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bruce 04-23-2000 07:31 PM

ASMFC - Public Input Needed
Amendment 6 to Interstate Fishery Management Plan

In May, the ASMFC will accept public comment for the reauthorization of the coast wide Striper Management Plan. Items for consideration are broken down into 7 issues that will affect the future of this fishery. Please take the time to know the issues and respond in writing, fax and email to :
Robert Beal - Fishery management Plan Coordinator
1444 Eye Street NW, 6th floor
Washington, DC 2005
Phone (202) 289-6400
Fax (202) 289-6061
The issues are listed as but not limited to:

1. What are the appropriate management objectives for Amendment 6 ?
2. Should the management program differentiate between coastal areas and producer areas with dual size limit standards ?
3. What is the fair and equitable allocation of the striped bass resource between jurisdictions and between user groups ?
4. What are the appropriate targets and reference points for the striped bass fishery ?
5. Should the current planning horizon for striped bass be changed ?
6. Should the EEZ be opened to Atlantic striped Bass fishing ?
7. What other issues should the Commission address through Amendment 6 ?
a. Hook and release mortality
b. Improve commercial discard estimates
c. Predator / Prey relationships
d. Treatment of Albermarle-Roanoke stock
e. Quality fisheries
f. Any other policy, management, scientific issues

Please post your takes on these issues, both pro and con, here so we all may understand the varied positions we individually have.



juro 04-25-2000 12:43 AM

Bruce -

Thanks for your post. Do you have a URL that points to detailed descriptions of Amendment #6?

I have a number of questions before I can understand a number of these issues, for instance what is EEZ? Is commercial discard the return of dead species or undersize live species or both? I hope reading the specific descriptions will answer these questions for me.

I believe Pete MacNeil is involved with a predator / prey study but based on salmon predation by species like striped bass. I assume this would be focused on bluefish and perhaps tuna predation on stripers?

C&R mortality is a discussion many of us have had often. IMHO it boils down to the practices of the angler, not the technique. Obviously there are bait fishermen who do less damage than some fly fishermen, and vice-versa. A corner of the jaw circle hook does less damage than a clouser impaled in the roof of a schoolies mouth, but then you get all those guys throwing small chunk baits from jetties and gut-hooking schoolies all day long. Not to sound too proud, but I wish everyone fished like you and I do!

Should we set up a form letter to send once we have our thoughts together?


timwatts 04-25-2000 05:24 AM

RE:ASMFC is the place to go you can download the document there or call and they will send it tou you. The eez is what they call the federal waters beyond state jurisdiction I think it's 3 miles offshore. I believe discards are short fish returned but assumed to be alive at the time of release. In my veiw what the fishery lacks now and will continue to as long we have the current limits is trophy fish 50 plus pounds. In order to have big fish you must release big fish. There are so many people fishing with such sophisticated gear and instant information on were to fish that very few fish are allowed to reach trophy size. If you look at other fisheries that have trophy fish like Tarpon and the big canadian Lake trout fisheries they all have one thing in common they release big fish and they get trophy fish in return. We here in Mass take the largest amount of big fish therefore we can have a direct impact on the management and future of them. What would be nice is a limit like one fish between 34" and 42" anything over 42" would be released by both rec and comm fisherman in fact it would be nice to see a maximum of 42" or something around there along the whole striper coast. This way if a striper managed to run the gauntlet past 42" they would be put out to pasture so to speak to grow old fat and happy. This in turn would make me very happy to know I would have a resonable shot at catching a 50 or 60 pound striper on a fly when I am old and fat.

bruce 04-25-2000 08:43 PM

The EEz is the Exclusive Economic Zone. 3-12 miles out) Basically federal waters and since Striper fishery is state run, harvesting bass there is off limits. Closed in 89 I believe, but never reopened.
Predator prey I believe is regarding forage fish and the relationship to striper biomass.
In asking for the amendment 6 PID make sure you ask for the new updated 4-11-00 one NOT the draft version that came out a couple of months ago. I have a copy. If you cant get one email me and I'll copy it to you somehow. Maybe Sean's scanner ?
What is IMHO ? I've seen it but dont know what it is .
How do you feel about threads on these Ammendment 6 Issues here ? They are all somewhat connected to each other, but to go into them and the related responses might need a thread for each. Your site so its your call.



