View Full Version : Testimony from the MA EEZ hearing

12-15-2003, 02:19 PM
I attended the EEZ scoping hearing held in Bourne, MA on 12/9 to discuss whether or not to open the EEZ to striped bass fishing. There was a lot that I had on my mind that I wanted to say but a gentleman who spoke before me said nearly everything that I wanted to and he said it better than I ever could. His name was Dennis Picard and his testimony can be found at the link below along with the full audio of his speech.

I was so impressed with Mr. Picard's speech that when it was my turn to speak, I simply turned to Anne Lange from NMFS and told her that when her staff writes up the summaries from this meeting that all she had to do was type my name and then append everything that Mr. Picard said (except that he is a member of the RFA and I am not).

Although, I did insist that if they do decide to keep the EEZ closed that they actually should enforce the closure. I then read a quote from and an Amendment 6 hearing of a commercial fisherman bragging about how he and others fish the EEZ now and that opening it up would force him to compete with others who are currently abiding by the law. I added that if folks can speak this openly at a public hearing about breaking the law then I have to believe that the practice of commercial fishing for striped bass within the EEZ is commonplace and there is little fear of being caught.

I also asked if the following quote from Paul Diodati was true; "There are no valid scientific arguments to maintain a closure". Ms. Lange said that she wouldn't disagree with that statement but that in the process of developing the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), they would be looking into any matters that may be unique to fishing for striped bass within the EEZ. For example should it be allowed for netted bycatch stripers from the EEZ allowed to be sold? If so then they would fall under the commercial quota whereas presently they are commonly tossed overboard belly up and they are totally unaccounted for. However if bycatch striped bass were allowed then it could have a severe impact on folks who fish with rod/reel only because the commercial quota for the year would max out very fast and leave them with a very little portion of the quota. So the EIS might suggest opening the EEZ to striped bass fishing via hook and line only.

I then made it clear that if the study concluded that there really is no scientific reason to keep the EEZ closed then the current closure is simply arbitrary and it should be reopened.

Folks, there has been a lot of misinformation written on the various internet message boards by a group called Stripers Forever. In my opinion, this group is motivated not by the findings of the best available science but simply by a visceral contempt of commercial fishermen. All anglers need to keep in mind that a closed EEZ is closed to both commercial AND recreational fishermen. If anyone is sincerely intererested in learing more about the EEZ then take a look at the following link and if possible be sure to listen to the audio.

Mike Flaherty
Quincy, MA

Fly Rod
12-17-2003, 09:27 PM
Why is it so inportent to open the EEZ ? ? ? These are fish that noboby can touch. These are your breeders. May be you want that 70 pounder like it it use to be.

There was also something negative about CCA
Where is MR. SANDMAN to defend CCA it is supose to make everything better for the stripe bass fisherman. He wanted all of us to join that organisation. Am I pissing you off ? ? ?

12-21-2003, 11:03 AM
Good info Mike. Thanks for the link :)

I live on the edge (Nantucket) of the EEZ. It has an affect on my fishing decisions but I still don't get it. IMO Rec Bass fisherman should have a license (IMO it would reduce the kill) and both fisheries should continue and we should learn from last year and the impact supply and demand had on market price.

It really is a no brainer.

If only the rec fisherman would discard the primevil desire to kill and hoist above their heads the biggest, oldest, hugess fish EVER !

What the f%$k is up with that ?

Mr. Sandman
01-08-2004, 12:54 PM
Have all the meetings you want...commercial fishing for sb will end in the next 3-5 years.

Recently saw this in reg watch...

Twenty-seven years after the government stepped in to revive the groundfish stocks, there are about the same number of groundfish and a lot fewer cod. Ironically, in the end all of this haggling over fishery management may turn out to be beside the point. Of all the seafood on the planet right now, roughly a third of it - half of it by value - is created by fish farmers, not caught by fishermen. Nutreco, the world's largest supplier of farmed salmon, says that it plans to produce 3,000 tons of cod in Norway next year, and that it hopes to hit 100,000 tons by 2010. This is several times larger than New England's total catch, no matter who is managing it.

IMO comm fishing is going away for good. This is a good thing. You want to sell fish...go grow them..leave the publics supply alone!

Team Rock On
01-08-2004, 08:57 PM
The problem with fish farms is it takes 5 lbs. of fish to produce 1 pound of the desirable fish. Except if you like tilapia or catfish. Now you talk about "public" fish. What you are saying is you want to reserve all fish stocks for a small percentage of the population? That's why fringe groups like Peta and Stripers Forever always fail. The solution is regulation, and that's what the real meetings are all about.

01-08-2004, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by Team Rock On
The problem with fish farms is it takes 5 lbs. of fish to produce 1 pound of the desirable fish. Except if you like tilapia or catfish. Now you talk about "public" fish. What you are saying is you want to reserve all fish stocks for a small percentage of the population? That's why fringe groups like Peta and Stripers Forever always fail. The solution is regulation, and that's what the real meetings are all about.

