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Discussion Starter #1
Bass rules discussions coming up soon

Published in the Asbury Park Press 5/21/04
By:John Geiser


New Jersey striped bass fishermen concerned about the future of their fishery will have a chance to participate in the management process soon.
The state Division of Fish and Wildlife has been working on various proposals to satisfy Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission demands for cutbacks, and opinions will be sought at public hearings in early June.

Michael Doebley, deputy director for government affairs for the Recreational Fishing Alliance, said it is important that anglers get involved.

"I've been talking with anglers all around the state, and they have different ideas," he said. "For instance, shorebound fishermen -- especially in south Jersey -- don't want to lose the slot fish. They want a smaller, tastier fish to take home and eat."

Doebley said the ASMFC's technical committee approved seven options that New Jersey offered for consideration two weeks ago.

"The one they would not consider was the set of current regulations," he said. "They said no way to that."

Doebley explained that the technical committee was actually against the current New Jersey regulations in 1999 when they were proposed, though they satisfied the requirements at the time.

"The trouble was that the catch of smaller fish went up so dramatically after that, it negated what the ASMFC was trying to do," he said.

Doebley said the options the division proposed to the technical committee recently roughly involved two fish at 28 inches or larger, or slots from 24 to 28, 29 or 30 inches with a second fish with a minimum of 34, 36 or 37 inches, or a slot at 26 to 30, 32 or 34 inches with a second fish beginning at 34 inches or larger.

Thomas P. Fote, legislative chairman of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and one of New Jersey's representatives to the ASMFC, said New Jersey's proposals will formally be unveiled before the ASMFC's striped bass board Tuesday.

The meeting will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Radisson Hotel Old Town Alexdandria, 625 First St., Alexandria, Va.

"A state representative will present the options at the Jersey Coast Anglers Association meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Brick municipal building, and the clubs will then have a chance to decide what they support," Fote said.

The JCAA meeting is not open to the public or to members of fishing clubs other than their appointed representatives.

Fote said the division has not set the times, dates or locations for the public hearings, but he thought at least three, possibly four, would be held.
 

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It is time for NJ to grow a set of b#$%# and take the ASMFC to court over losing the breeders status
Delaware River is loaded with stripers as far up as you can go,what the hell do they think they are doing up having a picnic?
Loss of the slot doesn't bother me but once again screws the little guy and the guy fishing off the bank
Time to get tough and look out for the guy who can't afford a big boat of go on a charter and just once to take a fish home
 

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(My apologies for having to re-register - password is malfunctioning)
Willie,
Yes, NJ should pursue any means necessary for reinstating producer area status.

HOWEVER
It is important to note that any changes in the striper regs is absolutely not the result of the loss of producer area status. There was some confusion about this topic but again, producer area status has nothing to do with the regs changing.

If you look at the options above, you see that a smaller fish will be an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
N.J. takes hit on striped bass regulations

Published in the Asbury Park Press 5/26/04
by:John Geiser


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission got tough this week at its meeting in Alexandria, Va., and several states, including New Jersey, felt the effects.
New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts were all found out of compliance with various regulations that they had in place.

It was no surprise that New Jersey was hit on its striped bass regulations yesterday as the word had been passed down for months that it was coming. The 24- to 28-inch slot fish, one fish 28 or over, and a bonus fish were not acceptable to the commission.

The commission's technical committee determined that too many small striped bass were being harvested, though the regulations were originally put in place to reduce pressure on older, sexually mature fish.

New Jersey changed its rules in 2000 to comply with the ASMFC mandate, but in 2001 the ASMFC claimed that it had made a mistake. However, New Jersey was allowed to continue with its regulations under the assumption that a new management plan would be put in place by 2001.

Now the ASMFC wants the regulations changed this year even though the long-awaited plan is not expected to be in place until 2005.

The ASMFC's striped bass board approved several proposed options submitted by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, and they will come up for public hearing beginning next week.

The options include: two fish at 28 inches with no bonus fish; two fish at 28 inches with a bonus fish greater than 28 inches; two fish at 28 inches with a bonus fish between 24 and 28 inches; one fish at 24 to less than 28 inches and one fish greater than 34 inches with a bonus fish over 28 inches; and one fish at 26 to less than 30 inches, one fish larger than 33 inches, and a bonus fish over 30 inches.

Assemblyman Bob Smith, D-Camden, a saltwater fisherman and New Jersey's legislative representative on the ASMFC, assured the board that New Jersey will have its new striped bass regulations in place by Aug. 1.

Michael Doebley, deputy director of government affairs for the Recreational Fishing Alliance, is confident that Smith will deliver.

"He's an ardent fisherman and a great friend of the recreational fishing community," Doebley said. "He's the sponsor of New Jersey's Freedom to Fish bill.

"He wants to get us into compliance as soon as possible. We all want to see this done by July 31, which is the best time for the change rather than in the fall."

New York was hit hard Monday on its fluke regulations. The ASMFC rejected that state's three-fish limit, 17-inch minimum and season opening May 15 and closing Sept. 6. Instead, New York has to come up with new regulations addressing the effect of its overfishing the quota by more than 100 percent last season.

Thomas P. Fote, one of New Jersey's representatives on the ASMFC, said yesterday that he voted to support New York's present regulations.

"These management officials have no idea the economic hardship they're putting on the people in the recreational fishery," he said. "New York is going to have to go with at least something like a 17 1/2- or 18-inch minimum."

Fote said the last two National Marine Fisheries Service stock assessments place the fluke biomass at record levels yet the recreational fishery is not seeing the benefits.

"There's been a tremendous increase in the number of fluke since the low point of 1994," he said. "Yet most people are not catching the number of fluke that they were in 1994.

"What they're doing now is managing people not managing the fish. The fluke fisherman in New York now is the endangered species."

New York and Massachusetts were both declared out of compliance on their porgy regulations, and Connecticut was declared out of compliance on a minor mistake with the length of its sea bass season.

Fote said the overharvest by New York and Massachusetts on their porgy quotas could be addressed through a transfer of quota from the commercial to the recreational sector.

"No one has a problem transferring bluefish quota from the recreational to the commercial fishery, but they won't consider transferring porgy quota from the commercial to the recreational fishery," he said
 
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