Striped Bass Fishermen, Where's The Outrage on the Proposed Conservation Equivalencies???

MakoMike

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I don't get how you could be surprised by this. The handwriting was on the wall. Why keep pounding NJ - they have gamefish status! If every state had that this fishery would be in much better shape. MD, on the other hand always gets what they want. They always have and they always will. AS long as they keep footing the bill for striped bass studies, they will keep getting what they want.
NJ is gamefish in name only, in actuality they use their commercial quota for their bonus tag program which probably kills more fish than they are entitled to under their commercial quota.
 

george

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NJ is gamefish in name only, in actuality they use their commercial quota for their bonus tag program which probably kills more fish than they are entitled to under their commercial quota.
Hey Mike! Your statement is true in that they do get to use the com quota. If you check the numbers you will find that they took just 2% of it historically. And none were killed in a gillnet or dragger by catch. You know as well as I that most, if not all of a targeted com fishery quota is reached. Much with massive by-cath mortality.

It's much much more"than in name only" It's gamefish!
 

MakoMike

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Hey Mike! Your statement is true in that they do get to use the com quota. If you check the numbers you will find that they took just 2% of it historically. And none were killed in a gillnet or dragger by catch. You know as well as I that most, if not all of a targeted com fishery quota is reached. Much with massive by-cath mortality.

It's much much more"than in name only" It's gamefish!
Not really George, that's what they tell the ASMFC, but that's not how it works in reality. NJ issues 27,000 bonus tags, which, if each tag was used to kill one fish, would roughly equate to NJ's commercial quota. But, in reality, no one ever collects the bonus tag the first time its used, so it gets used over and over again, NJ anglers freely admit this. I wonder what the average number of fish that are killed using each bonus tag is. I'd wager that the average is much greater than 1 and that NJ is greatly exceeding their commercial quota by using the bonus tag program. Maybe even more than the dragger/gillnet/haul seine/bycatch in NY.
 

george

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Sorry Mike. We must go by the numbers not an estimate on what you think that NJ anglers are doing. The numbers say clearly they don't take that extra fish. They have no price on their head in NJ. They have gamefish. No nets, dragging or com targeting. No financial incentive to break the law. I'm curious is NJ t the only state poaching? I'll remind you they are a gamefish state!
 

MakoMike

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Sorry Mike. We must go by the numbers not an estimate on what you think that NJ anglers are doing. The numbers say clearly they don't take that extra fish. They have no price on their head in NJ. They have gamefish. No nets, dragging or com targeting. No financial incentive to break the law. I'm curious is NJ t the only state poaching? I'll remind you they are a gamefish state!
Who is we? You got a mouse in your pocket? :) The ASMFC can believe whatever they like, they seem to believe in fairy tales, like "conservational equivalency" anyway. I'm just trying to tell you what the reality is. Ask Dominic he's on the same NJ message boards I'm on and he can verify that the NJ anglers are saying the same things.
 

MakoMike

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I can't figure out how to edit my previous, but I would like to point out that I'm just trying to discuss the issue.When it comes to Striped bass and ASMFC i have a lot to say, but unless you're the ASMFC don't take it personally.
 

Roccus7

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Been biting my tongue on this and sitting on my hands, but I'm seething about the whole NJ Tag fiasco and how they're routinely recycled. NJ has bastardized the entire slot process by morphing it into a 24-38" free for all so they make sure they cream the 2015 year class and what's left of the 2011.

The whole thing unraveled when the Council didn't shut down the CE process back at the fall meeting. I just hope all the NJ surfcasters' whining about how they haven't had a decent catch in years is true. and their claim that the fish are staying offshore is true. The less time the fish spend in the Garden State's water, the better.
 
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george

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Mike, you and I have always had our strong opinions and I will never take them personally. I enjoy it. I especially enjoy when you and Dom are on the same page 😀. But your both wrong. If there is no incentive to sell - GAMEFISH - then there is less incentive to poach. There will always be poachers and most regs are based on the he honor system. Does anyone reallh think that NJ surfcasters are the problem here? I don't. I'd say the bite both before and after the spawn, of 30-40 pound fish that we have seen in recent years clearly does more damage. Add to that all of the big fish that will be saved in Massachusetts.

These new regs will rebuild this fishery.
 
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Roccus7

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What exactly does a NJ "Tag" look like. Is it a plastic one that you would put around a fish's jaw and locks permanently like part boats or VA commercial bass tags that I saw in fish markets back at the turn of the century???

