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Menhedan reduction and fisheries rebound in areas it's ceased

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Menhedan reduction and fisheries rebound in areas it's ceased

Old 08-03-2017, 06:33 AM
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Default Menhedan reduction and fisheries rebound in areas it's ceased

Ok guys so we all know about or should at least know about omega protien. The big blue raper of the bay (mid to southern chesapeake). Perhaps not all see them as that. It seems to be quite the discussion down here in Virginia and is one of the few topics over on tidal fish that most agree on.

That said, many have recently been discussing the fact that money talks and recs don't show up enough in support of ourselves at public hearings. Others state that without money on our end no one will listen anyways.

Many know what the southern fishery once was and now it's great decline over the years. No forage fish = no predatory fish. To further this statement we look to Maryland. One simply has to look at the 2017 reports you guys post and the size and amount of decent to good size eating rockfish you guys post about. Omega isn't allowed that far north if I'm correct so the forage is there a long with the predators.

So the intentions of this post are simple. Anywhere that omega used to fish and no longer can, please speak up. Make it public about how the fishery has rebounded. Help us in the southern bay. We are still all in the same bay, the nation's largest marine estuary.

We need all the support we can. It seems like the Chesapeake bay foundation, Virginia institute of marine science, Virginia marine resources commission. And even our (sarcasm) lovely govener all have a hand in omega proteins pocket.

So any experts (professional) out there, general opinions of recreational fishermen etc. Please speak up and help fight the fight.

This topic isn't started as a fight amongst ourselves but one to benefit us all.


Now from myself it's simply sickening to see spotter planes find our few remaining schools of menhedan only for the boats to come scoop them all up. At a minimum outlaw the spotter planes.

Our trophy rockfish season came and went. It seems as if all the big girls bypassed us all together while Maryland. And New Jersey still did well. How can we continue to allow the Amfsc (spelling?) Continue to do stock assessments of the entire east coast yet omega is allowed to pull their tonnage out of the Chesapeake bay and inshore waters alone. It is absolutely nuts.

Our cobia used to be caught with stomachs full of menhedan, this year all fish whether caught deep of shallow were all full of msnyis shrimp. Sure they ate finding food , but what happens when that's depleted.

We must do everything we can for this nursery to survive.

Additionally you would think ducks unlimited would be interested as well as waterfowlers in general. This area was once the sportsman paradise yet waterfowl number are longer what they once were in this state. Losses of aquatic vegetation is part of the reason. It's all one connected ecosystem, from predators to prey. Menhedan are forage fish which also filter the water. Their loss can most likely be aligned with shellfish population and further tied to vegetation in the bay. This granted is my opinion but someone without a hand in omega proteins pocket must know the facts and wish to speak the truth.

Sorry for the long winded post but this is something that must be talked about before its all gone.
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Old 08-03-2017, 06:50 AM
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Years ago I decided to study this subject objectively. I looked at the numbers that Omega was harvesting. I cut out all the melodrama. In addition I fish 3-5 days a week. PLO to Smith Point to Coles Point and sometimes further out in the bay. The numbers from the Omega side didn't look overwhelming as far as harvesting menhaden. I regularly come across schools of bunker and many times there are no rockfish in them. From spring on I regularly, almost on every trip, come home with 22-28 inch rockfish. Fat fish. I am fishing 3-5 feet of water. I honestly think Omega has become a boogey man and a fund raiser for greeny type fishin clubs that are supported by suburbanites with big money and big boats. Boats that are too big to get up in the shallow water where the fish are.
Old 08-03-2017, 06:51 AM
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This was just posted on tidal fish

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-re...den-Stock.html

What I think everyone fails to realize is that the majority of the harvested fish are coming from the bay alone. They do this because....its cheap fishing, all the while mature menhedan in the ocean are more valuable making them more expensive to catch.
Old 08-03-2017, 06:52 AM
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Default Post location please

Everyone please also mention your location so everyone can keep track of the different areas discussed.
Old 08-03-2017, 06:55 AM
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Thank you for the above post.

