Opinion poll: Are Striper Stocks down? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Opinion poll: Are Striper Stocks down?

10-25-2008, 10:25 AM
After the strangest year in recent memory, what do you think?

(just your anecdotal opinion, of course no one really knows at this point)

10-25-2008, 12:14 PM
I'm concerned.:eek: Fished the Bayside and what worries me is there was a lack of small fish. It could be a couple of things such as the salinity of the water or Global Warming. Yes, I said Global Warming. It sad that this serious subject has taken on a political tone. Perhaps with a new change at the top things will improve .
Often times there was a lack of bait and then there were times when there was plenty of bait but no fish. Just one shore fly guys observations. FishHawk

10-25-2008, 02:19 PM
To me (and I hope it is right for all of us)....I heard that an RI marine biologist felt that the fish went way off shore due to salinity issues caused by heavy string rains and thus estruaries dumping in our favorite areas. I know that shouldn't affect stripers as they can live in fresh water...but it does effect what they eat.
I observed this season a significant change in bait patterns....I may have missed it, but I never saw squid in the early spring (i heard that squiders had to go 1 to 2 miles offshore to get them).....there was a general absense of bait and on the few occassions that there was bait, i really don't feel that the bass ventured 2 miles to get them......my last trip to Monomoy in early July, there were very few crabs to be seen.............clammers had troble finding clams ( how the heck far can a clam go???)....bunker never materialized.

Any boat fishermen (fisher-persons) I met said that the had banner yr for both size and #'s 2 miles off shore. One guy told me that he spends the first hour netting bait and that for the first yr in 20, he consistently caught up to 5 varieties of bait in each netting...he said that usually it is a single species. "My sonar consitsently lit up with huge schools of bait"

So.....my tentative feeling is that the bass were off shore where all the bait went and stayed there throughout the season.

Wednesday was a banner day in RI (of course I wenrt friday).........reports were that the bait was thousands of anchovies which i believe (may be wrong) are more of an open water bait)....as soon as the silversides returned (the day i went), fishing was spotty for schoolies and the high #'s of bass, including very large ones were gone again.

If not asalinity issue, then the only other thing that i can think of is that for whatever reason, the ocean currents changed. If bass were dwindling, why did the boats fishermen have banner years?

Sorry for the length of this post.


10-26-2008, 08:31 AM
Guys - I don't think I ask for too much around here so please vote to increase the effectiveness of this survey. There are notable and concerned people who would be interested in this information behind the scenes.


10-26-2008, 09:44 AM
I voted for number 2.

10-26-2008, 09:48 AM
I heard all the reports that boat guys were doing very well off shore. As for me being shorebound I had a few good days on the Cape in the spring. I have been all but shut out this fall and late summer. There also have been reports from Canada of stripers farther North then people ever remember. They also had a greater number of small fish.
Larry aka shadfreak

10-26-2008, 10:04 AM
I don't have an opinion, gut feel or what have you on the question and answers as posed. If forced to vote I'd go with anwser 2. Based on what I've seen I believe we have had a few weak breeding (or survivial) years in succesion. I do hold firmly to the opinions that the seal population is up and the southway closing really sucked.

10-26-2008, 11:01 AM
I can't make the distinction between different fish and fewer fish based on my experience. It splits the vote if you do not believe it is the same or better. My gut says the answer is 1 and 2, we have fewer fish and they are "different" fish. I voted for number 1.

10-26-2008, 11:27 AM
Can't really comment as I do not fish for them very often.

However this year (2008) has been the least successful year for me that I can remember. :frown: :frown: :frown:

10-26-2008, 11:32 AM
I took number 1 because many of my spring time spots had the bait but not the fish that normally inhabit the area(shorebound). I think with the weak recruitment of the Chesapeake stock we didn't see as many of these fish up north beccause they didn't have to migrate for food because of the lower population density. The fish that went north are the fish that stay around all winter- they like cooler water. The ones that migrated in were from the Hudson and were smaller then usual. Of course without the pogies like we've had in the passed few years the stripers were feeding on the anchovies which move faster when they are migrating and they tend not to attract the blues like the p'nutz do.
The population density theory stems fromthe fact that in the BAy the fish stayed on the western side with few on the eastern side even though at times the bait was on the eastern side as well. I also noticed a lack of smaller fish even during times when they should've been in abundance like during the worm swarms and shrimp hatches. It doesn't help if legally you can remove the breeding females from the biomass like they have been doing. Its about time for a change in the way things are done-ie., a slot limit to keep as many females breeding as possible to build up the numbers. Just my $.02 rel1

10-26-2008, 12:18 PM
I also believe #1 AND #2. I picked #1 since there may be some level of influence that can be brought to it.