The meetings are really allocation. Every group wants to control the allocation. IN the case of PETA, the want to allocate everyone out of the picture.

Vegetarian sharks :rollem:

Fly Rod
01-08-2004, 10:21 PM
Don't count on farm fishing to take the place of ocean fishing to supply the world.
Farm raised salmon may be a thing of the past in a few more years.
Fish farming in many areas has become one of the greatest threats to wild fish. Farmed fish do escape, survive,reproduce and threaten the exsistence of wild spieces
They are breeding grounds for deadly parisites and diseases that would not occur easily if fish weren't confined.
Where sea farms are kept the ocean bottom has become polluted and create oxygen depleted dead zones
Just tonite on health watch raised questions of farm raised salmon to be bad for your health. Because of the antibiotics and the type of feed fed to them has raised your chances of getting cancer ten times higher then eating wild fish.
They say that you should only eat farmed raised salmon once a month, if at all.
Maybe we will end up with "MAD SALMON DISEASE"

01-08-2004, 10:39 PM
I enjoy fishing ports, call me romantic. I'm against certain forms of commercial fishing--I use to work, back in my early twenties, on a swordfish gillnetter. I made huge money and at the time thought I was king of the world. But the bycatch in that fishery was huge...........................they banned it. That's one; another is big boats, say over 80', dragging trawl nets. I've done this too, again made good money, but the bycatch can also be huge.
I like seeing smaller trawlers and lobsterboats working the water. I wouldn't want to see these boats disappear, call it history or whatever, maybe it's in my blood.
I don't sell fish anymore and instead grow oysters. Oyster farms are great for the water because they filter out the nitrogen and we don't have to feed them. No waste. No ammonia build up; and the cages that we grow them in are home to countless juvenile finfish.
I'm way off the topic here. Just talking

Fly Rod
01-09-2004, 09:21 AM
The two herring boats that go out from our port hold 1 million pounds each. they are allowed 5% by catch that's 50,000lbs. That means that for every million pounds caught they can dump 50,000lbs of other fish

Mr. Sandman
01-09-2004, 09:40 AM
Its wintertime, I guess it is time to debate again....

Originally posted by Team Rock On
What you are saying is you want to reserve all fish stocks for a small percentage of the population? That's why fringe groups like Peta and Stripers Forever always fail. The solution is regulation, and that's what the real meetings are all about.

re: public fish. Saving them for a small percentage of the pop...NO! that is what comm fisherman want. All the fish for themselves. I want no INSHORE commercial fishing whatsoever.
Large offshore species fine. go fish. I doubt your going to raise bluefin tuna and swordfish in a holding pen.

I enjoy going to fishing towns as well. But it makes me ill when I see netters in inshore waters esp. gill netters. And offshore...the complete wipe out of cod, and forage fish, management has not done much in 27 years of management...come on!! This about greed and money. The fishing technology has gotten to the point where we can and have wipe out a species.

Ya really does not matter anymore. The ball has started rolling. They (comm fisherman) are giving up the business anyway, everyday. Few are re-entering it and those that are many are entering the aquaculture end of the business . It hardly pays anymore and few want to work at a job like that for next to nothing. You many put a "romantic" seaside image and "salt of the earth" spin on it but like it or not that industry is going away.

SB is a separate and special fish in my (and many others) book. Comm fishermen see nothing special in the bass. They freely admit this, even hear on this site.."it is just another fish". They see the bass as no more important then the scup or the bergal.
Yet there is a market for it so they fish it. Its about the $.
The history and plight of this species is such an "American" could not make up history like this. Itís not like the scup. IMO I think the striped bass is "Americas Fish" and is more fitting then the bald eagle as its national symbol. THAT is the difference between rec and comm fisherman. Itís not about "USER GROUPS" at all. I would like it left alone from comm interests...If it is such an important food source (which it is not) the bass can be (and is) grown in controlled environments leaving the wild species alone. Rec's will gladly live with catch and release if we need to keep the species strong. Maybe we should all hunt for bald eagles...hmmmmm.

I listened to that rec talk about how the fishery is BACK! Its BACK so lets us at them! Its only fair we return to our historical fishing grounds! Why? He sites boating safety as an issue. This is complete BS. I don't recall the boat congestion related fatalities as being an issue and if it is perhaps you the state should consider reducing the number of comm lic's! Do we need 5000 comm striped bass lic's...are we not getting the quota fast enough?

Frankly, I really don't care about the EEZ or any other unpoliced zone with invisible lines drawn around it or closed. I just want comm striped bass fishing to stop. For some reason comm fisherman think this desire is a personal and very greedy thing. No, I think it is the "right" thing from conservation, economic, practical, management and even moral point.

NE'ers like to grandfathered in on every damn thing. "My dad did it, his dad and his dad before...hinting therefore it is "my right" and ok for me to do it as well. Again, we got past slavery, I think we can overcome comm sb fishing.

tight lines...