And George, as I'mm feeling a disturbance in the Force and you seem to be reassessing your relation with the "Dark Side". So if $$ = Commercial, than For Hire offering services to catch fish = $$, correct??? Yes, they should be broken off as a separate entity with their own quota with penalties for going over...
 

george

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What exactly does a NJ "Tag" look like. Is it a plastic one that you would put around a fish's jaw and locks permanently like part boats or VA commercial bass tags that I saw in fish markets back at the turn of the century???

And George, as I'mm feeling a disturbance in the Force and you seem to be reassessing your relation with the "Dark Side". So if $$ = Commercial, than For Hire offering services to catch fish = $$, correct??? Yes, they should be broken off as a separate entity with their own quota with penalties for going over...
Would you prefer that NJ give up their commercial quota? That way they all go back into the pie and get killed by other states. Maybe you would be content if they Gave it back to the commercial fishery? That way they can be netted and end up dragger bycatch.

I'm not familiar with the tags. I only know they use very few.

You realize the Mac/asmfc came out with a for hire mode for blueish this year. So you got what you wished for with bluefish a separate category right? Now private anglers get a 3 bag and for hire anglers gets 5. I've always opposed sperate categories but it's inevitable when rec anglers continue to look at them as"commercial."

There's way too much emphasis on the party/charter boats. With over 5 million private anglers targeting bass up and down the coast were worried about charter boats. We don't care about the gill net by catch, or dragger by catch or what's happening in the bay.

If they get a sperate bass category they will end up with more fish too. Be careful of what you wish. Now it can be a 3 way battle at the table. Recs will fight for their fish, the for hire mode will fight for their piece and then there's the commercial side.
 

Roccus7

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Would you prefer that NJ give up their commercial quota? That way they all go back into the pie and get killed by other states. Maybe you would be content if they Gave it back to the commercial fishery? That way they can be netted and end up dragger bycatch.

I'm not familiar with the tags. I only know they use very few.

You realize the Mac/asmfc came out with a for hire mode for blueish this year. So you got what you wished for with bluefish a separate category right? Now private anglers get a 3 bag and for hire anglers gets 5. I've always opposed sperate categories but it's inevitable when rec anglers continue to look at them as"commercial."

There's way too much emphasis on the party/charter boats. With over 5 million private anglers targeting bass up and down the coast were worried about charter boats. We don't care about the gill net by catch, or dragger by catch or what's happening in the bay.

If they get a sperate bass category they will end up with more fish too. Be careful of what you wish. Now it can be a 3 way battle at the table. Recs will fight for their fish, the for hire mode will fight for their piece and then there's the commercial side.
I'm totally fine with separation of "Church & State". Basically the States and ASMFC have already done this by having separate "For Hire" and "Recreational" regs. By breaking out the quotas separately, and PENALIZING the sectors' overages the next year and not REALLOCATING between sectors for under harvests the next year, all stakeholders can see what gyrations are being made solely for the the "Half Pregnant Commercial Sector", the For Hire folks. Furthermore ASMFC could institute VTR reporting for the For Hire fleet so they have a more accurate accounting for that sector than MRIP and voluntary reporting.

This is more about transparency in fisheries management than anything else. It will also to force ASMFC to stop having For Hire councilors called "Recreational" since their motivation is certainly not straight recreational.
 

MakoMike

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Would you prefer that NJ give up their commercial quota? That way they all go back into the pie and get killed by other states. Maybe you would be content if they Gave it back to the commercial fishery? That way they can be netted and end up dragger bycatch.

I'm not familiar with the tags. I only know they use very few.

You realize the Mac/asmfc came out with a for hire mode for blueish this year. So you got what you wished for with bluefish a separate category right? Now private anglers get a 3 bag and for hire anglers gets 5. I've always opposed sperate categories but it's inevitable when rec anglers continue to look at them as"commercial."

There's way too much emphasis on the party/charter boats. With over 5 million private anglers targeting bass up and down the coast were worried about charter boats. We don't care about the gill net by catch, or dragger by catch or what's happening in the bay.

If they get a sperate bass category they will end up with more fish too. Be careful of what you wish. Now it can be a 3 way battle at the table. Recs will fight for their fish, the for hire mode will fight for their piece and then there's the commercial side.
George, come on man, you know better. does, CT, NH & ME commercial quotas get added back to the pot and get redistributed to commercial fisheries in other states? The answer would be a big fat NO. And neither would NJs if they opted to not use it.

NJ issues 27,000 bonus tags each year. From what the NJ guys are saying each one of those tags get used at least 2 or 3 times to bring home a "bonus" fish. So it might not be too bad if their bonus program only resulted in 27,000 additional fish killed, and they stayed with the commercial quota. But the way things work "on the ground" those 27,000 tags result in 81,000 additional dead fish. A number way in excess of the NJ commercial quota. BTW all of the party and 6 pack boats have these tags, they advertise that fact.

