Monday, May 15, 2006

Fish Report 5/15/06

Fish Report 5/15/06
Some Sea Bass Limits
Re-open Stripers?
Hi All,
Sea Bass, while hardly 'easy', are definitely here. We're averaging 1/3 to 1/2 the customers finishing with a limit; the rest have to suffer with high teens / low twenties.
It really isn't red hot; we have to work for them, but the work pays off.
Pool winners are typically 3 1/2ish with an occasional dandy of +-5lbs.
Last year's May sea bass fishing was a dogfish disaster. So far so good this year! Not too many spiney dogfish about. Tog haven't been much at all - just a few. Fortunately, some of those few were tag recaptures.
Blues are thick on the Jackspot and the first mako was caught this week.
Below you'll find a chance to comment on the reopening of striped bass in the EEZ (outside of three miles). Presently, stripers/rockfish caught outside of 3NM are illegal to keep which makes liars, thieves and criminals of some good people. The time for this closure is long past; it's time to reopen the EEZ... You can comment either way at the email address below.
Watch the weather...
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservations 410 520 2076

Atlantic - NOAA Reopens Scoping on Striped Bass Fishing in the EEZ; Public Invited to Comment

NOAA Fisheries Service is seeking additional public comments on a preliminary draft analysis document containing Federal management options to open the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) to striped bass fishing, as recommended by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The stock of Atlantic striped bass, once overfished, was declared fully rebuilt in 1995. New regulations were later established to allow limited fishing in state waters. Under the current closure of the EEZ-- the zone of federal waters that extends from 3 to 200 miles offshore-- any striped bass caught there must be discarded. The fish are often dead when thrown back. Reopening the EEZ could reduce waste by allowing some of the discarded catches of striped bass to be landed and counted toward quotas.

NOAA first announced that it was considering proposed rulemaking to reopen striped bass harvest in the EEZ during 2003. After reviewing comments from the public, NOAA decided to further evaluate the potential impacts of this proposal. Public scoping meetings were held in nine Atlantic coast states. In 2004, the ASMFC Striped Bass Technical Committee prepared a new stock assessment. However, members of the Technical Committee did not feel the assessment was an accurate representation of stock status. Given the uncertainty, NOAA decided to delay the analysis of new management options until the 2005 stock assessment became available.

Due to the significant time that has passed since the initial scoping hearings in 2003, together with widespread public interest in this matter, NOAA Fisheries is now seeking additional public comments on management options that could open the EEZ to the harvest of Atlantic striped bass. Comments may be sent to: Please include the following in the subject line: Striped Bass Scoping. The deadline for public comments is May 24, 2006.

The preliminary draft analysis document and other background materials are available online. Please contact with any questions.


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