Thursday, January 16, 2020

01.15.20 Look to New Jersey to screw things up....

     This post surmises a recent post made by Tony Frederich the VP of the American Saltwater Guides Association.

     Basically it appear that most states, well some, are trying to do the right thing in protecting the striped bass before the moratorium sets in in 2024, my prediction. Thirty years after the Atlantic Striped Bass Conversation Act was passed October 31, 1984. Connecticut, New York and Rhode Island are working to reduce the killing of bass while attempting to balance a fishery for anglers and meeting the 18% conservation equivalency (CE) as set both by the ASMFC. Basically the spineless folks at the ASMFC acknowledge that overfishing is occurring and that "science" is showing poor numbers in both YOY and older bass. 

     Leave it to New Jersey to be assholes. Connecticut abolished their Bonus Tag system in order to help out. Here in Jersey, a State without a commercial fishery, we've "allotted" ourselves, 215,000 pounds per year to anglers who want that "Bonus Tag Fish". You know the one that you are supposed to apply for, pay, and then return...... According to Frederich NJ "sold" 5000 bonus tags in 2018. And 1100 were returned!! That means between the boasts and the beach only 1100 fish were harvested. Now thats a joke. 

     As we wait for New Jersey to complete their submission for an 18% CE, here's what they are proposing. 24-28" minimum, which would decimate the 2015 year class of fish, a Bonus Tag for a big fish either 35 or 43", and then another tag for the Sept-Dec 31 season for another 24-28" fish, a program that was in place in 2019, if you didn't know and take that schoolie home to eat. That was on top of the 2019 regs stating you could harvest from boat or beach one fish 28-43" and then the other, not in order, had to be over 43".

    Also remember, the Bonus Tag Bonus was in something extra, doesn't mean you have to catch legal sized fish and then get the "Bonus" fish, order doesn't matter. 

This my friends, weather dead-on accurate, or slightly off, shows New Jersey doesn't care about sustaining a striped bass fishery at all.