"Stripers forever" web site [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: "Stripers forever" web site

04-23-2003, 08:05 PM
Brendan O'Brien e-mailed me and put me onto a new non-profit orgainiztion dedicated to making the striper a gamefish... I just joined and thought I would let others know.. see..www.stripersforever.com

04-24-2003, 08:29 AM
Thanks John,

I signed up too. Good cause and I agreed with everything there...

04-24-2003, 08:43 AM
For personal interests, I believe the striper should be a gamefish and not a food fish.

With 3 million striper anglers on the east coast, they state:

"The economic argument for the elimination of commercial striper fishing and the subsequent expansion of recreational angling is ironclad. In 1993 a study by Southwick and Associates revealed that the economic value of the recreational fishery at that time was more than 500% that of the commercial fishery, and recreational participation since 1993 has grown enormously."

What does game fish status really mean?

Does it mean no one will be able to commercially fish for them?

Is that determined by state jurisdiction or federal?

In my gut I love the idea. I would love to understand exactly what the ramifications are before I respond to my strong emotional reaction to the intiative...

Has anyone already thought this thing through and can offer me some enlightenment in this respect?

04-24-2003, 09:02 AM

I briefly read through it this morning and although the mission statement is a bit strongly worded, the message is one I agree with.

No commercial fishing for striped bass in the Northeast.

They go into the economic benefits of the recreational fishery vs. commercial fishery, benefits to aquaculture, etc. Some of the numbers seem a bit funky but the message is solid.

From what I can tell this is a state-level initiative encouraging members to contact local gov't.

It will be interesting to see how they interact with CCA and other groups.

Just wish they would do away with the glory photos of a dead fish on someone's lawn for the homepage! Would like to see more of a C&R mindset.

04-24-2003, 10:45 AM
I find it amazing that, under "frequently Asked Questions" on their site, the top one is not" What is the definition of Gamefish Status" and I strongly suggest that most of the members don't know either. I have been one to join many different movements, however, in my old age, I'm starting to look before I leap. I feel my time is much too valuble to myself, my family and to my fishing to jump into cold water. (besides, I can't afford the Shrinkage factor):devil:
I like the single mindedness approach of SF and think it is much more effective, one of my concerns with groups such as CCA and RFA is that having too much on the plate leaves you wondering what to eat first! Game fish Status appears to be a "cut the commercials out all together and let the recs have it all". I believe the commercial fishery should continue as should the charter bussiness. I think the management practices must be more conservative with regard to the future and that managing for Maximum sustainable yeild is a mistake. This can only be changed at the ASMFC level, it is not an individual state issue. As I have said before, we are living on the edge when it come to the management of the striper fishery and until major changes take place you will not see any of these groups making any headway.
Just my .02

04-24-2003, 01:15 PM
Yes..I think these are all valid and important points... I also wonder how this will interact with the CCA's etc....but I signed on for that very reason...To find out More..... not because I understand... but because I don't necessarily understand all they are intending to do... what better way to figure it out than by joining.. that was my thinking..

04-24-2003, 01:52 PM
I am interested in what size / creel limits Stripers Forever recommends for the recreational anglers after Gamefish status is achieved. Any ideas ?

04-24-2003, 02:05 PM
It's pretty clear on the site that the chartering business is not being considered "commercial fishing" because they are selling fishing, not fish. I agree with that and not just because I am involved in a seasonal guiding activity - kill quotas don't affect what I do. I'd wager that total C&R would be fine for my clientele.

On the commercial side, netting has historically been an indisriminate killing method targeting breeding fish in Chesapeake and Hudson waters. I have not seen gillnets in MA since the North River in the experimental coho salmon days (late seventies, early 80's). Forgive my ignorance but can I assume from this that netting is regulated state by state?

If there is still netting going on in the Chesapeake Bay / Hudson River area (anywhere for that matter) then I would oppose that practice. Whatever we do the impact on year classes should be managed uniformly and unilaterally across regions and interests.

Wonder what percentage of the 3 million striper anglers are commercial fishermen... if it's only a few percent of the population benefiting from half the fish, then it doesn't make sense to protect this meaningless industry. Furthermore, how many are netting? If this is a fraction of a percent, then we sure can't justify allowing major fish kills to protect this special interest group.

Maybe what we should be doing is focusing on what commercial fishing is doing to help our economy and the state of the fishery - I can't seem to figure out how it helps out in the overall picture. That being the case, I can't seem to figure out why we should keep it. Maybe SF is right...

04-24-2003, 04:51 PM
Originally posted by bcasey
I find it amazing that, under "frequently Asked Questions" on their site, the top one is not" What is the definition of Gamefish Status"


Very, very good point...

