Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Fish Report 6/9/15

Fish Report 6/9/15 
Sea Bass For Dinner
What's That Flat Thing? 
Missing In Magnuson

Check This Video Out - From Multi-Agency Work In the Baltimore & Norfolk Canyons. I hope some of these folks can be brought inshore to study habitat production in fisheries we're actually trying to restore.. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NS_uZX77jfs 
Honestly, the US is paying lots & lots of money for fisheries restoration. We still have no idea the nearshore reef ecology in the Mid-Atlantic. No idea whatever..

Until Flounder Show: Sailing Daily For Sea Bass - Just Beginning To See Some Flounder Offshore.. Saturday's 6:30 to 3:30 - $125.00 – Otherwise 7 to 3 at $110.00.. Fishing Is Much Improved from Opening Week, But Is Not 'Hot' Compared To Early In The Management Period. 
Reservations Required at 410 520 2076 - LEAVE YOUR BEST POSSIBLE CONTACT NUMBER - Weather Cancelations Are Common - I Make Every Attempt To Let Clients Sleep In If The Weather's Not Going Our Way..  

Be a half hour early! We always leave early! 
..except when someone shows up right on time. 
Clients arriving late will see the west end of an east bound boat. With a limited number of reserved spots, I do not refund because you over-slept or had a flat..

Dramamine Is Cheap Insurance! Crystalized Ginger Works Great Too. It's Simple To Prevent Motion Sickness, Difficult To Cure.  If You Suffer Mal-de-Mer In A Car You Should Experiment On Shorter Half-Day Trips First! (Wockenfuss Candies sells crystalized ginger locally - Better is Nuts.Com.. Chewable Meclizine is a good pharmaceutical with Scopolamine Patches the gold standard.)

Bring A Cooler With Ice For Your Fish – A 48 Quart Is Fine For A Few People. 
No Galley! Bring Food & Beverages To Suite. A few beers in cans is fine for the ride home.  

Small-scale reef building that adds up over time; on my last fishing trip we dropped reef-block number 11,294 over the stern rail. Now 2,212 at Doug Ake's Reef – 1,263 at Saint Ann's - 386 at Al Giles’ Barge - 624 at Eagle Scout Reef - And, newly begun, 12 at Sue Foster’s Drifting Easy Reef.. 
Please Sponsor Larger Scale Privately Funded Reef Building At ocreefs.org - Thanks! 

Greetings All, 
We're catching at a now-familiar pace, our "Sea bass fishing's OK, but not what it was" of today. Compared to the spectacularly better & better & better catching back when size limits began, this fishing would be sad. Compared to recent years, however, it's alright. 
I am seeing large schools of sea bass over our reefs. Fish are beginning to feed up in the water on drifting krill/plankton. 
Vital to understanding our region's decline in sea bass production, we are also monitoring the size of males. They change sex. Nearly all sea bass begin life as females. While 10.25 inches is the very smallest we've had offshore & 11.5 a 'normal' small male for any given day, I do have a solid report of a 9 inch male at a new reef we built at the Bass Grounds. 
Used to be we'd see hundreds of under-9 inch males everyday with some even as small as 5.5 or 6 inches. A scientist, Kendall, in 1977 reported: "A catch of all large sea bass over 9.8 inches will be all males." Today we very rarely see any 9.8 inch males. This is a huge change in "age at maturity" of a species. Thus far management's been too busy with catch-estimate charades to look into it. 

MD DNRP's been stepping up their fish checks. I hope it keeps everyone honest. Had a guy who was clearly "disappointed" when mate Wes tossed a couple short sea bass overboard from out of his cooler. Same guy was all smiles the next day when every fish got checked by the guys in green. . . As I've often written: "If you won't count & measure your fish, the state will provide a man with a gun to do it for you." 

Used to be we'd add a quarter or a half inch when measuring. Shoot, used to be we made and self-enforced our own size limit regs - and still asked folks to measure generously in the fish's favor. 
No more. If a sea bass is exactly 12.5 inches, it's coming home. 
The production that allowed us to pick & choose which fish to keep has been squandered in favor of 'science' based on worse-than-stupid catch estimate guesses. 