Team Rock On
01-09-2004, 10:16 AM
See, this is where I think you are wrong:"re: public fish. Saving them for a small percentage of the pop...NO! that is what comm fisherman want. All the fish for themselves. I want no INSHORE commercial fishing whatsoever."

If there was no demand by the general population there would be no commercial fisherman. They are merely the ones profiting off the job of being the providers. Those in charge of regulating the allocation (you like that John?) have to look at the entire picture when making decisions, not the small population of rec. fishermen. That's why groups like Peta and Stripers Forever will always come out losers

goosefish, was that article in The National Fishermen about you? That was a very interesting article. If so, good luck!

Mr. Sandman
01-09-2004, 12:40 PM
Sure there is a demand...but:

1) most of the demand (esp bass) could be met from other aquaculture.

2) if it all about getting fish to the public....Why then do we maintain a in mass alone 5000 fisherman lic's....for a quota that is met in 3-4 weeks? Why not just have one or two netters take the fish to meet the quoata? Save on the red tape and policing of 5000 red necks who think they are comm fishermen for a month.

Like I said this is a moot point. The whole comm fishing industry is imploding on itself already. And further, the feds are going to shut this comm bass thing down in one felt, and the states will not be able to do watch.

"...not the small population of rec. fishermen." <--- No you have this wrong. rec fisherman only represents your "single largest user group" that supports a huge industry supporting millons of familys across this country, salt and freshwater. Comm fisherman on the other hand are the smallest of the user groups support few, but providing a service that is going to be replaced by a more cost effective and controlled means.

01-09-2004, 01:17 PM
5000 red necks who think they are comm fishermen for a month

I know alot guys who fish for bass commercially, they're not rednecks but they're also not wealthy, and when they have the opportunity to harvest they go for it.
It's obvious from your posts that $$ is not a concern of yours, but to others it is.

Herring are in a much more dire position than Striped bass IMHO.

Team Rock On
01-09-2004, 01:32 PM
Me thinks sandman has been listening to the Gripers Forever a little too much! You ever read the propaganda on their website?

01-09-2004, 01:50 PM
Mr Sandman I'm not bashing and I'm not boasting--I tend to keep my mouth shut, which you're probablly thinking is, exactly, the wrong thing to do: if you've got something to say. Then say it!
I openly admit that I live in contoversy: I am a sport fisherman one one side and a man with commercial interests on the other. My brother is a fish broker, and more than half the guys I hang with are commercial fisherman. These are friends of mine, and that makes it very hard for me. I enjoy reading these posts, and again I admit that I should read more into current fisheries policy, stay abreast as they say, formulate more of an opinion, become more of a voice, get active..................................but if there is one thing I do support it is the sale of fish, be it a squid, hake, cod or striped bass. How we do this is another question...................................??????? ?
More to follow.......................................
Keep writing guys, a little controversy is a good thing. Keeps the bean oiled.

That wasn't my article TRO, but I know the guy who runs that farm.

Fly Rod
01-09-2004, 10:16 PM
Mr. Sand man open your eyes. You are a rhetoric ! ! Do you ever listen to your self before you talk? Do you ever read what you write? Is there something that you wanted for Xmas and didn't see it under the tree? You must be filled with anger. Do you use vulgarity on a regular basis? Take a deeppppp breath, exhale, don't you feel better?

01-11-2004, 10:24 PM
Some food for thought.

Farmed salmon, raised in pens worldwide and a staple of the American diet, contain 10 times the level of dangerous chemicals found in wild Pacific salmon, a study concluded Thursday.

Levels of the contaminants studied -- PCBs, dioxins and two banned pesticides -- differed significantly between the farmed and wild salmon primarily because of their diets, according to the new findings, which appear in the latest issue of the journal Science.


Wild salmon eat plants, krill, shrimp, anchovies and smaller fish, and migrate thousands of miles in the ocean, away from polluted city and farm runoff [like stripers]. Farmed salmon are fed a concentrated feed high in fish oils and fish meal made from smaller fish that may contain pollutants.


"Even the cleanest of the farmed salmon shouldn't be eaten more than once or twice a month'' based on fish safety guidelines developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for PCBs, said lead author Dr. David Carpenter, a physician and expert on environmental contaminants and human health.

"We're certainly not telling people not to eat salmon. We're trying to tell people what fish are healthy to eat. Wild salmon -- both fresh, frozen and canned -- is very safe,'' he said.

01-13-2004, 10:04 PM
Regarding the EEZ, here's my take on this issue... and up front, I will admit that my knowledge of the subject is limited in comparison to those who have written already, but I fish quite a bit and feel that my opinions are valid also....

