Fish Report 9/23/12
A Taste Of Fall
Summer Fishing of Flounder & Black Sea Bass continues. I don't think fishing will change significantly until we've had a heavy NE wind or worse. We're still targeting flounder over precisely the same reefs & wrecks where I've spent a lifetime targeting sea bass---except when sea bass bite better at those reefs which is happening more frequently but not predictably.. Sea Bass are absolutely fattening up for winter -- plump. We've seen signs of a fall bite a few times.
Usually sending participating anglers home with several dinners.
Sea Bass & Flounder Fishing 7 to 3 Everyday - Longer on Saturdays - Now Fishing Sundays - Plenty Of Spots Open - Always Try To Leave Early & Stay Late - Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076 - Leave Your BEST Contact Phone Number In Case Of Weather Cancelation - We Obey Regulations Whether We Agree With Them Or Not - Bring Food & Beverage Plus A Cooler & Ice For Your Party's Fish - Cheap Styrofoam Coolers Rarely Survive A Day - A 48 QT Cooler Works Great - Dramamine The Night Before Is Cheap Insurance - Be A Half Hour Early, We Like To Leave Early, Rarely In On Time..
2,757 Oyster Castle Reef Blocks By The Rail.
Here's Capt. Ted Green's latest u/w video from a pair of barges we sank over a decade ago; one of 3 locations targeted by MD's scuba community for u/w reef construction with oyster castle reef blocks. https://vimeo.com/49834503 (select, copy, then paste into the address block in your web browser)
Though well-grown in, I believe additional complexity (460 blocks & counting) will increase fishery production; That even good reef can be made better.
I also believe the flat horizontal expanses of these barges closely mimic our original sea bed; that here is what large areas of bottom looked like before industrial stern towed fishing gears were used; That here is what the nearshore Mid-Atlantic looked like in many multi-square mile areas of sea whip meadow before men discovered how to fill train cars & tractor trailers with fish & shellfish.
As evidenced by commercial sea bass landings of the 1950s being greater than all decades since combined, all sea bass weighed and sold by the pound--recorded; as evidenced by stories told to me of picking through piles of sea whip on deck to find fish: Where overfishing of today's remnant reef-fish populations has been poorly remedied by ill-found catch restriction, to truly restore those earliest reef-fish populations we must also restore that period's reef habitat footprint.
If we can do that, and we will, then there's no reason at all we can not engineer far higher populations.
Will need another truckload of blocks soon..
It is entirely possible that no one involved with fishery management believes those Mar/Apr NJ shore tautog estimates from 2010.
But those data, and every set like it, are still used by management as though a bank statement; Here's How Much You Took Out, Here's How Much You Can Take Out Next Year---The Precise Catch Estimate Is Used In Plug & Play Formula.
MRIP needs to -and should- estimate a more precise number; Management needs to -and should- have far more leeway in the estimates.
Instead, here come Accountability Measures & Annual Catch Limits..
Both written into the Bush era's Magnuson rewrite and supposed to came AFTER recreational data was improved; Soon recreational fishers will be held accountable for any statistical hallucination conjured on computer screen: Its certainly possible that an entire fishery could be closed for 'over-fishing' that never occurred -- its already happening, month by month, in sea bass.
Below you'll find a section from a fish report about MRIP. Those active in the fisheries need to ask (or re-ask) MRIP's outreach coordinator, their State Fisheries leaders & Washington representatives how recreational data can be so much worse in the 'new & improved' recreational catch estimating program and if it will be the source of Accountability Measures.
Adherence to delusional data is destroying the human side of fisheries while not doing a whole lot for fish.
Needs to get fixed.
From 8/11/12 Report:
Forbes Darby keeps asking if anyone has questions about the ne MRIP program. Forbes.Darby@noaa.gov
If you're curious, email him -- It's OK, this is his job.
Personally, I haven't gotten an answer.
MRFSS = old recreational catch estimating system; Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey. (we say Murfs - they say MurFis)
MRIP = new system mandated by congress by 2009, Marine Recreational Information Program. (not Murfs Rest In Peace)
NOAA claims to be on-path to fulfilling its Congressional requirement to improve recreational fishery data by 2009.
MRIP is now "Statistically Rigorous" they say.
"They" are, almost every one, people I know & trust; but somewhere there's a bug in the system that needs to come out.
I have many questions about the validity of MRIP's newly revised catch estimates - below is a single example. There are many, many more examples in every species I target.
The old MuRFSS estimate for March and April 2010 for New Jersey's shore-bound tautog fishermen was 71,000 tog boxed-up and taken home in those two cold-water months. This value, fantastically above the mean for New Jersey's shore fishery, represents more jetty & pier fish than all US for-hire party/charter boats caught from 2004 to present in all waters during the same cold-water wave period.
Its a very unlikely estimate; but an estimate that contributed to new, tighter regulations nonetheless.
The new MRIP model now has these same fellows fishing along New Jersey's jetties & piers; These same fishers who never-ever caught what NJ's For-Hire boats alone will catch, nevermind what ALL US party/charter boats landed -- these fishers are now said to have caught 173,092 under MRIP. That's One Hundred Thousand more tautog in March & April, 2010 than even MuRFSS gigantic error.
So, Under The New & Improved MRIP Model NOAA's Catch Assertion Now Reads Thusly: New Jersey Jetty Fishers Caught More Tautog In Late Winter/Early Spring 2010 Than ALL For-Hire Party/Charter Fishers Put Together In March/April PLUS What All US Commercial Effort Landed All Year -- BY A WIDE MARGIN!
Statistical Validity Indeed..
MRIP, like MRFSS before, can assert any amount of catch and turn it into Recreational Overfishing with always-subsequent greater catch restriction.
MRIP Team: Where's the head-count? Where are the statistical stops to prevent wild flyers in the data?
Please don't tell us you actually believe NJ shore fishers caught incredibly more tautog in two months than all our commercial fishers caught all year..
I know its an election year and they're all very busy; maybe your Congressional Representative & State Senators have staff that handle fisheries issues.
Ask them why reef plays no part in any reef-fish management plan too.
Ask them how Accountability Measures can be employed using catch data with no accountability..
Ask them why the new and improved data is sometimes much worse..
Capt. Monty Hawkins
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076
Party Boat "Morning Star"
Reservation Line 410 520 2076