Thursday, May 04, 2006

Fish Report 5/4/06

Fish Report 5/4/06
Cbass limits
Fossil oyster shell dredging below
Hi All,
Always a cheerful thing - to have someone declare the first cbass limit of the year.  Three limits yesterday, seven or eight today; most everyone else just shy. Nice.
It wasn't a super-slam-crush kind of bite ~ just picking along. Box one, throw one back: Box a double, catch three throwback singles. Still, they added up.
Limits are a curious thing. For some 'the limit' - catching it - defines whether a day a has been successful. Too bad really, but it serves as a useful barometer of how trips are going.
It can also serve as an indicator of how a particular angler's luck is going on a given day. Lets say the first two anglers to bag out today had a buddy who was way - way - over on the left side of the curve - ahh - despite great skill, just not hitting on all eight. Perhaps his friends would use the measurement of 'limits' in order to engage in some 'raillery' ~ a little friendly joshing. The dictionary definition is "good-humored teasing" but it doesn't specify how long it lasts. In this case I have to wonder - months or years...
You know, it might be that we just had the two best days of the year. Or, it might be that this is the very beginning of a great sea bass season - time will tell. 
Sailing daily...
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservations 410 520 2076
The Chesapeake Oyster Fishery:
Sad to say, but I have seen it's management held up for review in several articles and books as 'what not to do' in fisheries management.
With a few centuries effort, the oyster has gone from a navigational problem and economic driver to a fishery so depleted that it is used as a study.
A few years ago I was at a meeting where a life-long commercial fisherman probed the numbers aloud. In that year Maryland had spent 16 million on 'oyster replenishment' and by years end the commercial yield was 18 million dollars. He wondered if it was the most heavily subsidized fishery in the world.
We should all wonder about that.
Now there is interest in making the subsidy even greater by once again funding the removal of ancient fossilized reef bottom from one place and using it as bedding in another. This so that oyster dredges can have somewhere to catch the oysters grown in a Maryland hatchery.
And, it's all part of the 'oyster recovery program'.
It would be like dynamiting the few remaining corals on the coast and spreading them thin so the trawlers could catch more flounder - flounder that the state had raised in a hatchery.
Great Scott.
It's just a thought, but every day barges loaded with rocks of every shape and size travel the length of the Chesapeake. I bet oysters would take to 'em if we spilled a few. The world's greatest estuary is in perfect position to use the most durable and scientifically unassailable artificial reef material. Dredge operators wouldn't like that though - nope, wouldn't care for that idea at all.
Depends on which definition of 'recovery' you pick I suppose.
A chance to voice your opinion on the matter can be found at
Fish Report 5/4/06

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