I've seen and read with humor and amusement the "new" striped bass regulations being proposed by the DEC on many of the so-called popular message and discussion board Internet sites. The lack of knowledge on many of these web sites really is amazing, but more importantly very disappointing. Message Board type-sites allow the public to post their own comments and what they have "heard" through the grapevine. As both Marvin Gaye and CCR sang in that song was "believe none of what you hear and only half of what you see." I spoke with Byron Young of the DEC's Marine Resource department on January 22. Let me lay out for you the rumors and the truths and what I learned.
Rumor taken off Internet site: "I'm surprised that nobody has brought up the proposed new Striper Regulations for the upcoming season. I heard the rumor from several good sources that NY was about to agree to a new 2 fish per person limit-1 fish at 28" and one TROPHY fish over 41" per day per angler. Hear it's a done deal! Answer...False! Mr. Young says that while giving recreational anglers two fish per person is a viable and open option in accordance with the Amendment 5 and Amendment 6 plans, the DEC has not heard that request come in from the public and no other user group has requested it, so for the time being everything is remaining the same. One bass per person on private boats or off the beach and again 28 inches the magic size. Unless the public asks for two fish, this current regulation will remain intact.
Rumor: "I am surprised that nobody has brought up the proposed new Striper Regulations for the upcoming season. I heard the rumor from several good sources that the commercials got a 750,000 pound increase!" Answer...Again False! Mr. Young says the commercial sector did get an increase in their quota for 2003. The increase takes them from 590,000 pounds to a total of 843,000 pounds, a far cry from what the rumor mill has been crying about. However at the same time recreational anglers are getting an increase as well with the DEC proposing to open the striped bass season earlier...around April 15 with the same season closing date of December 15th.
Just to finish up on bass news, the numbers, science and the DEC all support the fact recreational anglers fishing from their own private boats, the beach or rental skiff stations could have two (2), 28-inch bass per person. However the DEC is not just going to just give them to you, you need to write and ask for it. Write either Gordon Colvin or Byron Young at the DEC and tell them what your feelings are regarding two bass per person. The squeaky wheel always gets the grease. If you want 2 fish per day (no one says you have to keep them) we have to make our voice heard. Letters to Byron Young or Gordon Colvin at the DEC will be needed and they will be read and listened to.
The science and numbers DO support the fact the biomass can handle the increase in fish taken. Remember, much of the poundage given to user groups is based on history...so if the numbers say the fishery can handle two fish, we need to "claim" these fish so in the future they too are not given over to the other side. I would support two fish per day. Many are screaming to bring back the BIG bass. My thoughts on this are big bass don't become big by being stupid. Smaller fish beat big fish to the bait just about every time because they have to eat more and eat more often to get larger.
Another theory and an actual proven practice in freshwater is...to bring back the big bass you have to weed out many smaller bass. There are too many smaller bass in our waters and they are competing for the limited amount of food available. Smaller fish always beat big fish to the bait and have to eat more and more often to get big. Large bass may only feed once or twice a day, but larger quantities when they do feed. In lakes with a lack of big fish and a stunted population, they either allow you to take many small fish or put in a slot limit where you can take smaller fish and larger fish but leave the medium large fish to spawn. For example a lake may allow you to keep bass under 12 inches and bass over 20 inches, but everything in between has to be returned. Write to Mr. Colvin or Mr. Young at DEC, Marine resources, 205 Bellmead Rd. in East Setauket, NY 11733. Stay tuned as either Mr. Young or Mr. Colvin...or both will be guests on my live radio show sometime in February.
Fluke & Porgy. It looks as if the DEC is going to let both alone for 2003 with one small change. There will be no closed season for either. If you remember correctly, in 2002 fluke season closed October 31 and porgy season closed November 30. This season there will be no closed season and no change to the current seven fish at 17 inches for fluke and 50 fish at 10 inches for porgies.
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