A young client recently asked, "What's that flat thing?" 
Seeing some flounder everyday now. One day soon we'll leave the dock on a sea bass trip and come home from a flounder trip. 
Can't stop it. 
Cannot predict it. 
At least not well. 
Probably be catching a mix of sea bass & flounder the rest of summer. 

Over the last bunch of trips I've usually had a couple clients near or at double-digit keepers with folks catching a sea bass dinner or two around the rail. We're seeing fewer & fewer cod as flounder increase. 
Very unusual, I did have a guy goose-egg on sea bass recently even though fishing was pretty decent. Current screaming, we had 12 ounces of lead on everyone's rod. The only guy adamant about using monofilament fishing line (instead of a spectra micro-braid line like Power-Pro) was the only guy with clean ice in his cooler. 
I used to write this all the time when mono was still in common use: Friends don't let friends fish mono. The sensitivity difference is too huge. Even an expert angler will catch more sea bass with braid. Just because you can catch fish w/mono doesn't make it a good choice. Because a soldier can hit time & again w/a pistol at 100 yards does not mean he should prefer a pistol in combat; just because you have a sweet old-time hotrod in the garage does not mean you should drive it to work.. 

When cbass fishing was smoking-hot in 2002/03 I saw the difference between mono & spectra braid virtually everyday. First high-speed conventional reels loaded w/braid would limit out; then 2  to 1 gear-ratio conventionals such as the old Penn 65 rental reels; then spinning reels w/braid who were followed by conventional reels w/mono - and, always last, spinners w/mono would be the final anglers to limit out before we could leave for home. 
Back then people fishing braid would be giving fish to anglers using mono by day's end. Sometimes I'd even tell a guy with a spinning reel loaded w/mono before we left the dock; "People with rental rods are going to be giving you fish." 
Seriously. On my boat friends don't let friends fish mono. 

No one's giving fish away these days. I'll go into that in greater detail in coming weeks. Sea bass that used to start spawning even in their first year of life, & always by year one, are now spawning by age 3 - just as we start taking them. That's a year after they've been legal to commercial fishers. 
This spawning delay is a simple biological response to cbass' natural perception of "habitat capacity" & shouldn't be above management's pay grade. 

However; unless something drastic happens to US regulation in this iteration of the Magnuson Act, I fear we'll soon lose our opportunity for creating explosive sea bass population growth permanently. 
Sure, sure; we'll still have a few fish, even decent fish; but our sea bass fishery will be a testament to mediocrity. The possibility of creating bigger populations of sea bass than have EVER existed hinges on management's comprehension of accelerating spawning production via size limit regulation. 
Habitat fidelity is the driver behind this biological response. We lived it; we witnessed it. DelMarVa honestly saw sea bass at 'habitat capacity' via exponential population growth in 2002/2003 just seven years into sea bass management.
Now 18 years into the management of our most common reef fish, NOAA's using recreational catch estimates like a club to beat production theories of reproductive biology & reef ecology into silence. 

A Republican sponsored bill is being considered by the Senate Fisheries Sub-Committee. Already passed out of the House, HB 1335 offers some of what we badly need in that it forces NOAA's recreational catch estimates to have a check-up by the National Research Council (NRC). 
The NRC will review MRIP recreational catch estimates regardless of Senate approval or Presidential veto. 
If you need a refresher on all the acronyms, read the article and come back to my piece. 
This is complex. Virtually all of management's complexities in dealing with recreational fisheries are in response to bad recreational catch estimates. 

I believe nothing has been more harmful to recreational fisheries than management's use of MRIP & MuRFSS recreational catch estimates as though they were valid
Not traps, trawls, huricannes, fuel prices, economic downturns - just MRIP's use as though it offered valid scientific data. 

I believe management has so-wasted their time chasing MRIP's tail, a waste of time required by law, that true methods of fishery production increase & restoration lie completely unused & even unrecognized. 
It's very difficult to tell what's real on a computer screen if you have no experience on the ocean; or worse, only a little experience. 

