter with winter flounder. 
People like you are one of the biggest obstacles to getting all recreational limits relaxed.

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16 mins ago, MakoMike said:

You still don’t get it and you probably never will. That’s why you failed so miserably as an advisor. The council at that time was probably 95% commercial fishermen ( today it’s 100% commercial fishermen) us recreational advisors have to pick our battles very cautiously. Winter flounder isn’t even within the purview of the recreational advisory panel. All you do with your constant anti-commercial rants, is to piss off the council members who then will not approve any proposals favorable to the recreational fishermen.

you could use a course on how to influence people.

Where were you in the fight to get the recreational vs commercial splits revised last month on the MAFMC’s proposed revision to the fluke, sea bass , scup and bluefish quotas? You only care about your own bread and butter with winter flounder. 
People like you are one of the biggest obstacles to getting all recreational limits relaxed.

AKA: I take your "personal attack" is a confirmation that you supported the aforementioned commercial winter flounder increases.

WHY?: "Because you had to pick your battles carefully"??? 

 

Thank you for your coming clean!

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35 mins ago, MakoMike said:

You still don’t get it and you probably never will. That’s why you failed so miserably as an advisor. The council at that time was probably 95% commercial fishermen ( today it’s 100% commercial fishermen) us recreational advisors have to pick our battles very cautiously. Winter flounder isn’t even within the purview of the recreational advisory panel. All you do with your constant anti-commercial rants, is to piss off the council members who then will not approve any proposals favorable to the recreational fishermen.

you could use a course on how to influence people.

Where were you in the fight to get the recreational vs commercial splits revised last month on the MAFMC’s proposed revision to the fluke, sea bass , scup and bluefish quotas? You only care about your own bread and butter with winter flounder. 
People like you are one of the biggest obstacles to getting all recreational limits relaxed.

Why are you on this site? This is NOT a site for commercial fisherman. I would think that over 90% of the people here are recs. The councils are an absolute joke. 100% percent commercial including your opinions. Give me  a Break "US" recreational advisors. Pretty sad that "they" ask for the opinion of others and ignore it and do what they are has already been decided from within.

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On 6/9/2021 at 3:57 AM, jason colby said:

This past week has seen "mostly" limit catches but one week does not a season make. Before the dragging was intensified in 2013 the season was easily 12 weeks (May 1st to the end of July).

We are in the heart of "prime time" so if we can't get limits now it will never happen....

Good stuff Jason, that's what I heard, but am busy of catching BSB now.

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6 hours ago, BostonSurfMan said:

Good stuff Jason, that's what I heard, but am busy of catching BSB now.

the commercial increase in BSB this year, it is only a matter of time before we are having the conversation about "where are the sea bass"...

When I mentioned to Mako Mike 8 years ago that we should be managing for "abundance" rather that "maximum yield" he stated that the law says we do the latter.

At issue is we seem to always exceed "maximum SUSTAINABLE yield" and go well into depletion before we know it. 

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On 6/12/2021 at 5:32 AM, MakoMike said:

The George’s bank population was rising and that was the abc the ssc recommended.

Mike-I just re read every word of the thing that started our "discussion" and I find it difficult to locate the words "Georges Bank". Can you please show me where it is?

________________________________________________________________

 
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Quincy and Westport, Ma.
 