From a conservation point of view, what difference does it make what happens to a fish after it's dead?
 

george

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Once and for all let's dispel this NJ killing all of the fish that they get from an outlawed commercial fishery in their state. And please don't tell me about all of the poachers. Every state has poachers and that is just a fact. All of fishery regulations are voluntary. You have a better chance at winning the lotto than getting caught with illegal fish. In NY we have over 1 million anglers with just 40 ecos enforcing those laws.

Below is an email from NJ officials showing how many fish rec anglers kill of the 250,000 pounds they're allowed:

Hi George,
The number of fish harvested in NJ’s Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) can vary year to year depending on a variety of factors. That being said, usually less than 10% of the allocated quota is used. Since 1996, the SBBP has used more than 10% of the quota only 6 times.
Since 2015, the average number of fish harvested per year using SBBP permits is about 2,500 fish/year.
In 2018, only 1, 101 fish were harvested using SBBP permits which accounted for 3.1% of NJ’s allocated quota (215,912 lbs).
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks.
Brendan
Brendan Harrison
Fisheries Biologist
NJ Div of Fish & Wildlife
Bureau of Marine Fisheries
PO Box 418, Port Republic, NJ 08241
brendan.harrison@dep.nj.gov
P:609-748-2066

So they take 3% of the fish. How many do you think the commercial fishery would have taken? So it's clear they save more fish than any state on the coast. It's a fact. If they were to choose not to use them they would be added back into the biomass and Back into the equation. What happened to all of the bass NY saved when we took one fish instead of two? Do you know what we got for voluntarily reducing our take by 50%? They got added back in and basically shared by the rest of the coast. We didn't save a single fish.

Those are the facts plain and simple.
 

Roccus7

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Hey folks how about we stop calling each other names and do something useful like writing letters to individual members on ASMFC's Striped Bass council. You say you don't feel like you're being heard, cut of of meetings, ignored etc. You know damn well that whining here has no benefit other than catharsis. Direct your energies in a useful way, and that is crafting an ORIGINAL letter to a member of ASFMC. If you're from NJ, send a love letter to Adam, and copy other council members just to make sure your thoughts are heard.

Since Chairman Keliher is from Maine, I got away with one letter and just to make sure folks here won't copy it, I've only posted a snippet of it below. My letter was quite lengthy...

If the Council acquiesces to approve the CEs of individual sates that would jeopardize the Coast Wide 18% Reduction as a whole, even if there is an 18% reduction in that particular state, the council is demonstrating incompetence, pure and simple. The goal here is a Coast Wide 18% Reduction in Striped Bass losses due to harvest and release mortality, PERIOD. It has never been presented as 18% Coast Wide unless some states will whine and play with CEs to show they can get a 18% drop, even though it may jeopardize the 18% Coast Wide Reduction Goal.

As you have demonstrated many times in the past, I expect you and the Council to continue to do the right thing for the Atlantic Striped Bass. If not, I'll join the hundreds of anglers who have expressed no confidence in ASFMC's abilities and start seeking ways to shift striped bass management to NMFS, an organization that doesn't mind hurting individual states' feelings, especially in times of necessary austerity for a specific species.
 

MakoMike

Angler
Dec 30, 2018
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Once and for all let's dispel this NJ killing all of the fish that they get from an outlawed commercial fishery in their state. And please don't tell me about all of the poachers. Every state has poachers and that is just a fact. All of fishery regulations are voluntary. You have a better chance at winning the lotto than getting caught with illegal fish. In NY we have over 1 million anglers with just 40 ecos enforcing those laws.

Below is an email from NJ officials showing how many fish rec anglers kill of the 250,000 pounds they're allowed:

Hi George,
The number of fish harvested in NJ’s Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) can vary year to year depending on a variety of factors. That being said, usually less than 10% of the allocated quota is used. Since 1996, the SBBP has used more than 10% of the quota only 6 times.
Since 2015, the average number of fish harvested per year using SBBP permits is about 2,500 fish/year.
In 2018, only 1, 101 fish were harvested using SBBP permits which accounted for 3.1% of NJ’s allocated quota (215,912 lbs).
Please let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks.
Brendan
Brendan Harrison
Fisheries Biologist
NJ Div of Fish & Wildlife
Bureau of Marine Fisheries
PO Box 418, Port Republic, NJ 08241
brendan.harrison@dep.nj.gov
P:609-748-2066

So they take 3% of the fish. How many do you think the commercial fishery would have taken? So it's clear they save more fish than any state on the coast. It's a fact. If they were to choose not to use them they would be added back into the biomass and Back into the equation. What happened to all of the bass NY saved when we took one fish instead of two? Do you know what we got for voluntarily reducing our take by 50%? They got added back in and basically shared by the rest of the coast. We didn't save a single fish.