04-24-2003, 05:58 PM
I should clarify, by commercial fishing I am talking about hook and line, any method that creates the kind of by catch that gill netting, trawling, dragging or longlining does should be BLOWN OUT OF THE WATER! :hehe:
I wonder how many of those guys are gonna see this post?:rolleyes:
As for the charter boats, we all think of the charter business as Capt. Todd in the 18' Redfisher with 1 or 2 anglers, this I am all for, but when you go out to the rips off Marthas Vineyard or the shoals at Billingsgate and see the boats with the full 6 pack going and they keep 2 fish for each sport(the potential limit this coming season) and 2 each for the mate and captain for a 4 hour trip and then go out and do it again (same take) in the afternoon, then they should all go down with the ship!
Juro, given the numbers I keep hearing, the hook and line guys take a very small portion compared to the recs. I'll dig up the numbers and get back to you!

04-24-2003, 06:05 PM
Striblue, I'm starting this new club, it's pretty cool. We wear white robes and hoods and play with matches alot. I can't tell you what we do but, if you sign up now we will do the secret handshake and new members ceremony. THEN I'll tell you what it's all about! Deal?:devil:
Sorry John, I just could not resist, I meant this in FUN!

04-24-2003, 06:33 PM
That's Ok Case..I deserved it... but I would not just join the Klan... since I do know what they are about... but the Striper forever board... would send you up dates, according to them, once your in and they have your e-mail...Also..the board did not have much to say..as far as I could tell checking though it.... now.. Having said that .... I have a club that your ARE a member.. and You have to wear a Fez. We have no newsletters.. the best BS is all you need .:D

04-24-2003, 07:21 PM
I got that John, and I look real good in a Fez!:D

04-24-2003, 07:32 PM
Just thought of something...

Let's say the number of striper netters is a single digit percentage of the overall striper angling community of 3 million, 3% perhaps.

If we instituted a $5 per year license and managed these funds to go directly to a federally run program to wean net fishermen from their current lifestyles over a 3 year period of elimination at which time we could vote to advance the program to hook and line commercial elimination through subsidized paychecks (to not fish), or else revert to no license status upon elimination of the commercial programs.

Buy them out in other words, no harm no foul.

04-25-2003, 05:23 AM
Now let me get this straight. Commecial fishing for striped bass is only allowed by hook and line. Right? So when we are talking about netting, trawling, etc. by-catch we are talking about other segments of the commercial fishing industry. Secondly, data I recall seeing suggest that Rec take is about an order of magnitude higher than the legitimate comms. While I look at any data like this with a great deal of skepticim (figures lie and liars figure as they say) I'd say the benifit of gamefish status by itself doesn't have much impact.

04-25-2003, 05:51 AM
Fred -

Good questions:

a) I believe netting is still allowed in some states - or at least that is the indication on their site. I assume MA is hook/line only but taking a single-state approach is part of the problem not the answer. This is a good thing to find out - anyone know?

b) Rec vs. Commercial kill - I believe there were some numbers in the recent ASMFC / CCA pdf files to this effect. Worth revisiting for sure. I don't recall the comm. vs rec differences but if there were as much as you recalled it could also be interpreted as evidence of a meaningless commercial industry. I am sure it has little benefit for the economy, and once again with 3 million anglers we should be able to wean comm. anglers from such a small industry.

We'd have to have good evidence, and that's the best thing such organizations can bring to the table. If in fact a small special interest group (striped bass commercial fishermen) is gill netting brood adults in Chesapeake Bay, maybe it wouldn't hurt to make the striper a gamefish for posterity. I don't know if they are right now, it wasn't clear to me.

Besides if it could be proven that commercial netting is specifically damaging certain year-classes, then there are two options: (1) change commercial regulations accordingly or (2) shut them down. In either case, recreational regulations would also need to focus on protecting any threatened year-classes as well.

IMHO - The real cure to year-class elimination is a uniform and unilateral coast-wide policy that manages the fishery hollistically.

That being said I have no problem with paying $5 per year for a striper stamp to pay off commercial interests and improve my fishing experience, which is primarily C&R with less than a single fish per year average over 20 years.

On a political note, I am no tree-hugger by any means but I am also sure the ultra-right "leave the poor comm fisherman alone" activists will pop up any time now. If we do something like angler-funded subsidies in millions of dollars to pay these guys not to fish then such cries of manifest destiny may be quieted. I don't believe the hype, in the end commercial == money.