 
Default

In the earlier years of the "flounder recovery", 2001-2006 there were just as many cod in Boston Harbor as there were flounder. I actually considered cod to be a bit of a nuisance while flounder fishing and cod limits were often reached long before flounder limits. In 2007 I noticed a sharp decline in the cod population very similar to the sharp decline in the flounder numbers (in Boston Harbor) I have seen this year. Sure, for several years we could find cod in the harbor if we wanted to but my focus was on flounder so I didn't bother much. As of 2010 and the past few years we have caught ZERO cod in Boston Harbor while flounder fishing.
For the past 12 years the winter flounder numbers have been steadily improving in Boston Harbor waters and "we", that is the charter boats, the hotels, tackle shops, restaurants, launch ramps/marinas;...Boston business' in general have been enjoying increased activity from out of state dollars added to our economy. That is in jeopardy! As your council saw fit to double the commercial trip limit of winter flounder from 250 pounds to 500 pounds, the 1st recreational season afterwards is a shadow of the past several years. Not only are the flounder far less abundant but the average size is much smaller too. In Peter Santini's contest for example there were always several fish over 3 pounds in the winners circle. This year there were none.
You see draggers, given the chance will harvest the larger, more valuable fish 1st and discard the smaller ones when space or quota is limited. On that note I have seen a 20 fold increase in the observance of "net rash". A condition that shows on a flounder that has been scraped by a dragger net. These are on smaller fish that have been released or have been forced through larger mesh. In past years I have seen one or none/year and this year I have seen it over 2 dozen times. One angler reported to me that he found net rash on 4 out of 5 flounder he caught! This is an indication of major increased dragger effort.
I apologize, I was wrong; it isn't these draggers, it is THOSE draggers! In the letter you see below, Paul Diodati explains that the issue is not the 47 state permitted draggers and gill netters that are responsible for the downturn in flounder fishing that I and 100's of others have witnessed this spring. It is either "my imagination" or "global warming" (or the federal permitted draggers that are responsible). Well I for one shoveled more snow last year than I have in awhile. More, this spring was one of the coolest we have had in years. However, while the water temps were a little cool for early May, the temps normalized by the end of the first week. In particular, the weather has been up and down for many years but what remained consistent was that the flounder fishing in Boston Harbor was getting better and better each year until this one.
Where I went wrong was I (entirely) blamed the Ma. Marine Fishery Advisory Council and their decision to double the trip limits for winter flounder. While this ill conceived idea is still a bad one (in my opinion), it is likely not the cause of the diminished fishing we have witnessed this season. The 77% reduction in the cod quota is likely the real reason as now many of those federal draggers that have virtually no trip limits are focusing on flounder in federal waters outside of Boston Harbor.
Paul, for some otherworldly reason seems to want to blame me for "causing all the trouble". Yes, I did go to the newspapers and yes I did write an editorial in a local fishing magazine but that was in response to what I and many, many others have witnessed. Paul happens to be on all of the councils and boards that effect flounder and cod in Massachusetts and he is in a unique position to recognize this issue and he should also be the one working to fix it.

Mr. Diadoti, I very strongly urge you to do whatever you can to return the state winter flounder trip limit to 250 pounds AND on the other panels you represent, to ELIMINATE ALL TARGETED WINTER FLOUNDER EFFORT IN FEDERAL WATERS ADJACENT TO AREAS 3, 4 5, 6, 7 and 8. This is the part time residence of recreational stock of winter flounder that Boston Harbor (and the other harbors of Massachusetts) that have enjoyed the flounder re-bound the past decade. In all fairness, federally permitted draggers can work the whole Gulf of Maine but if they work those areas they are in direct conflict with the "recreational fleet" and quite frankly, we cannot compete! These boats are too large and too efficient and I promise that within two to three years there will be ZERO recreational flounder fishing at the current rate of demise.

