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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Saw this article and thought I would share. I was worried of this problem.

From the star ledger yesterday

Anglers hoping for a summer run of decent-sized weakfish are in for a disappointment unless those fish appear out of nowhere, because stock assessments have plunged to near-record lows during the last couple of years.

Russ Allen is the principal biologist working on weakfish for the state and he had nothing but a bleak outlook to offer during Thursday's Outdoor Writer's Workshop sponsored by the Dept. of Environmental Protection at Assunpink Wildlife Management Area.

This is a very strange situation in that recruitment remains high and fishing mortality is relatively low, but the stock continues to decrease for no apparent reason other than natural mortality, which could be due to predation or a lack of adequate nutrition.

Each summer, there are lots of spikes in Barnegat Bay and various other areas, but few of those fish appear the next year at twice the size.

There doesn't appear to be any magic bullet, though the Technical Committee will recommend Tuesday morning to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), during the summer meeting in Virginia, that fishing mortality be cut in half next year.

Three years ago, I saw the fishery failing in Raritan Bay and checked from Virginia to Rhode Island to get similar poor reports before alerting management to the problem.

Yet, nothing has been done until now, while large spawning weakfish are slaughtered by the thousands every spring and small weakfish are unable to migrate south through a mass of gill nets set along the coast.

That's just one more example of how ineffective fisheries management is in responding to a crisis. They had to wait until the stock assessment confirmed the same information I gave them years before when fishing mortality should have been reduced immediately.

[ 08-17-2005, 08:30 PM: Message edited by: Fishenough ]
 

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Thanks for the article Fishenough,
I saw and read that yesterday.I just think its a numbers game.You cannot have great stock assessments for all the species at the same time.
It seems to run in cycles as to who wins out competing for the bait available to create adequate nutrition for the thier young..
Meaning that the Bass population seems to be getting the upper hand these days and when you add in Bluefish someone has to lose out like the Weakfish...
Sure stopping gill nets will help,and I am all for the cutting the mortality rates in any fashion,tougher limits and maybe releasing all Spring time fish (TideRunners)whatever...

I don't know if you saw my post the other week but I came across a huge school of fingerling weakfish-

They were just getting mowed down by their own
(Spike Weakfish)and everything else in the water like Bass and Bluefish...Quite a sight sitting in my kayak and watching this...
So Cannilbism comes into play as well because of the lack of other baitfish like spearing,peanut bunker and mullet...

[ 08-17-2005, 03:29 PM: Message edited by: NIGHTSTRIKES ]
 

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I hope you don't mind me posting this article in the Delaware Bay forum. Some of us are still hoping to see more weakfish in the pond but I don't think it is going to happen. I have caught some keeper weakfish but they have been small except for the one that got away. It was at least 26" or 28" long. It has been a very disappointing year in the pond. I hope they do something real soon to help the weakfish recover.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not at all Capt. Block. I have noticed smaller weaks the past few weeks. My problem are those tiderunners that have been lacking on my part. I'm always looking for an excuse for not catching fish ;)
 

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the bass are eating them all,the number of fish nets on the coast is a fraction of what it once was, and what about all the boats in the bay everyday, i always remeber very small weaffish late in the summer
 

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We had a 3 man limit on Saturday in Barneget Bay. The biggest fish was 18 inches. We must have caught 150 to 200 weakies but the majority of the fish were small.
 

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I haven't been weakfishing for years. I used to go to the Fort when it was real good.

No Bunker = No Weaks. I believe the Bass, Blues and other predators are eating the weaks because there are is a shortgage of Bunker.

Johnny d

[ 08-18-2005, 03:57 PM: Message edited by: johnny d ]
 

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Originally posted by johnny d:
I haven't been weakfishing for years. I used to go to the Fort when it was real good.

No Bunker = No Weaks. I believe the Bass, Blues and other predators are eating the weaks because there are is a shortgage of Bunker.

Johnny d
This year that is not the case. There are plenty of bunker and crabs in the bay.
 

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Last Sept me and my good buddy bubblehead1 ran into a school of weakies out front about 1/2 mi outside CI, must have caught 40 or 50, all under 13 inches except for maybe 4 or 5 of them.....not caught one yet this year, don't know if I caught any in '02 or '03. We are hoping they come back in sept and oct.

five or six years ago they were much more plentiful, last few years been catching way more bass than weakies.......

I guess they are bein cannibalized......

Hey strikes, no doubt you are the king of illustrators, most of your posts have good pics, maps etc.....very helpful and informative - sjb
 

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wHEN THEY GO SOUTH THEY ARE TURNED INTO CAT FOOD AND NEVER RETURN
 
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