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5,153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Stripers Forever - we recently received this column that appeared in The
Washington Times. It certainly reflects the feelings of many of our
members. Frankly, while I don't think that our fishery managers are all
crooked or biased, I do think that they slant the management plans in the
direction that they feel the political winds are blowing. It is our job
to change that when it comes to striped bass. I want to give you this
thought and comment too.

I read today in the National Fisherman Magazine, which for those of you
not familiar with it, is the voice of record for the commercial fishing
industry nationwide, about a NMFS conference held recently in D.C. Sen.
Ted Stevens from Alaska, a long time cheerleader for the Alaskan
commercial fishing industry, fended off negative comments attributed to
the environmental movement, and spoke in defense of NMFS and the Council
system. Here is the quote that I find most important, "And... when it
comes right down to it, the final decision on an appeal is made here."

Clearly Sen. Stevens is saying that if people really don't like something
about fisheries management, take it up with Congress. In my view, the
various recreational fishery organizations have wasted huge amounts of
energy and money on the ASMFC and Council processes, when far more effort
should be put into influencing the marching orders that those managers
receive from Washington. The same is true at the state level. The governor
and key members of the state legislature should be our targets, not the
state fisheries directors, who only carry out the existing, long-standing
approach to management.

This is the reason for the current New England letter writing and
e-mailing campaign. If you haven't already done so, please go to, see our Action Alert, and download the
appropriate Word document for your state as well as the contact list.
Send both an e-mail and a snail mail. Do it today for the future of
striped bass fishing.
Brad Burns

here is the article from the The Washington Times

Report skews rockfish harvest numbers

By Gene Mueller

I've never been a fan of the various federal and/or state
regulatory bodies and commissions that deal with our natural
resources ? especially wild fish stocks ? and what they refer
to as
equitable ways to allocate such resources.
My dislike is rooted in the strong favoritism invariably
by such agencies and commissions toward commercial interests.
Meanwhile, the very people who pay most of the bills ? in
case, recreational anglers ? are viewed by the government
types as a
pain in the neck.
I don't think this attitude will change in my lifetime.
It's a
sad state of affairs.
Take for example the National Marine Fisheries Service
plods on year after year in the firm belief that (a) certain
depleted fish species are actually a lot better off than we
them to be or (b) they must be sure that commercial fish
make a living. (Wouldn't it be nice if private industry looked
its millions of employees with such devotion.)
Along the eastern United States, the majority of tidal
activity is managed by fiat through the Atlantic States Marine
Fisheries Commission headquartered in the District.
A disturbing report that strongly favored commercial
interests was recently issued by the ASMFC. In a recent issue
of its
newsletter, Fisheries Focus, a species profile was presented
the headline "Atlantic Striped Bass ? The Challenges of
Managing a
Restored Stock."
Of course, in these parts the striped bass ? better known
rockfish ? isn't a mysterious creature. We know it can be
found from
Nova Scotia to Florida, and we know that the majority of the
stock originates in the Chesapeake Bay. We also know that the
species in general saw a collapse in the 1970s, and by 1985 a
moratorium was declared on the catching of stripers by
or commercial sectors.
The fish rebounded quickly and by 1990 limited fishing was
again permitted.
According to the ASMFC, the commercial harvest that peaked
at 15
million pounds in 1973 declined to 3.5 million pounds in 1983,
or a
77 percent decrease.
Nowadays, the ASMFC believes that the species is doing so
that (under its Amendment 6) the coastal states can implement
commercial quotas equivalent to the average harvests during
1972-79 period. Remember, in 1973, the netters removed 15
pounds of rockfish.
Get ready to see ever-increasing commercial rockfish
especially by Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina.
But if you ask the ASMFC who catches the majority of the
stripers, guess who's doing it?
It's the recreational anglers.
The ASMFC says the recreational harvest of rockfish grew
3.1 million pounds in 1990 to a record high 19.6 million
pounds in
2001. In other words, the sport anglers took more fish than
commercials did during their super year of 1973, when 15
pounds of rockfish ended up on beds of ice in super markets
Do you have any idea how the ASMFC got its numbers about
recreational catch? I don't, and I'm a striper fisherman. I've
been questioned, polled, phoned or otherwise asked how many
I catch, keep or release. No one in my large circle of fishing
has ever been asked. We know there is no legal requirement to
recreational catches, but there is for commercial fishermen.
So how did the ASMFC come up with such numbers that at
blush appear to be outlandish, making us look like ravenous
while the commercials are seen as guys who are not doing any
harm at
all. Sounds to me that this commission has some sort of an
and it doesn't look good for us.
Meanwhile, if you believe the ASMFC numbers, I have a
piece of
Florida swampland I want to sell you.
?Look for Gene Mueller's Outdoors column every Sunday,
and Thursday, only in The Washington Times. E-mail:
[email protected]


773 Posts
What do you think the RFA is doing? Political action. Lobbying. Working the Hill. Congress and the White House.

Stripers Forever is interesting, but they are trying to accomplish something that has been tried numerous times over the past 30 years and failed every time. Will they get any further. Who knows. In the meantime it is only one small battle in an ocean full of problems with commercial overfishing, bycatch, habitat destruction and a growing radical environmental movement that wants to lump recreational fishermen in with commercial industrial fishermen and stop us all from fishing in big chunks of the ocean and estuary waters.

5,153 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
While I continue to be a contributing member to RFA both nationally and in NJ I'm losing confidence in RFA and beginning to think they are just a money sucking organization that is getting few results.
Last year I was told NJ chapter was pushing a license plate and a lottery to help the sad shape of New Jersey recreational fishing but one year later still no evidence of anything happening
I truly believe CCA ( I also support them) gets more results as evidence in what I see down here in florida every winter
Hopefully I'm wrong on RFA but I like to see evidence
Stripers forever not collecting money but trying in a grass roots way to make soem theings happen with Striped Bass and I see some evidence of some of their efforts working
I remember the dicussions around the Magensen Act and it all centered on "never will happen" BUT it did and much because of the grass roots effort
I will keep paying my RFA dues and keep looking for positive results

21,273 Posts
Just because something failed in the past is no reason to give up! If you get skunked 5 trips in a row are ya gonna quit fishing???
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