Captain Jason Colby
Little Sister Charters




Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Division of Marine Fisheries
251 Causeway Street, Suite 400
Boston, Massachusetts 02114
(617)626-1520
fax (617)626-1509
June 14, 2013
Dear Concerned Citizen,
The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries has heard from a number of folks who are
expressing concern about the status of Gulf of Maine (GOM) winter flounder, particularly with
regards to recreational catch rates that some perceive have been impacted by recent regulation
changes.
It seems alarm is being fueled by one charter captain who reports that the winter flounder weren?t
biting in Boston Harbor and inner Massachusetts Bay this spring like they were last year. He
claims the increase in the state waters commercial trip limit for GOM winter flounder from 250
pounds to 500 lbs, which became effective in late November 2012, was responsible for an
immediate dip in the population. However, a review of the facts doesn?t support this belief. I want
to clear-up some misconceptions.
You should first know why the commercial trip limit for GOM winter founder was recently
increased. For the 2012 fishing year (May 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013), the federal management
entities, the New England Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries, increased the total
annual catch limit (ACL) for GOM winter flounder by 450% (from 231 metric tons in 2010 to
1,040 metric tons in 2012), in response to the finding that the fishing mortality rate was well
below the management threshold. Groundfish ACLs are allocated to federally permitted fishing
vessels, with set-asides for state water vessels and other sub-components. So, concurrent with the
large increase to the total ACL, the state waters set-aside of GOM winter flounder increased from
60 mt to 272 mt. This set-aside is meant to account for all commercially and recreationally caught
GOM winter flounder caught by non-federal vessels, both commercial and recreational, in Maine,
New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.
With the state waters commercial and recreational fisheries (ME ? MA) landing well below the
272 mt set-aside in both 2010 (64.2 mt) and 2011 (113.3 mt), the interstate management entity, the
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, saw fit to allow states to increase the commercial
trip limit from 250 lbs to 500 lbs and eliminate the seasonal recreational fishery closures for state
waters vessels. The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, with the support of its citizen?s
board, the Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, implemented these modest liberalizations to
the commercial and recreational state waters fisheries, effective November 26, 2012.
Paul J. Diodati
Director Deval Patrick
Governor
Richard K. Sullivan, Jr.
Secretary
Mary B. Griffin
Commissioner
In Massachusetts, the 500-lb trip limit only applies to vessels that have a state groundfish permit
endorsement (or GE) that authorizes them to fish for groundfish in state waters. New entry into the
state waters groundfish fishery is closed and the number of GEs has declined each year as people
retire from the fishery. Additionally, because these vessels are prohibited from also holding a
federal groundfish permit to fish in federal waters, many vessels opted into the federal fishery
rather than the state fishery when the GE was created in 2006. Furthermore, many GEs are not
actively fished. In 2011 and 2012, only 50 and 47 GE holders landed GOM winter flounder.
These Massachusetts state water groundfish fishermen land only a fraction of the winter flounder
caught. Consider this graph which compares recent landings in Massachusetts of all winter
flounder stocks by
Massachusetts GE vessels
and federally-permitted
vessels (most of which
operate in Sectors and are
thus exempt from trip limits
under the federal groundfish
management plan). GE
vessels account for only 2.3%
and 3.2% of all winter
flounder landed
commercially in
Massachusetts ports in 2011
and 2012, respectively.
Regardless of whether a
vessel has a state or federal
groundfish permit, all are
restricted in state waters by numerous seasonal closures, some gear specific and some all
encompassing. For example, all of Mass Bay is closed to groundfish fishing during April, May,
October and November. More nearshore portions of Mass Bay are also closed to groundfish
fishing (except by longline) during February and March. Numerous designated inshore waters,
including Boston Harbor, Quincy Bay and Hingham Bay are closed to trawls and gillnets yearround,
with additional seasonal closures for these gears in Mass Bay. Many of these closures help
protect important spawning, nursery, and juvenile habitat for winter flounder.
Most importantly, GOM winter flounder landings have not increased since the 500 lb trip limit
went into effect. Take a look at the following graph which compares the GE landings of winter
flounder (all stocks, although Southern New England landings are a minor component given the
50-lb trip limit for that overfished population component) between December 2011 ? May 2012,
when the GOM trip limit was 250-lbs, and December 2012 ? May 2013, when the GOM trip limit
was 500-lbs. Landings of winter flounder are actually down in each month! It should also be noted
that the winter flounder fishery in Massachusetts is really just beginning. Generally about 95% of
the GOM winter flounder landings by GE vessels occur between May and September.
This indicates that the
500-lb trip limit has
nothing do with a
change in the
springtime angling
for winter flounder in
Massachusetts Bay as
reportedly
experienced by some
recreational anglers.
Indeed, after placing
calls throughout the
area we?ve heard
plenty of reports that
the fishery has been
just fine. An owner of
an Everett-based bait and tackle store says his customers have been reporting good catches from
the piers in Lynn, the shore of Revere, and from boats fishing around the Boston Harbor Islands.
Additionally, a tournament for winter flounder in Boston Harbor for five years going reports about
500 fish being caught in the tournament, a little more than average despite the cooler weather
during the tournament. Several tournament participants reported no one having trouble landing
their 8 fish limit in short time.
While overfishing brought about the stock decline of winter flounder in the 1980s, the commercial
fishery was hardly alone in taking large amounts. This graph below demonstrates that recreational
and commercial landings were roughly 50/50 during that period, with recreational landings even
surpassing commercial landings in several years.
The state waters
groundfish fleet is
drastically different
than it was in the
1980s. In addition to
far fewer participants,
trawls are no longer a
prominent commercial
gear type in state
waters. Gillnets are the
most active gear type
in our commercial
groundfish fishery; and
as previously indicated
seasonal closed areas
and trip limits prevent
excessive commercial
harvest ? by all gear types.
Evidence indicates that environmental conditions, rather than fishing, may be a larger driver of
resource recovery in inshore areas. There have been major changes over the last few decades in
the discharge of sewage in Boston Harbor including the cessation of sludge dumping (1991), the
addition of secondary treatment (1997), and the piping of effluent to outside the harbor (2000). As
a result, organic loadings to the harbor decreased >90% during the period 1992-2000.1 The large
decrease in organic material within the bottom sediments has resulted in significant changes in the
benthic infauna community. While some of the observed changes such as greater species diversity
are considered indicators of the increasing health of the benthic community, another trend has
been a lowered overall abundance of benthic infauna over the last decade2, resulting from lower
productivity associated with decreased organic input and nutrients (in the form of sewage).
While Boston Harbor appears to be a healthier system for winter flounder to reside in, as
evidenced by greatly decreased prevalence of skin ulcers and liver disease3, their prey base has
been lowered significantly compared to historic values as a majority of winter flounder?s diet is
composed of benthic infauna such as amphipods and polychaetes.4,5 This likely means that Boston
Harbor can no longer support the level of winter flounder abundance seen in 1960-1990.
Further, there is evidence from our agency?s inshore research trawl survey (1978-2012), that
winter flounder are moving deeper as a species, likely in response to increasing water
temperatures in shallow areas and coastal embayments. This long term survey demonstrates
decreased catch rates in recent years in the nearshore, shallowest areas, and increased abundance
in deeper waters further offshore. This will impact the availability of winter flounder to anglers
fishing close to shore and in embayments such as Boston Harbor. The weight of the evidence
therefore indicates that winter flounder, owing to reduced food availability and water temperature
increases, will unlikely reach the level of abundance in Boston Harbor experienced in prior
decades even when stock levels are considered healthy.
In closing, there is no cause for alarm and the Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory
Commission will not be discussing this issue at its June meeting. Moving forward under
controlled, moderate rates of commercial and recreational fishing should not negatively affect
future winter flounder abundance levels. Please don?t hesitate to contact your state?s marine
fisheries agency with any questions about stock assessment or management information.
Happy Fishing!
Paul Diodati, Director
1 Diaz, R. J., D. C. Rhoads, J. A. Blake. R. K. Kropp, and K. E. Keay. 2008. Long-term trends of benthic habitats related to reduction in
wastewater discharge in Boston Harbor. Estuaries and Coasts 31:1184-1197.
2 Pembroke, A. E., R. J. Diaz, and E. C. Nestler. 2012. Harbor benthic monitoring report: 2011 results. Massachusetts Water Resources
Authority, Report No. 2012-14.
3 Moore, M. J., E. C. Nestler, and A. E. Pembroke. 2012. Flounder monitoring report: 2012 results. Massachusetts Water Resources Authority,
Report No. 2012-12.
4 Armstrong, M. P. 1995. A comparative study of the ecology of smooth flounder, Pleuronectes putnami, and winter flounder, Pleuronectes
americanus, from Great Bay Estuary, New Hampshire. Ph. D. dissertation, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH.
5 Carlson, J. K., T. A. Randall, and M. E. Mroczka. 1997. Feeding habits of winter flounder (Pleuronectes americanus) in a habitat exposed to
anthropogenic disturbance. J. Northw. Atl. Fish. Sci. 21:65-73.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