At some point top managers at giant US banks such as Leman Bros were 'certain beyond doubt' statistics supporting the safety of mortgage-backed securities were dead-on. Later they knew otherwise ..but had grown accustomed to easy profit. 
Because statistics feel comfortable, are easy to access, & managers can say "we've always used them," does not mean a hoped-for result will occur. 
The same myopic shareholder-duty that brought our nation's economy to it's knees in the banking crisis is seen in fisheries. "It's the best science available" defends the use of MRIP's recreational catch estimates even though they express no possible reality and managers know it: "We have to use them!"

While catch estimates have been around for all of the management period, (and always stunk) the cause of turmoil in today's fisheries is "Accountability Measures" (AMs) required of management since the 2007 re-write of the Magnuson Act; the same law up for consideration now in the Senate. 
Accountability Measures mean any fish caught in excess of quota have to be paid back by deducting that overage from following seasons. If a catch estimate shows we were 3X over quota on any species, we should expect a complete closure of that fishery until the overage is 'paid back'.. 
Because real catch has almost nothing to do with catch estimates, a spike in MRIP's estimation tables often makes for regulations no one actually sees need of. 

When the National Research Council (NRC) reviewed our previous rec catch estimating methodology in MuRFSS and found garbage, Congress ordered its repair in the 2007 Magnuson Act. 
With the re-write in 2007, everyone thought NOAA would repair MuRFSS as required. That's why there were such stringent requirements about using "the best available science" in "Accountability Measures." 
Everyone believed the new recreational catch estimates would be perfect. Regulators knew there'd be absolutely no reason not to hold recreational fishers accountable for going over-quota just like commercial fishers. 
Except commercial catch is weighed. They weigh their catch & sell it by the pound. 
Our catches are estimated. 
Poorly estimated. 
MRIP was an abject failure. It has worsened our catch estimates & has not repaired them in the least. 

Although NOAA failed, catastrophically, to repair recreational catch estimates; the Magnuson reauthorization's verbiage remained. 

It is the combination of MRIP's catch estimates & Accountability Measures that are killing the recreational fishing industry. 
That's what we need to correct in this new re-write of Magnuson. 
HR 1335 does not remove Accountability Measures that I can see. 

I believe recreational fishing's regulatory troubles will remain precisely as they are with the bill that I've seen
Tell Your Senators: Accountability Measures for recreational fisheries must be relaxed until a true repair to recreational catch estimates has been fashioned. 

If you have Democratic Senators like we do in Maryland, it's ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT that you tell them WE NEED HELP! The House version passed largely along party lines. If Dems do not vote in favor of the Senate version, the President will veto it.
If we do not repair the association of Accountability Measures to MRIP catch estimates, it won't matter if the bill passes or not. More & more recreational fisheries will close or be reduced in season/creel to the point where no one's interested in going so long as MRIP is held above all other considerations..

Accountability Measures were supposed to kick in after MRFSS repair. NOAA didn't wait. 
If it's on a computer screen, we caught it.  
Sea bass, for instance, were closed by emergency regulation in 2009 based on terrible MRFSS catch estimates. Here was the first use of Accountability Measures that I'm aware of. Although MRIP -- then touted as the great repair of MuRFSS -- wasn't ready, and wouldn't be for 3 more years; MAFMC said "Accountability Measures will begin in 2009" ..and so they did.
That the recreational catch estimating repair in MRIP hadn't yet occurred - and wouldn't until 2012 - did not slow NOAA's enthusiasm for closing off fisheries whenever they saw overfishing on a computer.. 

Under NOAA's interpretation of the 2007 Magnuson re-write, if recreational users are accused of going over-quota by an estimate that could not possibly be true, it is treated as true anyway. Managers at the Council & Commission level are allowed no consideration of whether catch estimates are even remotely possible. NOAA demands MRIP's use without discussion of probability nor even consideration of the statistician's own PSE (percentage standard error.)  

Pre-MRIP was bad. MRIP was an even worse disaster when released in 2012. 
Below I will show a handful of "There's No Way!" catch estimates from MuRFSS/MRIP as I have in these reports for years now. 
I will show an astounding new MRIP error that's currently having management do backflips along the whole East Coast. I'll show how a single two-month 'wave' catch estimate, in a single sector of the recreational fishery & from a single state, can upheave regulatory balance and cause economic harm along most of the East Coast.    