I grew up working as a mate on a charter boat on the south side of Cape Cod, fishing in the Nantucket area. We fished many of the great rips of the Nantucket shoals back in the mid to late 1980's when there were not a lot of stripers running around. If we took a keeper it was a great day, usually it was monster bluefish we pulled from these rips. But often, we fished all day and did not see another boat. We had a rip or two to ourselves and we caught plenty of fish and we threw back tons of fish. Most of our customers just wanted to bend the rods. Even then, we released lots of bass. Some of thes rips were little more than a few miles outside of the three mile limit, "federal waters". But it wasn't an issue at the time, I don't know honestly if the issue was on the books then or if it was overlooked on the enforcement end of things. Back then, as a kid, I just fished without regard to the bigger things at work!

Well, after high school, I went into the Army and when I came back home, guys I fished with around Nantucket had been bagged by the Coasties for fishing out of bounds.... Out of bounds? What's that I asked them. Fishing in federal waters they replied. Oh, really? Where are you going these days I asked? Oh you know, the same spots.....

And so things had changed I learned. Suddenly, fishing these spots in my own boat made me a law breaker, a criminal. These were the same rips that were OK to fish just a few years earlier. I continued to fish them anyways because they are great spots, but man,.... I was some f*%*#@*g nervous about being busted. But guys.... a great bass spot is a great bass spot.

So, today, I fish mostly where everyone else does, in the mess of boats, chasing birds or fishing the one good rip that is "in bounds" whatever that means!

I truly miss being able to go over the horizon to find my own spot to fish in peace and solitude without another boat in sight. There is something really special when you find a pile of fish and have it truly to yourself.

I keep a few fish a year, and yes I hold a commercial bass permit, but would it tear my sould from me if it were closed someday......?????? No, it would not.

But what I do not want and I wish we could change is the freedom to fish these fertile waters without fear of being written up. There are so many great spots to catch striped bass, thousands of them! around Nantucket and for this fisherman, I find a lot of enjoyment in discovering a new spot that I can catch fish in solitude.

So, for me, the larger issue is access. Access to the open ocean. I don't see this as an issue similar to the groundfish issue as the striped bass doesn't come to the New England waters to spawn, therefore, closure of the EEZ doesn't "protect" the future of these fish. the fish I catch at noon 4 miles east of Monomoy may be the same fish caught in the surf at Nauset Beach at sunset. I see it as strictly a penalty to fisherman....

Anyhow, that's my two cents. If I am "off base" according to some of you, so be it. I just want to fish where I want without fear of being busted.

01-13-2004, 10:51 PM
Hooper sounds vaild to me: fish where I want to fish, a great bass spot is a great bass spot, amen to this.
But I hear what you are saying; especially since your a Nantucket man, or one who fishes the great rips of Nantucket. Your out there fishing federal water most of the time.

I don't know much about the EEZ thing, and here in Rhode Island where most of the bassing is taking place within three miles (Block Island has its own three mile ring too); so there's a lot of near-shore spots.

My thin understanding of the topic is that the EEZ is going to effect the wintering stocks that are hanging in the deep water off the Jeresy shore; and more impotantly off the Carolinas--here there are large schools of wintering fish that are easily caught by the commerical boys.
For the hook and line crowd I'm not sure--your case sounds sound; but you may be put "in the same group" as the ocean fisheries that are happening down south. EEZ is federal not state, so if the plan goes into effect it will encompass the entire eastern seaboard. Help me out here guys, is this right?

If it is right then I might be against the opening of federal waters to the take of Striped Bass.
Haven't done my research on this topic, mostly skate on information that I know or heard--none really from hardcore research, or trips to the library, or phone calls to capital hill.
As you said there're guys here that are more informed than we are, but we fish and we love to fish--somehow that need to be considered........................................ .......

01-14-2004, 09:33 AM
Now, I can see thing a bit differently. I can see how it would make more sense in a southern area where breeding may be taking place...

Makes sense to me a bit more. Just frustrating in one way that a fish crosses an imaginary line on a chart in Washington and suddenly I can't fish for it, nevermind catch it.

Mr. Sandman
01-14-2004, 09:58 AM
Look, if you think I have been vulgar...I am sorry. That certainly was not the intent.

01-15-2004, 09:04 AM
If the EEZ is opened the commercial catch will still be the same. The commercials have a "hard quota" and once it is caught the fishery is shut down. FWIW a lot of the hot bass spots around the SW corner of block, including the sub bouy are in the EEZ.

01-16-2004, 08:18 AM
with Beachwalker.... in fact ,it is my ultimate goal to have a pictures of myself releasing the bigest largest hugess striped bass back into the sea.......That will be "my" trophy!
i'm not a catch and release fisherman.....
but its only LOGICAL to release huge cows and bulls that will keep the striper population healthy and productive.

01-21-2004, 07:33 PM
Here is a letter I wrote to Gripers. They did not respond. I did not care to get involved with the EEZ thing because I thought it trivial to the fact they want to put a crushing on baby fish. These dopes will ruin the fishery if we are not careful.


