SPORT FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMISSION MEETING
Dr. Jim Gilford, Chairman William Carrier, III Bill Windley
Richie Gaines Michael Critzer David Dansberger
John Marple Diane Baynard Ed O’Brien
Chairman Jim Gilford called the meeting to order at
Sgt. Beth McVeigh presented a handout that gave an update on NRP activities from the end of May until the first of September that were of interest to the Commissioners.
Bob Lunsford, Assistant Director of Inland Fisheries, provided information on two public hearings held on the proposed Upper Savage regulations for 2007. Comments received were 6 to 1 in favor of the proposal, but he did receive a petition with 1000 signatures opposing the regulation. Chairman Gilford told Mr. Lunsford that the Commission would like the opportunity to give advice on Brook Trout Management and asked the status of the FMP. Mr. Lunsford told him that the FMP is in draft form and out for comments to DNR personnel. Chairman Gilford asked that the Commissioners be allowed to comment on the Brook Trout Management Plan before it is finalized.
Neil Jacobs, a member of the Youghigheny Trout Unlimited,
Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic TU and Vice Chair of the Brook Trout
Alliance asked to speak to the Commission.
He told the Commissioners that recreational fishing for Brook Trout is
one of the finest fishing adventures available.
The Savage River Watershed is the only intact Brook Trout population on
the Eastern Seaboard. Trout Unlimited
thinks the Brook Trout Management plan being proposed will be an excellent
plan, and will support its implementation.
The core of the proposed regulation will feature a “no-kill” area in the
upstream portion of the Savage, no bait, artificial lures only and the closing
of the delayed harvest area in the
Commissioner Bill Carrier made a motion to support, as proposed, the Upper Savage regulation on Brook Trout. Commissioner Mike Critzer seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Other Inland regulation proposals were:
Chairman Gilford asked if there were any objections to these proposals; there were none.
Fall stocking – Many streams were quite low this
year, so the regional managers will put more fish in lakes, ponds and
Inland Fisheries Marketing Plan – Commissioner Bill Carrier gave an update; the subcommittee continues with the plan to be implemented in 03/07. Marty Gary, Commissioner Brenda Foster and Commissioner Carrier are currently speaking with other states to fine tune the plan.
Striped Bass – Fisheries Director Howard King gave a
handout of the ASMFC’s decision to not open the EEZ. Chairman Gilford pointed out that Mr.
Hogard’s reason was that the mortality rate on large fish was 4.0, which is
almost at the threshold level of 4.1. He
warned that people should be aware that there may be a call to reduce effort on
big fish. Mr. King pointed out that “F”
is against the threshold;
Commissioner Ed O’Brien expressed concern about
extrapolation from the 124 boats that cooperated to all the others who didn’t
participate. Mr. King assured him that
the Committee would present as credible an argument as possible; the object is
to eliminate the quota, repay what we must and move on.
Chairman Gilford asked Mr. King if he plans to present proposals to the ASMFC at the October meeting. Mr. King told him that the Ad Hoc group meets the second week of October and the plan is to present their proposals at the October meeting.
2006 Young of Year Survey – Eric Durell, a Fisheries Service biologist, gave an overview of this year’s findings. The results were similar to 2002, in the single digits – 5 or less. All river systems performed below average. All anadromous fish had a bad year. The final numbers should come in by mid-October; they expect 4.7 will be close.
Commissioner Carrier asked if the temperature would be examined in the Susquehanna Flats again this year for extension of the season. Mr. King said it would. Commissioner Bill Windley said he would like to meet with Mr. King to look at the data, especially the circle hook data.
ASMFC Update --
Summer flounder will be on the agenda.
The Magnusson-Stevens Act has the stock rebuilding schedule for flounder
in 10 years. The fishery has been
over-fished by recreational fishermen and we’re now in a “catch-up” mode. Both recreational and commercial catches
could be cut drastically. In absence of
reauthorization of the Act,
Joint TFAC/SFAC Seafood Marketing Report – The
subcommittee met to draft the report.
They had a joint meeting with the TFAC subcommittee, which was not happy
that language was inserted that the SFAC also write a report. The SFAC subcommittee has copies of their report
to give to the Commissioners for comments.
The report was submitted to both Andy Loftus and George Krantz, whose
comments were inserted in blue and red, respectively. The final report is due
Marine Managed Inventories – Gina Hunt, Fisheries
Service Assistant Director, explained to the Commissioners about the NOAA
initiative of an inventory of marine managed areas in tidal waters. She provided a handout that explained Marine
Protected Areas versus Marine Managed Areas.
Chairman Gilford asked Ms. Hunt when the Penalties Committee meeting is planned; she replied that the meeting is scheduled for October 5th. Several Commissioners wondered why suggestions the SFAC worked on for the point system had not been implemented. Ms. Hunt explained that there are some issues with how NRP writes citations; she would like to address that after the Fines and Bonds Scheduled is worked on. Commissioner Richie Gaines asked Commissioner Ed O’Brien if someone from the Charter Boat Association could give an opinion. Commissioner O’Brien said he would check on that.
Artificial Reefs – Howard King told the Commission that the plan needs more internal review before it will be ready for presentation; he will have something for them by the next meeting in October.
Yellow Perch – The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee is scheduled for October 19th; it has met 5 times to date. Stakeholders presentations and allocations will be discussed at the next meeting.
Commissioner John Marple asked Mr. Lunsford is there should be an inland creel limit on yellow perch. Mr. Lunsford told him that a creel limit is not necessary; they are more concerned with overpopulation in non-tidal waters.
Proposed LNG plant --Commissioner Ed O’Brien asked
the status of the report that the Department should be sending to the
Governor’s office on the LNG plant. He
suggested that the effects on quality of life be emphasized. He also said he had heard nothing about the
Chairman Gilford gave the date of the next meeting as October 16th; he reminded the Commissioners that he might ask for a special meeting in November to review the subcommittee report due to the Governor in December. Commissioner Diane Baynard asked to please let her know if the Department has any comments. The deadline for comments is two weeks.
Commissioner Baynard made a motion to adjourn; Commissioner Gaines seconded. Motion passed.
Meeting was adjourned at .