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Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?
http://forum.flyfishinginmaine.org/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=21084
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Author:  Steve H. [ February 6th, 2015, 12:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Option A: One fish 28″ or larger.

Option B: One fish slot, 24″ to 26″


I do hope it's Option A, to be consistent with NH (and Mass) and because I believe it's the more conservation-minded one. I've been told that 28" fish have had the chance to spawn at least once, which isn't necessarily the case for 24-26" fish.

Personally, I'd love to see stripers declared a federal gamefish species with zero recreational or commercial harvest. Pipe dream, I know....

Author:  tark [ February 7th, 2015, 10:49 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I don't have a clear opinion on either one. They both sound like decent approaches to me. Would love to hear some civil discourse of opinions on this one to help inform me better though.

-Dan

Author:  Tom_W [ February 7th, 2015, 10:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I'm with Tark, as I would like to know a lot more about the science of the issue. There is no question that raising the one fish minimum or tightening the slot will reduce the harvest. But then again, as someone mentioned at SuperBoo last week, the bigger the fish, the more eggs, by a large amount. So what is the net effect on the future population by killing fewer fish but reducing the available eggs? In a perfect world, the final decision would be based on what is best for the resource, but most times, decisions are based on other pressures.

I saw this week on a CCA Maryland post that Maryland proposed a one fish limit 28"-36" or over 40".

Tom

Author:  pushaw [ February 8th, 2015, 6:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I'd rather see the bigger fish protected more. Something like 1 fish, 28-36, nothing bigger, nothing smaller, might make more sense. That's relatively similar to the other states, except you can tack on protecting the big fish. If what we want are big fish, we should protect the fish carrying those genes. I've never bought the whole theory of big fish being mostly done with spawning success. That might be true of some of them, but what about the fish that just grows twice as fast as typical fish. That fish does not get the chance to spawn as much, and it doesn't have as much chance to be caught in the lower slot.

Author:  Hunter [ February 10th, 2015, 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Option B.

Lead by example and protect spawning age fish. I suspect the mass change in regs up and down the coast is going to have a ripple effect through the fishery- and not necessarily a positive one. New Hampshire and Mass haven't proven to be the best stewards of stripers over the years (e.g.- see the commercial fishery in Mass) so I see no reason to follow their lead.

Plus- the larger fish are likely to be full of heavy metals and not worth table food anyway.

Author:  Jeff Reardon [ February 13th, 2015, 7:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I'm with Hunter until someone convinces me our problem is mortality of juvenile fish, rather than lack of spawning females.

My sense is that by taking small fish in the slot we are focusing our harvest on young fish and male fish, many of which will likely die before spawning whether killed by anglers or left to fend for themselves.

And, from a selfish perspective, I think striped bass is a fabulous table fish, and I think the small fish are both tastier and better suited for my 2 person family. I only take one or two a year, and haven't killed one in 4 years, but if I do, I want a perfect table fish.

Another option, if there is concern about over harvest of the slot fish by those who'd kill a fish every day they could would be to go to a system that limits annual harvest to a relatively small number of fish (5? 10?).

Author:  benkann [ February 16th, 2015, 6:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Jeff Reardon wrote:
Another option, if there is concern about over harvest of the slot fish by those who'd kill a fish every day they could would be to go to a system that limits annual harvest to a relatively small number of fish (5? 10?).



I'm in agreement here, but how do you enforce such a limit? It certainly isn't going to succeed on a voluntary basis

Author:  Jeff Reardon [ February 16th, 2015, 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Well, you could go to a tag system like we do with big game, or like the Canadian Provinces used to (and may still?) do with salmon.

As soon as you kill one, you attach one of your allotted tags to the fish, and it has to stay with that fish until it's consumed. Make the tags so they are not reusable, and ding anyone in possession of an untagged fish.

This would require some funding, of course, that doesn't really exist now because we don't have a saltwater license.

I'd really like to see the modelling of the impact on spawning biomass of harvest of a single schoolie fish versus a single fish >28". I've been told other states do not agree with Maine's "slot limit" approach, but don't know if these objections have any basis in stock assessment or science.

Author:  Hunter [ February 19th, 2015, 10:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I'm not so sure you need a saltwater license to require tags- as they don't necessarily need to be tied to a license. For instance- if tags were sold at saltwater tackle retailers, with proceeds from the sale covering tag costs- it might work. The number of tags produced in a given year could be set by each state's catch share. It would take some initial money to start things off, but could likely cover costs fairly quickly while also providing money for research.

Edited to add- we're already basically doing this with Atlantic Halibut.

http://www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/halibut/complianceguide.htm

Author:  Jeff Reardon [ February 19th, 2015, 6:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Good idea, Dave, but let's face it, it ain't gonna happen.

Is there a public comment period on which of the two options Maine will propose?

Author:  Hunter [ February 23rd, 2015, 9:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

There is. And DMR is holding public sessions March 9th and 11th (Wiscassett 911 Center & Cabelas). 6 PM both nights.

Author:  pushaw [ February 27th, 2015, 5:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

I'm a really big fan of the tag idea. If it works to protect salmon in Newfoundland, I think it could work in other places as well. Ideally, you'd just give folks 5 tags a year or similar, with only one eligible for use on a fish over 28.

I commented in favor of one slot fish, 24-26.

Author:  Steve H. [ May 11th, 2015, 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Maine Striped Bass options for 2015, which will it be?

Looks like it's Option A: One fish 28″ or larger.

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