04-25-2003, 06:42 AM
Fred, You may recall the data I distributed at one of the CCA meetings showing the rec vs. comm take in Mass (comm is hook and line only in Mass) and how the #'s were so incredibly unbalanced. At that time I stated that if there #'s were off by 50% we,meaning the rec's, were the major contributor to the problems facing Striped Bass.
Juro, now for my "ultra-right" approach! Why do we continue to look for a splinter to pull when the patient is having a heart attack? And why not look for a solution that allows everyone to continue fishing in whatever fashion they chose? It's OK to have your own way of fishing and/or taking but Democracy allows us all to have differing views and still coincide. It's my firm belief that this fishery CAN be managed for continued growth, we will all have to pay a price but in the end we ALL win. Again, I am speaking of the Mass fishery but the managegment has got to come from the coastwide agency responsible for the future of the resource. ASMFC. The Ma- DMF can only follow along the mandates set by the ASMFC.
Getting off my horse now, on the RIGHT side:whoa:

04-25-2003, 06:55 AM
I don't disagree, you make a valid point. As I originally said, if the problem is year class genocide (and I am not sure that it is the problem being solved but if it were) then:

IMHO - The real cure to year-class elimination is a uniform and unilateral coast-wide policy that manages the fishery hollistically.

That would apply to all fishermen, regardless of method.

I was throwing that little rhetoric in because often in history the welfare of resources suffers because humans tend to claim God-given rights to do what they want as if by "manifest destiny". This fine line between rights in a democracy and rationalized exploitation waivers throughout our history with most of the momentum in favor of exploitation by another name.

I am all for the rights of a free people, I think that using a $5 license for what we now pay nothing to use is a fair way to compensate those commercial interests willing to give up their cherished way of life and pay for some traps and rakes, maybe a charter boat.

With 3 million of us on the rec side, you'd think a few bucks would go a long way toward getting the desired result, regardless of the right vs. wrong of it.


04-25-2003, 07:08 AM
I fear the exploitation from the Rec sector in the coming years, considering the last ten years, will be tremendous if not buffered. I know you and I agree and TAKE a similar qty of bass. However we are the minority. Additionally, the mortality rates from OUR side, even with C&R suck! IF you believe the #'s going around!
I tend to look at my self before others, maybe a little too much, but that's me.

04-25-2003, 08:10 AM
Good point - the majority has the biggest impact, and we are the minority by a huge margin.

As far as C&R, the "how" dramatically affects the results of that statistic. At the risk of being called a FF bigot, there have been many studies that indicate the survival of fish is a direct function of how the fish is hooked and handled. This is true of all species, not just stripers. An area where we could improve C&R survival is stronger regulations on how we are allowed to fish. That won't go over too well with the free democracy I am sure, but it's a bald-faced truth that bait on a sand spike causes more swallowed hooks, period. Should we do something to improve survivability or preserve the angler's right to choose? It wouldn't be the first time fishing regulations have been used to improve fish welfare, and it's invariably worked in the past. But now we are infringing on freedom again.

What do you think about an annual creel limit of say 15 fish per year? In order to do this we'd have to have a license / catch record and more officers to patrol boat launches and parking areas. Also, a stiff punishment making it really unattractive to cheat. I'll bet that the average family can't eat more than 1.25 10-15 pound bass in a month (15 per year) without the kids running away from home anyway.

I am all for rec regulations! Catch limit per annum - I'll fish for zero kill gladly. License? I am already amazed it's free, no problem.

Maybe the Forum could take the initiative on the rec side of this battle... :whoa: :hehe:

04-25-2003, 10:12 AM
I'm all for managing the resource, and your ideas lend themselves to just that, I think it's unfair to exclude any one faction. The licensing issue would be a tough one, but your right again besides, if that's what it takes to MANAGE it then I have no problem with that either and would gladly cough it up. How can something this much fun be free? It most likely can't and be regulated the way I would like to see it done. The trick here is to get the funds dedicated 100% to the issue at hand.
I would like to see an organization with SF's singlemindedness approach the fishing public (all factions) for the sole purpose of changing the methods of management to further the well being of the fish, not just the fisherman I also need to better understand the current management stratagies to understand what plans they have for the future. Paul Diodati's letter of comments re; Amendment 6 dated Oct 24, 2002 states that the current thinking is F=40 is the breakdown of the fishery and that he is supporting F= 30 (I think). Therefor, does this difference provide for the continued upbuilding of the stocks? I think I need to better understand what these #'s mean before I stick my foot in my mouth but I still feel a more consevative approach is needed. I also wonder about other things like pollution, forage fish, what happens around the spawning grounds ie; netting...
there's so much that can affect what we end up with, It's mind boggeling!
Additionally, what do you think would happen if we were a hugh success, and the stripers came ALL THE WAY BACK AND MORE? Think about it, the price per pound goes down hurting the comm's, you can catch a 40" fish on every cast with a hand line from the jetty of your favorite public beach so the charter guy's are sittin at the dock with nothing to do and we are all so bored we start a BOWLING CLUB. The tackle shops are remodled into Jiffy Lubes.
One can only dream!:hehe:
I am serious about what would happen to the comm's under this scheme, and who might just be pushing the 2 fish rec limit? Well, there goes my bipartism!:eyecrazy:

04-25-2003, 11:05 AM
Just read that Canada has banned all Cod fishing in it's jurisdiction... totally.

