JOINT MEETING OF THE SPORT FISH ADVISORY COMMISSION AND TIDAL FISHERIES ADVISORY COMMISSION
Glenn James – TFAC William Carrier III – SFAC
Greg Jetton for Andrea Jacquette – TFAC Dr. Jim Gilford, Chairman – SFAC
Larry Simns – TFAC Brenda Foster – SFAC
John Van Alstine for J.R. Gross – TFAC John Marple – SFAC
Bill Woodfield – TFAC David Dansberger – SFAC
Rick Webster – TFAC William Windley – SFAC
Diane Baynard – SFAC/TFAC
Howard King, Director, Fisheries Service called the meeting to order at Mr. King told the Commissioners that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the information he will take to the ASMFC Winter Meeting in regard to the lifting of the recreational quota cap on the Spring Striped Bass Trophy season. He introduced Linda Barker, a statistician for the Fisheries Service.
Ms. Barker had prepared a power point presentation that began with a brief history of the spring trophy season, quotas and harvest. The season opened in 1992 after a six-year closure to a restored stock. From 1996 to 2003, there was a 30,000 fish quota bay wide; the 2003 harvest exceeded that quota. Since 2004, there has been a baseline quota based on a VPA estimate of 8+ year old fish. Ms. Barker then explained the way the quota is calculated (See attached pdf presentation). Mr. King said he could go to the ASMFC with a strong position, supported by the data presented by Ms. Barker.
A question and answer period followed Ms. Barker’s presentation.
Questions were raised regarding the harvest of large fish in
Chairman Gilford asked how the spawning stock would be
protected if MD is successful in eliminating the quota. Mr. King told him that several factors would
contribute; the number of charter boat licenses is limited, recreational
fishing license sales trends have been down the past five years, the spring
season is 1 month or less, creel limit is 1 fish per person per day, the season
harvest is dependent on year class strength of the larger fish and weather,
both of which have been optimal for higher harvests the last 2 years. Commissioner Gilford made the observation
that MD can control going to the ASMFC to change MD’s numbers, but only the
ASMFC can change
The Frederick MSSA representative stated that his chapter keeps logs on every trip they make and every fish they catch. He feels that recreational fishermen should be required to report their catch to give accurate data and that Virginia’s fishermen should also be required to keep the same data.
Keith McGuire, a recreational fisherman, asked if the projected 2007 harvest of 66,000 to 67,000 would go up if the quota were taken off. And if it did, would that be okay? Mr. Sharov asked if his concern was for the safety of the spawning stock if the quota is lifted. Mr. McGuire said it was. Mr. Sharov assured him that no danger is expected to the spawning stock because the spawning population numbers are high, while our fishing regulations are conservative (one fish per person per day from mid April through mid May). Fishing effort is not expected to increase; therefore, we do not expect any significant increase in spring harvest in 2007.
Marty Gary, Fisheries Service, asked if the Commissions wanted to make a comment; do they object to elimination of the quota? Commissioner Windley asked that if they were talking about managing the migratory coastal fishery the same across the board; would MD be using our current regulations? Mr. King told him that MD’s current regulations would stand. Commissioner Gilford asked if the Commissions could come together with a decision; is anyone on the Commissions opposed to the elimination of the quota. The decision was unanimous; none opposed. Commissioner Gilford then asked if Mr. King would come back to the Commissions with the final proposal before the ASMFC Winter Meeting in January. Mr. King agreed.
Meeting was adjourned at