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Is Montauk Always a Fish Graveyard?

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So I spent a day at Montauk this weekend for the first time. Weather was not conducive to fly fishing really, but it was a great place to explore no less. 
 

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to ask if it’s a regular occurrence to come across bass carcasses there? A buddy and I probably covered a combined five hundred or so yards of shoreline and saw not one but four bass carcasses or heads of bass over three feet (two were full fish, head to tail, one was a head and spine, and the other was just a head). This bummed me out, as with all of the seals that I saw, I can’t imagine finding entire fish skeletons indicates anything but those fish dying as a result of poor handling by the angler. 

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16 mins ago, liambrouillette said:

Id like to hear some opinions on this as I was there the other day and counted about 20... mostly high slot fish and some well over.

Damn, all dead like the ones I saw I assume? 
 

I wish I had taken pictures, but honestly  it just bummed me out to where it wasn’t even something I wanted memory of on my phone. 

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So many fisherman and so many fish results in some losses and some filleted racks. Of course the commercial boats kill their share.

 Haven’t seen any carcasses since Sat. on the N or S side. With many guys in the water today there were zero casualties from the daybreak blitzes.

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13 mins ago, cheech said:

So many fisherman and so many fish results in some losses and some filleted racks. Of course the commercial boats kill their share.

 Haven’t seen any carcasses since Sat. on the N or S side. With many guys in the water today there were zero casualties from the daybreak blitzes.

I saw them all yesterday on both the north and south side, more on the south, though, but I’m thinking those casualties occur after the fish has been “released.” Ya know, the ol, this things been fought poorly, then it was outta the water for five minutes getting photographed and then it just got put back in the water without much revival. Sure, the fish swam away first chance it got just like we would if someone came and chased us around and then abducted us for a little  while, but who’s to say that it didn’t croak later? 
 

The comment about gill nets also makes total sense.  

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If you find a bunch of dead striped bass in one area in Montauk it's from the gill netters - particularly at this time of the year.  Local tag holders was who are too old/ too lazy to fill their tags rely on gill netters to fill their tags for them.  

 

Charter and recreational anglers clearly have a high release mortality but generally speaking they are not throwing back dead fish.  They throw back a live fish that swims away and later dies hence dispersing the dead fish.  

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Posted (edited)

Very common. Commercial gill netting. It sucks. So there are all these regulations to protect the striped bass, yet the relentless killing by the gill netters, their catch and there bi catch, is unacceptable, but yet in today's society its fine.

Edited by Surfratiam

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I don't understand why the gill netters have bicatch built into their quota why don't they just keep all the bass they catch until there quota is full then stop? 

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15 hours ago, liambrouillette said:

I don't understand why the gill netters have bicatch built into their quota why don't they just keep all the bass they catch until there quota is full then stop? 

Originally, PCBs.  

 

When PCBs were a big issue on the Hudson River, the commercial fishery in the river and off western Long Island was closed, and the fishery off the rest of Long Island was limited to smaller fish (24-36 in.), which had lower PCB concentrations (for one year, 1984, all commercial and recreational landings of striped bass in New York was outlawed due to PCB concerns).

 

After PCB concerns abated, New York's commercial fishermen wanted to keep their slot limit; their gill nets were sized for slot-sized fish, and the slot sized fish brought a good price in the market.  However, in order to eliminate a quota penalty imposed for catching immature fish, the slot was changed to 28-38 inches (it might have initially been 28-36, with the top end soon increased to 38", but I don't think so).  Because of the lack of slot-sized bass, the commercial fishermen were not catching anywhere close to their quoita, so a couple of years ago, the slot was adjusted again, to 26-38 in., to give them access to the 2015s before they reached 28".  A small quota penalty was imposed to account for the smaller fish,

 

The current commercial slot is intended to minimize PCB contamination, provide the commercial fishery with abundant fish of a size welcomed in the market, and protect the large spawners.  There is a maximum size mesh in the gill nets that prevents most over-slot fish from being ensnared, but some will hang up by their jaw hinges, etc., and result in dead discards.

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4 hours ago, CWitek said:

Originally, PCBs.  

 

When PCBs were a big issue on the Hudson River, the commercial fishery in the river and off western Long Island was closed, and the fishery off the rest of Long Island was limited to smaller fish (24-36 in.), which had lower PCB concentrations (for one year, 1984, all commercial and recreational landings of striped bass in New York was outlawed due to PCB concerns).

 

After PCB concerns abated, New York's commercial fishermen wanted to keep their slot limit; their gill nets were sized for slot-sized fish, and the slot sized fish brought a good price in the market.  However, in order to eliminate a quota penalty imposed for catching immature fish, the slot was changed to 28-38 inches (it might have initially been 28-36, with the top end soon increased to 38", but I don't think so).  Because of the lack of slot-sized bass, the commercial fishermen were not catching anywhere close to their quoita, so a couple of years ago, the slot was adjusted again, to 26-38 in., to give them access to the 2015s before they reached 28".  A small quota penalty was imposed to account for the smaller fish,

 

The current commercial slot is intended to minimize PCB contamination, provide the commercial fishery with abundant fish of a size welcomed in the market, and protect the large spawners.  There is a maximum size mesh in the gill nets that prevents most over-slot fish from being ensnared, but some will hang up by their jaw hinges, etc., and result in dead discards.

Thank you for the explanation! 

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On 10/26/2022 at 4:41 PM, Surfratiam said:

Very common. Commercial gill netting. It sucks. So there are all these regulations to protect the striped bass, yet the relentless killing by the gill netters, their catch and there bi catch, is unacceptable, but yet in today's society its fine.

It is insane and backwards that this is allowed.  

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