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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of things I came across on Tog. What do you think.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, MARCH 27, 2008
PRESS CONTACT, TINA BERGER 202/289-6400

ASMFC Withdraws New Jersey Tautog Noncompliance Finding

Washington, DC - ASMFC Chair George D. Lapointe has notified the
Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior that the Commission has withdrawn
its noncompliance finding for the State of New Jersey with regards to its
tautog management program. New Jersey notified the Commission on
March 25, 2008 that it has implemented management measures that achieve a 25.6
percent reduction in exploitation as required by Addenda IV and V of the
Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Tautog. The measures, which include
recreational bag limits, and season closures for both the recreational and
commercial fisheries, are consistent with those previously reviewed and
approved by the Commission's Tautog Technical Committee and Management
Board.

"We are delighted that New Jersey, a major participant in the tautog
fishery, has committed to joining our states in taking the necessary steps
to rebuild this valuable species," states ASMFC Chair George D. Lapointe.
"With stock biomass at a third of its historical average, it is critical
that all the states and stakeholders dependent on this fishery share in
the burden of restoring this important resource."

On February 7, 2008, pursuant to the provisions of the Atlantic Coastal
Fisheries Cooperative Management Act of 1993, the Commission notified the
Secretaries of Commerce and the Interior that the State of New Jersey was
out of compliance with the provisions of the Addenda IV and V to the
Tautog Plan. Specifically, New Jersey had not implemented Addenda IV and
V's mandatory harvest reductions, which require the state to implement a
management program that will achieve a 25.6 percent reduction in
exploitation by January 1, 2008. The reduction is necessary to initiate
rebuilding of the overfished tautog stock and to maintain effective
cooperative management of the resource.

On March 11, 2008, the Secretary of Commerce concurred with the
Commission's determination of noncompliance and notified the state that
the federal government would impose a moratorium on fishing for,
possession of, and landing of tautog in New Jersey state waters on April
1, 2008. With submission of the Commission's March 26th letter to the
Secretary regarding New Jersey's compliance, the moratorium will not be
imposed.

For more information, please contact Robert Beal, Director, Interstate
Fisheries Management Program, at (202) 289-6400.

###
PR08-09
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And this as a follow up.
By Kirk Moore • STAFF WRITER • AAP
March 28, 2008 It looks like New Jersey can avert a threatened shutdown of the spring tautog or blackfish fishery, promising regulators that the state will come into compliance with a management plan that calls for anglers to reduce their 2008 catch of the popular wreck fish by 25.6 percent.

A federally-enforced moratorium would have started Tuesday, but this week the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission formally withdrew its finding on noncompliance.
In a statement, commission chairman George LaPointe said New Jersey officials told the interstate group it's implementing new management measures.

"We targeted all our management measure on the spring spawning season, which makes sense from a biological perspective,'' said Peter Himchak, a senior fisheries biologist with the state Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Himchak said the new measures break down along seasonal lines:

Jan. 1 to April 30: Anglers are limited to four fish per day, in a truncated spring season that cuts fishing short in April.

May 1 to July 15: A new closed season will prohibit all recreational blackfish angling.
July 15 to Nov. 15: Anglers limited to one fish per day.
Nov. 16 to Dec. 31: Anglers limited to six fish per day, a cutback from last year's seasonal daily limit of eight fish.
For commercial fishermen, the tautog season will be open only June 5 through June 30, and nov. 1 through Jan. 15, Himchak said. State officials are waiting for a letter from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration acknowledging the changes and lifting the moratorium threat, he said.

Those rule changes had been refused last year by the state Marine Fisheries Council, which disagreed with ASMFC findings and went as far as it could go in demonstrating resistance.
But both the council, an advise-and-consent board to the state Division of Fish and Wildlife, and its recreational fishing constituents were unwilling to sacrifice the 2008 tautog season.
The council met in emergency session last week to approve new 2008 measures.

