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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Officials to discuss bonus program proposals
Published in the Asbury Park Press 03/29/05
By:John Geiser


Aselect group of advisors to the state Marine Fisheries Council is scheduled to meet this afternoon to discuss the future of the striped bass bonus program.
State Department of Environmental Protection biologists and officials have been wrestling for months with proposals to revamp the bonus program, and they will be seeking comments on their ideas today.

James A. Donofrio, executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said the RFA has been invited to participate, but it will not be going into the meeting with an agenda.

"I have no idea what they're going to talk about as far as details go," he said, "but we do not have a position on details ? we're not taking a position on who gets what and who doesn't."

Donofrio said RFA members should be getting their new striped bass survey forms in the mail today or Wednesday, but there will not be questions about a bonus program.

"There are only two questions this time (preferences for the present law or two fish at 28 inches and up), and nothing about a bonus program," he said.

"There are not enough bonus tags to go around for all of the striped bass fishermen in New Jersey ? they could be like tickets to the World Series ? and what the state does is up to them," he said.

"We've said all along that we wanted a bonus program and we wanted it to be fair," he said. "Brad Campbell (director of the DEP) promised that he would have a bonus program, and he is delivering. He's putting a program in place."

Thomas P. Fote, legislative chairman of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, said he received an invitation from the state to participate in the bonus program meeting, and he will be there.

"It's the same day as our regular monthly meeting, and I've got other meetings tomorrow as well, but I'll be there," he said. "This is important to the striped bass fishermen of New Jersey, and we want this to be as fair as possible."

Fote said he was told that the first wave of data from the North Carolina fishery is in, and reportedly the recreational sector landed 3.5 million pounds of bass.

"This is a dramatic increase," he said. "The other states were down in January and February (including New Jersey), but North Carolina is way up."

This comes as no surprise to many fishermen who were following the action. Some New Jersey anglers were dashing down to North Carolina on weekends to get in on the fishing.

Fote cautions, however, that this may not upset the coastal picture, and a change in landings in other states could offset this increase.

Fote said another interesting North Carolina fact is that the weakfish landings are up in that state when the species, generally, is in trouble.

"New Jersey has now dropped to No. 4, and Virginia and North Carolina have both moved ahead of us," he said. "Remember when they put the new plan in, New Jersey took a cut from 14 fish at 14 inches to eight fish at 13 inches?

"North Carolina went from four fish at 12 inches up to seven fish at 12 inches," he pointed out. "We were all supposed to cut back, and they got an increase. We said at the time that it was not fair, but they went ahead anyway, and now their catch is way up."

Fote said he is also concerned about the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission American Eel Management Board's public information document to be heard at 7 p.m. May 5, in the Atlantic County Library, 306 East Jimmie Leeds Road, Absecon.

The document includes a proposal to limit anglers to a possession limit of 15 eels, but would put no restrictions on harvesters.

The proposal would allow commercial fishermen to land an unlimited number of eels, but a party or charter boat captain could only buy 15 eels at a time. This would hurt boatmen who fish live eels for striped bass.

The American eel is in trouble, and Canadian and U.S. data show 2003 commercial landings were the lowest on record since 1945, and there are indications of localized recruitment failure in the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River system.

In fact, the International Eel Symposium at the 2003 American Fisheries Society annual meeting reported a worldwide decline

[ 03-30-2005, 05:00 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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It will be interesting to see what the bonus tag program will look like. The Pa Chapter of the RFA along with national RFA put alot of effort into trying to keep this valuable program going. The extra fish are a bonus, the scientific knowledge gained from the program is the true asset! The many letters written to the governor, head of the DEP (Brad Campbell), and NJ Fish and Wildlife Service made a significant impact. Thanks to all who got involved.
 

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the release is out..........

IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: Karen Hershey
March 30, 2005 (609) 984-1795


DEP ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF POPULAR STRIPED BASS BONUS PROGRAM

(05/30) TRENTON--Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced a plan to administer
the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) for 2005. This year's program
rewards past participation while bringing in new participants via a
lottery system.

