Disturbing sight - Fly Fishing Forum
Stripers and Coastal Gamefish Stripers, Blues, Inshore tuna!

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Old 08-11-2008, 12:21 PM
polareyez polareyez is offline
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Disturbing sight

Last week I was on the Cape and happened to be near a place that bought fish. I saw a truck with 4 people in it and they unloaded 9 stripers to be sold. The smallest was in the mid-30s and at least 2 were easily over 40 inches. Not 10 minutes later someone else drove up and unloaded 6 stripers in the same size range. At first I didn't think too much about it but, then it struck me that these fish would all be breeders. That's what bothered me, that these mature fish were caught and sold just for the money. That's 15 breeders sold off in a 10 minute span. Who knows how many more that day, how many for the week....I know that some states still allow gill netting and they kill more but.....

Is it just me or does anyone else see something wrong with this?
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:34 PM
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I think I'm more disturbed by the low number of fish dropped off.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:26 PM
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Garry- as sad as that is, it's legal until commercial fishing for stripers/commercial selling of stripers caught by recreational anglers is made illegal by changes to the current regulations/laws and/or the introduction of slot limits to mandate release of the larger breeder fish.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:55 PM
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Unfortunately banning commercial fishing for stripers will do little to help how many fish are harvested. There is a lot of debate about the effectiveness of slot fish as well. One of the major issues is that the ASMFC manages striped bass under a method called maximum sustainable yield (MSY). Basically what it means is that they don't care who takes the stripers and will allow as many to be taken so long as the striper population simply remains above a ceretain level. Many argue that the level is simply too low. According to the ASMFC the current populations are just fine, however, recreational anglers up north in Maine, as I'm sure we've all heard, believe the stripers are crashing again. At the heart of the issue in my opinion is that recreational anglers really don't have a voice at the table and since the ASMFC is a federal dept under the Department of Commerce, states have little say in the matter leaving us with very few if any options to impact how the fishery is managed.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FredA
I think I'm more disturbed by the low number of fish dropped off.

There have been low commercial numbers this year, but it seems that things are starting to pickup to your west slightly offshore. Get ready for big mama this weekend, Fred. The only thing that disturbed my commercial friends this year is that even with the low numbers on some days they were only paying $3 per lb.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:21 PM
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and recreational fisherman keep something like 3/4 of all breeder size fish caught and killed. it aint only a commercial problem, they have much less impact on the resource than us recs do.

We need to give as well and in this case much more. Fishing has been steady all season in RI but I have a bad feeling that things are going downhill...

-sean
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Old 08-11-2008, 08:11 PM
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Sean is correct. I get a queasy feeling every time I think about this year versus years past. I know its a big ocean, but this year the quantity is not there on the cape. Quality is definitely there, but the days of schoolies in abundance in my areas are not there. Year class stripers 2002 & 2006 were below average and portend some lean times in the future. It is beyond me why we continue to have a daily limit of 2 >28 inches.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:40 PM
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In June I fished with a fly guide that took me to the Handerchief Schoals in Nantucket Sound. Approx 15 fish in the 35" range - all brought in fast and released. Guide told me that in commercial season - I think for two weeks - the commercial fishermen will take about 3000 fish. That has to make a dent in the stock.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:34 AM
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I agree with Sean the recs take a lot of large fish and the commerical guys take the rap for the declining fishery. I too am concerned that the smaller fish are not present in the numbers we're used to. I think the fishery is in trouble.
So, in my opinion the solution is the habitat and forage fish populations that must be healthy for the fishery to survive.
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Old 08-12-2008, 07:43 AM
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This has happenned before.. around 15, maybe 20 years ago, I can not remember exactly, atleast around the Cape.... You cound not find a striper on the south side...the night fishermen off Nauset would do well, but I don't think in large numbers... I remember the talk amoung the fishermen. All you would catch were blue fish, which was fine too, but I do remember while the kids were little and I would stake some rods off Hardings and catch blues and would cast flies to them too. I remember catching a schoolie striper and had to give it a second look to be sure I was seeing what I was seeing. The only striper I caught that year amoung countless blues.Then things, year by year, began to pick up. I hope we are not in a cycle of downs and corrections.
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Old 08-12-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishHawk
I agree with Sean the recs take a lot of large fish and the commerical guys take the rap for the declining fishery. I too am concerned that the smaller fish are not present in the numbers we're used to. I think the fishery is in trouble.
So, in my opinion the solution is the habitat and forage fish populations that must be healthy for the fishery to survive.
FishHawk
I think the Commercials take the rap because they are a much smaller percentage of the overall fishing population but have a strong voice on the ASMFC. The current MSY levels may simply be too low to benefit recreational fishermen who enjoy using artificial lures and flies. A compromise would probably benefit all interested parties.

One other thing to note is that recreational fishermen aren't very organized and therefore have no voice.
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Old 08-12-2008, 05:42 PM
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Unfortunately I have not fished enough this year to form an opinion. In the Spring I got out a few times and there were plenty of fish over 3' and a ton of smalls too. There are more pogies around now but the big fish are not what I'd expect given the food supply. At least the big bait is making a comeback, I think that helps the stocks of both smalls and cows. I think when the larger baits are not present the cows are more likely to prey on the micros AKA mackerel with messed up stripes.
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