Originally Posted by bluesrule
Have to respectfully disagree, Donhans. The fact that the commercial market has a bigger impact than rec fishermen isn't a reason to throw your hands up and do nothing. If 100 guys on this board released 100 fish that they might have kept, and those fish lay several million eggs, how is that a bad thing? And I don't see how recreational boat fishermen, who can follow the birds, park themselves on top of the fish and hammer cows, aren't impacting the bass population negatively. That being said, you are right about the commercial impact. The fact that bunker/menhaden populations are at historic lows isn't helping either, thank you Omega Protein. Bottom line is that if WE, the guys who love fishing for stripers, continue to sit on our hands, this is going to get worse quickly.
Not saying nothing should be done. Just saying making the keeper size more complicated for recreational anglers
is not going to accomplish anything.
Here's the money quote from the article; "Currently, on three summer weekdays, some 2,500 commercially-licensed Massachusetts fishermen are authorized to each catch 30 stripers a day at 34 inches or longer (and five fish on Sundays). During this summer?s season, it only took three weeks to take the allotted quota of 997,869 pounds. Yet more than 600,000 people fish recreationally for stripers in Massachusetts, whose reported landings have fallen by nearly 75 per cent since 2006"
Bottom line for me is that I go fishing at least 5 times or more for every keeper I get. When I get a keeper, I take it home and eat it, and If I happen to get 2, I take them both home to eat, because I already put in 15 or more hours fishing to keep that one or 2 fish. Changing regs to further limit my paltry "take" of stripers each year is, IMHO, ridiculous.
I know many guys on this forum catch a lot more than me, and recreational boaters do also. But it's nothing compared to the commercial catch. If it was illegal to sell or serve stripers all along the coast (as it is in NJ), the problem would be solved.
Bottom line is that WE, the guys who love fishing for stripers, are the ones getting screwed. The government likes to take the easy way out and mess with the recreational angler, when the real problems lie elsewhere.