Thursday, August 5, 2010
STRIPED BASS (MIKE F.)
So today we discussed the striped bass situation regarding the opening of federal fishing grounds. My group represented the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and I represented the recreational angler in the group. As a representative of the recreational anglers, I am not in favor of opening the federal waters to striper fishing. My reasoning follows
1- By opening the federal waters, the many fragile species of baitfish and other animals such as whales and tuna may be caught/killed in the bycatch.
2- Many anglers in the recreational angling community do not have access to boats or do not have the means to get all the way out to the federal fishing grounds to catch the stripers, so this would only benefit the commercial anglers
3- the commercial anglers who would be catching the majority of the fish in Federal waters may disrupt migratory patterns or catch the largest fish before they make it around the cape and inland into the harbor thereby reducing the quality of the catch enjoyed by recreational anglers onshore.
4- We like the way the system works now. We are catching quality fish and wouldn't benefit very much from the opening of federal fishing grounds
I, as a recreational angler in Massachusetts would have to agree and disagree. I agree that opening the federal waters could change the quality of landings in Boston harbor and further inland, but I wouldn't mind seeing it opened. I have a boat that could easily get me to the federal grounds and I imagine that many of the people who are catching all the stripers inland wouldn't be able to do so in the federal waters. In short, it would limit my competition and allow me to have a fishing spot that eliminates the day fisherman and tourists. I do not believe that any migratory patterns will change, nor will the quota increase. the only difference will be where the landings occur, not the number of landings or the quality of landings (size, health, etc). It is important to note, however, that we do not know the implications of this decision until it happens. For all I know, the opening of federal waters for striper fishing could screw up all sorts of aspects of the mass bay eco system. As such, I believe that the ban should be lifted on a 3 year trial basis and reevaluated.
When we cut up the striper, I was especially interested in what was in its stomach. I was surprised to see the crab because I was anticipating some squid or eel or something like that. I was also surprised that the only part of the crab left was that stringy meat and that the shell was digested before this meat. Although I have made bass fillets many times in my life, I have never cut off the belly meat to eat. I was intrigued by this and will definitely do it next time at Bruce's suggestion. Ted put up some bomb-diggity pictures of the fish so just scroll down to check it out. hes pretty good, that one.
Spectacle Island was all kinds of fun. i enjoyed the delicious treats at sumer shack and the wonderful scenery. I liked that the visitors center ad interactive displays because I am immature and need things like that to keep me focused. i learned through the displays at the visitors center that spectacle was a dump, a resort island with two thriving resort hotels, a grease processing facility that made soap, and a horse processing facility that made glue and hides and other things. Furthermore, I learned that Spectacle was on fire for a period of approximately 4 years on and off and that there are methane and asbestos problems, albeit small ones. while on the Island, we found spark plugs, tons of sea glass with blue being the rarest, a doll hand, apple cores, pine cones, bricks, marbles, melted plastic/ melted rocks that looked like volcanic rock, and other goodies. We saw periwinkles on the rocks at the shoreline and I was surprised to learn that the dock closest to the beach has nearly no depth at low tide. We also saw remnants of asian shore crabs and I hypothesize that I saw fish bones on the dock as well. Bruce helped us identify some of the class as coca cola bottles and cream jars. Following the exploration, I enjoyed my delicious lemonade and took a quick nap in the lovely rocking chairs provided by the generous people of spectacle island....it was glorious.