Saltwater fishing licenses for MA [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Saltwater fishing licenses for MA


juro
01-18-2004, 08:24 PM
While making my donation to stripers forever at the Marlboro show, I was told there are approx 7000 commercial licenses in MA with only a small fraction reporting the sale of more than 10 stripers, can't remember the exact number but it was something in the order of 1500.

Therefore one has to assume that the ability to compensate (i.e."buy out") MA commercial fishermen adequately for 1500 significant commercial licenses, and to pay for better programs to monitor, enforce, educate and research the welfare of our striped friends exists within the potential revenues from a saltwater license program.

In other words, if we all paid a little there might be enough to make stripers a gamefish. I guess we don't really have any clue because we don't have a license program so we don't really know how many people are fishing. We would have a much better idea if we did have such a program. Reading the mortality numbers for the state one would have to assume it's a gigantic number of people.

If the intent of making stripers a gamefish is to look after the welfare of the species, then the missing element is the management of the fishery across the full range of states that make up the stripers habitat. It ain't gonna do any good to have a gamefish in Massachusetts that is a food fish in other states across the region.

If you believe the mortality research they say that the MA sportsman is decimating the population at a much higher rate than commercial interests in the bay state.

This is probably going to go over like a lead balloon but based on what I can gather I would be in favor of a saltwater fishing license if it could be used for:

1) Establishment of more stringent tackle restrictions, like no umbrella rigs, circle hooks only for bait, single barbless only, etc.
2) Effective enforcement of above regulations
3) Accurate gathering of saltwater fishing metrics in the state
4) Development of an interstate management program

I am a believer that the gear you use determines the rate of mortality of the species, the state does not take enforcement seriously, we could use more data about what's really going on out there and the real key to the welfare of the species is to manage them by their boundaries, not ours (states).

Slinger
01-18-2004, 09:48 PM
How naive, do you really think you would ever see one penny from a new TAX ever go back to the sportsmen? Didn`t you learn anything when your illustrious Gov. pilfered your hunting and fishing funds. I`m not gonna start bashing so let`s leave it at I am vehemently pooosed to any saltwater license.
Slinger

juro
01-19-2004, 05:53 AM
I appreciate your perspective. I included many "ifs" most important one being the conditions on how the funds would be spent.

But if your point is that that there's no way in hell these funds would be spent that way, well that's a good point indeed. It's a sad state of affairs when you can't trust your own local government.

Putting the small government is beautiful thing aside for a second, maybe the proper approach for this is to go federal. That way you have sovereignty over all states from Maine to the Carolinas and have a uniform system that is not tainted by provincial thinking.

But there is no "system" to license federally and a general tax is surely even more vaporous than local state fund management.

Organizations are important but not empowered to enforce or regulate. Of course we should support them whole-heartedly but as a means to move controlling powers, they are not themselves in control.

So Slinger, what do you suggest?

Do we have a problem that needs to be solved by making the striped bass a gamefish?

If so, how do we solve it?

josko
01-19-2004, 06:10 AM
I don't think commercials are a problem, as long as they are fishing to a fixed quota. It's be mighty nice to get away from the 2 28" fish limit, say to 1 @ 36" or a tag system for the recs, since it is they that have the greatest impact on the stock.
I'd support a saltwater licence as a means of controlling and hopefully reducing the number of recreationals in this fishery, as well as increasing funds for EPO's.

On the other hand, i don[t really see what the problem is. It's supposedly a 'fully recovered stock', there seems to be no shortage of fish, and I landed more 4+' fish last years than in any three years before.
On the other hand, fish like halibut and salters are all but gone from the area. Wouldn't it make more sense to focus on restoring thise?