10-26-2008, 03:02 PM
I voted for #1. Can you tell us who these people are? FishHawk

10-26-2008, 04:43 PM

for the reasons given before - a lot of schoolies on the S shore and bayside, and better fish in the 20"+ on the bayside all season long ....

most bait this year out of the four i've been here too. ;)


10-26-2008, 04:47 PM
I like others am mixed between 1 and 2. There were certainly a fair number of bass in Narragansett bay this spring/summer feasting on the pogies. The biomass at Montauk right now is also huge but the fish seem more concentrated in certain locations than in years past which is why I voted 1. I certainly see no good reason not to go back to one fish at 36" or a slot limit with a few trophy tags.

I'm also curious who the inquiring minds are. Just don't see how a few fly fisherman's annecdotal catch summaries add up to anything useful for fisheries management.


10-27-2008, 07:45 AM
I pick #2 for allot of the reasons already mentioned. It was my worst season fishing strictly from shore.

10-27-2008, 08:57 AM
I went with #2 and noticed the angler biomass failed to acted differently as well. Lots of reports from anglers complaining about no fish but continuing to fish the same areas over and over expecting success...

The p bunker missing was a strange thing this year but here in RI all of our inshore born species(anchovy,mullet, silversides) had good numbers. Bunker are born offshore so a lot of things could go wrong out there or maybe they stayed offshore as well. We will find out in the next couple years when adult classes start coming back...or dont. I am sure bass would eat other things but that is a lot of biomass to replace and not sure if inshore baitfish alone could support continued large bass populations without the menhaden.


10-27-2008, 11:54 AM
In terms of fish to cast to, the worst season in 15 years for me.


10-27-2008, 12:37 PM
Limited sampling and rushing judgment can lead to misleading conclusions. Having said that, I opted for #1. My sampling was limited to about three months of almost daily fishing, bouncing around the cape. It was the worst year of catching in the past 10. Deliberating on the season, I admit, I probably spent too much time in traditional spots that have changed for the worse over the past couple of years.

10-27-2008, 02:34 PM
Jim....I you have "limited sampling" then compared to most of us, we have no sample at all :)

10-27-2008, 02:38 PM
I voted 2.

My evidence is only anecdotal but there were a lot of reports of big bass offshore this year. Bait migrations have been wierd. Encouraging numbers of river herring early season. Mackeral in fishes bellies when they should have been a long way offshore. Big schools of adult menhaden but few peanuts this fall. And to Sean's point, I know of one quite well known area where regulars will tell you it has been one of the best years for big bass in a long time, although fish have been difficult to "pattern" compared to previous years.

10-27-2008, 05:43 PM
I pounded the No. Shore this year and never saw anything like it. Extremely slow. Many guys caught legal fish however by live lining and sluggos from yaks etc.
But without a doubt the sublegals were way down. I also notice a 3 year downward trend in general. But this year was an exponential drop.


10-27-2008, 06:25 PM
I voted for two as well, due to my experiences catching big bass off shore & my friends reports as well.

10-27-2008, 07:11 PM
I agree that there were a lot of big bass taken offshore this year both targeted and as by catch when targeting tuna. I think those fish were always there and there are just more guys fishing that way with the popularity of jigging for tuna on the rise. Especially with the soft plastics and other methods that seem very striper friendly to me. Yes there were some shifts in behavior that some adjusted to better than others but not sure how anyone can say the number and quality of fish are anywhere near the levels you experienced or in my case have read about before the crash.


10-27-2008, 07:55 PM
I vote #1
Hasn't been just this season. Signs have been showing for a few years now. Disproportionate numbers of larger fish and heavy concentrations of fish around the adult bunker have masked the big picture.
-Striper numbers in Maine has been dropping for at least five years. Last year was bad. This year guys were pulling their boats. Guides aren't getting work or are turning away clients knowing they can't produce.
-Countless well known reliable spots fishless.
-Vast schools of prime bait going unmolested.
-All the forums full of sob stories about terrible fishing.