ASMFC officials say the tautog stock is at one-third of its historic abundance and restricting recreational catches is one of the only courses of action left for conservation. Some recreational advocates, like the Recreational Fishing Alliance, contend the major problem is illegal sales of blackfish to Asian markets and restaurants in New York and Philadelphia, and they've called for tougher enforcement and new restrictions on commercial tog fishing.
 

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Me personally....I think since tog take so damn long to grow...if we don't nip this now...they won't rebound for the future. Why not just say 4 fish up until July when they shut it down....than close it altogether until November then open it up back at 4 instead of 6?

That's my take on it....4 fish whenever the season is open...closed during summer months totally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Kind of shocked by the lack of response here. This, in my opinion, is a prelude to closing the species. I think two maybe three years and it will be a done deal. JMO. What good comes from closing the season for two and a half months? They have pretty much acknowledged that it really isn't the legal catch that is hurting the stock, but more so the illegal catch. So how does this reduction help that? The illegals will still be hurting and there does not seem to be an organized effort to control it.
 

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Michaelc said:
Kind of shocked by the lack of response here. This, in my opinion, is a prelude to closing the species. I think two maybe three years and it will be a done deal. JMO. What good comes from closing the season for two and a half months? They have pretty much acknowledged that it really isn't the legal catch that is hurting the stock, but more so the illegal catch. So how does this reduction help that? The illegals will still be hurting and there does not seem to be an organized effort to control it.


Legislation just put a 10,000. fine in place for us with Horseshoe crabs. In the last ten years their has been one case of somebody messing with crabs when they should not have been.

If this sorry *** state would do the same for the togs and other fish then we would have nothing to worry about. The only way to fix the tog problem is to get a SWL in place and Jack the fines up to the moon. Until then enforcement is pissing in the wind , They're hand are tied. The scum that is destroying this fishery , have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To me it make zero sense to hurt / Control the honest Comm/Rec , We're not the problem , but because they know that their is a higher percentage of law abiding anglers we're faced with the cuts. The Fish aren't gaining a damm thing.

The state needs to get some balls and step up to the plate and address the fines !!!!! They are a joke Not just in Tog but in all fisheries.

If a Capt has Fillets stuffed in a thermos he should be put out of business lose his ticket. If Wing Wang Fong has a bucket of shorts on a jetty he should have his hands chopped off and exported. Until the state gets some balls it is the honest guys that are going to keep getting cuts. REMEMBER THAT NEXT TIME YOUR ON A CHARTER BOAT AND THE CAPT IS STUFFING FILLETS IN A THERMOS , OR YOUR WALKING THE JETTY'S AND THE WING WONG FAMILY HAS BUCKETS FILLED WITH SHORTS , OR YOU SEE "" ANGLERS "" AT THE MARINA SELLING THEIR UNREPORTED CATCHES. THEY ARE ONLY HURTING US THE HONEST COMM/REC !!!!!!!!!

THEIR YOU HAVE THE SOLUTION !!
 

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Fishpicker said:
Legislation just put a 10,000. fine in place for us with Horseshoe crabs. In the last ten years their has been one case of somebody messing with crabs when they should not have been.

If this sorry *** state would do the same for the togs and other fish then we would have nothing to worry about. The only way to fix the tog problem is to get a SWL in place and Jack the fines up to the moon. Until then enforcement is pissing in the wind , They're hand are tied. The scum that is destroying this fishery , have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To me it make zero sense to hurt / Control the honest Comm/Rec , We're not the problem , but because they know that their is a higher percentage of law abiding anglers we're faced with the cuts. The Fish aren't gaining a damm thing.

The state needs to get some balls and step up to the plate and address the fines !!!!! They are a joke Not just in Tog but in all fisheries.