JimW
01-19-2004, 06:41 AM
I think going back to the 1-36" would boost stocks. I don't think the Stripers make up much of the true commercial fisherman's catch. I'm talking people who make their livelyhood from the sea, not the guy trying to supplement his income. I truely believe that the best thing we can do is teach better catch and release. Sure fish are released but even with crushed barbs I'd have to say I killed a few last year. The recreational mortality rate is a complete unknown.
All a saltwater license would do in this state is take more money out of our pockets. We don't have enough EPO's to even cover the canal during the peak Spring run nevermind the entire coast the rest of the year.

Top down never works very well. One thing we can all do is help our fellow fisherman, (that means the spin guys too) practice better catch and release.

There is of course the possibility that the fisheries folks don't want to protect the stripers because if they were given gamefish status and no forrage was protected they would desimate the herring, SQUID, and what's left of the pogies and lobster.

Protect the food supply more importantly the environment as a whole practice sensible catch-release-take and mother nature will take care of the rest.

Just my 2 cents

FishHawk
01-19-2004, 07:09 AM
Enforcement, enforcement. That is the key to all of this and quite frankly it's not going to happen. I think that a saltwater license and the funds would it generate would go to waste. Look at what happen last year the Governor took the from the sportsman and then gave it back when told he would loose federal funds. We have been through this before. This is not an easy problem to solve. Just my .02
FishHawk:rolleyes:

timwatts
01-19-2004, 08:11 AM
It seems any such money and our efforts would be better spent by breaching dams and cleaning up our rivers and estuary's. Most all of our big rivers north of the Hudson once supported spawning runs of stripers. While today we tend to think only of Chesapeake Bay and the Hudson as striper spawning grounds, historically they spawned all the way up into Atlantic Canada. How many stripers did these big rivers produce, how many can they produce in the future? There is a tremendous untapped resource in these rivers. It's happening on the Kennebec and soon on the Penobscot as well.

We also have way to many rivers and estuary's that are little more than nutrient soup, where eel grass can't grow and dissolved oxygen levels ain't cutting it.

Slinger
01-19-2004, 09:59 AM
First off let me say that I don`t have the solution to these problems,only some thoughts gained from a lifetime of listening to the same old same old.
#1 tackle restrictions-Why is it that the first reaction from the haves is to restrict the people who need it the most from a chance to participate? The man who works for $7.00 an hour has just as much right to fish as the man who flies off regularly to exotic locations, maybe more cause if he dosen`t catch fish his family may not eat. Are we more deserving because of our chosen means than a kid who tries to snag a herring with a treble because he saw a big fish under the bridge?
#2 Enforcement -It` a joke there are not enough EPO`s to do anything. And it`s rather selectivly meeted out. TRhere seems to be a differant set of rules depending on which language you speak.
#3 Accurate measurements- For years there have been orginizations gathering info on all differant aspects of fishing and related subjects and yet when examined they come to naught because they don`t support the gathering partys agenda, numbers and info are regularly slanted to support the goals of the surveyors or are just ignored.
#4 interstate management_ probably the best hope of success for a solution but the toughest to pull off. just by a quick count I come up with 11 states that would have to agree on a plan to do anything, you would have a better shot at winning the lottery. Even when the bass were in danger of extinction they couldn`t agree on anything and just argued about the best way to make the most before they were gone.
Like I say I don`t purport to have any answers, just lots of past failures.
I do know this, last year when RI proposed a saltwater license the uproar was the loudest ever heard it the stste house. Even I called my Reps and they assured me that because of public outcry that it was a dead issue.
Right now with our sport under assault from all sides we need to support the Freedom to Fish bills that are being submitted in many states and it Congress, RI allready passed ours, rather than giving away one of our fundamental RIGHTS to the bureaucrats.
Slinger

juro
01-19-2004, 12:55 PM
I can't deny those problem descriptions but would rather hear solutions.

Except one, I disagree with the whole haves verses have-nots hoopla. It doesn't cost noticeably more to use a circle hook with bait, it doesn't cost anything at all to crimp a barb, or to replace a treble with a single on a popper.

