Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Fish Report 11/3/09

Fish Report 11/3/09
Reefing Possibilities
Hi All,
Long stretch of bad weather.. might not be done yet. Snuck in Tuesday, eased on out; paced as an enjoyable walk.
Throttle down - over structure - lay starboard anchor well up into a considerable but diminishing swell - port anchor far below the wind & off a stern cleat; drawn tight, we're saddled just so: not gonna ring the bell on that one piece of steel, no sinkers banging-clanging: won't spoke 'em..
Man did the tog chew. Hungry.
My aft deck, despite 40 some legal fish tags today, wasn't a picture of conservation.
Or was it?
I promise this, we could have taken an awful lot of tog today, but stopped.
Perhaps the single best illustration of fisheries management I can recall this year.. except..
Have I mentioned artificial reef lately? ..those scurvied rascals managing sea bass will wait a bit, a little bit...
Department of Defense--DOD - They are, one day, going to be given a lot of credit for fisheries enhancement. SHA too.. More?
Anyway, Maryland's at a jog, then a sprint, trying to catch-up.. For the first time in over a decade the State has just staffed the Reef Director's position - Erik Zlokovitz - strait-up - good guy.
DOD's putting in new 'green roofing' at a facility. With a little luck the old roof, plain ol' concrete--and clean--is going to get a very green recycle in way of oyster reef..
So here's DOD wanting to reef. Will truck a scadjillion loads to near Baltimore Harbor.
Maryland's NRG, Erik, needs a tug & barge company - big time & low budget!
Erik Zlokovitz <ezlokovitz@dnr.state.md.us>
Upper Bay reef looks like...
Heck of opportunity.
Some readers know players - some readers are players - make this happen - key parts falling in place - legacy of improved water quality and fishing.. not just possible, probable.
And so is the Radford. Navy Destroyer almost 600 feet long.. In what is already a well developed reef site, though not yet seasoned; DelJerseyLand promises to be a serious fishing and diving destination.
I guarantee it.
Need to fund Maryland's share of the Radford - The Morning Star reef-raffle ponied-up $1000.00..
Need a big donor - TV coverage, show of its own kind of deal.
And I don't even know where to send you, except certainly to Erik.. We'll get the CCA website switched up a little for us regular folk http://www.ccamd.org/MARI/MARI_home.htm Here you can still "Buy a Ton" but it doesn't say Radford yet.
You can, of course, funnel donations through the Ocean City Reef Foundation at http://www.ocreeffoundation.com/index1.php .. Call Marta at OCRF, she'll straighten you out.
Down-home here, our small foundation has a couple projects rolling into place - another tautog/trigger/cbass/spadefish super-sturdy hilltop piece is ready, waiting for a calm-spell for deployment..
Oysters & temperate corals.. we're going to make a lot more; fish that live on 'em too.
Ah good, we limited on tog. That was awesome.
But we're fishing for tog in the height of sea bass season. That's not cool.
Data is starting to become available, data that should firm-up NMFS's decision to throw lives under a bus by closing sea bass.
Just a real quick data affirmation:
Ricky up in Delaware.. hmmm, poor guy, my peer, a friend.. fishing forever, what of today? MRFSS has DE partyboats catching zero sea bass - none. Yet the state's anglers caught 44,322? Goodness Rick.. I've nearly lost it all, but I can still catch a sea bass..
Yeah, well, that didn't happen. Ricky caught fish. Others too. Maybe MRFSS will catch-up to DE later.
Here in MD we killed 1,355 sea bass. That's just the party boats. Everyone else got skunked - I swear it. http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/recreational/queries/catch/time_series.html 
Of course those VTRs I talk about - the Vessel Trip Report that has to be filled out daily by Rick & I and all other charter/party skippers - I reported to the government more than twice as many sea bass in May as they have for MD's year.
I must not have been to the right places in Jersey, I've seen party boats everywhere - even outnumbering charters in some places. But they only caught 1 out of 7 cbass in the state.
At least in MD we get credit for killing 'em all; an opinion widely held in the fisheries.
"But the sampling improves over greater area." This in an an age where even manure fertilizer is targeted with pinpoint precision.
Mix a little wrong with little right - you got wrong. 
That just a tiny sample of the "Real-Time Hard Data" that was used to close sea bass.. Good riddance to the whole sorry no-good mess of rat infested bilge slime.
The Marine Recreational Information Program--MRIP--starts January 1st. Replacing MRFSS, we'll soon see that horrible mistakes have occurred over the years. Lots of 'em.
These errors in catch estimation will be like rats at the city dump with kids pickin 'em off as they scramble from the light. 

I don't know what I'll do with the carcasses, but I'm going to collect 'em. Show everyone what we were focused on in the decades we wasted watching the waves, suspecting nothing amiss at the bottom of the sea.
Rebuilding. Restoring..
As if fish populations occurred without any other influence, save fishing..
Sanity in catch estimates will allow a hard won truce; allow the troops weary of fighting this alien--catch estimate--beast that can not be bested an opportunity, a chance to look for other ways to bolster fisheries production; they're out there.
Bad time for truth, fishers & tautog.
Except the fishers that want tog.
They should do OK..
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076

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