If a Capt has Fillets stuffed in a thermos he should be put out of business lose his ticket. If Wing Wang Fong has a bucket of shorts on a jetty he should have his hands chopped off and exported. Until the state gets some balls it is the honest guys that are going to keep getting cuts. REMEMBER THAT NEXT TIME YOUR ON A CHARTER BOAT AND THE CAPT IS STUFFING FILLETS IN A THERMOS , OR YOUR WALKING THE JETTY'S AND THE WING WONG FAMILY HAS BUCKETS FILLED WITH SHORTS , OR YOU SEE "" ANGLERS "" AT THE MARINA SELLING THEIR UNREPORTED CATCHES. THEY ARE ONLY HURTING US THE HONEST COMM/REC !!!!!!!!!

THEIR YOU HAVE THE SOLUTION !!
Well said, and right to the heart of the problem. I agree 100%.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well said picker. What I would really like to know is where are your organizations on this? Why do they always seem to wait until the issue hits critical mass until they decide to act? Do they wait until then because its better for recruiting purposes? This is a prelude of things to come. In several years, this will hit critical mass and then it will be too late. Don't worry though, we will get those pots off of the reefs.
 

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Answer on Summer Closure

capemaychef said:
Me personally....I think since tog take so damn long to grow...if we don't nip this now...they won't rebound for the future. Why not just say 4 fish up until July when they shut it down....than close it altogether until November then open it up back at 4 instead of 6?

That's my take on it....4 fish whenever the season is open...closed during summer months totally.
The reason for 1 fish in the summer months is to accomodate the divers who like to spear them on the wrecks. There aren't many guys who can dive in November water temps. This is just sharing the resource.

Picker is right that until we get serious about enforcement, this fish will never recover. Go to 10th and Arch in Philly and look at all the undersized tog in tanks at the restaurants. I brought this issue up at an NJMFC meeting with the head enforcement officer from F&W and he danced around the issue like Hillary explaning sniper fire. Here are the facts I gave him. Every coastal state has a 14 inch minimum so anyone possessing a 10" or 12" fish is in violation. Why not start fining them. So he says that PA doesn't have a 14" minimum so maybe they landed them there. :confused:

This is why we won't beat this problem. No one with the power to solve it wants to solve it. If a lack of PA regulations is really the problem then why can't we get PA to set a minmum size similar to the rest of the states? Because the people who have the connections would rather hold out for game fish status than settle for easier and more reasonable solutions.

Here's another idea to consider. Why not set the regulation to allow the harvest of smaller fish by comms who could then sell the harvest legally to the live fish market for a much higher price. We might only need to take a third or a half as many fish to match the total ex vessel price. We take fewer breeders, we meet the need of an ethnic community and guys who are making a living on the water get to make a better living.

So who loses?

capemaychef said:
Me personally....I think since tog take so damn long to grow...if we don't nip this now...they won't rebound for the future. Why not just say 4 fish up until July when they shut it down....than close it altogether until November then open it up back at 4 instead of 6?
.
I agree, 4 fish would still be enough to motivate most guys to target them. But it is just like the 8 fish bag limit for fluke. Every other state has a smaller bag limit. We don't need an 8 fish bag limit. Fishermen still fish for fluke in other states. Even if MRFSS statisitcs claim that we average less than 2 fish per trip, that doesn't mean that a 4 fish bag limit wouldn't reduce the number of killed fish, all breeders.

But we are using an 6 fish bag limit to market to the perceived greed of fishermen. All it does is make us all look greedy. Peception is Reality! And isn't it funny how people who disparage MRFSS love to rely it when it is to their advantage?

you can't solve the same old problems with the same old thinking.
 

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Fishpicker said:
Legislation just put a 10,000. fine in place for us with Horseshoe crabs. In the last ten years their has been one case of somebody messing with crabs when they should not have been.

If this sorry *** state would do the same for the togs and other fish then we would have nothing to worry about. The only way to fix the tog problem is to get a SWL in place and Jack the fines up to the moon. Until then enforcement is pissing in the wind , They're hand are tied. The scum that is destroying this fishery , have nothing to lose and everything to gain. To me it make zero sense to hurt / Control the honest Comm/Rec , We're not the problem , but because they know that their is a higher percentage of law abiding anglers we're faced with the cuts. The Fish aren't gaining a damm thing.