Gear restrictions are so effective in other parts of the country and the world, and it has nothing to do with money. A coke can with a kite string is within the bounds of the regulation if the chunk of squid is on a circle hook. It doesn't imply anything about having money or not.

Will a striper take that chunk o' squid? They are a lot more fun on a fly to me, but whomever tries it better hold that coke can tight.

JimW
01-19-2004, 02:26 PM
Just for the record-

That was a pringles can I was using. Everyone in the can crowd knows pringles cans are better than coke cans (at least until they get wet) sort of a low-cost large-arbor. I wouldn't want anyone to think I was using a Coke can.

I don't have a problem with making everyone pay for a license if some good whould come out of it but I just don't trust the state.

Good thread!

artb
01-19-2004, 08:38 PM
:( If Massachusetts is anything like RI, don't go for a license. It is only an excuss to get somemore of your hard earned money. They only want to put it into a General Fund to be used where the State Officals want to use it, especially to line their pockets. Ask if they are going to use it for Wildlife enforcement, or to fixup fish ways, or anyother thing that is for the betterment of the enviorment. I think you will find that the state Legislators will not promise that, or if they do they will raid the license fund for anything they wish to do with it. Massachusetts has more crooks than RI as they have more politicians than RI.They don't pay big bucks on campaigns to get elected for nothing.

Old Saltfly
01-19-2004, 08:38 PM
We need to raise the minimum to 42 inches, make Cape Cod Canal - Catch and Release only. Form a new group Herring, Menhaden, and Mackeral Forever - there would be no problem with stripers.
old saltfly

JimW
01-20-2004, 08:28 AM
So how many SW licenses does it take to to buy a 60" Plasma TV.....

If they've got the onions to raid the homeland security fund the fish fund doesn't stand a chance.

Slinger
01-20-2004, 09:52 AM
Just a couple of more observations. Raising the mnimum, I don`t see it working. How many times have you seen people taking undersize fish allready? this would just make more scofflaws out of people who are currently adhering to the minimum size limit.
Politicians have only one intrest. MONEY, money for reelection, money in thier pockets. When it becomes more profitable for them to vote for gamefish status than it is for them to vote for the commercial intrest it will become law overnight.They have no higher moral standard, no sympathy for the resource. They have only one driving compulsion, show me the money! We don`t need another group whining about the fishing or doing research, what we need is a group of lobbyist going to pols and sticking money in thier face and buying thier votes.
Slinger

Dble Haul
01-20-2004, 10:09 AM
With all due respect, I do see raising the minimum working. It's wrong to make the assumption that this wouldn't work because of the bad element out there. For every angler out there who is always taking short fish anyway, there are plenty who due abide by the rules. With a current limit of 28", some anglers will occasionally keep some fish for the dinner table. But if it were raised to 36", I don't see a tidal wave of these ethical fisherman suddenly keeping illegal fish. In fact, there should be even more 28-35" fish released that would have been kept with the shorter length limit.

My concerns lie chiefly with those of others who have already stated that the monies generated by the license probably would be open to picking for other uses. I'm for it, but only if the money is clearly set for enforcement, habitat, etc.

JimW
01-20-2004, 10:17 AM
Yes, I agree raising the minimum will work. It has in fact worked in the past. Even if you got 70% adherence to the law the results would be dramatic, might take 4 or 5 years to see it but we'd have more knuckle busting than we do now.

Adrian
01-20-2004, 11:01 AM
....the critical coastal Atlantic States could get their collective acts together?

A coordinated DEP, operating freely across state boundaries, funded by a regional licence and given some federal teeth - .....

Am I dreaming or could something like this come about one day?

juro
01-20-2004, 01:19 PM
Raising the size limit and reducing the daily take to 1 is a good start for sure, but I still stand by gear restrictions because a large percentage of the mortality is inflicted upon undersized fish and/or fatally wounded and released fish according to the numbers listed in the recent CCA publications. In other words changing the limits does nothing to prevent by-kill.