"DEP has developed a unique Striped Bass Bonus Program that protects
the striped bass resource, is fair to the anglers who choose to apply
for the privilege of taking home a third striped bass, and is mindful of
the Department's limited resources," said DEP Commissioner Campbell.
"The Program has been extremely popular with New Jersey anglers and it's
important that we continue to work cooperatively with the Marine
Fisheries Council and other constituent groups to enhance our
recreational fishing programs."

Details of the SBBP were developed with the assistance of New Jersey's
recreational fishing organizations and the New Jersey Marine Fisheries
Council.

New Jersey is allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass
under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as
administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC).
Since New Jersey does not allow the netting or sale of striped bass,
the quota was transferred to the recreational sector in 1990, resulting
in the origin of the SBBP. If New Jersey harvests more than the
assigned quota in any calendar year, the following year's quota will be
reduced by the amount of over-harvest.

New Jersey is the only state on the east coast that allows recreational
anglers the opportunity to keep a third striped bass per day. The
current striped bass recreational size limits allow anglers to take one
fish at 24" to less than 28" and one fish at 34" or greater. Under the
2005 SBBP, anglers will be able to take a third fish at 28" or greater.

The existing Striped Bass Bonus Program remains free of charge.

The following is an overview of the 2005 program. Complete details
about the SBBP and instructions for filing an application can be found
at www.njfishandwildlife.com.

*The striped bass size limit under the SBBP will be 28 inches or
greater.

* The Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) will allocate 20,000
bonus cards. Limiting the SBBP to 20,000 cards will safely guarantee
that the harvest quota will not be exceeded.

*25 percent of the cards will be distributed to party and charter
boats. Eighty cards will be distributed to each participating party
boat with 18 or more passengers, while all other boats will receive 16
cards.

*18 percent of the cards will be distributed to individuals that were
in the SBBP in 2004 and returned their voluntary log information.

*57 percent of the cards will be distributed to anglers via lottery.

* Individual participants will receive two non-transferable cards,
one card good per day. There will be no replacement cards issued after
using the two cards. The cards, which should be returned to the
Department with the catch details, provide valuable information the
Department needs to manage the striped bass resource.

*The SBBP season will start on or around September 1, 2005.

Applications will be available at www.njfishandwildlife.com, and at
most bait and tackle shops that distribute the Marine edition of the
Fish & Wildlife Digest. No applications will be mailed out of Division
offices. The application deadline is May 31, 2005.


###
 

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New Jersey is the only state on the east coast that allows recreational
anglers the opportunity to keep a third striped bass per day. The
current striped bass recreational size limits allow anglers to take one
fish at 24" to less than 28" and one fish at 34" or greater. Under the
2005 SBBP, anglers will be able to take a third fish at 28" or greater.
Good news!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Great to hear this, thanks circlehook...
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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Yo Steve,
If you sent in your log from last year, will they automatically send you a tags for 2005 season? Thanks, Keith the bagman
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Originally posted by the bagman:
Yo Steve,
If you sent in your log from last year, will they automatically send you a tags for 2005 season? Thanks, Keith the bagman
Thats The Deal Keith,,if you sent them in and I
believe if it was before just the other day 3/28/05 you will recieve it in the mail..
I will try to get a time line on when exactly..

[ 03-31-2005, 09:36 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here's The Program In A Nut Shell,With The Important Dates Highlighted..
----------------------------------------------

The following is a guide to the 2005 Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP). It is important to stress that any application failing to meet the 2005 SBBP criteria will be rejected.

The striped bass size limit under the SBBP will remain at 28 inches or greater.


The Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) will allocate 20,000 bonus cards. Limiting the SBBP to 20,000 cards will safely guarantee that the harvest quota will not be exceeded. If the quota is exceeded in any one year, the excess harvest is subtracted from the following year?s quota.


25% of the cards will be distributed to party and charter boats (P/Cs). A total of 80 cards will be distributed to each participating party boat (18 or more passengers) for 2005, while all other boats will receive 16 cards.