Those are the facts plain and simple.
George do you really believe that? The state issues 27,000 tags and only 1,101 fish were harvested using those tags? Maybe that's the correct number for the number of tags reported and returned. Do you really understand how the bonus tag system in NJ works? The state issues the tag to an individual or a party/charter boat. That tag can be used take one fish that is blow the normal size limits. Its supposed to be attached to the fish and reported to the NJ DEC. The numbers alone should be a red flag indicating something is wrong. Do you really think it possible that 27,000 NJ anglers only caught 1,101 fish during the entire fall migration? Sure, every state has its poachers, but in NJ the bonus tag program is aiding and abetting the poaching. If I have a tag I can keep an undersized fish. But I don't have to use the tag unless I'm stopped by a clam cop. If I'm not stopped, which like you say is the norm, then I can use the tag again and again.

As far as "paybacks" for not killing fish, maybe I should get some commercial tags because I haven't killed a striped bass in at least 5 years? CT and NH don't ask for paybacks because they don't kill their commercial quotas. What makes NJ different? The fact that a fish that is NOT killed remains part of the SSB shouldn't come as a shock, all of the fish in the SSB are still alive, that's the definition of the SSB. I don't get the whole concept of one state being entitled to something special just because they didn't kill as many fish as they could have. In fact the recreational sector kills 90% of the total fishing mortality for striped bass, and we're quibbling about one state's small portion of the commercial quota? Why can't NJ abide by the same rules as everyone else?
 

george

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Mike,

I'm not here to defend NJ although I realize that's what I've been doing. But here you are accusing them of the opposite of what the numbers say. You accuse them of poaching when you have zero proof of it. It's all conjecture. Should I assume that every commercial fisherman is doing the same? Well, I don't.

I'm beginning to think that the rest of the coast is jealous of the fact that they were sleeping at the wheelhouse while NJ was protecting their right to fish. I know I am.
 

Roccus7

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Mike,

I'm not here to defend NJ although I realize that's what I've been doing. But here you are accusing them of the opposite of what the numbers say. You accuse them of poaching when you have zero proof of it. It's all conjecture. Should I assume that every commercial fisherman is doing the same? Well, I don't.

I'm beginning to think that the rest of the coast is jealous of the fact that they were sleeping at the wheelhouse while NJ was protecting their right to fish. I know I am.
I'll take an alternate position, in that where do you draw the line between being a responsible steward of a resource and raping said resource?

We can debate the coast wide slot ad nauseam, but must realize the calculations of it's 18% reduction was done with the coast as a whole. Since it covers a fish that swims up and down the coast it's only logical that some states, even some local areas within a given state, may have a greater than an 18% reduction and others may see less than an 18% reduction. If NJ's CE does support the coast wide 18% reduction, then Bravo, I'm all in, trophy tags and all.

However, if that CE jeopardizes the coast wide 18%, then it should be rejected by ASMFC and NJ's "protection of their right to fish" is NOT a protection of their right to fish. Rather it is a heinous, irresponsible and blatant fish grab at the expense of everyone who fishes for striped bass.
 

george

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It does conform with 18%. The original slot somehow had them at a 26% reduction and that's why they get that larger slot. Mike had it right, CEs are not sound science. But that's where the politics comes in. It's all science up until it's time to make the decision.
 
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Roccus7

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It does conform with 18%. The original slot somehow had them at a 26% reduction and that's why they get that larger slot. Mike had it right, CEs are not sound science. But that's where the politics comes in. It's all science up until it's time to make the decision.
EXACTLY my point. The original slot was formulated for a coast-wide reduction of 18%. The coast wide data were analyzed as a whole and the 28 - <35" slot gave that reduction.

This slot does NOT equate to each state getting an 18% reduction,. That is why some states may benefit, some stay neutral and some get may give more up. If high-volume states like NJ, MA, NY, VA, MD, CT & RI start throwing in their own CEs, the coast wide 18% goal gets shot to hell and none of it makes sense. The 18% coast wide is the foundation of Addendum VI.

I'd even go as far as saying states like MD, VA and NY with the most significant breeding grounds, should be overly conservation minded, as they are the "grandparents" of Atlantic Coast striped bass and states like MD, with their crazy proposed CEs, should start acting like it.

Each state can't game the rules to their advantage without possibly screwing the whole process, and that is exactly what NJ is trying to do. It isn't "protect their rights", it's potentially jeopardizing future striped bass fishing for all of us.

This all coming from a person whose state's quota is so small that over or undershooting it by 100% wouldn't even be a rounding error in the species population numbers.
 

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