A few of us that have been at this for multiple decades have been quietly discussing it among ourselves for a few years now. Last season I spoke out on the subject here and at RT. A few guys agreed but lots of guys ridiculed the concept. Now, a year later, just the existence of this poll/thread shows the progression of the situation. Still alot of people don't want to believe it but a heck of a lot more admit it this year than they did last year.
There are some big fish around and in select places at select times blitzes are still happening. If that makes you feel secure, you should read Daignault's account of the last few years before the crash. In certain select places, at certain select times, some lucky fishermen had the best striper fishing of their lives. It was all over within two years.
Sean Mcdermott is absolutely correct. The stripers have always been 2 miles off shore. No one was targeting them and those out there fishing were not using the "striper friendly" methods that have become popular in only the last few years. If not for SBFT, those offshore stripers would still be unknown to most people.
Water temps and salinity have not drifted significantly outside of the normal season to season variations. It feels good to attribute the current situation to some small variable that will correct itself next year. To me, it's starting to sound like whistling past the cemetery.
Hopefully I'm wrong. I'll check back at the end of next season and see how everybody did. I'd be very happy to eat some crow on this particular topic.

10-28-2008, 05:44 AM
Derby fishing slumped in 2008
Based on anecdotal information, many fishermen concluded that fishing in the 2008 Derby was poor, compared to previous years. Division of Marine fisheries biologist and long-time Derby committee member Gregory Skomal provided the following assessment.

Overall, fishing was poor in 2008. While bluefish were readily available, bonito, false albacore, and striped bass were hard to find and their landings plummeted relative to 2007. A fraction of this decline can be attributed to a 10 percent drop in participation (2,724 versus 3,042 anglers in 2007).

This was the first time since 2002 that the number of Derby anglers has dropped below 3,000 and 2008 had the lowest level of participation since 1997 (2,544 anglers). However, this drop in Derby registrants does not account for the large proportional (34-47 percent) declines in 2008. The available data reveals the following:


2 percent increase in landings (1,438) despite a 10 percent drop in participation.

Highest landings since 2003 (1,505).

26 percent caught by shore fishermen, average for last 22 years.

The 7.7-pound average weight is the same as last year and higher than 2004-2006.

Landed consistently through Derby.

Atlantic bonito

34 percent decline in landings (285) compared to 2007 (433).

The landings were still above average (263) for the period 1995-2007.

Only five (2 percent) fish were caught from shore. That is the lowest proportion in 22 years of data collection.

6.1-pound average weight, higher than last year (5.4), but lower than the 22-year average (6.4)

50 percent were caught in last 10 days of the Derby.

False albacore

67 percent decline in landings (168) compared to 2007 (509) but higher than 2006 (107).

Landings were well below the 22-year average (312).

36 percent caught from shore, which is below the 22-year average (46 percent).

The 8.3-pound average weight was the lowest since 2002 (7.6 lb).

73 percent caught in the first 10 days of the Derby.

Striped bass

47 percent decline in landings (392) compared to 2007 (795).

It was the lowest landings since full re-introduction in 1997.

Well below 1997-2007 average landings of 705 fish.

58 percent caught from shore. That is the highest in time series (1993-2007) and well above average (39 percent).

The 19.3 lb average weight is lower than 2007 (20.5) and the lowest since 2003 (19.0).

65 percent were landed in September.
From Stripers on line. FishHawk

10-28-2008, 08:33 AM
Hmm not saying these look good but statistics are well...statistics...depends what info you look at.

This number caught my eye:

58 percent caught from shore. That is the highest in time series (1993-2007) and well above average (39 percent).


So what was the ratio of shore to boat anglers total? Did gas prices have anything to do with what appears to be a smaller percentage of boat anglers who for the most part will catch a much larger number/size of fish over shore fisherman. Less participation plus a smaller number of boat participants could account for the lack of fish caught.


10-28-2008, 09:12 AM
I picked #1 due to the lack of small stripers. I saw a lot of fish this spring and thought it was a fair season but there were very few 20-30 fish tides of small stripers. The fall was a complete bust. Worst ever for me. Friends in Maine did not have a season at all whether from boat or from shore.

10-28-2008, 09:41 AM
I voted #1. Numbers have been declining for 6 or so years now, and it's finally reached the point where it's starting to show south of Maine.