18% of the cards will be distributed to individuals that were in the SBBP in 2004 and returned their voluntary log information. The logs must have been received by the Division and postmarked no later than 3/28/05.


57% of the cards will be distributed to anglers via lottery as discussed below.


Individual participants will receive two non-transferable cards, one card good per day. There will be no replacement cards issued after using the two cards. The cards, which should be returned to the Department with the catch details, provide valuable information the Department needs to manage the striped bass resource.


The SBBP season will start on or around September 1, 2005.

Lottery procedures follow:

Individuals that were in the 2004 SBBP and returned their voluntary log information to the Division will automatically receive two bonus cards and need not apply. The Division must have received the logs by 3/28/05.


Applications are available on this website. Applications will also be available at most bait and tackle shops that distribute the Marine edition of the New Jersey Fish & Wildlife Digest by April 8. No applications will be mailed from Division offices.


2005 applications must be completely filled out and returned by mail to the address below. Applications will not be accepted at Division offices (all applications must be postmarked).


MAIL COMPLETED APPLICATION TO:
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
2005 BONUS PROGRAM LOTTERY
P.O. Box 418
Port Republic, NJ 08241


Applications postmarked between January 1, 2005 to March 28, 2005 have been entered into the lottery. After March 28, 2005, only applications clearly marked as ?2005 BONUS PROGRAM LOTTERY? will be entered into the lottery.


Only one application per individual will be accepted. If multiple applications are received from an individual, all applications from that person will be rejected.


A self-addressed stamped #10 business-sized envelope (SASE) must be included with each application. If any application is not accepted or is not selected to receive a bonus card, the SASE WILL NOT be returned, nor will individuals be notified their application was accepted or rejected.


All applications MUST be postmarked by May 31, 2005. Applications postmarked after this date will not be included in the lottery.


All applications will be assigned a number. A computer program will generate a list of random numbers. All applications selected and meeting SBBP requirements will be processed as per SBBP policy.


The procedures used to determine the 2005 SBBP rules are for calendar year 2005 only. All unused cards become void after 12/31/05.


Cards will be sent to all participants (individuals and P/C boats) approximately mid-August. These 2005 SBBP cards will be valid upon receipt.

[ 03-31-2005, 09:51 AM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Originally posted by Belmo:
Is the bopus program limited to NJ residents, or can others (i.e. PA interlopers) apply?
Belmo,

Anybody from anywhere can apply,,,,

Good Luck,,
 

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I sent my 2004 log and my sons back in December. According to my reading of this stuff, we will get tags as a result of sending the logs and dont have to chance a lottery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Originally posted by BobEver:
I sent my 2004 log and my sons back in December. According to my reading of this stuff, we will get tags as a result of sending the logs and dont have to chance a lottery.
That's right Bob,,,

My only worry is let's just say you sent in your
logs last year and for some reason you do not get it(cards) in August.By then its too late in enter into the lottery (Deadline 5/31)..
Do you chance sending in a New Application this year and possibly be rejected for trying to get more then the 2 alloted cards per angler ???

I called Fish & Wildlife today and they have no
information on this subject,they just tell you to
go to the website "it has all the information"..

[ 03-31-2005, 02:33 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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Originally posted by NIGHTSTRIKES:
That's right Bob,,,

My only worry is let's just say you sent in your
logs last year and for some reason you do not get it(cards) in August.By then its too late in enter into the lottery (Deadline 5/31)..
Do you chance sending in a New Application this year and possibly be rejected for trying to get more then the 2 alloted cards per angler ???

I called Fish & Wildlife today and they have no
information on this subject,they just tell you to
go to the website "it has all the information"..
Steve:

Thanks for the comeback, my sentiments exactly on both (1) what happens if my log wasnt received, etc, and (2) bureaucratic responses.

I guess I will just take my chances that they did receive our logs, and that we will receive our tags. It worked out fine for us when we sent our logs in the past.
 

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Those who get their tag's just remember to use them as trophy tags as you will not recieve new card's !! Look's like alot of catch and release this year !! Good luck everyone !!
 
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