SPORT FISH ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETING
Diane Baynard Richie Gaines Jim Smith
Chairman Jim Gilford called the meeting to order at
Chairman Gilford asked Mr. Gary for new information on the
problem with the catch card data that NMFS had refused to incorporate; a
problem brought to the Commission at the February meeting. Mr. Gary told the Commission that one
significant problem was that
Chairman Gilford mentioned that the NRP enforcement policy of yellow perch that the Fisheries Service promised to forward to the Commission members had not yet been received, nor had the bi-weekly bulletins that are sent to the Governor’s office. He asked that Mr. Gary be sure to have them sent to the Commissioners.
Additions to the Agenda:
Commissioner Bill Carrier – Inland Fisheries Marketing Committee
Commissioner Diane Baynard – Fyke netting in Nanjemoy
Commissioner Richie Gaines – Charter boat logbooks and surveys
Sergeant Beth McVeigh went over recent NRP activities of interest to the Commission:
Chairman Gilford asked why the striped bass violations were not mentioned at the last TFAC meeting; Mr. Gary told him that Sergeant Rob Kersey was on vacation, so no NRP report was given. Rich Novotny, of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishing Association (MSSA), asked the name of the boat involved in the violation. Sgt. McVeigh said the name of the boat was the Rita Diane; the magazine, Proptalk had an article in their January issue on the incident.
Don Cosden, of the Fisheries Service, told the Commissioners that walleye in tidal waters was declared in need of conservation. The draft document is finished and is currently in Gina Hunt’s office for review.
At Thorpe Woods there was a brook
At this time, Mr. Cosden and
Howard King, Director of the Fisheries Service, presented Ed Enamait with a
framed citation, thanking him for his 34 years of service to the Department of
Natural Resources. Mr. Enamait was
responsible for the rivers and reservoirs program in Inland Fisheries and
worked to restore the small mouth bass fishery in
Mr. Cosden then gave the
Commissioner Bill Carrier said
the subcommittee met twice last year and came up with goals. He and Commissioner Brenda Foster have done
marketing research on sport fishing and found that
Commissioner Baynard told the
Commission that she received a letter from Coastal Conservation Association (CCa) members in
Chairman Gilford asked who in the Department is working on the Yellow Perch Management plan. He indicated that he wasn’t opposed to commercial fishing as long as it does not have an adverse effect on the resource, or disenfranchise recreational users. He said he hopes effort during spawning can be stopped.
Mr. King went over the handout given to the Commissioners:
SB 439 – Prohibits the setting of
fike nets in the
SB 128 – Allows an educational collection permit
No pending legislation is forthcoming.
Sherman Baynard, MD CCA, asked Mr. King if the Department has a position on terrapins. Mr. King said that the Department supports Terrapin Day, but does not support a legislated moratorium. The Department proposed amendments to adopt regulations to limit the number of terrapin harvesters and to make sure that recreational crab pots have turtle exclusions.
Chairman Gilford asked if the Department testified on SB439; Mr. King said that Assistant Secretary Mike Slattery did.
Andy Loftus gave a presentation to the Commission on the Maryland Artificial Reef Plan. Mr. Loftus is currently working on this plan with Dick Stone. He worked with the Artificial Reef Committee in the 1980s; Mr. Stone will do the bulk of the work on the Maryland Plan.
Mr. Loftus gave a handout of the
starting point for the
Chairman Gilford asked who would select the sites; he feels that this is an important consideration that should be included in the plan. Mr. Loftus assured him that the process would be outlined in the plan. Chairman Gilford reemphasized the importance of the sites being selected by people who know the area. He then asked Mr. Gary to provide the names, numbers and email addresses of the principals in the reef program to the Commissioners.
Commissioner Gaines asked if the
plan will consider additional sites, as well as, existing sites. He felt that they should concentrate on
evaluation of current sites and their effectiveness. Mr. King suggested that Mr. Loftus schedule
meetings with stakeholders to increase efficiency. Mr. Gary said that funding should also be
discussed. They are still in discussion
Chairman Gilford had two other considerations he felt needed to be addressed in the plan, 1) the replacement of essential fish habitats by reefs and 2) the general impression that they are fish attractors and what are the impacts on fishing. Mr. Loftus assured him that these would be considered.
Mr. Gary told the Commission that the Administration has not come forward with a position; the Department will wait until that happens. Chairman Gilford told him that the Commissioners want the Secretary to have the SFAC recommendation in his hands so he can make the Administration aware of the SFAC’s concerns. Mr. King told him that he will prepare a letter for the SFAC to the Secretary stating their opposition to the AES LNG Plant at Sparrows Point and ask him to relate their concerns to the Governor on the severe impact this plant will have on recreational fishing and boating opportunities.
He told the Commission that there
was a public meeting on March 15th at the Solomon’s Island Holiday
Inn on the Dominion extension of
Commissioner Carrier asked if the letter would be circulated to the Commissioners for review. Mr. King said it would be after Chairman Gilford approves it. He said he would try to have the draft letter in two to three days.
Commissioner Richie Gaines told
the Commission that fishing opportunities are almost non-existent above the
Commissioner Jim Smith felt that the Department’s response to the Washington Post article on striped bass health was not strong enough. He asked that a press release be sent out to counteract this bad press. Mr. King told him that a press release had gone out, but it is hard to undo harm done the an article like that. He told him that at on March 21st, the Governor is taking reporters into the Governor’s house kitchen where striped bass will be prepared and eaten. That is the second step in the Administration’s response.
Mr. Gary gave a handout on the Conowingo Proposed Recreational Enhancements. He hopes to bring the blueprints of the plan to the April meeting to show to the Commission. He applauded Exelon’s cooperation in this endeavor. Mr. Baynard felt that the Department and regional fishing organizations should also extend their thanks to Exelon. Mr. Gary said he would like to schedule a press event upon completion of the project.
The next scheduled SFAC meeting is on April 17th.
The meeting was adjourned at .