The fish that we're hearing about offshore have always been there, there just hasn't been a fleet of rec guys out there chasing tuna to see 'em, so it seems like a new development.

Stripers are a school fish, so until we're down to the last couple of hundred fish, there will always be good fishing somewhere - if you get into a school of fish it can seem like things are great, even if it is the only school left in the ocean.

In Maine this year we had guides going out of business, canceling trips, and pounding nails all summer due to the abysmal fishing. I know of a couple of guys that're planning to head south of the Cape next year to fish for part of the season just to be able to find some fish.

I attended the ASMFC meeting in DE last week, and the managers are pointedly ignoring the problem - they even passed new mortality increases for MD and DE. One commercial lobbyist got up and argued for a 25% increase in commercial quotas.

This is insanity - we're seeing declining numbers of spawning aged fish, very poor young-of-the-year numbers, and increasing mortality, and the managers continue to allow more and more fish to die. If this doesn't sound familiar to you, go read Dick Russell's Striper Wars.


10-28-2008, 10:50 AM
Another thing to consider here as well. I wonder if in RI we see a larger number of hudson fish then you guys see on the cape and definitely up in maine. I wonder how hudson fish are doing compared to Chesapeke stocks.

I am not a blitz fisherman and fish pretty much only at night. Fish numbers were for the most part consistent across the whole state all season for me. There was a lull in august but there usually is until the mullet show up. Lack of blitzing fish to me is not an indicator to me of anything.

Also I do not want it to seem like I do no think there is not a problem here. I have lived through the salmon/steelhead declines/extintions in washington and the fishery managers are making the same mistakes. Only in this case I think the fisherman rather than commercials share equal if not more blame for striper stock declines. We take too many fish up and down the coast, plain and simple. There will be a crash at some point if some tighter regulation does not happen, across all states, soon.


10-28-2008, 11:22 AM
Pertinant info at this link, lifted from another site...


10-28-2008, 12:39 PM

I saw that this morning. The scariest thing about it is that the managers use a constant in all their models to represent natural mortality (M=0.15). It seems to me that mycobacteriosis could be causing M to actually be larger than that, which could mean that there are less fish out there than the models say there are (which dovetails nicely with what everyone's seeing on the water)

10-28-2008, 02:42 PM
I voted #1, not so much because of my own experience on the water, but because of what I've read (and NOT read) on the various forums. I haven't been striper fishing enough this year to make a judgment, but I've seen a lot more posts about a lack of fish, and not as many reports of good fishing. Of course, the decline in the number of reports is also due to a multitude of reasons that have nothing to do with the state of the fishery, so perhaps my vote is not particularly meaningful.


10-28-2008, 03:22 PM
I voted #1 strictly based on my own experience fishing from shore (and admittedly for limited number of days). However, I did catch the largest striper I have yet to catch on a fly- the 39 incher I caught up in Wellfleet Harbor during the Spring Clave. Not big by the standards of some of the regulars around here, but it sure gave me one hell of a battle:D I also was one of very few people who I saw catch a fish at all the one day I fished the mouth of the Merrimack on the northern end of Plum Island during the Labor Day weekend- shoulder to shoulder with the bait chunkers- I could smell their frustration.

10-28-2008, 03:53 PM
i voted for #1 as well. however i have seen a phenomonon in the haba which i've not seen much of before, and can't help but wonder if the bass have seen it to and are therefor staying well off shore.....SEALS! yes, they've always been around but this year i've seen them more often and in larger heards than i can remember.

10-28-2008, 04:52 PM
SEALS! yes, they've always been around but this year i've seen them more often and in larger heards than i can remember.

Guess it's time I saltwater-proofed my .44 Magnum and went into the blubber business:smokin:

10-29-2008, 07:45 AM
Over 500 people viewed the thread, less than 10% voted. Does that mean the voter's views reflect the general opinions of those who didn't?

(please vote if you view - thanks!)

Dble Haul
10-29-2008, 11:58 AM
Over 500 people viewed the thread, less than 10% voted.

Or 50 people have viewed the thread 10 times each to read updates on the poll...

I voted a few days ago for number 2, but that's only because I couldn't vote for numbers 2 and 1.

10-29-2008, 02:24 PM
Just a clarification-- According to the ASMFC science, stocks are down. Both overall biomass and spawning stock biomass (age 8+ fish) have been in decline since at least 2002-2003, and overall biomass peaked in '97.

