In a joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council
(Council) and the Black Sea Bass, Scup and Summer Flounder Management Board of
the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Board) in Wilmington, DE on
Wednesday, approval was given to recommendations to increase Summer Flounder and
Scup quotas for the 2012 fishing season by 1.55 million pounds and 21.43 million
¬†The overall black
sea bass quota will be the same for 2012, however, the recreational catch target
will be decreased by nearly a half million pounds to account for increases in
¬†Following the advice
of the Council's Science and Statistical Committee (SSC), monitoring committee
and staff, there was much debate about the summer flounder and scup quotas, but
the final decision to increase the quotas was rendered with overwhelming support
from both the Council and the Board.
bass, however, was far more contentious. Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the
New Jersey chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) and serving as
New Jersey's Legislative Commissioner's Proxy to the ASMFC Board, put forth a
motion with strong
support from New Jersey's other Commissioners and Council members to keep the
2012 recreational catch target the same as for 2011. This motion passed the
Council in a narrow 10-9 role call vote, but was defeated by the Board
6-5. Since the species are jointly managed, both the Council and the Board must
approve any measures, thus resulting in a failed motion.
¬†A motion was then
put forth that would have reduced the black sea bass 2012 catch target by almost
700,000 pounds, but an amendment again put forth by Capt. Nowalsky won favor by
both bodies resulting in a lesser 470,000-pound reduction.
Just before sunrise on June 5th, Jack Merwede, from Lavallette and Whiting,
hooked in to a striped bass of a lifetime while fishing with colleague Mike
Chizhik on his 22' Shamrock.
After having run in to large school of bunker at
the mouth of the Shark River in Avon, Snag-and-Drop was the order of the day.
Two 25 lbers were already in the boat when Jack decided to try a unique surf¬†
fishing technique currently under development. Jack used a fish-finder type rig
with an 8/0 Octopus Circle, 3 ounce weight and bunker chunk on the end of a 7'
Ugly Stick with a Shimano 3500 Baitclicker, spooled with Power Pro. Certainly
more of a fluke rod than a striper rig.¬† Of course Murphy's Law prevailed as the
monster bass picked up the chunk from the bottom and took off for parts unknown.
Fortunately, Mike's boat handling expertise afforded some time to catch up with
the brute and wear her out . After a 20 minute chase and struggle, the 50
inch-50 pound trophy was brought to the boat. This fish was Jack's lifetime best
by almost 19 lbs.
The Free NJ Saltwater Fishing Registry is now in effect as of this date. If you haven't registered now is the time
One question that was asked by a lot of guys earlier is part of the Q&A on the NJDEP site for the registry.
Q. I already signed up for the federal registry; do I still need to register in NJ?
A. Yes.¬† All anglers and for-hire vessel owners and operators must register with the NJSRRP in 2011.¬† New Jersey will provide a complete dataset to the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish and maintain a list of exemptions from the federal saltwater angler registration program.
The registry is an important tool that will help fishermen and policy makers work together to better account for the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. It is part of a national overhaul of the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data. The goal of the initiative - known as the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP - is to provide the most accurate information possible that can be used to determine the health of fish stocks. Reliable, universally trusted data will in turn aid anglers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders in their combined efforts to effectively and fairly set the rules that will ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing. ¬†¬†For more information, visit www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov.
Individual saltwater anglers ages 16 and older MUST register if ANY of the following criteria are met:
Recreationally fish with a hand line or rod and line, spearfish or fish by hand Recreationally fish in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey Recreationally fish in marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land the catch in New Jersey
Individual saltwater anglers are EXEMPT from registering if either of the following apply:
Under the age of 16
Solely fish on for-hire (party and charter) vessels that are registered with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program
For-hire vessel owners/operators MUST register if:
Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey
Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land their catch in New Jersey
¬†UPDATE : 5/01¬† Fluke Season Will Start As Planned
Fluke Season Opening In Jeopardy If DEP Fails To Act
The New Jersey
chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) today sent a
letter to Governor Chris Christie, copying the Commissioner of the
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Bob Martin, urging
immediate action to ensure that the 2011 summer flounder (fluke) season
gets underway as scheduled on May 7th.
Following action by the
New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (Council) on April 7 to enact the
2011 summer flounder regulations as having a season of May 7-September
25 with a bag limit of eight fish per person and minimum size of 18
inches, the Bureau of Marine Fisheries subsequently submitted the
regulation for approval by the DEP the following day.¬† In past years,
regulations approved by the Council were enacted almost immediately,
however, according to the RFA-NJ nearly three weeks have now passed
without approval of the regulation by the DEP.