Dear Sir

I took notice to the conflicting positions posted on your organizations web site. The anti - conservation positions taken by your group worry me.

In reading the information put forth on, I got the impression that the leaders of this group advocate the killing of juvenile striped bass. Even more strange was the fact I noticed stripers over 28"s being referenced as "large" on your site. I am scared that the day has come where a 10lb striper is referred to by an "experienced" fishermen as large. I doubt not the veracity of your efforts to improve recreational striper fishing, what I doubt is the knowledge and experience of those that have had the greatest influence on the positions of your organization.

In the short term, by advocating the slaughter of school bass ( sub 36'' fish) , your group wishes to destroy the chance of the average angler to catch fish in the medium or large class. Over time, your groups position would lead to the destruction of an adequate breeding population. I challenge the leaders of your group that fished for bass in the late '80's - early '90s to recall the size of the fish they caught. My guess is that not many of the folks in the scoping positions of your org fished for bass back then. If they did fish, they would remember a tremendous number of fish just below the rec. size limit of 36"s. Within a couple years of the limit being dropped, they would have again noticed the "lawnmover blade effect". This "lawnmower" known as recreational striper fishing, does a remarkable job of limiting the individual size of fish in the biomass to that of a size just below the recreational size limit. I've watched how the "grass" has been cut for 25 years. Right now, there are a hundred active grass cutters for every one that fished in the '70s. I take people out daily from May 1 to Oct. 10. There are probably 100 guide licenses on the South Shore of Mass. now as opposed to 2 of us in 1989.

Your advocacy of the slaughter of juvenile fish flies in the face of striped bass conservation. Common sense says that if you kill most of the fish before they become even low level breeders, you are not going to have much of a future for the species. There simply will not be enough fish living long enough to replace the current cows. Any slot size would simply be a window of death that very few fish would escape. In contrast, allowing the majority of fish to become prime breeders before they are eligible for legal take, would go far in ensuring the long term future of both the species and the fishery we all love so much. Issues such as overpopulation and food supply are far more reasonable to deal with than another demise of these fish.

If your current beliefs were instituted today, the average Joe would be lucky to catch a 10lber during a fall run night a Nauset Beach. This negative change would occur within a short few years. I believe your organization can do great things for this species if it is based on true conservation. The inability of your organization to generate widespread enthusiasm and support is because of the poor ideas it is based upon. My hope is that your group will change it's advocacy of slaughter. I think you will be amazed at the support you receive by changing to a position that adheres to the ethic of conservation.

Best of Luck

Capt John R Bunar Jr

01-23-2004, 09:25 AM
Hooper & all,

Just catching up on this thread and I can say that you folks have done a great job pouring over this topic. Discussing the major issues and the appropriate decisions is a bit out of my league but there is a key point which I believe should be used in negotiations.
That is:

The allowance of recreational catch and release fishing for Striped Bass,etc. in the EEZ, including charters.

Hooper I live and fish Nantucket, the shoals and offshore. I routinely break the law fishing in the no fish zone (10 + last year) by catching Striped Bass and releasing them. But of course there are monster bluefish out there and they ARE A QUARRY. The blitzes out at the shoals are a sight to behold and I prayed for one to occur this year but it was nt to be. Had my camera every trip. Word was they went off 11/5ish to 11/17ish.
I fish the East beaches harder than any as they seem to hold the largest fish (bar the harbor channel).

I sit back and listen to you all discussing the situation and I don't know what I can do to help.

Keep it up. I am listening.

Disregard the by line below. It has nothing to do with any of you folks :)

01-28-2004, 01:27 AM
Here is a letter I wrote to Gripers. They did not respond.
Careful who you call a dope my friend.
Brad Burns responded on behalf of Stripers Forever to your letter (email) the day we received it (Jan 8th). Your ISP rejected our email, so we sent it again on the 9th. Rejected again. What do you expect us to do?
Here's the letter:

Captain - thank you very much for your input and interest. Let me assure you that the founders of our policies are very experienced striped bass anglers and veterans of many fishery management debates. To the man they are folks who love striped bass as you do and want a healthy population that allows a natural percentage of fish to reach ripe old ages. If it were just up to me, John, we could let every one go - I have for many years - but that approach will never fly. They mean different things to different people, and some very good folks like to eat one every now and then.

First, we are not advocating any particular set of size and or bag limit regulations. We are advocating the end of commercial fishing for striped bass for all the reasons outlined in the case and that is all. We feel that once this is accomplished and that recreational values are substituted for the current ones that are designed to accommodate the commercial fishery not the public, we will have the kind of conservation ethic and fishery that you and all on our board want. We know that the recreational community would demand a lower overall mortality level and a management plan that allowed more fish to live to really large sizes. Calling a 28 inch fish large is just common terminology today. As you probably know, this is the size at which, on average, female striped bass are thought to be sexually mature. Personally, in my 45 years as a serious striper fishery man, I have caught several hundred stripers over 45 inches and several dozen over 50 inches, so I know that 28 inches is no big deal in the grand scope of things.