04-25-2003, 12:52 PM
This is an outstanding discussion. Thank you all for your insights.

I understand the importance of legislation and management, but what effect does it have when it is not enforced? Do we rely on the true sportsman's adherence to the rules to outweigh the damage done by a handful of poachers?

Not to digress, but when is the last time one of you was stopped by a game warden? Hopefully more recently than I have...

04-27-2003, 09:09 AM
Bigdave, Like I said, there are so many angles that come into play, and enforcement is certainly one of them. I have been checked by both an EPO as well as the Coast Guard, although I'm not sure what jurisdiction the CG has in this regard, they looked for fish in the box, for which I had none, during a routine safety inspection. I came away clean and it was nice to see them checking!
Giving the latest round of budget cuts, enforcement will undoubtedly become less evident, but I like to think that most will follow the rules and regs. So I'm an idealist as well :rolleyes:
I do believe in the public notifying the proper authorities when we see blatant disregard for the regulations, after all, if we follow the rules and live by them, why should'nt everyone! I have been assured that when notified the EPO's will respond, and they appreciate the help!
I consider it our obligation!

04-28-2003, 08:22 AM
Well, I didn't have to look far for the catch totals I was talking about. On FFSW "Powers" wrote, and I Quote;
Re; an article on Stripers Forever, "The article purports that the Ma. commercial bass fishery dosen't exist, yet NMFS says that in 2001 815,000 pounds of striped bass were sold for a total of 1.8 million."

Powers goes on to quote the executive summary from the DMF, these are the same #'s I distributed at the CCA meeting on the Cape a year ago, only up a year!

"During 2001 the commercial fishery for striped bass in Massachusetts harvested about 40,248 fish weighing 815,054 pounds. Total losses due to commercial fishing (including release mortality) were 52,131 weighing 933,410 pounds. The recreational fishery harvested about 288,032 striped bass weighing over 3.6 million pounds. Total losses due to recreational fishing (including release mortality) were 720,904 fish weighing 6.8 milliom pounds... The majority of losses, 93% by number and 88% by weight, was attributed to the recreational fishery."

Now, you can't believe everything you read, but if these #'s are only half right, the ones we need to be concerned with are OURSELVES!:eyecrazy:

04-30-2003, 09:04 AM
Bumping back up to the top, I want to make sure some of you guys see the kind of #'s that our illustrious management team is using!
Any reaction to these? Do they sound like FUDGE or reality? Let's hear it!

04-30-2003, 09:48 AM
These are concerning numbers. How do we find out details on how these were calculated?

As a cross-reference, I wonder how many striper anglers there are in MA, and what their average retention / mortality rate is.

I've calculated that I personally represent three hundred-thousands of the listed kill (.00003) in MA if my one fish per year was multiplied by ten to account for possible accidental mortality (which I doubt). That leaves a lot of room for my fellow MA anglers to retain fish. Are people really killing that many?

Is there any information on the mortality of various fishing methods? Circle hook regulations for bait would make sense. Single hook for lures seems sensible. Single fly at a time makes sense.

Better education for release technique per last year's poster helps.

I would gladly pay $10 for a 3-day, $20 for a season for the privilege of chasing stripers. This would also provide important data on who fishes, how many people do, and from where, age group, etc. It will create more jobs by paying for real enforcement.

We need better info on how many stripers people kill and a catch record system will do that. The enforcement we pay for with our license fees will ensure that catch records are followed as well as curb poaching. It will create jobs.


04-30-2003, 10:58 AM
To me the numbers suggest that in New England we have a defacto gamefish status that includes the hook and line comms. Coast wide gamefish status seems to be a long shot politically.

The numbers, such as they are, also suggest a huge potential benifit from grass roots efforts like Lefty's poster. I bet (remember I'm an eternal optimist) 9 out of 10 new striper hunters walking out of Wal-Mart with a surf setup would be delighted with a bit of education on catch and release best practices in the form of a pamphlet. It also seems that all of these websites should have a highly visible link to such information.