I read this really good opinion piece by Zeno Hromin over the weekend after my GoRuck Challenge on Block Island (which I fished pretty hard after the challenge; crazy wind most of the time, super clear water, no fish). After hearing and reading about a lot of stuff going on with striped bass lately, and seeing the literal slaughter the party boats in Sheepshead Bay are doing to the breeding striper population, it’s more important than ever we think responsibly about what we do with fish. I can’t blame the party boats so much as it’s a tough way to make a living, and this is probably the best time of year they can do that, but seeing stuff like this really makes me sick. Like Zeno says in his piece, it isn’t just the party boats, but recreational anglers like us have to bear some of the blame as well. It really is important to the sustainability and future of the striped bass that we are responsible about what we do. I see people taking advantage all the time and it’s really not enough to just not like it. Personally, I’ll call DEC any time I see people taking short bass or over the limit fish, but I also have to be responsible myself when catching, keeping, and releasing fish.
In other news, the events I scheduled for this weekend (when we planned to have the derby) are obviously cancelled, and we hope to have them back next weekend when the derby is rescheduled. In the meantime, the fish are biting on the river so it’s a good idea to get out there and start scoping spots. The ASFMC meetings are going on right now and it’s important for us as fisher-people to let our reps know our concerns about the fish we love to catch. I’m going to work on drafting a letter we can send to the NY commissioners recommending a 50 percent reduction in commercial and overall recreational catch. It sucks, but nobody wants the moratorium that happened in the 1980s, but we’re headed for at least that in the near future. I’m going to ask that everyone sends a letter to help protect the species. Here are our commissioners in NY:
James J. Gilmore, Jr.
NY State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Bureau of Marine Resources
205 North Belle Mead Road, Suite 1
East Setauket, NY 11733-3400
Sen. Philip M. Boyle
4th Senate District
69 West Main Street
Bay Shore, NY 11706
Tel: 518.455.3411 (Albany); 631.665.2311 (District office)
25 Stuart Drive
Coram, NY 11727