As an aside, I personally do not share your fear of a slot limit - though I am willing to let the scientists wrestle with that. If we eliminated the Chesapeake Bay commercial fishery for small stripers I believe that we could easily have a single fish slot limit that would allow many more recreational anglers to keep an occasional small fish for a meal which was the historic fishery for most of the public. It is important to realize that around 20% of these fish die annually of natural causes even without fishing, and not every angler gets to fish places like Nauset Beach or Sow and Pigs Reef. The current plan is the true "lawnmower" of striped bass. First, the commercial fishery in Chesapeake Bay whacks the devil out of them between 18 and 25 inches, then, despite many still making it to 28 inches, the coastal fishery makes it very difficult for fish to make it through another season. It is now thought to be around 40% a year fishing mortality, plus natural mortality on fish over 8 years old. In two years 100 fish become about 25, and in four years 6! That is the time it takes to get from 28 to 38 inches. No wonder there are so comparatively few big ones.

John, Stripers Forever is not your philosophical enemy, it is your friend. The best thing that we could do for this fish is to remove the influence of commercial fishing on the management process and the fishery that you want would evolve. Other groups have tried to lobby the ASMFC for lower mortality, and gotten absolutely nowhere. The ASMFC pressure point states on striped bass, MD, VA, NC, NY, MA are all big commercial striper fishing advocates, and until commercial fishing for these fish is eliminated we will be whistling in the wind and waiting for the next collapse. You may not agree with everything that we are saying, but supporting gamefish is the only way we will get where we want to go. Brad Burns

01-29-2004, 08:25 PM
Hello Deputy,

I just received an email concerning some turbines in the Delaware/Chesapeake and their impact on fish.

What's up ? :(

01-29-2004, 09:04 PM
I don't know much more than the email said. The idea of a bi-directional power turbine sounds pretty cool to me. You can harness the tide going in both directions.
The fellow who sent the email to Stripers Forever lives down in Maryland where the plan is to place some of these turbines. He says the planned location is in the heart of some prime striped bass habitat and he is obviously concerned about the impact on the bass population.
We fowarded his email to members in the area just to give them a heads up on this issue. We don't have any position pro or con because we don't have many facts. Besides, SF really has only one goal: to make stripers a gamefish


ps I found this story -

Fly Rod
01-29-2004, 10:16 PM
Turbines in a river "That would be excellent" :) :) automactic chuming machines. Just what we need. Why spend an hour grinding bait when these turbines will do it for ya. Fishing should be great just below these turbines all them fishes up stream getting sucked into them machines and chomp ! chomp !
And just think if the fishing isn't good down stream wait till they use the bi directional and maybe the fishing would be better up stream.

01-29-2004, 11:46 PM

Your point is well made!

01-30-2004, 11:34 AM
Deputy Dog posted:
"...the coastal fishery makes it very difficult for fish to make it through another season. It is now thought to be around 40% a year fishing mortality..."


Two nights ago I attended a presentation on the restoration of anadromous species. There it is was mentioned that the latest data indicated that the current mortality rate for striped bass is actually at about 35%. This figure was also cited at the EEZ scoping hearing.

Please ask Mr. Burns where he has seen the accpeted F rate "around 40%" and report back to us.

Thanks In Advance,
Mike Flaherty
Quincy, MA

01-30-2004, 01:00 PM
Look at the very same NMFS charts you referred to on another forum. I can't remember the slide number, but the title is Fishing Mortality Rate - Update, and was part of the handout at all the EEZ scoping meetings. The chart referred to fish age 8-11 and shows the 2001 or 2002 F to be .39 (30%+ over target), and the current number to be .35 (16% over). The way the chart is drawn it's hard to say what number is for what year but the implication is clear enough. Fishing alone, legal and illegal, recreational and commercial, is killing too many large fish and that is before considering fish taken by non-human predators.

And no, I'm not interested in any protracted discussions with you. Been there, done that.

01-30-2004, 01:45 PM
I presume that you are refering to this chart from NMFS. Note that the last year listed is 2002 (not 2003) and it is about 35% (not 40%). Note also the next slide that explains this in more detail.

Also, at the same presentation I saw 2 days ago, we were told that we should start to see more and more larger stripers in the coming years - even if the EEZ is reopened.

I hope this information has been of some help.

Mike Flaherty
Quincy, MA


01-30-2004, 01:48 PM
This slide helps describe the above one...

01-30-2004, 01:52 PM
Also, 2003 saw another banner year for recruitment (slide not available).

Great News,

01-30-2004, 02:02 PM
Who gave the presentation you attended, Pollyana? You'll note that the first slide shows that F was above threshhold for 6 consecutive years! Where was that little bit of info a year ago?
The truth is those guys couldn't find their own a$$ with both hands.
You still have no agenda, Mike?