LittleSister1 wrote:
I had a meeting with Paul Diodati on July 26th and he admitted that the flounder population in Boaton Harbor got hit hard by draggers over the past several months!
His contention was that it was not the state boats that did the damage though but rather the federal boats. His proposed solution is that he said he will push to make federal boats comply with state regulations (500/day winter flounder) when they want to fish in state waters. Currently they have virtually no daily limit other than the limitations of their share..........JC

 

MakoMike: 

He's lying, all boats have to abide by state regs while in state waters. He's probably just trying to get you off his back.

Edited by jason colby

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17 hours ago, jason colby said:

LittleSister1 wrote:
I had a meeting with Paul Diodati on July 26th and he admitted that the flounder population in Boaton Harbor got hit hard by draggers over the past several months!
His contention was that it was not the state boats that did the damage though but rather the federal boats. His proposed solution is that he said he will push to make federal boats comply with state regulations (500/day winter flounder) when they want to fish in state waters. Currently they have virtually no daily limit other than the limitations of their share..........JC

 

MakoMike: 

He's lying, all boats have to abide by state regs while in state waters. He's probably just trying to get you off his back.

What don't you agree with?

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Spicy!

 

MakoMike, do you see any remorse for these actions from committee members yet? After all, the consequences of these prior decisions are very evident now. Is the realization hitting yet, or is it going to become another finger-pointing blame game?

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