The question should be whether or not the decline is more serious than the scientists believe, and whether or not the decline is what's causing the awful (Sorry, I'm from Maine - it really is awful up here) fishing.


10-29-2008, 06:22 PM
. . . overall biomass peaked in '97. . . .

Hmm . . . does anyone recall which years it was that the MA daily limit and minimum size changed from one fish >36" to one fish > 34" to two fish > 28"? Not sure what the other NE states had for daily limits and minimum sizes, but I think that many of them went to two fish > 28 at around the same time.

I know that when I used to chunk for stripers in the CC canal the minimum size was 36" and I caught LOTS of 30-34" fish.


10-30-2008, 06:02 AM
Or 50 people have viewed the thread 10 times each to read updates on the poll...

Dble Haul raises a possibility, but this is not very likely since over 50 individuals come in the flesh to the Spring Clave (from multiple countries) to fish for stripers.

IMHO sportsman's indifference is as much the enemy as anything else; conversely our concern is always instrumental in the cure.

10-30-2008, 10:37 AM
I think the population is down and here is one possible contributing factor -- they really need to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and all tributaries that flow into it.



10-30-2008, 10:38 AM
think there is a real reason to believe that there has been a bio mass change of location also. Boaters all seem to be singing about the numbers and quality caught but seemed as though the commercial fishermen had a real problem filling the quota. I know I have seen very few sustained blitzes between Poppy Bay and Waquoit Bay. Fair numbers of 20" - 24" fish but few and far between for larger fish. Baitfish were almost exclusively "silversides". I personally saw very few squid on the shore line this year and do not remember running into anyone fishing them from the shore. Definitely differant than past years and the powers to make changes need to do some hard looking at slot limits and numbers retained. Make it illegal to fish artificial lures with barbed hooks and require circle hooks for bait fishing. I am sure that others continue to check on how vote is going so the "hits" verses votes is not true indication of interest or lack thereof. IMHO.

11-04-2008, 10:26 AM
One of the best fall seasons ever, according to one of my buds. Fishing the outside of the flats/sandbars on the bayside, he indicated that there were large schools present, and feeding on silversides and big sand eels. During slack low tide, he said the fish were daisy chaining, similar to tarpon, and were tight-lipped. When the tide changed, they became aggressive.

They were fishing from kayaks, and a new model that gave them the ability to standup and sight fish. The model has aft wings that can be opened to provide stability when standing up. It even has a leaning post.

11-04-2008, 10:50 AM
Jim, My Yak has side pontoons that allow you to stand up...it's called the Tri-Balance....great for that but very long and it's hard to do tight turns in a current...but would be ok for those bayside flats. I did not use it this year but will net. I have had it for about 5 years now.

11-04-2008, 11:20 AM
I voted for #1 but I think it some combination of 1 and 2

There's been a couple years with a low recruitment class, and for what ever reason, the fish chose not to remain in-shore

I had a great days this season and have no room to complain

11-06-2008, 08:13 AM
For what its worth, I voted for # 1. Living up in NH, I only get to the saltwater 20 times a year. However, I have done far better in the past. The late 90's were fantastic. Over the last few years my catch has declined precipitously. This year, other than 1 34", the rest were under 28".

Working on the premise that the striper population is in decline, what, if anything, should be done to restore the striper population? Should the northeastern states, like Maine, use the slot? Should there be a moratorium on the commercial catch? There is interesting article on Stripers Forever website accusing the commercial guys for depleting the striper population. My guess it is more complicated than that. Or even more severe, should we return to a total moratorium like the one from 20 years ago. I'm sure there must be more ideas circulatiing. I am not married to any of these proposals, but I thought it would be worth discussing.


11-06-2008, 08:35 AM
There is interesting article on Stripers Forever website accusing the commercial guys for depleting the striper population.

This is a red herring. Banning the commercial catch AND not transferring the quota to the recreational sector would certainly help the stocks, resulting in a roughly 25% drop in dead stripers in the first year, but blaming the current situation on commercial fishing for stripers just doesn't pass the smell test.

I don't think the stripers are bad enough off right now to require anything so drastic as a moratorium, but we could be headed that way if the Maryland Young of the Year numbers continue to be bad and we keep killing fish at the current unsustainable rate. It's true that fishing pressure is largely unrelated to spawning success with as many fish as are out there, but if the spawn continues to be bad it's going to have a dramatic effect on the fishing 3-4 years down the road, regardless of what we do on the harvest end of things.

