POSITIVE ASSESSMENT RESULTS YIELD……..LOWER BAG LIMITS

IRS envelopes mailed?…YES, still raining?…YES, still bothered by fishing regulations?,…HELL YES!

It is a slow day when you have the time to sit at a computer to review the latest from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission web site, but that is indeed what I wasted my time doing today. Not that I am at all surprised but I can feel the top of my head getting warmer and getting ready to blow off with every paragraph that I complete. For instance: “The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board set the total allowable landings for summer flounder in 2009 at 18.45 million pounds, an increase of 2.68 million pounds from 2008. The biological reference points were lowered resulting in a positive turn in the stock status. Summer flounder is no longer overfished and is not experiencing overfishing, but is not yet rebuilt.” SO ??? By lowering the biological reference points you can actually increase the amount of fish in the ocean?

I am sure my perceptions on such matters are as questionable as throwing a “gut hooked,” 17″ fluke overboard but I would assume that I am entitled to those views.

Total allowable landings for this year have been increased by 2.68 million pounds, yet we are forced to cut the eight fish per person daily limit to 6? What am I missing here? The regulations forced on the general public never seem to be relaxed no mater what the data reflects. Worse yet, according to their web site, “Managers are currently considering additional potential tools for summer flounder recreational management. These tools include MAXIMUM size limits.” They just continue to squeeze the life out of everyone that enjoys the outdoors.

Have you ever thought about what will happen when the summer flounder stocks are considered, “Fully restored?” Consider the striped bass and its comeback. Again, according to their web site, “Assessment results indicate that the stocks of striped bass on the Atlantic coast are attaining their production potential and are generally being fished at or below their target fishing mortality. (the stock is considered fully restored) Concern expressed in public and in scientific communities that the abundance of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay now exceeds the carrying capacity of this system.” Meaning that there are more striped bass in the bay than the bay can support. (kind of like having 5,000 deer in the popcorn zoo!) YET…the daily bag limit is TWO (2) FISH PER PERSON!!!

I am, as you know by now, a very strong supporter of eating what you catch like most fisherman are and I would urge you to help organizations like SSFFF in hopes of not winding up like NY with it’s 2 fish limit, which more than likely will stay that way even when the fluke fishery has “FULLY RECOVERED.)

Your floundering fanatic,

Bob Hackem

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