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I have been added to an email from Capt Monty from OC Maryland, he sends out fishing reports as well as information on upcoming trips. He also is hugely dedicated to Fisheries/Tagging/Habitiat etc. Here is his latest commentary, its a little long but if you have time its a great read. I would love to see this guy team up w/ capt adam and the bogans, I think it would be a powerful combo.

Enjoy(he told me it was ok to post this)
Its so long i need to put in 2 posts

Hi All,
Entered two more days in the logbook. Wednesday was a great day on the water--for January. Nicked away at 'em but never saw anything pushing even 8 pounds.. an OK day though.
Weather forecast for Thursday had a front passing through late. Marine forecasts are significantly, tremendously, better than what we had decades ago. That's a great thing when scheduling short notice trips: perhaps though another hidden guvmint subsidy for the fisheries.
All along they were calling for westerly gusts to 40 in the late afternoon just north of our region..
Weather Service then changed 'late' to '1 PM' causing a twisting, lifting of an eyebrow..
1 PM, 11:00 AM - what's the difference.
Eh, snuck in a good bit of the day. Ran for home with no limits that I know of but a couple good fish; Greg's dandy nudging, but not quite 16 pounds; dinners, plenty of tags, and 1/2 off another trip for the clients.
We'll try again soon.........

Meanwhile, snow's piling up. Take a few minutes to read through this unique perspective of our marine fisheries management. Allow me to wander through a bit of history and use that to illuminate our errors of today..

I hold fisheries restoration as a young science. It wasn't long ago that 'working in marine fisheries' meant looking for ways to extract more wealth, more catch, from the sea. As such, that this is its beginning and nowhere near the middle, that the science involved is not well-seasoned; we can then compare marine restoration of today to the early discoverers.

Alvero Mendana (Men don Ya) discovered the Solomon Islands in 1568. He certainly took as careful note of its location as was possible. However, due to the great difficulties of finding longitude then, Philip Carteret was the next explorer to see those Islands in 1767.
..199 years later.

Neither explorer nor discoverer, Anson's circumnavigation was solely for killing & capturing--disrupting the Spanish fleet in anyway. Departing England in 1740 with 1,854 men he made good on his task, returning victoriously with treasure--and 188 men; scurvy having caused a great many deaths.
You might have thought political spin was a modern invention.. Anson killed 1,200 some people, left a bunch more behind, and was treated as a hero.
Incredibly too, we know that scurvy was recognized, even prevented, as early as 1614 by the British through ascorbic acid; the dissemination of information just wasn't there. It would be a few years after Anson's voyage that Lind conducted one of the very first clinical trials isolating vitamin C as a cure for scurvy. It would be many years more before that work was widely adopted.

A chain of islands, treatment of a horrid malady: both 2 centuries in cementing upon the world's knowledge.
Copernicus anyone?
Information in our era travels faster and faster, is more easily tested for accuracy.. Then tales of new-found lands, the northwest passage, sea-airs causing a man's gums to rot, even sea-monsters had to be considered no matter how factual or fabricated they were: nearly anything was thought possible.
..speaking of the fabled NW passage, Amundsen first transited it from 1903 to 1906 through arduous exploration: As of 2009 it is now open to navigation for a portion of the year. Much of that cold melt-water flows to the Labrador current..
..eh, I'll leave that segue alone.
Just remember, Mendana's island discovery was shelved for 2 centuries while new scientific tools were developed to find more precise location: That scurvy's cure was nailed down centuries before treatment was widely accepted...

In the late 1990s I was trying to figure out how our black sea bass population had grown so huge in such a short period; why areas that I had fished for long years were getting larger, that the actual fishable reef footprint was increasing--Why I had gone from anchoring with exacting precision over a couple rocks to, in that specific locale, drifting long distances while catching a fish I have yet to catch over sand.
What was going on?
We had our nine inch size limit, that was obviously working. Hook scars & tag returns were conclusive, but live releases didn't explain anywhere near these far-far greater numbers of fish.
Nor the expansion of reef-like habitat..

Inconceivably, according to Kurlansky as early as the year 1376 complaints were made to Parliament about habitat loss from towed fishing gear.. Another author even claims two fishers were executed in 1583 for using chains on their beamtrawls -- too destructive of the seabed.
..The several century information lag stretches to six when the subject of the science is covered with water? Or, is that unfair since fisheries restoration is so new.. Is it new after all?

I think that our region's expansion of sea bass--where in the 1980's we had months when we knew we may only catch 7 or 8 fish a day, to, in those same months, having trips with 7,000 & 8,000 fish caught, but mostly released, by the late 1990s. I think this population explosion was primarily fueled not by our self-imposed catch restrictions, but by seafloor habitat expansion due to meager summer flounder quota regulations that kept trawl effort inshore allowing cobble-sized rocky bottoms further out to recolonize with reef growth.

I promise this, there was a lot of newly grown reef in less than 120 feet of water by 1999.
That good fortune lost, much of it is was again impacted.
Yet other areas are presently regrowing.
It seems to take the better part of a decade of no stern-towed gear impacts for growths to have colonized where the ecological function of reef is fully restored.

I couldn't begin to grasp that until I lowered an underwater camera.. Some videos on my website.. There's a large and growing body of marine science focused on just this issue.

True Statement - Currently our science has no hard-bottom reef habitat in the nearshore waters of the Mid-Atlantic.
 
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