Skylar

07.25.2012 Lil' Shuffle & Ten minute Limit

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Fish Report 7/25/12 <o:p></o:p>

Little Shuffling <o:p></o:p>

Ten Minute Limit <o:p></o:p>

President OCRF <o:p></o:p>

Where's The Beef? <o:p></o:p>

************<o:p></o:p>

Had wanted to do this trip Thursday, 7/26; Weather forecast seems unfavorable for the long-trip format.. Sunday Trip, 7/29/12 - 12 Hour Cbass (Flounder Less Likely) - 4:30AM to 4:30PM - $150.00 <o:p></o:p>

Opening Labor Day Weekend (Already?) To Three 9+ Hour Trips - Friday, Saturday & Sunday, August 31, Sept 1 & 2 - Leave 6 AM, Return 3:30 - Reef Fishing.. <o:p></o:p>

*************<o:p></o:p>

Sea Bass & Flounder Fishing 7 to 3 Everyday - Longer on Saturdays - Keeping Most Sundays Open In Summer For Research & Different Trips - Plenty Of Spots Open - Always Try To Leave Early & Stay Late - Reservations Required @ 410 520 2076 - We Obey Regulations Whether We Agree With Them Or Not - Bring Food & Beverage Plus A Cooler & Ice For Your Party's Fish - Cheap Styrofoam Coolers Rarely Survive A Day - A 48 QT Igloo Works Great - Dramamine The Night Before Is Cheap Insurance - Be Early, We Like To Leave Early; Rarely In On Time.. <o:p></o:p>

******************<o:p></o:p>

Hi All, <o:p></o:p>

Really nice fishing. Some not-so-nice too. <o:p></o:p>

Mostly pretty good. <o:p></o:p>

Still very much a mix of black sea bass & summer flounder with an odd grey triggerfish thrown in. <o:p></o:p>

Couple folks limited on flounder lately. One fellow --goes by the name of Flounder George-- got a Ten-Minute-Limit. 3 drops, 3 legal flounder.. <o:p></o:p>

Sea bass better some days, flounder: Its a a mix. Very nearly all clients will need hot oil for a fish fry when they get home, some will put a few fish up. <o:p></o:p>

Looking forward to Sunday's long trip. Places to go, fish to catch.... <o:p></o:p>

********************* <o:p></o:p>

Capt. Ted Green snuck out Monday with a crew of divers aboard his charter boat, "O. C. Diver" to go look at 120-some loose 'oyster castle' blocks we've dropped on a large artificial reef. The divers assembled the blocks--they're interlocking, like 30 pound Legos- 100 feet down. All but the newest blocks were already covered in tubularian hydroids--what we call 'tog grass.' In 30 years they'll be covered in coral.. <o:p></o:p>

Filming all the while, these scuba enthusiasts went scouting about looking for more blocks and, on return, discovered sea bass were already swimming in & around their new structure.. <o:p></o:p>

******************** <o:p></o:p>

I am very newly elected president of The Ocean City Reef Foundation. (OCRF) http://www.ocreeffoundation.com/ It's a 501c3 tax deductable .org that was formed by the Nichols family when the State of Maryland cancelled it's barely-begun reef program in 1997. <o:p></o:p>

I have many, many ideas. Want to broaden the Foundation's support base. There's a lot of nets on wrecks & reefs I'd like to see removed, old traps. Build New Reef, enliven sanded in reefs.. Its pretty simple: Grow Coral, Make Fish. <o:p></o:p>

Have enough money to keep the lights on for a few more months at best.. Charts & austerity measures are first on my list. <o:p></o:p>

If you want to help there's a PayPal button on the website or send a check to -- Ocean City Reef Foundation, P.O. Box 1072, Ocean City, MD 21843. <o:p></o:p>

Grow more coral, make more fish. <o:p></o:p>

******************* <o:p></o:p>

But state & federal fisheries are still stuck in a rut, still have a single focus of fishery restoration -- controlling catch -- catch restriction does it all. <o:p></o:p>

It's quite evident that if you successfully reduce catch, then spawning populations increase - we all get that. <o:p></o:p>

But what about places like the original Bass Grounds reef, a place where incalculable sea bass were recreationally caught before the era of modern pinpoint electronics. All that natural growth is gone, wiped out in unregulated surf clamming during the 1960s & 70s -- I hold that catch restriction, no matter how severe, can never restore a population of reef fish to where there is no longer reef: It Can Not Be Done. <o:p></o:p>