I think a good first step would be to go back to 1 fish a day, and stop this nonsense that's been going on down south where special seasons and regulations have been springing up like mushrooms after a hard rain.

11-06-2008, 07:28 PM
Historically there have been boom and bust cycles to the striper population in the Northeast. In the late 1800's there was a great abundance of stripers in New England but they disappeared at the turn of the century and didn't return until the late 1930's. This was a repeat of the cycles that were witnessed during the earlier 1800's. Bluefish disappeared from the central/northern New England coast in the late 1800's and didn't reappear until the 1970's. I remember people catching bluefish along the southern Maine coast during the mid '70's and not knowing what they were!! We can blame everything from pollution to global warming but boom and bust cycles have been with us forever.

Who knows what the next ten years will bring. All we know is that things are not static. Things change for reasons beyond our control. There may be a man-made reason for a decline or MAYBE NOT.


11-08-2008, 06:31 AM
Ok I'll throw this out there, it's the seals. This survey is based on personal observations and not on scientific facts because to my knowledge no one responding is a marine biologist. This being said the seals could have a lot to do with the problem on South Beach. I saw this observation on Reel-Time and it makes sense.
However, the Bayside was off and there weren't many seals over there.
So, I still don't know who is interested in our results but these are just observations by rec. fishermen and not based on science. FishHawk

11-08-2008, 06:52 AM
#2 for me. More pogies than normal in NH and big fish on them. Fewer peanuts and fewer schoolies in the fall run. In mid-summer lots of bait in the Pis and plenty of schoolies.

01-09-2009, 11:12 AM
Good post over on RT this morning by Eric L, who I always thought brings some clear thinking to these discussions. I took the liberty of lifting it and pasting here.

I have to say that IMHO this whole argument about gamefish status and rec versus comm mortality is a total red herring when it comes to the future of the coastal striped bass fishery.

1) ASMFC is going to set the rules and quotas will be allocated to each member state. How each state wants to fill their quota is for them to choose. I can practically guarantee you that MD, VA and NC are not going to agree to gamefish status. They will each continue with a commercial fishery regardless of what the other states decide to do.

2) Personally, I think it is selfish for anglers to want to completely ban comm harvest of striped bass. This is a public resource that is supposed to be managed for the benefit of the public. What is the benefit of a rec only fishery to the non-fishing public who would like to eat some wild striped bass once in awhile? Don't equate wild stripers to the farmed hybrids -- they are not the same.

3) Mark my words: overfishing is not going to cause the next great collapse of the Northeast striper fishery, habitat degredation will. Despite all the hype about cleaning up Chesapeake Bay water quality, usable habitat and ,possibly, forage availability for juvenile striped bass are declining. Vast areas of the Bay are now "deadzones" for much of the summer with insufficient dissolved oxygen to support fish life, including many deepwater areas that were refugia for juvenile striped bass in the not so distant past. These fish are stressed. Mycobacteriosis, a fish tuberculosis, is now a major problem and has been linked to increased mortality of striped bass in Chesapeake Bay. If I were a director of a striped bass advocacy group THIS is what would really concern me, not comm fishing. Once recruitment stops it really doesn't matter how you divide up the remaining harvest.

01-09-2009, 12:43 PM
I don't know, but would be interested in the water quality of the other major nursery area, the Hudson River. According to Russell's book, Striper Wars, PCBs are a major concern.

Thanks for sharing.

01-10-2009, 10:37 AM
Ok I'll throw this out there, it's the seals. This survey is based on personal observations and not on scientific facts because to my knowledge no one responding is a marine biologist. This being said the seals could have a lot to do with the problem on South Beach. I saw this observation on Reel-Time and it makes sense. ......

But before we started killing whales and seals and everything else we could, the seals weren't able to reduce the striper population like it is now. There used to be millions of seals and millions more stripers. Seals are a miniscule part of the problem. Man, and what we have done to screw up the environment is a much bigger contributor to the problem -- we just don't want to accept fault. Did you read the article in the post by Woodtac? Between the pollution in the Chesapeake Bay and the dead zone there, it has to be affecting the main hatchery for stripers, menhaden and a lot more.