Being more careful about the way fish are hooked takes care of survival of the undersized fish as well, not just the legality of keeping the dead ones. Again we're talking no bait bans but required circles, etc. OK - maybe there should be a hook limit on unbrella rigs of 3 hooks (one if I had my way) :mad:

In the end an empowered entity with jurisdiction across the entire range of the species is the missing piece to the puzzle. The impact of the Greenland buyout of open seas atlantic salmon fishing had dramatic impacts on several countries on both sides of the atlantic. Local laws could do nothing to protect a pelagic species from doom, but global thinking make a huge difference.

To Tim Watts point, it's easy to overlook that the production of more striper strains has been driven down since the industrial era. We have all but forgotten that the majority of the coast provided nurseries for all kinds of species, even atlantic salmon thrived in rivers like the Merrimac, Saco, Connecticut, Penobscot, etc, etc.

What I wouldn't do for the glory days of big sea run atlantics in the Merrimac again!

jimS
01-20-2004, 01:31 PM
in reviewing the previous posts and addressing what is best for the fishery, here's my take:
1. Gamefish status. The Atlantic States Marine Fishery Commission (ASMFC) could make it happen if the voice of the recs could be heard above the commercials. I plan to join, donate and get involved with Stripers Forever. Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) has done a fine job in the Gulf States, but doesn't appear to have a strong agenda in the northeast?
2. Multi-state Regulations and Enforcement. Adrian and others are right. Affected states have to have identical agendas to benefit the fishery. Again, leaning on ASMFC could make a difference.
3. Reduce/eliminate menhaden fishery. A thriving predator population doesn't exist without a food chain. Let's substitute soy beans for fish protein in cat food and the pen-raised fishery.
4. Saltwater license. A state license for all states that enjoy a striper fishery. How can regulations be enforced if there is no revenue stream? Make your state reps accountable if there is concern about the funds diverted elsewhere.
5. Federal Stamp. Interstate regulation enforcement would be supported with this type of funding. A Federal Duck Stamp for hunting migratory waterfowl has been required for years. Its intent has been to acquire and manage wetlands. In concert with Ducks Unlimited, waterfowl levels are at their highest levels in 50 years.
6. Slot limit and tags. Why do we continue to target the breeders? Stripers over 28 inches are the future. Why not a slot limit - 20-24 inches? If you want to take trophy fish, wouldn't a couple of tags a year suffice?

Simms

John Desjardins
01-20-2004, 01:52 PM
I've heard this arguing back and forth over this topic for years and one question keeps coming to mind. I've asked this question before and only received one answer so I'll ask it again. Why do you feel you have the right to fish in saltwater without a license, while none of you would think twice about fishing in freshwater without one?

JimW
01-20-2004, 03:48 PM
John, my feeling is that the freshwater fishery requires maintenance. Quite often freshwater is a put and take fishery or if it is designated catch and release you still need to maintain the stocks. I have not seen anyone stocking Plymouth harbor lately.

I feel I have the right to do whatever I want so long as it doesn't interfere with other people but life unfortuantely is not that simple.

I am all for a SW license if 100% of the funds go back into the resource.

I also think that if you single out one species it's going to have an affect on other things in that food chain. Whether you hunt them to near extinction or protect them and the population explodes it's going to have and impact.

FishHawk
01-21-2004, 06:04 AM
I think Jim hit the nail on the head. There are no hatcheries to maintain therefore why would we need a license.The only reason I see is enforcement and habitat conversation and restoration. The problem with enforcement is that Stripers for the most part are migratory fish what do you do with the EPO durning the off season lay them off? Perhaps, this might work. Its all about the money. recreational fishing pumps a lot of money into the economy , if the fish are gone everyone suffers. So its in the best interest of the States to protect a revenue source. How one accomplishes this is the big problem. Just my .02
FishHawk:smokin:

juro
01-21-2004, 09:50 AM
I was taught to ask first "what problem are we trying to solve?".