01-30-2004, 02:47 PM

A traget is just that, a target or a goal. Hopefully by trying to achive the target, we will stay below the "threshold" which is a much more important measure because crossing it means that we are indeed overfishing. Note that the chart indicated that we have approached the threshold but it has not been exceeded.

The cool thing is that if we do exceed it, there are very strict managment procedures in place to get stripers back on track.

See attached slide.

As for my agenda(?), my personal comments here are motivated in a sincere interest to inform and learn. Then again, that is the peril of using my full name in posts and not using an alias.

I'm sorry, did you mention what your name is or what you agenda is (if any).


Ed B
01-30-2004, 03:45 PM
I attended the EEZ meeting in Rhode Island. The presentation was given by a lady named Anne Lange, who I believe is the Chief of the State-Federal Fisheries Division of the National Marine Fisheries Service. (not some lady named "Pollyanna"). I found her extremely knowledgeable, courteous and patient with all members of the audience that were in attendance.

An advocate of Stripers Forever made a presentation where he was yelling in a condescending manner to everyone in the audience including Ms Lange and a biologist from RI DEM. He continued to embarrass himself in front of the entire group by telling everyone that the professional biologists had no idea what they were doing and that he had unique knowledge to see the real picture, since he has been fishing since he was two feet tall. He was not able to pronounce the names of the diseases which he proclaimed that the bass possess, but was convinced that the solution to all biological problems in the Chesapeake Bay was to make stripers a gamefish along the entire coast. (Funny how those who run fly-fishing guide services or sell fly tackle seem to have that as a solution. I wonder what is their real agenda?) Soon after his rant was finished he left.

After taking comments from anyone in the audience who wished to speak, Ms Lange remained over an hour after the scheduled time allotment to answer all questions from the audience in detail.


01-30-2004, 04:45 PM
flatts1 wrote
Hopefully by trying to achive the target, we will stay below the "threshold" which is a much more important measure because crossing it means that we are indeed overfishing. Note that the chart indicated that we have approached the threshold but it has not been exceeded.
My point was that, a year ago, the same fisheries managers claimed we were fishing at an F below target in every category. Now, retroactively, we're above target for 6 consecutive years and practically at the threshold for 2001. They used their previous numbers to justify Amendment 6 and the resultant 42% increase in the coastal commercial quota, to say nothing about the increases in recreational bag limits in a number of states.

Ed, I agree that Anne Lange is all you said. She knew her presentation, and she was polite and friendly and patient. I felt personally that she was in way over her head, stuttering and stammering, but very nice. She is also the person who cast the vote that resulted in the recommendation to open the EEZ. I would guess that she regrets that now, given that most of the attendees of the scoping meetings opposed opening the EEZ, and because the state of the fishery in the Chesapeake is truly disturbing. You have to have your head stuck pretty far in the sand, (or somewhere else) to not know that the mycobacteriosis outbreak is rampant, and that many fish are dying of disease and/or malnutrition before ever reaching spawning size/age.
Lots of folks are pointing the finger at the overharvest of bunker (menhaden) in the Bay area, and that may be the right place to start, but ending the commercial harvest of small fish in the producer bays to the south and the large fish from New York north is the best way to get a handle on this resource once and for all. Sounds like the guy in Rhode Island had it right (I wasn't there).
So Mike, what was this presentation a couple of days ago? Certainly not a scoping meeting as they're all done. Maybe it was Pollyanna.

My name is George Watson and I'm an alchol........whoops wrong intro! I'm one of the founders of Stripers Forever.
My agenda is my closing message.

01-30-2004, 06:29 PM
Would I cry if they made Striped Bass a gamefish? No I wouldn't . Part of this is selfish: I gave up my state license to sell, and the other part is ecological with me being part of the ecology-- I enjoy having the bass around, love the fish, and love to catch them. I would certainly stand at the bass grave and cry if it were to disapear.
However I do not think the bass will become a gamefish anytime soon, this is hardy New England not Florida, and up here things are done differently. I'm not saying your mission is impossible. I'm saying that it'll take huge effort to overcome the opposition. Especially when word like "recovered" are tossed around. You've got a much better shot when mortality exceeds recruitment. The stock then crashes. The quotas get reduced--and the market fisherman goes off and fishes on something else.

01-30-2004, 07:08 PM
Slightly off topic here..

Was there any talk of over fishing manhaden in the chesapeake?? The chesapeake is dying, the crabs are vanishing, the stripers are skinny and hardly anyone makes notice that there are less menhaden around...
If Omega protien layed off the menhaden, the bass would have food and would stop eating the crabs. Same stuf is happening in narragansett bay with smaller lobster and fluke harvests... the bass are eating them because there's too little bait in the water to support the bass colony.
but what do I know...:confused:

01-30-2004, 07:20 PM
The chesapeake has a major problem with run off and nitrogen. The nitrogen is causing giant algal blooms. When the algae dies the process consumes the oxygen in the water and causes fish and invertebrate kills.

