How To Protect Stripers & Chat With Max Appleman

by | Feb 24, 2017 | Fluke Fishing, Striped Bass Fishing

Share This Article On…

Please call Max Appleman immediately. Max is the Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for the Atlantic States Marine Fishery Council and his phone number is 703.842.0740. Max is the man taking calls from people opposing or supporting a move the ASMFC is considering to increase the harvest of striped bass.

Actually, they call it liberalizing.

“Liberalizing” is a wonderful word; grammatically correct, passively deceiving. To liberalize indeed conjures up thoughts of loosening a restriction, relieving something or someone of a burden. In this context, the ASMFC is feeling pressure from fishermen in the Chesapeake who want to catch more bass. They are using the arguments that under present data sets, stripers are not overfished or experiencing overfishing, “relative to the biological reference points” which are spawning stock biomass and rates of mortality. So, logically then, the Baymen protest, they should catch and take more.

img_7050 I say no.

It’s important to clarify that when Addendum IV was implemented in 2015, all member states had to reduce harvests by 25% compared to 2013 levels except the Chesapeake region. They took a 20% reduction based on harvests from 2012.

According to the ASMFC’s “STRIPED BASS STOCK ASSESSMENT FOR 2013”, with work done by their Striped Bass Technical, Stock Assessment and Tagging Committees, “In 2011 and 2012, the commercial coastwide harvest was comprised primarily of ages 4-10 striped bass, while harvest in Chesapeake Bay fisheries (Maryland, Virginia, and the PRFC) was comprised mostly of ages 3-6.” Some fast facts:

Atlantic Striped BassThe minimum size for a commercially harvested striper in the Chesapeake is 18” for several fishery sectors

An 18” striper is approximately three years old and weighs four to five pounds

Female stripers generally are sexually mature between ages four and eight

Commercial striped bass harvest from Chesapeake Bay jurisdictions between 2005 and 2014 averaged 6.7 million pounds, which equals approximately 59% of the total commercial harvest coastwide.

The take home message is that all member states took a harvest reduction to protect a sacred and once demolished fish population.

Managers and state leaders also recognized the purchasing power of all those fishermen heading for other beaches and party boats if the stripers were to disappear, as they almost did back in the eighties. dan richards with maine striperBack in 2014, Stripers Forever President Brad Burns felt the split management was a poor decision and one not likely to be effective. Writing in a club newsletter, he reminded readers that commercial fishermen in the Chesapeake Bay believed their catches largely were non-migratory males, which somehow impossibly means their harvests had less of an impact on the stocks as a whole. Hogwash.

A friend sent a brief report about the addendum to the amendment with a one line observation: “Well, that sucks”. I agreed and almost moved on to the next email but that is precisely how bad ideas slide through the system.stephenyangbass

Fisheries management is front loaded; if you wait for a public hearing six months into a government effort to let everyone know about your big idea or an addendum to their addendum, the train will have already left the station. Your best intentions will be best served at start of the process. Public comments all get read and analyzed and many get posted on a website somewhere but to affect change, we need to start at the beginning.

The sulky pace of fishery regulation making here works to our benefit. This particular effort just began.

Stripers are a favored fish and even with yearly fluctuations, there are plenty around to catch and a few to keep. We’ve accepted a one fish per day at 28” rule. The commercial guys had quotas reduced but still catch enough to help the checkbook. Harvest numbers should not increase based on a few level years and a statement that mortality levels are lower than the threshold scientists determined. It seems clear that fishermen in these parts recognize a goal of population abundance not permission to take more and more.

If the striped bass stocks have leveled, if overfishing is not occurring, if guys on the

water are saying this past year was slow, if you have any inkling to see a beloved fish stay protected with very manageable regulations, this is the time to let your voice be heard. A first draft will be ready for review in May.
gregsansone

You can call Max. You can email him at mapplean@asmfc.org. You can read more about this stripers and this proposal at www.asmfc.org. Our Rhode Island Commissioners to the ASMFC are RIDEM Director Janet Coit, janet.coit@dem.ri.gov, Senator Sue Sosnowski, sen-sosnowski@rilin.state.ri.us and David Borden, lizzy.2@charter.net. Striped Bass Board members are Bob Ballou, robert.ballou@dem.ri.gov, Kurt Blanchard, kurt.blanchard@dem.ri.gov, Mark Gibson, mark.gibson@dem.ri.gov, Nicole Lengyel, nicole.lengyel@dem.ri.gov (Nicole is also Chair of the Striped Bass Technical Committee), Senator Sosnowski and her proxy, Eric Reed, eric@seafreezeltd.com. Ed Cook, edcookcharters@cox.net, is our state’s representative to the Advisory Panel.

A healthy striped bass population is critical to our oceans and our sanity.

Please take a few minutes to send these representatives an email letting them know where you stand on continuing to protect striped bass.

IMG_5777 (1)

Todd Corayer is a lifelong fisherman and Advisory Board member of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, who lives not far from Rhode Island’s Saugatucket River with his wife, who supports his fishing mainly to get him out of the house and a young son who consistently catches more fish than him.

©2017 todd corayer

0 Comments

RECENT POSTS

FOLLOW ON SOCIAL

FISH REPORTS

Listen every Friday morning as we share an audio report letting you know where the fish are biting (and other fishing info.)
Click to listen.

 

About The Author

Todd Corayer is a lifelong fisherman and occasional hunter whose writing relies on poor penmanship, sarcasm and other people’s honest fish stories while seeing words as puzzle pieces that occasionally all fit together perfectly.

His work has appeared in The Double Gun Journal, On The Water MagazineThe Fisherman, The Bay Magazine,  So Rhode IslandSporting ClassicsCoastal AnglerNY Lifestyles, The Island Crier, and very often in the wonderful RISAA Newsletter.

You Might Also Enjoy…

Joe Tex was indeed The Man

Joseph W. Tiexiera has passed. It's a two sided function of my age: people I know are passing away with an uncomfortable regularity that is only partially balanced by a rekindling of the memories I have from being with them. This past week, Joe Tex departed peacefully...

How To Go Nowhere at the D.M.V.

Trailer Trash Spoiler Alert: Nothing Happened at the DMV. This is the second installment of one man's journey to register a small boat trailer. The first piece, which is pretty important to the big picture of the problem, can be read here. A sandwich walks into a bar....

Tim Terranova finds big bass on the Bonita II

  Tim Terranova. Tim Terranova. That name should be in your mental Rolodex. Captain Tim Terranova runs the Bonita II, a 36’ Hatteras charter boat out of Watch Hill. He has the only commercial charter boat slip...

Niagara Falls, a Super Swamper & Stop Screwing with our 2nd Amendment

It’s time for common sense to be the common denominator when it comes to local government and our 2nd Amendment.

A north to south look at winter fishing and paddling

Close, close we are to those warm mornings of Spring, when there’s time for a few casts before work and those first tender plugs of daffodils part cold mulch but first, first we have some weeks of skating on thin ice, a few shots of root beer and watching movies to...

Consider sharing this article with your fishing buddies!

We appreciate you sharing the Fish Wrap with your fishing community.