01-10-2009, 11:27 AM
I agree with Gunner in the general sense of habitat and food-chain degradation (chemical and mechanical). A good background read here would be "The Dorymans' Reflection" by Paul Molyneaux.

01-20-2009, 01:45 PM
I didn`t take the opinion poll as I don`t believe that I am in a position to do so however I do have interesting (I think so anyway) information to share regarding the population of Stripers that has popped up on the tip of the Gaspe peninsula.

As much as 8-10 years ago there were stories of people catching "sea bass" (few around here would have been able to identify a Striped Bass as they have been extinct in the area for some time) while mackerel fishing. I always suspected these were Stripers although I never saw one myself. About 3 years ago I began to hear about folks spotting them down in the estuary of the Malbaie river (Bill Griener`s river). This year I decided to have a look for myself and believe me I was surprised by what I saw.

In late July I stood on the CN Rail bridge spanning the entrance to the Malbaie estuary and counted what I estimate to have been in excess of 1000 Striped Bass swim by in the course of an hour. The schools varied in number from 10- 100 and although most were no more that 4-5 pounds there were some that I`m sure were over 36 inches in length. They were broken up into schools that were homogenous in size. I spoke with some guys who were fishing Trout at this location and they confirmed that this was not an abnormal occurrence.

My subsequent research determined that the Quebec gov`t has been stocking Striped Bass in the St. Lawrence river for some time. See the following: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/species/species_striped_bass_lawrence_e.asp

However, given that the stocking began in 2002 it seems impossible that these large bass (36 inches +) can be part of that population. I have to speculate that these fish originate from further south, and that given the number I witnessed in one short foray, probably exist in a pretty significant number.

I look forward to your thoughts on this.

01-20-2009, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the post. It would be wonderful to see another spawning population, as a result of the degradation occurring in the Chesepeake.

03-19-2009, 09:00 AM
FYI, see reeltime thread "interesting quote" In particular, see RJ's comments on the Hudson River. Positive stuff.

06-04-2009, 10:55 AM
Ok. We have the month of May under our belt. How does that compare to last year on the Cape? I have a good friend from the greater New Haven, Ct. area that's wondering what has happened. He sees things way down over last year and he fishes a lot. Goes back to Fish Hawk's question about a lack of dinks from last year. We are not seeing the numbers we saw last year in May as a club down here in Southern New England. I think the weather may be keeping the reports at bay as there are not as many people out in boats due to so many windy days not to mention the rain. How are the Cape guys fairing compared to last year?


06-04-2009, 12:06 PM
I'd say, with limited time on the water, on the bayside beachfront it's starting out like last year. Lots of nice migrants mid May and fewer fish than "normal" in the rotation at the end of the month. This month the fish should be spread out up and down the shore. The only down time should be after a sharp front goes through. We shall see.

Must say I have caught a few large bait sized stripers though.

06-04-2009, 04:15 PM
We have been doing well in Rhody and in the last week I have caught more dinks than I did all of last year. The upper bay is full of large fish on pogies like last year. Also have caught more big fish on the fly than any May since I started striper fishing. Even doing well in S. County which is usually slowing up this time of year as fish migrate through and run up the bay to get on the pogies.

I am still concerned overall with angler retention rates and the state of the chesapeake but this year so far has brought me some hope. Or maybe I am just getting better at finding fish....

Was also good to see all those small fish at the canal spey day.


06-04-2009, 07:23 PM
Last week on the bayside, small stripers (12-16 inches) were predominant. I was elated to see that size. Last year they seemed to be absent. Let's hope more recent year class fish become more common for the future.

06-06-2009, 12:44 PM
Was also good to see all those small fish at the canal spey day.


yup, and the south shore harbors are stuffed with them as they were last year...

My feeling is that the bigger fish are arriving later and when they do arrive they do in big waves - a lot like the fall.

its very hit and miss, but when you do hit it, you hit it big - like the Fishhawk yesterday.

06-09-2009, 08:29 AM
I am very encouraged by the return of the smaller fish. I have also gotten much better reports this year from my Maine contacts than I did the previous two years. Last year I didn't catch a single striper in Maine.

I am curious to see what impact this will have on the various conservation movements.

06-09-2009, 10:29 AM
Last year I saw very few small fish, this year it's more of what I'm used to seeing, schools of 10 "- 18" fish with the occasional 7 "or 8" amongst them. They are a welcome sight, but after catching a few of them I am forced to move on.