Notices
Like Tree79Likes

Trophy Rockfish Season

Old 03-08-2019, 04:45 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 124
Default Trophy Rockfish Season

I am hearing through the grape vines that this year could be the last trophy rockfish season in MD waters for awhile. Anyone else hearing that also?
xFishdogx is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 05:20 AM
  #2  
Senior Member (used to be B-Faithful)Captains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 16,782
Default

A huge reduction in mortality is going to be implemented. (I am told around 57%) how that pans out, no one knows yet. Given that we are already at 1 fish per person at 35”, My bet is that it results in a loss of days.
iFishMD is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:35 AM
  #3  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 124
Default

I wouldn't be against placing a slot size like they did red drum to protect the larger fish moving forward.
Striper Chaser likes this.
xFishdogx is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 07:53 AM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 261
Default

I hardly think the spring rec trophy season is where all the big fish go. Recs might kill more fish.... I just don't buy recs kill more trophy size fish. Mortality is lower in the cooler spring. I expect a loss of days from June to October.
heycharlie and bropride96 like this.
Finsinchessy is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 08:48 AM
  #5  
Senior Member (used to be B-Faithful)Captains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 16,782
Default

Trophy season is managed separately from the regular season. It is more so managed with the coastal season than the regular Chesapeake Bay season.
iFishMD is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 09:29 AM
  #6  
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Edgewater, Maryland
Posts: 945
Default

Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
A huge reduction in mortality is going to be implemented. (I am told around 57%) how that pans out, no one knows yet. Given that we are already at 1 fish per person at 35”, My bet is that it results in a loss of days.
57% reduction is significant. I saw that C&R mortality was estimated to be higher than fish kept. Does this mean that there will be closed seasons where C&R will not be permitted siimilar to federal waters in the Atlantic? Just curious.
old hat is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 10:02 AM
  #7  
Senior Member (used to be B-Faithful)Captains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 16,782
Default

Originally Posted by old hat View Post
57% reduction is significant. I saw that C&R mortality was estimated to be higher than fish kept. Does this mean that there will be closed seasons where C&R will not be permitted siimilar to federal waters in the Atlantic? Just curious.
No one knows. I think MD would be hard pressed to shut down C&R, especially in the current closed seasons because participation is so low that I do not think there is significant or even measurable mortality (plus their own science shows that release mortality in colder water is extremely low). However that is usually a scapegoat for those looking to protect current harvest regulations. A couple of groups with some political influence seem to keep pointing at it as their red herring.. On the other hand I am hearing rumors of pushing for summer closures in July and August. I am not sure how DNR would handle that given the concerns over release mortality in the warm waters.. Personally I think that is unlikely to happen because participation is so high during the summer. That is when kids are out of school and the less passionate anglers take trips. I would think the MCBA, especially northern bay charter boats would fight a summer closure.

Yes, ASMFC numbers do show that the recreational release mortality of striped bass exceeded the recreational harvest numbers for striped bass. However that is the result of high participation and restrictive harvest regulations (in addition to the growing culture that views the fish purely as game and prefer to release like redfish, lm bass, etc) . According to the ASMFC release mortality is averaged at 9%. To me it only makes sense that the release mortality numbers will go up if we are to reduce overall mortality if we are to maintain high participation levels. In other words, we need more of the harvested fish, that have a 100% mortality, to released fish, which only have a 9% mortality.

Personally, I would like to see the use of slots, no-take slots, implemented but there are a lot of arguments against them too. It will be an interesting year. ASMFC May meetings will reveal what we are really looking at. The 57% number I have heard is a guestimate at this time and was just being floated around.

Last edited by iFishMD; 03-08-2019 at 10:40 AM.
iFishMD is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 01:37 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Republic of DelMarVa
Posts: 313
Default

Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
No one knows. I think MD would be hard pressed to shut down C&R, especially in the current closed seasons because participation is so low that I do not think there is significant or even measurable mortality (plus their own science shows that release mortality in colder water is extremely low). However that is usually a scapegoat for those looking to protect current harvest regulations. A couple of groups with some political influence seem to keep pointing at it as their red herring.. On the other hand I am hearing rumors of pushing for summer closures in July and August. I am not sure how DNR would handle that given the concerns over release mortality in the warm waters.. Personally I think that is unlikely to happen because participation is so high during the summer. That is when kids are out of school and the less passionate anglers take trips. I would think the MCBA, especially northern bay charter boats would fight a summer closure.

