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guyza

Striped Bass Game Fish Bill

9 posts in this topic

Maine congressmen co-sponsor the Striped Bass Game Fish Bill

Stripers Forever, an internet-based advocacy group, announced recently that Maine Congressmen Tom Allen and Mike Michaud have signed on as co-sponsors of HR 2059, a bill which designates the wild striped bass as a national game fish.

By co-sponsoring the bill, which was first introduced by Congressman Frank Pallone of New Jersey, Maine’s Congressmen have publicly recognized socio-economic importance of this widely distributed inshore saltwater fish to the 3 million plus anglers who fish recreationally for stripers every year from Maine to North Carolina.

A study commissioned by Striper Forever and authored by nationally recognized wildlife socio-economist Rob Southwick shows that 14,400 net new jobs and $1.74 billion in additional economic impacts would be gained by ending commercial fishing for wild striped bass. Similar benefits have already been achieved in several southern states by reserving important inshore saltwater species like redfish and snook for the benefit of recreational fishermen.

“Wild striped bass are already considered game fish in Maine, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and District of Columbia,” says Brad Burns, President of Stripers Forever. “But because the conservation measures practiced by one state can simply be offset by the excesses of neighboring states, Stripers Forever thinks the only way to effectively manage the species is to give it game fish status throughout its migratory range.

“I have supported national game fish designation for the Striped Bass since I entered Congress in 1997,” Representative Allen said. “This magnificent species is a national asset. I will continue to work with others in Congress to advance this important legislation.”

“Game fishing is a critical part of our state’s economy and activity that many Mainers, including me, really enjoy,” Representative Michaud said. “It is important that we protect this natural resource for generations to come.

Striper Forever releases 2005 Annual Fishing Survey Analysis:

- About 70% fish predominately from boats, and about 30% fish mostly from shore.

- About 75% of those who responded have more than 10 years of experience fishing for striped bass.

- Support for a slot limit to take the pressure off large breeders remained very high at 75%. Votes were quite evenly split, though, on what slot should be, with 20-26 being the most popular.

- About 85% of those surveyed want a least half of the commercial catch reserved for conservation, and not to be assigned to increased recreational bag limits.

- The popularity of using a stamp to buy out the commercial fishery increased slightly to 77% of the respondents, and about 72% of those who favor the stamp thought is should continue after the buyout of pay for management and enhancement of the fishery.

I am unfamiliar with the “Stamp buyout” program.

Anybody familiar?

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Should be easy to get congressmen from a state that has no commercial Striper fishing; but it won't be the same in the other states which are a majority of the Atlantic states.

No politician in their right mind from a state with a commercial fishery will support the bill - especially since coastwise the Striped Bass stocks are at an all-time high and very healthy.

Barring a collapse of the stocks, I don't expect to see Stripers as a gamefish in my lifetime except in the states where it is right now.

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Thanks Guyza. Interesting news. If they want it to happen, there would have to be a trade off to the commercial fishermen. On its own, Bill is correct suggesting that Legislators would be uneasy to harm this constituency, although I believe the commercial stripe bass catch is a very, very small percentage of the commercial industry(mainly for restaurants-not resale). However, the industry is heavily regulated as is and this would appear to be another "coffin nail" to a once thriving part of coastal area economies. But if they were to relax some other restrictions (area, catch, times eg; "throw the industry a bone") and added this "restriction", it could happen. Thats politics.

Another note, the "slot". We've had a couple of threads on this and the reasons. I guess "large breeders" are correct. Tight Lines!

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The impact of commercial fishing on Striped bass is very small as opposed to the impact by recreational fishing. The recent Biennial Report to Congress by the USFish & Wildlife Service and Nat'l. Marine Fisheries Service had some interesting statistics. It uses 2004 figures because 2005's were not available when it went to press.

Commercial Harvest:

Landings: 907,000 fish weighing 7.3 million pounds

Discard Mortality: 4.1 million fish,

Recreational Harvest

Landings: 2.400,000 fish, weighing 26,200,000 pounds

Release Mortality: 14.6 million fish

Since 2002, the annual commercial landings have only averaged 27 % of the total catch so, I don't see how anyone can claim commercial fishermen are harming the Striped Bass fishery. Maybe we should look at what we are doing to it.

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Bill & Meterman-

Thanks for the input.

I have been paying a bit more attention to these types of articles lately. (Conservation efforts, rules/laws, the politics, etc)

I'm trying to get a feel for the "big picture".

Gets pretty complicated! To say the least! :banana:

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Guyza and anyone else interested in more information.

You might want to ask you Congressman's office to get a copy of this report sent to you. Just a call to his/her office should get one sent to you.

"Atlantic Striped Bass Studies, 2005 Biennial Report to Congress:

by Committee National Marine Fisheries Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service

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meterman, thanks for the link.

Nice touch!

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