It is more than fine to look at things from both sides. I just ask that please everyone keep things civil and arguments to a minimum for the general sake of knowledge on the subject. Please stay on track everyone.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:06 AM
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No offense but you are posting links to tidalfish and then saying its okay to look at things from both side and asking to keep it civil. TF is the most one sided and uncivil fishing boards I have ever been on. There were a few knowledgeable folks on tidalfish but that site bans people who don't support shutting down omega. I haven't been there for years (no I wasn't banned) but I assume objectivity is out the window. You have a one sided discussion over there and if someone does try to put forth something different it gets uncivil really really quickly. BUT, this isn't the TF forum.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
No offense but you are posting links to tidalfish and then saying its okay to look at things from both side and asking to keep it civil. TF is the most one sided and uncivil fishing boards I have ever been on. There were a few knowledgeable folks on tidalfish but that site bans people who don't support shutting down omega. I haven't been there for years (no I wasn't banned) but I assume objectivity is out the window. You have a one sided discussion over there and if someone does try to put forth something different it gets uncivil really really quickly. BUT, this isn't the TF forum.
Kind of ironic how your talking of decent fishing in a state that has banned Omega from their waters, along with every other state on the east coast except Virginia
Old 08-03-2017, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
No offense but you are posting links to tidalfish and then saying its okay to look at things from both side and asking to keep it civil. TF is the most one sided and uncivil fishing boards I have ever been on. There were a few knowledgeable folks on tidalfish but that site bans people who don't support shutting down omega. I haven't been there for years (no I wasn't banned) but I assume objectivity is out the window. You have a one sided discussion over there and if someone does try to put forth something different it gets uncivil really really quickly. BUT, this isn't the TF forum.
That exactly why I brought the subject here. I want a 2 side, civil discussion. I ask everyone to keep on track and keep things non personal. I know we all have opinions and rightfully so as we are individuals. With that said we all play a role in the world and this subject.

Do I don't care who's side you are on. If you can keep things on track and civil please post.

Again thank you.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Mebe007 View Post
This was just posted on tidal fish

http://www.globenewswire.com/news-re...den-Stock.html

What I think everyone fails to realize is that the majority of the harvested fish are coming from the bay alone. They do this because....its cheap fishing, all the while mature menhedan in the ocean are more valuable making them more expensive to catch.
We haven't had a good run inside 3 miles in years. All of the fish have been skipping us and going from the mouth of the bay straight to NJ water. I know some commercial guys who say they will be out 10-20 miles and see huge schools out that far, often supposedly around the omega boats.

For a while we didn't have good bunker runs inside 3 miles, so that could attribute. However, this year, there was bait everywhere, but no rockfish aside from small local school fish (12-18").
Old 08-03-2017, 07:34 AM
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The week after the spring season I was catching 25-30 inch fish in 3-5 feet of water while listening to guys complain that were trolling 18 rods out in 40-80 feet of water. "I've been trolling for 6 hours without a single knock down". While I had been fishing for 1-2 hours with 10-20 fish. Had my limit in about 15 minutes. This was a real common occurrence. I think there's a real disconnect regarding most recreational fisherman on how the fishery works and how fish aren't always in the same place. Guys that caught big fish last year in 40-60 feet running 20 rods doesn't mean you will this year. In fact the places I was catching fish this spring aren't holding fish now. Its in our nature to want to create a boogeyman to instead of learning the fishery better. Especially for guys that don't get out on the water that often.


There was a guy on TF many years ago that really knew his stuff. In fact it became obvious he likely worked for Omega. He was polite but countered every argument. He made some of the local torch and pitchfork guys look kind of silly. He was of course banned.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by vant36 View Post
Kind of ironic how your talking of decent fishing in a state that has banned Omega from their waters, along with every other state on the east coast except Virginia


I live in VA. The majority of my fishing is in VA waters.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
The week after the spring season I was catching 25-30 inch fish in 3-5 feet of water while listening to guys complain that were trolling 18 rods out in 40-80 feet of water. "I've been trolling for 6 hours without a single knock down". While I had been fishing for 1-2 hours with 10-20 fish. Had my limit in about 15 minutes. This was a real common occurrence. I think there's a real disconnect regarding most recreational fisherman on how the fishery works and how fish aren't always in the same place. Guys that caught big fish last year in 40-60 feet running 20 rods doesn't mean you will this year. In fact the places I was catching fish this spring aren't holding fish now. Its in our nature to want to create a boogeyman to instead of learning the fishery better. Especially for guys that don't get out on the water that often.