Yes, ASMFC numbers do show that the recreational release mortality of striped bass exceeded the recreational harvest numbers for striped bass. However that is the result of high participation and restrictive harvest regulations (in addition to the growing culture that views the fish purely as game and prefer to release like redfish, lm bass, etc) . According to the ASMFC release mortality is averaged at 9%. To me it only makes sense that the release mortality numbers will go up if we are to reduce overall mortality if we are to maintain high participation levels. In other words, we need more of the harvested fish, that have a 100% mortality, to released fish, which only have a 9% mortality.

Personally, I would like to see the use of slots, no-take slots, implemented but there are a lot of arguments against them too. It will be an interesting year. ASMFC May meetings will reveal what we are really looking at. The 57% number I have heard is a guestimate at this time and was just being floated around.
Has there even been enough evaluation of the impact of the most recent reg’s mandating circle hooks etc...? Those will help the release mortality, but it won’t impact breeding stock overnight. There are plenty of fish around, just not the big breeders during trophy season the last few years. I agree with you that with low take rates and increased released rates that release mortality as a percentage of take would look inflated. I personally wouldn’t be opposed to it being managed like NC did with red drum and making the trophy size fish release only and allowing the slot fish to be taken.
Yellow Fever is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 02:44 PM
  #9  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Fish'nFool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Anywhere but here...
Posts: 24,350
Default

All of the while Omega rapes the waters of menhaden while bureaucrats pretend to care about rockfish populations.
Fish'nFool is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 06:08 PM
  #10  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 134
Default

Seems like it was over last year many just went thru the motions.
fishstretchy is offline  
Old 03-08-2019, 06:37 PM
  #11  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South of Pennsyltucky
Posts: 9,480
Default

Originally Posted by iFishMD View Post
A huge reduction in mortality is going to be implemented. (I am told around 57%) how that pans out, no one knows yet. Given that we are already at 1 fish per person at 35”, My bet is that it results in a loss of days.
Is it going to be coastwide? If not there is little hope of it wielding any measurable results.
Fish'nFool and Finsinchessy like this.
Hollywood9s is offline  
Old 03-09-2019, 05:36 AM
  #12  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Fish'nFool's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Anywhere but here...
Posts: 24,350
Default

“The current dip in population is related to environmental conditions in the Chesapeake Bay from 2005 to 2010,” he said. More specifically he said the dip was related to “river flow conditions in the spring” and stressed natural cycles and fluctuations were at play.

However, in order to keep the population healthy and regenerative, he said the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) is likely to reduce the commercial quota of the fish by approximately 15 percent. Armstrong is chairman of the ASMFC Atlantic Striper Bass Board. He stressed that percentile is speculative and subject to an agreement of the 15 member states of the commission.

https://www.mvtimes.com/2019/03/08/d...ld-new-limits/
Fish'nFool is offline  
Old 03-09-2019, 06:57 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Heathsville VA
Posts: 181
Default

Interesting read on the Chairman's rockfish assessment. Thanks FishNFool.

In my area (mid-Chesapeake), most anglers would refer to the term "dip" as an understatement. Keeper size rockfish are not extinct but I do see some guys finding the effort not-worthwhile and turning their attention to other species. The Charter boats did ok last year with some large rockfish pictured. However, anything over 20" was welcomed compared to 30"- 40+" just a couple of years ago. Last fall, the eelers caught a few monsters, though the bite seemed limited to a few local hot spots.

His comment that the problem was due to environmental conditions implies he does not believe over harvesting was a significant factor.

My layman's intuition has me wondering if a 15% reduction is enough to make a difference.
heycharlie likes this.
BayViews is offline  
Old 03-09-2019, 07:09 AM
  #14  
Senior Member (used to be B-Faithful)Captains Club MemberPLEDGER Admiral's Club Member
THT sponsor
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Annapolis, MD
Posts: 16,782
Default

Originally Posted by Hollywood9s View Post
Is it going to be coastwide? If not there is little hope of it wielding any measurable results.
It will be across the entire Atlantic States and implemented by the ASMFC. While I am being told that the necessary reduction will be said to be around 57%, look for the states to work to lower that number. The May ASMFC will be interesting.

