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12.07.2011 Sorry Bobby, going fishing

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Fish Report 12/07/11

Sorry Bobby, Going Fishing

NE Regional Action Items

VTRs?

 

Friday, December 9th -- Long Sea Bass -- Calm & Warm(er) -- 6 to 4 -- $125.00 -- Bait Provided -- Jigs Are Not -- (but jigs are hot!) 

 

Hi All,

A calm has opened for Friday, December 9th.

Winds 5 to 10 -- Waves 1 to 2 -- Air Temp 50 -- Might be the last of that this winter.

Long Sea Bass -- 6 to 4 -- $125.00 -- Bait Provided -- Jigs Are Not. 

Try to get anothercbass trip Monday -- 12/12/11 -- 5:30 to 4 --  $125.00 -- But the forecasted calm isn't as sound--Maybe; there don't appear to be many windows coming..

 

Capt. Bob's service is Friday at 11:00 -- My obligations are too many not to fish if I can.. He, of all people, would have understood..

 

Will be thinking of him though. Have been. A friend sent this very curious classical/bluegrass hybrid tune with Yo-Yo Ma, Aoife O'Donovan, Chris Thile -- Haunting -- Track is Here and Heaven  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IT-xf0IVdE 

.........................

 

Lot of good stuff falling into place from the rec-fish summit a while back  http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/stories/2011/12/docs/action_agenda_ne.pdf 

I was so glad to see Essential Fish Habitat -EFH- in the Summit Action Plan

 

..then I read on.

"In the Mid-Atlantic, the Northeast Regional Office will provide technical assistance in development

of the EFH provisions of the

Bluefish Fishery Management Plan........ "

 

Dang, well, blues do use reefs for about two months in fall when they're eating the heck out of sea bass -- there is an ecosystem connection.

Pretty disheartening though.

Ah well, its one thing in an ocean of ills.

There is a lot in that plan -- worth reading.

 

Then Dr. Chris Moore, Executive Director of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, sends out a letter to participants in last week's conference. He concludes by stating our fear the data we send in, the Vessel Trip Report data -- a catch form we fill out every day ..that our fears are unfounded because It Is Used to fact-check recreational catch estimates, at least for party/charter.

 

Um, well, No.

The Official Estimate for Maryland Party/Charter sea bass in May/June 2010 is Zero. I officially reported --and WOULD NOT have received fishing permits the following year had I not-- 2,026 cbass in just the first week of season. 

In 2011 I reported 848 cbass for the first 4 days I fished in May. The official estimate for all Maryland party/charter sea bass for all of May/June is 713.

There are other boats sending this data in.

 

"Can't change it."  

"Not Our Fault."

"Just Following Orders."

 

The single most important aspect of VTR truthing --just a concept of mine-- is the ability to determine percentages or, via participant research, "mode-share" of catch based off VTR-verified data...

For instance, there's NO WAY that Maryland private boats (here the 'private boat mode') EVER took more sea bass than MD partyboats -- EVER.

 

Unless you use the official estimates.

 

There's NO WAY that NJ's shore anglers caught ALL the mid-Atlantic's shore-based tog in March/April 2010 -- There's NO WAY those same NJ shore anglers caught 67,376 more tog that spring than ALL the party & charter boats in ALL the Mid-Atlantic..

 

But managers, who mostly don't fish, shrug their shoulders, "Angler effort sure is hard to predict."

 

I can show numerous examples where just my own VTR reported catch exceeds the MRFSS estimate in a given period or year - and I can show where catches fantastically higher than my real percentage of MD catch are represented..

However hard it is to push with rope--to show an estimate is too high, I can absolutely demonstrate many of MRFSS' underestimates.  

I'm telling you, MRFSS is a cancer eating fisheries science from the inside.

 

Hey Management -- NY, NJ, VA & DE -- everyone has different percentages -- Find out what they are and use the VTRs to calculate if MRFSS is even in the ballpark.

 

I could go on & on.

Believe I have, actually. 

Finding the truth of catch is vital to righting our restoration strategies..

 

From a knowledge of habitat we could base a true picture of where our restoration lies based on present-day holding capacity. With knowledge of spawning-biology, philopatry (homing/natal fidelity) & engineered/protected habitat expansionwe can take the Mid-Atlantic's reef fish populations higher than any historical number.

 

I believe we are in marine science's darkest hour, a time when fishery restoration was thought to be simply a matter of catch restriction. Regulation will always be central, but so too is leaning how to make more fish..

 

Regards,

Monty

 

Capt. Monty Hawkins

mhawkins@siteone.net

Party Boat "Morning Star"

Reservation Line 410 520 2076

http://www.morningstarfishing.com/

 

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