The more I think about this, the less I think we (meaning the angling community) are focused on a problem to solve. It all boils down to fish mortality. We can blame a combination of recreational, commercial, habitat loss, and regulatory mis-alignment across regions.

Of these habitat has the biggest impact, then recreational by-kill if you believe the research. The published numbers say that the recreational kill far overshadows the commercial. So what does eliminating commercial really achieve?

Habitat restoration could pump millions of additional fish into the biomass. This is a worthy goal for everyone to support.

Second appears to be reduction of recreational by-kill, which is directly a product of the weapons of choice.

Please don't go down the elitist rat hole, I am talking about the types of smart thinking that they use in salmon country in British Columbia, Washington State, etc - barbless single hooks, which allow trebles. Bait is a great way to introduce the young to the sport, but with the way stripers eat a circle hook fits the approach perfectly for both angler and fish. I can't imagine it's a good lesson to be stepping on a fish to rip out a swallowed hook. If you want to see this in action I can name spots up and down the coast where it's the norm, PI being a good example.

If we target commercial, shut down the pogie seiners and sand-eel dredgers as many mentioned - we all know what has happened to the menhaden population since the focus turned to forage fish harvest after the ground fish population plummeted.

Summary:

If the problem is mortality, it seems proper to (a) reduce recreational by-kill (b) change the catch limit to 1 and up the size (c) restore historical spawning production in other regions besides the Chesapeake and Hudson and (d) go after commercial exploitation of forage fish.

.02

John Desjardins
01-21-2004, 10:33 AM
Jim, Fishhawk I agree that no stocking of fish is going on in Massachussetts saltwater. But that is not the only item license revenue is spent on. Portions of it are also spent on enforcement and public access which are important to the angler. I'm trying to get the numbers for where license revenues are spent.

On the mortality issue my only comment is that circle hooks work. I have used them for two years when bait fishing for sunfish with kids and the number of gut hooked fish is less than 1/3 that which occurred with J hooks.

Slinger
01-21-2004, 11:39 AM
Throughout recorded history the right to fish has been upheld by the courts and the powers that be. The right of way laws state it is to maintain the publics right to fish. Government grants two kinds of freedom, one is a privilage, such as driving, it can be taken away. The other is a right and cannot be infringed unless convicted of a crime. Don`t be in to much of a hurry to give up your rights, once done it can`t be taken back. It`s all the antis need to get a wedge in. Support the right to fish bills now being considered, they may be our last and best hope!
Slinger

juro
01-21-2004, 12:04 PM
If I understand the comment correctly, moving to less fatal gear is giving up our rights. Yet I can think of no more powerful argument for the "anti's" to use against anglers than the high mortality for fish that are "released" (by-kill).

You do raise a good point though - if everyone could move toward using less fatal gear voluntarily and educated the next generation of anglers that gut-hooking sucks then we could change the situation without involving those "dirty politicians, crooked legislators, and biased biologists" ;)

timwatts
01-21-2004, 01:43 PM
Juro summarized it well.

Banning commercial striper fishing will not assure healthy bass populations in the future. Strict commercial quota's, strict rec limits and education can and have worked. It's also important when enlisting the time and effort of others that you set achievable goals. Larger size limits and strict regs are achievable goals. Solving our ongoing pollution problems and restoring historic spawning habitat are also achievable goals, making the striper a gamefish anytime soon isn't.

Here is some historical info from the Penobscot before it was dammed. The sturgeon story is a riot. Check out the size of the dead bass in the second story.

"Salmon, shad and alewives were very plenty, and in their season many people came here to catch them -- bass were also plenty, and in the fishing season, we could fill a batteau with fish at Treat's falls in a short time; we would sometimes take forty salmon in a day, and I think as many as five hundred were taken some days, in all. My father had a large seine in the eddy, just above the Bangor bridge, and we had much trouble with the sturgeon. When a large sturgeon was captured, the boys used to tie the painter of the boat to his tail and giving him eight or ten feet length of rope, let him go, and when he grew tired or lazy would poke him up with long sticks and so be carried all around the harbor

"(Signed) Jacob Holyoke. Brewer, Dec. 1860."

1825:

"For a fortnight fires were raging in the forests north of Bangon. At one time nearly the whole country from Passadumkeag to Mattanawcook, on both sides of the Penobscot and Piscataquis, was a sea of flame. The roaring of the fire was like thunder, and was heard at a distance from twelve to fifteen miles. The islands in the river were burnt over. The country between Passadumkeag and Lincoln was devastated. The towns upon the Piscataquis suffered from loss of buildings, cattle, fences, crops. The house, barn filled with hay, and store and toolhouse of Joseph McIntosh, of Maxfield, were burned and the family driven to the river for safety. Other houses and barns, and saw-mills and grist-mills, were destroyed. A lad returning from school through the woods was so badly burned that his life was despaired of; hawks and other birds were killed by the fire; and the fish in the Piscataquis River were killed by the heat. Twenty bass, weighing from twenty to forty pounds, many young salmon, shad, trout, and other small fish, were found dead in the shoal water and on the shores. The fires were running in Bangor, doing much injury in the woods, and the whole country was filled with smoke."

Lefty
01-21-2004, 02:12 PM
Close Momomoy!!! That will solve the problem. Just kidding.
Raise the limit and take. If "the problem we are trying to solve" is fish mortality, the one most likely to succeed is raising the limit. Poachers and short killers are in the minority by far. The limits and moratoriums of the 70s and 80s is what caused the stocks to rebound in the first place. It's tried and true, we should do it again. But first you need data that shows the biomass is shrinking, and it's not there...or is it?

Lefty

juro
01-21-2004, 03:00 PM
Tim -

It's deeply depressing to realize what we have lost in the rivers of the northeast. Maybe someday we can rebuild a fraction of what was lost, and that will really be something. I am inspired by the efforts of you and your brother in this regard and hope I can get more involved.

Terry -

To be 100% clear, the recent fisheries reports (posted on the CCA site) indicated that in the Bay state mortality was highest of all the atlantic states and of this kill rate the recreational angler was mostly to blame. Therefore, if you believe these numbers, we've met the enemy and it is us.

Also, Stripers Forever states that there are 7000 commercial licenses in MA of which only 1400 or so reported more than 10 fish. So is the highest mortality really the commercial guy or the careless sport angler?

A large percentage of these deaths were incidental, "C&R" deaths. Statistically speaking raising the size limits would increase the percentage of incidental kill (because the ratio of keepers would decline) making the methods that much more important in prevention of incidental kill.

I hope the logic, whether agreed or not, was presented clearly.

Juro

Slinger
01-21-2004, 08:50 PM
Got released from work early tonight and stopped for a few brews so please forgive any typos. I`ve done more typing in the last three days than in the previous year and I`m not very good at it. John asked a question as to what made me think we had a right to fish and my last comments were directed to that question. Juro, you started this thread with the sugestion that a saltwater license was a good idea. Tackle restrictions were just one of the points you used. I don`t disagree with the reasoning behind that but it in no way makes a saltwater license senseable. If you want to talk about circle hooks, fine. If you want to talk about a license,fine. If you want to talk about enforcement, thats OK too. But please one at a time. If you want to talk about a license let`s do it but don`t make me out to be a bad guy when what I said was a saltwater license was a sham.
Slinger

juro
01-22-2004, 12:04 AM
Slinger, et. al. -

Since these threads are very hard to follow when they get long, let me clarify and try to bring things up to the minute.

My intent never was and never will be to say anything of a personal nature toward you. These are matters that raise our spirits because we care. I would ask you to take my words no more personally than I take yours.

I did indeed start this thread saying it wouldn't be the most evil thing in the world to have funds to make things happen (i.e. a license), which I still believe. People have different levels of faith in government, which I accept.

But as things progressed with respect for comments like yours the license issue itself became less important than the actual "problem we are trying to solve" and the discussion focused on available solutions.

I agree, the license was just a means to an end. Thru the course of the discussion, moving beyond it's humble beginnings, it became clear to me that mortality is the problem we need to solve.

MA recreational "release mortality" is cited to be the highest cause of striper mortality. I am not concerned with how a legally kept fish was caught, it gets eaten. But what does bother me is how a fish that is released is treated since the estimates put out by MA department of Marine Fisheries (page 7) http://cca-ma.org/Amendment6/a6.htm estimate that over twice the legal harvest is killed by poor release methods.

Per box.4 page 7
RECREATIONAL
HARVEST 138,190 fish = 1,843,824 lb, avg wt 13.3
RELEASE MORTALITY 366,343 = 2,026,172, avg wt 5.5

Where if I am not mistaken 90% of the harvest in MA was recreational.

So it doesn't seem to be about licenses, or poaching, gamefish or commercial - I say once more, if you believe the numbers we have met the enemy and it is the angler.

And so as the thread progressed... it became increasingly evident that it's not about rights, money, or politics - it's about less dead fish.

Using more advanced fishing techniques to reduce this ridiculous level of release mortality seems the least we could do in the bay state.

I hope this helps bring the readers up to date on the debate.

.02

artb
01-22-2004, 05:54 AM
I agree that a saltwater license, if the moneys were used for The Saltwater Fishery, but I repeat it won't happen. You may have to pay for a saltwater license, but the moneys will not go to the fishery. The government is only looking for a way to increase the coffers of the state. I think that most fishers would agree to a license, if it is going to the fishery, and how does the state prove that it is?

juro
01-22-2004, 07:31 AM
Hi Art -

Great to hear from you!

Actually, despite the subject line the discussion has gone beyond licenses and is trying to focus on the real point - fish mortality.

Licenses are just a means to an end, the question is "what is that end, and how do we get there?".

Will you or Art Jr. be at Somerset?

artb
01-22-2004, 09:43 AM
Hi Juro,
I don't know anything about Somerset, fill me in.

My point is Juro, that nothing other than private donations are going to improve the fisheries.
Personally I don't know anything about mortality in fishing. I can truthfully say I have never seen a bass,bluefish, or false albacore go bellyup on my release. I fish the same areas most of the time and have to say that even going back to the same areas I don't see any dead fish. Maybe it is because of the scavangers that ply the area. Believe me when I say I would be the first to pay for a saltwater license if it was going to fish management.
Years ago New Hampshire had a program of raising, and releasing Coho Salmon in several areas in NH, like the Lamprey River. It was a good program with good results until the state cut back on the stocking program to such a point where it became none returned. Massachusetts was the same way in the North River. I read somewhere where they are going to try raising stripers for market, if that happens you can forget striper fishing just like what has happened in Maine with the salmon farms where the fish escape and contaminate the wild stockcausing a big decline. The biggest thing that can happen is an increase in law enforcement to make sure people are releasing undersize fish. In RI some of those that put out the nets have paid some hefty fines for catching and selling undersize fish. This is one of the main ways to provide a viable fishery, it is there but stop the people who are misusing it.

Lefty
01-22-2004, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by juro
......
MA recreational "release mortality" is cited to be the highest cause of striper mortality. I am not concerned with how a legally kept fish was caught, it gets eaten. But what does bother me is how a fish that is released is treated since the estimates put out by MA department of Marine Fisheries (page 7) http://cca-ma.org/Amendment6/a6.htm estimate that over twice the legal harvest is killed by poor release methods.



Thanks for the data Juro. My response is to reinvigorate the grass roots campaign.

Sportstman Posters Here (http://home.earthlink.net/~bobmarye/ccaweb/bassalert.htm)

The date is wrong and you need to change the one to two fish. Juro can I upload the updated version of this to the forum somewhere? We need to get these out to target areas like PI and the Canal.

Lefty