Remember we just had a 25% reduction (to the 2013 numbers) coastwide and a 20.5% reduction (to the 2012 numbers) in the Chesapeake Bay in 2015 under Addendum IV.
54d2aa96AtlStripedBassAddendumIV_Oct2014.pdf
iFishMD is offline  
Old 03-09-2019, 07:57 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Port Haywood Va
Posts: 2,066
Default

Originally Posted by Fish'nFool View Post
All of the while Omega rapes the waters of menhaden while bureaucrats pretend to care about rockfish populations.
If someone really wanted to increase population ,,, protect the breeders and increase protections of their forage!! ( to simple for ASMFC too see? )
heycharlie is offline  
Old 03-10-2019, 02:37 PM
  #16  
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 84
Default Pocomoke Sound

I don’t pretend to know what the answer is , but I can tell you first hand that forage is not lacking in Pocomoke Sound. 2017 & 2018 there were massive schools of menhaden in the Sound with plenty of 16”-18” rockfish. Gillnetters avoided channel edges in the fall when targeting spot due to the ongoing problem with getting covered up with bunkers. I ran Pocomoke and Tangier sounds all of October and November. Only legal fish landed were on western side of Tangier. Haven’t been great numbers of large striper in Pocomoke during the season in years. They always show up after first of the year. No fan of Omega, but gotta be real. Witnessed the fallacy of VIMS Science first hand. Too much to go into here. Chances are, fishing will gradually get better. I have witnessed cycles for 40 years.
bropride96 is offline  
Old 03-10-2019, 02:57 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Port Haywood Va
Posts: 2,066
Default

Some areas in Va waters,are not fished much by the reduction fleet..(Pocomoke Sound)
Sure some nets are full of them-- but the entire BAY needs to to full of them - More than just a few mts of yr
( netters here are catching quite a lot at this time,, I am Not %100 sure but think omega is not allowed to net this time of yr- last time read regs the were not allowed to net so they drew unemployment checks - something no other comm fisherman can collect, I know my buddies can not)
I read today,,, that (per omega spokesman) caught only 35mt last yr when they had 51mt limit.. Too me, not hard to see lack of forage. ( they are not going to burn the fuel to run out of bay-- if fish are here)
Finsinchessy likes this.

Last edited by heycharlie; 03-10-2019 at 03:19 PM.
heycharlie is offline  
Old 03-10-2019, 03:34 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Port Haywood Va
Posts: 2,066
Default

BTW, I Have caught 5, that's right ... 5 keeper sized spot in 4 yrs..That really sucks too..
( hell , we used have cookouts for 20 or so, on sat nights)
I never caught a keeper rockfish in Va spring season, This was my only catch trolling last spring
Name:  4xBZDtj.jpg
Views: 2695
Size:  50.7 KB

Last edited by heycharlie; 03-10-2019 at 05:18 PM.
heycharlie is offline  
Old 03-11-2019, 01:33 PM
  #19  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: South of Pennsyltucky
Posts: 9,480
Default

I can somewhat verify what bropride96 stated. I have fished the Tangier Sound for about the last 12 years for trophy season and the last few years the Sounds has had plenty of baitfish, just hardly any trophy sized stripers. While I will agree with the rest that Omega probably needs to be reigned in around the mouth of the Chesapeake, I don't think lack of baitfish is the biggest reason that trophy season has declined so bad the last few years. I think there are just alot less of the trophy sized breeders altogether.
Last few years I have not marked anywhere near the amount of big rockfish that I did when I started over a decade ago.
Hollywood9s is offline  
Old 03-11-2019, 03:14 PM
  #20  
Admirals Club Admiral's Club Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Ocean City, MD.
Posts: 1,274
Default

I was in Malfa, Virginia today, Monday March 11 and saw a pickup truckload of gray trash cans with tails hanging out of them. The tails were so big i thought it was red drum but on further inspection it turned out to be stripers. HUGE ones. And NO ice. WTF??? What season is open now???
mdman352 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread