Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fish Report 1/11/11

Fish Report 1/11/11
Going Togging
Spelled Out Easy
An Opportunity
Tog Trip - Saturday, January 15th, 2011 - 6 AM to 5 PM - 11 Hours - Crabs Provided - $150.00 - 14 Sells Out 
Hi All,
Rats! I missed the calm before this snow; Thought the precipt would begin sooner.. Looks like Saturday will be fit though. We'll try that--See above.
Last trip we had tog to 15 pounds with a bite that tapered to very slow. It's cold down there! 
Though I'd rather do an 8 hour trip, I suspect I'll need the longer time-frame to get the job done.
11 hours it is.
If you book a spot leave the best phone number to contact you with.............
There are folks who only read the top of this report; Some who skip that into the commentary - Others all of it.
In all this writing (and filming) I have only now convinced upper government that we have coral reef. I aim to see it brought back, to see fishing get much better. 
Readers know our sea bass season could be shortened by another 90 days if no regional division of quota can be found. 
Management will cheerfully hold the coast's fishers from Cape Hatteras to Cape Cod responsible for what is most likely a large error in their data, or possibly overfishing by southern New England.
It is very doubtful that the catch-estimate is correct. 
MRFSS rarely is.
That's why it's being replaced with MRIP.
But if it were, overfishing up-north would have no impact whatsoever on southern sea bass. Closing the whole coast for the northern region's overharvest would not be for the fish population's sake, it would be for tidiness of a file cabinet.
I've been asking management for years & years to regionalize sea bass quotas because, just as in salmon's 'fidelity' to a river, reef-fishes' habitat fidelity demands more fine scale regulatory control too. 
In fact, aside from habitat's vital importance, I think control of fish removals in eco-regional division--in regionalized quota, is paramount to successfully restoring--to achieving a genuine rebuilding of sea bass.
As it happens, that very change--regionalization--could now save the southern partyboat industry and some charterboats.
Council & Commission have many issues to contend with. Their Meeting Agenda must move forward. This question of regionalization--of solvency for many party & charter boats--will become part of that busy agenda. Even its placement before or after lunch could be crucial. The "options" that middle management writes and presents to the many states' representatives will not likely be varied from in final form.  
If fishery representatives do not know people care about the outcome then the agenda item will go by and a fishery may well have been lost with no benefit to the fish..
For there to be a "Fishery" there must be both fish and fisher. That this reef fishery somehow survived foreign factory trawlers & the unregulated surf-clam boom; That it flourished again in the early days of nonchalant management & has been bettered tremendously more by recreational fishers' artificial reef construction shows its great natural resilience. For management to now bludgeon their way to a state of paper-grace without real benefit to fish and at terrible economic cost to fishers would be no fishery restoration, only a travesty of management. 
We'll need real deliberation to survive. You can find your state's ASMFC representatives by Googling 'ASMFC commissioners.' The MAFMC is easier http://mafmc.org/members/members.htm ..
Contacting Dr. Lubchenco, Secretary of NOAA; Eric Schwaab, who heads NMFS; And especially Secretary Locke of Commerce would also ensure there is more than cursory debate on this issue. Addresses below.
I see this as an opportunity to give management a vision of real fisheries restoration; Once in focus they should have little trouble taking the reef fish beyond historic abundances.
It won't take thousands of letters, just yours..
Thanks All,
Reef video from the recent Ecosystems Workshop: Google search YouTube 'Maryland Corals.' http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-cMC8JVa2Bk   Our corals filmed from a bouncing boat: Be careful if you get seasick..
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076
Secretary Locke
U.S. Department of Commerce
1401 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20230
Secretary Lubchenco
1401 Constitution Avenue, NW - Room 5128
Washington, DC 20230
CINC NMFS Eric Schwaab
NOAA Fisheries Service
1315 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910

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