There must be habitat before there is need of fishery management.<o:p></o:p>

**************** <o:p></o:p>

The notion our Mid-Atlantic seafloor has only sand & mud --and no reef ecologies whatever-- is slowly dissipating in the scientific community. From a regulatory standpoint, however, there has been no forward motion: Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) in our region occurs only in a few estuarine grass beds and far offshore on some deepwater tilefish bottom -- Its all sand and mud in-between. <o:p></o:p>

***************** <o:p></o:p>

I do believe fishery restoration will become synchronized, that our catch estimates will become firmer & fishes' need of habitat understood and brought to the fight. I believe some species will then be made more abundant than ever before. <o:p></o:p>

But I do not think for a second that the new recreational fish catch estimating program, MRIP, has evolved enough to actually improve estimates. As I'll show below, in some cases MRIP only increases errors. <o:p></o:p>

So long as management continues to get all moon-eyed about their catch data we will continually be accused of fantastic 'overfishing' in our highly regulated recreational fisheries. <o:p></o:p>

**************** <o:p></o:p>

Please Note - I encourage the collection of catch data. What interviewers gather in the field is pristine and on file. Its what happens in tall buildings--not clipboards; In statistical estimating formulas, not the individual counting & weighing of fish, where the trouble starts. We will eventually take coarse field data and create a more truthful picture of our fisheries with it. <o:p></o:p>

**************** <o:p></o:p>

Below are 2 recreational catch estimates from the old program, Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey -- MuRFSS.

Now we have the new program, Marine Recreational Information Program -- MRIP. <o:p></o:p>

Lot of touting - pretty press releases - "Oh What A Good Job We're Doing." <o:p></o:p>

Our saltwater licenses are supposed to bring these statistical spreads at least into near-earth orbit; a head-count to stiffen fish estimates. This is exactly WHY we now have saltwater licensing, to improve recreational catch estimates. <o:p></o:p>

I'm thinking Wendy's commercial: <o:p></o:p>

"Where's The Beef?" <o:p></o:p>

(

) <o:p></o:p>

One of MuRFSS' big bloopers had Ocean City Shore fishers (bridge, jetty, bank, pier, beach) catching 36,017 summer flounder in September/October, 2007. (that's Wave 5 if you're trying to get with the program, Jan/Feb being Wave 1.) <o:p></o:p>

This ridiculous over-estimate withstood every logical argument we could muster. Shoulder to shoulder & phalanx deep, those shore fishers couldn't possibly have caught that many flounder in the hottest bite ever: "That's the estimate. We can't change it." <o:p></o:p>

These 36,000 imaginary dead flounder contributed mightily to management's sense of "Overfishing" and lead to an emergency closure & tighter regulations which have only this year loosened somewhat. <o:p></o:p>

***************** <o:p></o:p>

Here I'll illustrate how entrenched the "We'll stick with any estimate no matter how inane" mentality of regulators is. <o:p></o:p>

You see, that Maryland shore estimate represents more dead flounder than ALL our region's For-Hire boats caught in ALL of the Mid-Atlantic from 2006 to 2011 -- Six years of Sept/Oct party/charter clients from Cape Hatteras to the Tip of Long Island caught 1,646 fewer fish than our scattering of shore fishers in two months.. <o:p></o:p>

*******

"That's the estimate. We can't change it." <o:p></o:p>

There is no statistical cap on effort, on the number of people fishing -- that's why the fishing license now exists. Regulators & statisticians had no stop whatever. If a model showed more catch, more people & more catch per-person than had ever been dreamed of before; Well, That's Fishing. <o:p></o:p>

In reality I'd wager my boat caught more flounder in Sept/Oct 2007 than our shore fishers did - a lot more. <o:p></o:p>

******* <o:p></o:p>

In the most recent Magnuson re-write Congress called for an overhaul of recreational catch estimates. Now Lots & Lots & Lots Of Money Later and while cbass overestimates very nearly destroyed my business and robbed my family of solvency; This brand new estimating system, MRIP, says those Maryland shore fishers didn't actually catch & keep 36,017 --- No, They really caught 39,410 summer flounder in those two months. <o:p></o:p>

Well, regulators will say, now we know: Those beach/jetty/bridge/pier/bank scoundrels actually caught 3,393 MORE flounder than we'd previously thought.. <o:p></o:p>

********* <o:p></o:p>

All Bun, No Burger. <o:p></o:p>

WHERE'S THE BEEF? <o:p></o:p>

Spending money though. <o:p></o:p>

Where's the head count? <o:p></o:p>

I'd rather have rocks. At least coral grows on them. <o:p></o:p>

Regards,<o:p></o:p>

Monty <o:p></o:p>

**********<o:p></o:p>

Capt. Monty Hawkins

mhawkins@siteone.net

Party Boat "Morning Star"

Reservation Line 410 520 2076

http://www.morningstarfishing.com/<o:p></o:p>

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