There was a guy on TF many years ago that really knew his stuff. In fact it became obvious he likely worked for Omega. He was polite but countered every argument. He made some of the local torch and pitchfork guys look kind of silly. He was of course banned.
Again, you're catching in a state where the "boogeyman" isn't allowed. All I here from you is that you're a good fisherman. ...
Old 08-03-2017, 07:41 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
I live in VA. The majority of my fishing is in VA waters.
They're not allowed where you fish. No one down here fishes 18 trolling rods for spring season, because it's a waste of time. Spring season is Maryland
Old 08-03-2017, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
Years ago I decided to study this subject objectively. I looked at the numbers that Omega was harvesting. I cut out all the melodrama. In addition I fish 3-5 days a week. PLO to Smith Point to Coles Point and sometimes further out in the bay. The numbers from the Omega side didn't look overwhelming as far as harvesting menhaden. I regularly come across schools of bunker and many times there are no rockfish in them. From spring on I regularly, almost on every trip, come home with 22-28 inch rockfish. Fat fish. I am fishing 3-5 feet of water. I honestly think Omega has become a boogey man and a fund raiser for greeny type fishin clubs that are supported by suburbanites with big money and big boats. Boats that are too big to get up in the shallow water where the fish are.
I can load up on all the 14-20" rockfish I want in the lynnhaven river, but that doesn't mean the fishery is healthy. There has been very little menhaden in the lower bay the past few years, this year has been the worst I have ever experienced and I am on the water 1-2x a week, covering 40-50 miles a trip. I have seen the blue fleet heading out of the lower bay north several times this summer, 'cuz they can't find them inside. The nice resident rockfish of 28-40" of years past are few and far between along the cbbt like they used to be. The bay ecosystem is out of balance and we all have something to do with it. Same old story, just another year with the morons in Richmond doing nothing about it.

Mike from Virginia Beach
Old 08-03-2017, 07:48 AM
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Originally Posted by vant36 View Post
Kind of ironic how your talking of decent fishing in a state that has banned Omega from their waters, along with every other state on the east coast except Virginia
Given that the fall/winter rockfishing tourism has declined drastically in recent years in VA beach and VA eastern shore, you would think that they would start want to try to boost that economic activity again. I honestly think the failure of big migrant bass coming up the bay again in the fall is due to the lack of menhaden in the mouth of the bay...

Heck I havent taken time, energy and money to chase trophy bass at the CBBT in about 5 years now. I have chosen to just chase resident rockfish in MD waters instead.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by vant36 View Post
Again, you're catching in a state where the "boogeyman" isn't allowed. All I here from you is that you're a good fisherman. ...


Not at all. I am just telling you that it isn't rocket science. Because your spread of 20 lines isn't catching fish doesn't mean they aren't out there. The fish are there. Yes even in the VA waters where the menhaden boats are. There is not a wall where the MD and VA line meets. I can go down to VA waters in the bay and catch like I am here. I just don't because the season is closed there.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by OutdoorzDude View Post
I can load up on all the 14-20" rockfish I want in the lynnhaven river, but that doesn't mean the fishery is healthy. There has been very little menhaden in the lower bay the past few years, this year has been the worst I have ever experienced and I am on the water 1-2x a week, covering 40-50 miles a trip. I have seen the blue fleet heading out of the lower bay north several times this summer, 'cuz they can't find them inside. The nice resident rockfish of 28-40" of years past are few and far between along the cbbt like they used to be. The bay ecosystem is out of balance and we all have something to do with it. Same old story, just another year with the morons in Richmond doing nothing about it.

Mike from Virginia Beach


I used to catch huge horse croaker but I don't know. They will be back. Spot fishing last year was off but the year before I caught tons of large spot. We caught a shit ton of sugar toads last couple of years but not this year. Flounder haven't been around for awhile. Up here we didn't use to get cobia but we do now. There is a cyclical nature to the fishery.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
Not at all. I am just telling you that it isn't rocket science. Because your spread of 20 lines isn't catching fish doesn't mean they aren't out there. The fish are there. Yes even in the VA waters where the menhaden boats are. There is not a wall where the MD and VA line meets. I can go down to VA waters in the bay and catch like I am here. I just don't because the season is closed there.
Never needed a 20 line spread down here. Just the one in my hand or two trolling would do the trick along the cbbt for the first 15 years I fished it. I don't care who you are, you are not going to catch them down here like they are up north.
Old 08-03-2017, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by KJS View Post
Not at all. I am just telling you that it isn't rocket science. Because your spread of 20 lines isn't catching fish doesn't mean they aren't out there. The fish are there. Yes even in the VA waters where the menhaden boats are. There is not a wall where the MD and VA line meets. I can go down to VA waters in the bay and catch like I am here. I just don't because the season is closed there.
Never pulled 20 rods and don't want to. I fish shallow like you, and the keeper rock are not down here in any numbers like they use to be.
Old 08-03-2017, 08:04 AM
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I'm glad other people have brought up other species. I'm in Gloucester va. Fished the York river, James river, mobjack bay and lower Chesapeake bay for a long time. Its noy just rockfish we ate all talking about. Its speckled trout, flounder, spot, big croaker etc. The entire fishery. I fish both skinny and deep. I don't limit myself and I fish minimum 3-4 days a week almost all year. Things are not what they once were and we need to understand why. So my logical thinking points to the so called boogeyman, omega protein to try and gain an understanding if that is the potential cause. If not what is? This is the time and place to talk about it.

Oddly enough

Here is another tidbit of info: menhaden are the only commercial fishing industry not regulated by Vmrc. It is regulated by Richmond

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