01-30-2004, 11:46 PM
goosefish wrote
I'm saying that it'll take huge effort to overcome the opposition. Especially when word like "recovered" are tossed around. You've got a much better shot when mortality exceeds recruitment. The stock then crashes. \

We know what you're saying Goose. Folks have a nasty habit of waiting too long, and then the road back is longer and tougher.
I hope it doesn't come to that. We've got some ideas that may speed the process along (gamefish status, not the decline of the fishery). We'll keep everyone informed as things develop.

02-01-2004, 03:20 PM
George Watson wrote:
"The truth is those guys couldn't find their own a$$ with both hands."

Mr. Watson,

Herin lies my frustration with your group. You are so blinded by your "supposed one goal" of eliminating the commercial fishing of striped bass, and keeping the EEZ closed to recreational folks as well and who knows what else...

However, you are all about SPIN and not the truth. Mr. Burns is so quick to misrepresent (F=.40) the figures published at the EEZ hearing but...

1) He was wrong, as I have indicated that that the that the fugure was actually F=.35. Mr. Burns had the same information as myself (and anyone else attending the hearing). In other words, he knowingly mislead Capt. John Bunar

2) When I corrected Mr. Burns data, we were told by you, (a founding SF member) that 'OH well, NMFS has no clue anyway' (note: your real quote above used some other choice verbiage)

The bottom line here is that Stripers Forever can't have it both ways! The data has to be acceptable when it makes your case as well as when it does not. So which is it? Is the NMFS data acceptable or not?

Finally, now that I have the ear of a real live founder of Stripers Forever, please review the following graph and explain to me again why commercial fishing of striped bass is such a threat to the striped bass resource. As you know, I tried asking the same question on a flyfishing website and I was banned as a result.

Thanks in Advance,
Mike Flaherty
Quincy, MA

02-01-2004, 05:41 PM
ya boyee :)

keep it up :)

02-01-2004, 06:51 PM
I just finished a long (too long) reply to your last post, went to preview it, posted it instead, tried to get it back and managed to delete the whole bloody thing. Probably just as well.
You didn't answer my question about what meeting you attended in the last few days that gave you such a warm and fuzzy feeling about striperdom. I'm waiting.

You love to jump on something when you think it is a misstatement. NMSF said that we were fishing striped bass at levels below target and threshold. Now they say that large fish have been fished above target and close to threshold for 6 consecutive years, and, if the .35 number was truly 2002, (Anne Lange implied it was for 2003) than this past year will undoubtedly make it 7 years in a row, with the increases given to commercials and recs by Amendment 6. How about hopping on that little error?
The NMFS chart shows F of .39 for, you say, 2001. That's pretty close to 40% I'd say. Whether its for 2001 or 2002 is less important than the number itself and what it represents. The previous numbers were the ones used to justify the commercial increase under Amendment 6, as well as the increase given to recs in some states.
Our opposition to reopening the EEZ was because of our goal of eliminating commercial fishing for stripers, not allowing the effort to spread out. If we had already achieved our goal we would have been silent on the issue.

That graph is a no brainer:(maybe you need an explanation);
Superimpose onto that graph the number of recreational anglers who fish for stripers vs the number of commercial harvesters. Then tell me why the latter should get even a single fish. They're outnumbered 300 to 1. Then superimpose a chart on dollars generated by recs vs coms and, again, justify the comms getting any.
And, by the way, I will engage you only when provoked. Judging from the positive comments and new members at the College Park, Marlboro and Somerset shows, I don't need to waste my time with you. Judging from the traffic on your own website, many others seem to feel likewise.

Time for football !

02-01-2004, 11:52 PM
what is up with you folks ? :confused:

got some major poopie pants here :laughs: :laughs: :laughs:

02-15-2004, 10:25 PM
well i can't see any good in opening the eez!
The comercial qouta is full in 3 to 4 weeks as it is! And then 28" fish?? How are you going to get these eez fish to port when the inshore fish is 34"?? This means all fish will have to be 28" and this is not right! We will fill the qouta in 2 weeks then! and we will be taking all the small fish before they ever have a chance to breed just once.
IMO we will be right were we started with a doomed fishery!! Never see Large fish again! They have done a great job bring back the fishery!! But for what? to just knock it right back down. We are just starting to see nice 50# all the time again and before long we will be seeing 60# and maybe someday see the 73 # record beat??
So if its not broke don't fix it!!

02-16-2004, 08:38 AM

The size limits will be enforced in the state where the fish are brought to.

In other words, if 2 Mass boats head to the EEZ, 1 rec and 1 com, then the rec boat could keep a couple 28'' fish for each angler, however, the commercial boat could still only bring back fish that are over 34''

Again, since the comercial fishery is bound by a hard quota, opening the EEZ would be a conservation neutral reg.

This was all stated at the EEZ scoping meetings which is why it is so important to attend them.

I hope this helps,
Mike Flaherty