I have dozens of examples of bad catch estimates - big errors that caused major economic upheaval. They're very simple to find. I was a voice in the crowd for repair of recreational catch data before the 2007 re-write of Magnuson, & also for the repair to For-Hire catch estimates in 2003. My argument against bad recreational catch estimates goes back to a two week August sea bass closure in 1998. Back then NJ Party/Charter had been "found guilty" (statistically) of catching 3 million sea bass - a 1 million fish increase over their previous catch. An estimate far too high to begin with, the increase in NJ Party/Charter catch was seen nowhere else along the coast. 
I think it was payback for NJ's skirting the then-new 9 inch sea bass size limit by a Federal Register publishing date loophole. When NOAA/MAFMC did close sea bass in August, 1998, every state except Maryland employed the same loophole to keep their guys fishing for sea bass. In Maryland we had begun releasing under-9 inch sea bass in 1992, fully 6 years before actual regulation began; yet we were the only state actually closed by the 1998 regulation.  
While I supported the 1998 size increase to 10 inches; this closure was our first "reward." 
I have come to expect nothing less. 

NJ Party/Charter Sea Bass - MuRFSS
Estimate StatusYearCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSE
FINAL1996BLACK SEA BASS1,905,45616.8
FINAL1997BLACK SEA BASS3,090,87212.8
NJ Private Boat - Somehow NJ's Private Boats didn't get the memo sea bass were on fire.. 
Estimate StatusYearCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSE
FINAL1996BLACK SEA BASS373,33625.0
FINAL1997BLACK SEA BASS262,08127.4

This is all US Party/Charter sea bass catch for all of 2014 - MRIP. 
Estimate StatusYearCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSE
FINAL2014BLACK SEA BASS860,75810.9

If management's 'catch restriction only' policy were working; just the sea bass not being caught in NJ should have been enough to have created an incredible fishery restoration. 

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council has always employed an Accountability Measures style of quota setting. We've always suffered when catch estimates spiked to delusional new heights. 
Unlike state by state management of summer flounder, however; whenever low catch estimates should have allowed a loosening of sea bass regulation--a lessening of size & creel limit restriction--no action was taken. 
When the size limit on sea bass moved up - it stayed up. When the creel limit went down - it stayed down. 
Thankfully, we were able to get some season restored after the 2009 emergency closure. Also thankfully, a handful of managers have held NOAA at bay for several years when they wanted to completely close sea bass based on accountability measures. 

Here's an example: 
When Maryland's Private Boat flounder estimate for May/June came in at zero in 2012, we were able to lose about 2 inches off our size limit and open the fishery year round. 
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
FINAL2013MAY/JUNESUMMER FLOUNDER27,44324.763,98124.70
FINAL2014MAY/JUNESUMMER FLOUNDER5,73570.110,31771.50

Season was open. Boats were fishing and catching. Absolutely no one believes every Private Boat was skunked.. Management does not require truth of these estimates, only that something's on the computer screen.

Here it is from the darker side: 
Maryland Shore Only. (This 2007 figure was about 15X the annual average Party/Charter catch of that era)
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
As catch estimate numbers started to trend upward in 2008, this fall shore estimate of 40,000 flounder in 2007 created a 'catch forecast' showing an impending over-quota situation. People I knew & trusted at MD DNR announced: "Based on the previous year's landings we are closing flounder by emergency ruling.
Flounder closed, everyone went tog fishing inshore. Our coastal bays tog fishery has still not recovered ..from a catch estimate that could not possibly have been true. 

The following year sea bass were closed in early fall for similar reasons. Although no Maryland sea bass will ever see Massachusetts' waters or vice-versa, these two spikes in Massachusetts sea bass catch sent the sea bass fishery into a death spiral. (MuRFSS data) 
Species: BLACK SEA BASS - MA - Private Boats - Wave 4 - July/August 
1,122.28% Increase

Species: BLACK SEA BASS -MA - Partyboat - All Areas - Wave 3 - June/July
14,564.64% Increase

Management has no idea what I'm talking about so far as reef habitat or spawning age at maturity goes. These catch estimates, however, are literally everywhere in their deliberations. 
These overages are CUMULATIVE. They don't go away. At least not with "less important species" that aren't slated for more careful review. 
Accountability Measures worsen catch estimate issues many fold.