The state needs to get some balls and step up to the plate and address the fines !!!!! They are a joke Not just in Tog but in all fisheries.

If a Capt has Fillets stuffed in a thermos he should be put out of business lose his ticket. If Wing Wang Fong has a bucket of shorts on a jetty he should have his hands chopped off and exported. Until the state gets some balls it is the honest guys that are going to keep getting cuts. REMEMBER THAT NEXT TIME YOUR ON A CHARTER BOAT AND THE CAPT IS STUFFING FILLETS IN A THERMOS , OR YOUR WALKING THE JETTY'S AND THE WING WONG FAMILY HAS BUCKETS FILLED WITH SHORTS , OR YOU SEE "" ANGLERS "" AT THE MARINA SELLING THEIR UNREPORTED CATCHES. THEY ARE ONLY HURTING US THE HONEST COMM/REC !!!!!!!!!

THEIR YOU HAVE THE SOLUTION !!
I Absolutley AGREE!
 

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capemaychef said:
...closed during summer months totally.

I don't know Carl. Why? They aren't spawning. It's probrably my favorite time of year to target them. Nice and warm out with no pressure on the fish. I don't feel that 1 fish per day isn't going to hurt a fishery as abundant as tog. Like Picker said we aren't the real problem. You know it's going to get really bad Carl when they start banning a fishery outright.
 

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i think we should just down it to 2 fish per day all year n let them reproduce their numbers a lil better before we up the count,

last fall i watched from my work while some guy fish 200+ tog out of a very good local jetty here and kept them all (multiple trips in trash bags to carry all of em) ... the next day i went out to see how bad he hurt the jetty, in an hour i only caught one tog and no other hits, where previous to this incident ide catch about 30fish in an average hour . worst part was he left multiple fish just dead n gutted in between the rocks of the jetty to rot..

peeple are stuupid!
 

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bdubbs said:
i think we should just down it to 2 fish per day all year n let them reproduce their numbers a lil better before we up the count,

last fall i watched from my work while some guy fish 200+ tog out of a very good local jetty here and kept them all (multiple trips in trash bags to carry all of em) ... the next day i went out to see how bad he hurt the jetty, in an hour i only caught one tog and no other hits, where previous to this incident ide catch about 30fish in an average hour . worst part was he left multiple fish just dead n gutted in between the rocks of the jetty to rot..

peeple are stuupid!
bdubbs,

The conservation officers all have cell phones. If you ever see anything like that again call them. That could have been the tip of the ice burg as far as what that poacher was taking.
 

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Numbers to Call.

insomniac said:
bdubbs,

The conservation officers all have cell phones. If you ever see anything like that again call them. That could have been the tip of the ice burg as far as what that poacher was taking.
Operation Game Thief 800-222-0456

Fish and Game Wardens 609-748-2050
 

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I agree with Picker as well.

It seems to me that since there is no regulation in Pennsylvania regarding posession that it would be a great issue to adopt as an e-mail/postcard/fax project. I can't see where any politician would object to sponsoring it just for the PR value alone.... maybe the guys at the Pa Chapter of the RFA know who to dial in on this?

.. and EVERYONE should have the F & G number Capt Gene posted in their cellphones

Fish and Game Wardens 609-748-2050
 

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For honest toggers, I think the regs are fine. 4 and 6 fish per man in the respective seasons sends you home with plenty of meat for a family to eat. The closure in May hurts a bit, as I know I target tog a fair amount that month and the fishing is very good. However, it will be a help to the fishery, as they do sustain a good amount of pressure in easily accessible areas at that time and the females are all loaded with roe. Ultimately, that'll help them.

I agree with Fishpicker, though. Until we step up enforcement and make the fines a legitimate deterrent, we're going to face continual problems from poachers and the illegal live market. This is where most of the damage to the stocks will occur.

Nevermoor, one correction to your post...DE does not have a smaller bag limit than us, as they can keep 10PP a good part of the year.
 

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I fished Tog, 4 times this season out of Belmar. The Fish and Game were at the dock 3 of the 4 times. So they are doing enforcement. No one on these trips violated the regs to the best of my knowledge. Blackfish are truly a fishermans fish it takes a little skill and knowledge to catch them..I think most people who fish them would be fine with a 4 fish limit and a longer season, if it assures the Fishery remains open. I think Tog are the finest of our species here as far as Table fare.....



Liv 2 Fish
 

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Nevermoor said:
I brought this issue up at an NJMFC meeting with the head enforcement officer from F&W and he danced around the issue like Hillary explaning sniper fire. Here are the facts I gave him. Every coastal state has a 14 inch minimum so anyone possessing a 10" or 12" fish is in violation. Why not start fining them. So he says that PA doesn't have a 14" minimum so maybe they landed them there. :confused:
That is pathetic if that statement is true. A F&W guy does not know that Tog are not a fresh water fish. I know there are not enough enforcement guys out there but I would hope the ones that are enforcing the laws understand the fish they are protecting. There must be something that I do not understand going on here. If I shoot someone in NJ I can’t escape the law by crossing a bridge into PA – why can someone illegally take a bunch of live shorts from any coastal state and prominently display them for sale in PA?

I'll run with FishPicker’s comments on this one. Common sense stuff.
 

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TheAdamBomb said:
Nevermoor, one correction to your post...DE does not have a smaller bag limit than us, as they can keep 10PP a good part of the year.
Adam,
I wasn't very clear. I was trying to draw a parallel to the fluke bag limit, 8 fish vs 4 fish. I didn't look at tog bag limits in other states, just sizes. They could all be higher. But thanks for clarifying the regs for everyone.

SanibelFisher said:
That is pathetic if that statement is true. A F&W guy does not know that Tog are not a fresh water fish. I know there are not enough enforcement guys out there but I would hope the ones that are enforcing the laws understand the fish they are protecting.
Sanibel,

It is true. It was 2 or 3 years ago at the Tog advisory panel meeting in Nacote Creek. I was a member of the AP panel at that time. I came to the meeting with all the other state's size limits and tried to get anyone interested in trying something different. I'm not saying that F&W didn't understand the regs, just that he wasn't willing to listen to any ideas. The wardens are understaffed and spend their time where they think they are effective. At the time there had been some retirements and no one had been hired to replace them. I think there were only about 12 or 14 guys trying to cover the whole state at that time. They were investing their time in the tog sting on the North Star.
 

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Tog Opinion

Michaelc said:
And this as a follow up.
What I don't get is that last years fishing reports- according to seasoned,long time locals they haven't seen so many tog being caught off the jetties and such for years-the best togging ever! ALL along the state's shorelines-seemed as if you couldn't get skunked if you were tog fishing on just about any jetty in SJ!! I don't get this so called shortage - unless it's a ploy for the commies to get the tog regs swayed to their advantages.lets see who gets cut back more - us or the commies(so called professionals) in the next year or two.:cool:
 

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I don't fish for Tog,BUT..........

I agree with what everyone here is saying about the reg.'s and laws and fines. If it is set up for a reason then it should be followed by everyone.

I also live in Phila. and what was written about that restaurant makes me sick!! After it was reported to off. and nothing happened it is just an embarrassment to people that live here.:eek: Maybe there isn't a law in PA. that covers Tog but a person that would say " maybe they were caught here" under the assumption that it is a freshwater fish and let it go at that is not doing the job their being paid for in my way of thinking. A person that sells or buys or has in their possession any kind of fish or animal that is wild should be able to produce some sort of record of sorts as to where it was gotten from.
As far as what should become of these offenders I would think what Mr. FishPicker wrote above would just about cover it.

Sorry to be so long winded but after awhile stuff like this really gets me pi$$ed off.
 
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