Mass. comm. harvest increase? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Mass. comm. harvest increase?

07-16-2002, 11:48 PM
I just read an article on another site and the gist of the article was that Mass. is planning to increase the commercial harvest by 24%. I was wondering if anyone else had heard anything along these lines. I'd ask what the general consensus is but it would be a rhetorical question. If this is true then I fear for the bass fishing in a couple of years. Ron

07-17-2002, 10:09 AM
Don't see anything wrong with it as long as the harvest is via hook & line.

Those guys are pros and know what they're doing. Many of the guides who are top producers used to make a iving that way. Why do you think they can always find fish?

The recreational fishermen are the problem and need to be educated & overseen somehow.

07-17-2002, 11:50 AM
I don't think the tonage quota is as much of a concern as the length / age of the catch. If we continue to Cull the top egg producers it doesn't take a genius to forcast the future.

Are the commercials still limited to 34"+ fish?

07-18-2002, 12:51 AM
Massachusetts isn't the only one expanding their take of stripers. I received notice through the RFA (Recreational Fishing Alliance) in may that Commercial fisherman in Kentucky had more than exceeded their quota by 10 times what they where allocated by fishing outside the NMFS defined zone. All the additional catch is breeder stock sized according to the article.

Another interesting fact gleaned from last years Massachusetts Striped bass harvest data was the oldest of the harvested striped bass in Massachussets were typically 15-17 years old. That's roughly half the life span of 30 years old.

It sure would be something to see a school of 25+ year old bass after fattening up all summer. It's might happen if enough people were to change management focus to that as a goal VS the most fish possible for example.

Seems like no shortage of fishing pressure on the Striped bass though, wouldn't be much in favor of increasing the take till we see the big picture if that's possible.

I don't know if all the states harvest info is available via the web, But it would be interesting to see what each state along the migration path is doing. I hear Kentucky increased there take 10 fold and had exceeded a million pounds as of may of this year. :whoa:


07-18-2002, 07:26 AM
Kentucky? Are you sure?

Wouldn't those be land locked stripers then?

07-18-2002, 10:03 AM
Hi Jeff,

I new I should have pulled out that old letter and just posting that. Here is exactly what I received from the RFA on it dated May 2002...

Virginia's Ocean commercial striped bass fishery is limited to 100,000 pounds of striped bass greater than 28 inches. Within the context of the atlantic States Marine fisheries commision (ASMFC) Striped Bass management plan, the majority of the chesapeake bay catch is to be smaller, pre-migrant fish.

Currently Virginia commercial fishermen have been taking an increasing number of fish in the spring ocean fishery outside the bay. So far in 2002, Virginia Marine resources commission estimates they harvested over 1 million pounds of these coastal migratory fish. The fish in this migratory stock are larger breeders that represent the future of the striped bass fishery.

To Date, Virginia regulators have failed to take action that would halt the practices that have allowed the ocean over-harvest to occur. We have the opportunity to change this state of affairs, through ASMFC action. This issue will be on the agenda at the may meeting of the ASMFC Bass Management board meeting. This is your chance to let the ASMFC fishery managers hear your concerns regarding the issue. Please take the time to fill out the enclosed postcard and mail to the ASMFC. The postcard must be received in the ASMFC office on or before May 18th.

Thanks for your continued support.

Best regards,

Michael Doebley
Legislative Director

07-18-2002, 11:01 AM
Could this be a countermeasure to the new seasonal restrictions in the N.E.? I'm not particularly knowledgeable about this but remember something about the commercial harvesting season being curtailed dramatically last year and putting a lot of fishermen out of business by limiting the length of thier season. Not sure if this applies to in-shore, off-shore fisheries or both.

Love the commitment to the environment demonstrated by the members of the FORUM


07-18-2002, 12:11 PM
Hey Geg

But it's still good horse country ;)

Thanks for the heads up - that's some pretty frightening statistics - 10X the limit already and still counting -yikes!!!

Do the dates refer to this past May or next year ('03) ?

07-18-2002, 02:14 PM
Originally posted by Adrian
Hey Geg

But it's still good horse country ;)

Thanks for the heads up - that's some pretty frightening statistics - 10X the limit already and still counting -yikes!!!

Do the dates refer to this past May or next year ('03) ?

Hi Adrian,

It is a big increase in Virginia's harvest, I hope everyone isn't trying to get in on a quota increase now.

That was for May of this year 2002 as I understand it, curious what it will be at years end.

I think I have a good URL for some interesting fishery statistics here. Theres a Striped bass report there too.