The red snapper estimates of late, for instance, have recreational Private Boats catching incredibly well, while Party/Charter is at an all-time low. 
Gulf of Mexico - All States - MRIP estimates
Estimate StatusYearCommon NameFishing ModeTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
FINAL2012RED SNAPPERCHARTER BOAT170,65710.41,229,23411.10
FINAL2012RED SNAPPERPRIVATE/RENTAL BOAT420,14714.13,216,84914.90
FINAL2013RED SNAPPERCHARTER BOAT180,95610.11,343,72511.10
FINAL2013RED SNAPPERPRIVATE/RENTAL BOAT1,060,82412.37,715,13713.20
FINAL2014RED SNAPPERCHARTER BOAT40,99224.1261,72626.40
FINAL2014RED SNAPPERPRIVATE/RENTAL BOAT350,08718.42,611,39419.50

After several decades of neck & neck estimates, in 2012 Private Boats caught 3X more snapper than Party/Charter. Then in 2013 they caught 7X more. And in 2014 they caught 10X more. 
What's really funny is that snapper are like sea bass & not flounder. You have to get on the structure. People in the fishery do not think Private Boats catch as many red snapper as Party/Charter, let alone many times more. 
All the regulatory work being done with states extending their seaward boundaries out to 9 miles in the Gulf; sector separation where managers are trying to give Party/Charter more access to red snapper by separating them from the Private Boat sector - the constant & ongoing battles for a couple extra days of season that's down to a tiny fraction of its historical length: If the National Research Council sat down with the region's top 20 Party/Charter guys and developed honest catch estimates from their catch records and what they perceive as their 'percentage of the fishery' - Say those charter skippers thought they landed 40% of all snapper or 60% - based on observations from men who are out everyday, I bet they'd find there is really only one problem with red snapper - Accountability Measures sourced from MRIP catch estimates. 

Here with sea bass: 
Massachusetts Private Boats 
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
PRELIMINARY2014MAY/JUNEBLACK SEA BASS207,83642.3603,44244.20
All US Party/Charter For All Gulf & Atlantic Waters
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
PRELIMINARY2014MAY/JUNEBLACK SEA BASS236,44727.6340,56026.20

In Connecticut, over a period of 32 years, most with no regulation at all; between 1981 & 2013 Connecticut anglers landed about 127,000 sea bass total in Sept/Oct. 
That's 127,000 sea bass all combined & all added together over thirty-one fall periods for All CT anglers. 
Now for 2014:
Connecticut MRIP
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameFishing ModeTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information

With an 8 fish limit in 2014, their tightest regulations in history, they catch 66,000 more fish than they have, all together, in all those September & Octobers combined. 
Regulations just do not matter. MRIP has Connecticut anglers catching at incredible new highs. 

In NY's 2014 summer catch-estimate we see a similar pattern as in MA's spring sea bass estimate & CT's fall estimate. 
Here in summer---the very period when professionals have more difficulty catching sea bass---MRIP has NY's Private Boats catching phenomenally well. 
New York MRIP
Estimate StatusYearWaveCommon NameFishing ModeTotal Harvest (A+B1)PSEHarvest (A+B1) Total
Weight (lb)
PSELandings (no.) without
Size Information
Odd that such huge sea bass catches occur lately, especially given that NY now has their strictest regulations ever. 
New York's Private Boat July/Aug catch-estimates for 1982, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 99, 01, 02, 03, 04, 06, 07, 08 & 2011, All Added Up & All Together, are thought to have been 958,706 pounds---that's less than 2013 & 2014's July/August total. 
Today: Tight Regulation - Eight Fish - 13 Inches ..but record shattering catches.  
Unless you're out with a professional who knows where they live, what they're biting & how to anchor just so or drift....

So far as I'm concerned the United States Government was ripped off big-time in the creation of MRIP. 
When I complained about the complete lunacy of MRIP's New Jersey March/April 2010 shore tautog estimate where participants believe actual catch was much less than 1,000 fish -- MuRFSS estimated 74,000 -- and then MRIP guessed 173,000 .. MRIP staff responded in their newsletter: "..With these improvements in place, we can say with confidence that we have enhanced the quality of our estimates. In fact, the cases you cite are good examples for demonstrating exactly what we mean by that."