Tim I like YOUR slot limit ! It will save fish, unlike the ones that continue to allow two plus.

juro 04-26-2000 08:12 AM

Bruce -

Spreading the threads is a great idea, and makes it much easier to understand and discuss the topics. Feel free to make threads as you see fit and I will download the document and make threads (or participate) accordingly. Thanks for bringing these topics to the table, I think it's a great way for us to really understand what's going on and get involved.

Look forward to fishing with you thi season,

jeffg 04-26-2000 01:25 PM

Just for the record, the EEZ goes out 200 miles, as it was originally adopted to prevent foreign boats from fishing out places like Georges Bank back in the 70's when the Magnuson Act was passed.

Since bass are mostly an inshore fish, they are regulated primarily at the state level through the ASMFC and its member groups.

Openin gup the EEZ is just such a bad idea I don't even know where to begin. The last thing we need is to expand the fishery because no matter how you define the regs or quotas, the lack of enforcement will mean that the more legal areas there arre to harvest bass, the more bass will be harvested, especially big bass. I could go on and on, but I won't.

This document is seeking input on a TON of data. I printed it out and have been reading it on the train ride home from work, and thinking about it just gives me a headache. In many ways it is great to see they are considering a comprehensive re-tooling of the management plan, complete with a more global ecosystem approach among all the states and including predator/prey relationships etc....the down side being there is greater room to f*&% the whole thing up as well.

Splitting this up for discussion is a good idea. It's pretty hard to come up with equitablereasonable allocations of a resource among user groups--clearly what we want is not what VA will want, and then there is the whole comm/rec. thing.

I feel very strongly about the EEZ issue, as well as getting the entire coast down to a one fish per person per day. Nothing burns me more than reading The Fisherman, and seeing people hoisting up two 20 lb. dead fish. Who needs two fish that big???

bruce 04-26-2000 04:07 PM

I will agree that there is potential to muck up a fishery here in this Ammendment 6. We should pay real close attention to what is science and fact as opposed to finger pointing and rumour. I am troubled with any language in the documents that is based on an economic assesment as opposed to a stock status assesment.
I am wary of any slot limit that allows 2 (or more) fish to be taken. I am wary of the fact that ASMFC appears to be concerned about the negative impacts to the "valuable recreational fishery" when addressing increasing the size limits. I feel that as an advisory commision, they should be recommending what is good for the stock and not what is good for the economics of the industry. I feel that rec hooking mortality is not getting the attention it deserves. I feel that increased recreational effort has not been curtailed or even measured effectively. I believe that commercial discards are underreported and underestimated. I also believe that the commercial man has been held to a hard TAC unfairly, as the recreational harvests have multiplied considerably.
I will open a thread on an individual issue, separate from this general discussion as we all have much to type about.


juro 04-29-2000 08:07 AM

I just downloaded two documents of interest (amendment 6, plus 1999 status) on this topic. Thanks Bruce for bringing this to our attention and thanks Tim for the link!

As we are about to indulge in another season of striper fishing here in the bay state, I think we should all take some time to read and react to the what's going on along the atlantic seaboard striper fishery to Bruce's point. The deadline is right around the corner!

ASFMC is Florida to Maine, the most promising perspective if you ask me (inter-region). Take a look at page 13 of the Public Information Document for Amendment 6, mortality from recreational discard.

No wonder Bruce is making a big point out of this! How do others feel about making a point to Beal per bait with circle hooks only, single plug hooks, etc - in the Bay state?

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