Then on the down & dumb side, Maryland, for instance, is officially estimated by MRIP to have landed 348 sea bass all last year - just 348 sea bass for all of 2014. A calculation for the high side of PSE (Percentage Standard Error is calculated for every estimate; a calculation NOAA has never allowed management to use) PSE takes the Maryland total to about 800 sea bass. 
That's for all of 2014 & all of Maryland's anglers. 
My little 55 foot partyboat caught more sea bass than that in just three trips. 

What rubbish. MRIP is positively random. There's no scientific value in their effort. There's no science in random noise save chaos science. 
You cannot even use MRIP to determine if any catch occurred, let alone exactly how much - ANY CATCH AT ALL. 
Maryland party boats, for instance, are estimated to have caught zero sea bass last year. Most of us fishing the ocean report at least some sea bass each and every trip, even when we're tog or fluke fishing. We TELL the government we're catching sea bass. Government tells our representatives, "Sea bass are not an important fishery. There are no landings." 

NOAA holds MRIP sacred. That's what we need our Senators to change. Accountability Measures for recreational fisheries should not be in place until there is hard data on recreational landings. 
We need to tell our Senators just that. 

The crux of fishery management's failing - their primary distraction from basic & vital tasks such as habitat and spawning production - is NOAA's force-fed acceptance of statistical recreational catch estimates that could not & would not be used in any other endeavor. 
No manager, no scientist & certainly no constituent can argue the data.
NOAA's constant refrain: "It's our best available science," has become an immobile crutch upon which fishery managers must lean. 
It is, essentially, federally issued truth - Pravda. 

A lot of readers may be familiar with the recent blueline tilefish fiasco. We avoided a nearly complete closure of bluelines by preventing the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council from taking over our blueline regulation. 
We were told a sudden increase in commercial landings was the MAFMC's primary concern and I have no cause for doubt. That was indeed a sincere concern unregulated commercial effort would swiftly diminish our region's thin band of blueline tile habitat.

However, the press release describing recent action on bluelines in the South Atlantic concluded with this statement: 

This closure is necessary to protect the snapper-grouper resource.  Red snapper will remain closed in South Atlantic Federal waters in 2015. There will not be commercial or recreational seasons in 2015 because the total number of red snapper removed from the population in 2014 exceeded the allowable level.


Consider: From 1981 to 2012 Florida's East Coast Private Boats are estimated to have landed 933,000 pounds of red snapper. 
In 2014, with an 8 day Federal Red Snapper Season, MRIP estimates Florida's East Coast Private Boats landed 946,000 pounds of snapper. That's more than in 30 previous years combined. 
As fabricated as this estimate must be, its effect will reverberate in the region's regulations for decades..

They're thinking anyone targeting bluelines might catch red snapper too. With that logic sea bass could be closed to protect tog; or scup could be closed to protect sea bass. With MRIP's wild vagaries any estimate is possible. With NOAA's interpretation of Accountability Measures, any regulation is possible. 

Yes Congress, there is a fisheries crisis. 
But it's not the fish that are in trouble - it's us. 

The problem isn't just the estimates, it's how managers are forced to use those estimates whether they could possibly be true or not. 

If MRIP claims we went over quota - CLOSED. 

Lots & lots of closures these days.  
Tell your Senators - Especially If You Live In New Jersey Because Senator Booker Is On The Senate Fisheries Sub-Committee - Tell Them Accountability Measures For Recreational Fisheries HAVE TO GO. No Accountability Measures Until The Estimates Have Been Repaired To Nearly Hard Data. 
It's plenty doable in today's smartphone world. 
Shoot, I'd even trade in my old flip phone to comply. 

We're going to need Democratic Senators to vote for this re-write of Magnuson. 
We'll need Accountability Measures held at bay until estimating catch achieves true scientific value - a correct value. 
Management's too busy chasing MRIP's apparitions of overfishing to even fathom reef fish might need reef, or increasing age at maturity could upset a species' spawning production. 

When reef fish management begins to work, the results will be astounding. 
To get there we must fight bad data. 

Capt. Monty Hawkins 
Partyboat Morning Star
Ocean City, MD

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