Striper reels in enough votes to be state fish


The striped bass has been named the official state fish, but it didn’t happen without a fight.


The biggest opponent to the title came from a much-debated fish that is a mainstay of the striper’s diet – menhaden.

SB 940 passed easily in the Senate and was forwarded to the House.

There, Del. Jackson Miller amended it to give the honor to the menhaden – a small, oily fish harvested for Omega fatty acids and an important component of the Chesapeake Bay because it is a filter feeder.

Miller, a Republican from northern Virginia, argued that the menhaden was more important to the state economy than a striper, despite numbers that show the recreational angling community spends millions of dollars each year in pursuit of rockfish.

When the amendment was debated on the floor, Accomac Democrat Lynwood Lewis reminded the legislators that a Hampton fourth-grade class had lobbied hard for the original bill.

Miller’s amendment lost 49-48.

With the menhaden out of the running, the House voted overwhelmingly – 80- 16 – to honor the striped bass.

Striper reels in enough votes to be state fish | |


Yamaha Outboards and Volvo Penta Pair Up

Yamaha Motor Co. and AB Volvo Penta Thursday announced a strategic alliance designed to utilize each company’s strengths to make both stronger. The announcement was made at the Miami International Boat Show and builds on the announcement in December that Volvo Penta and Yamaha signed a technical agreement for the joint development of boat control system for outboards.

2011 Miami Boat Show Attendance Up!

Attendance was up 14 percent at the 2011 Miami International Boat Show, which closed Monday. The National Marine Manufacturers Association, which produces the show, reported 104,168 attendees this year, versus 91,415 in 2010. Strictly Sail Miami, however, was down 8 percent compared with 2009 -the last time it was held as a stand-alone show. A total of 18,122 people attended Strictly Sail, versus 19,723 two years ago. “The atmosphere throughout the five-day event was positive, and exhibitors from both shows reported strong buying crowds.

Coastal Fisheries Reform Group


CFRG leadership attended the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission meeting in Pine Knoll Shores, NC yesterday and today. On the agenda were the issues of the Striped Bass harvest by Trawl, and the closure of the Speckled Trout Fishery. As you know, thousands of Stripers were publicly wasted in the last few weeks, and we have eyewitness accounts from well respected charter captains to these events. Even with all the photos, video, and outcry from other Atlantic coastal states, our Marine Fisheries Commissioners voted today to continue this wasteful practice of trawling for stripers, and will continue to do so until the final 60,000 pounds of their quota is reached. Conservation groups were dumbfounded at this move today.
But wait, it gets even better! When the topic of the Speckled Trout closure came up for discussion, we requested that they keep the harvest of Speckled Trout closed thru the summer so the larger fish would be given plenty of time to spawn. Since mature females will spawn every 4 to 6 days starting in May and continuing throughout the summer, this would be our best recipe for maximum spawning success. DMF staff recommended ending the closure on June 15, which according to them, would get the fish through the most intense spawning weeks of May and June. We would have been fine with that. No harvest for anyone until June 15, but that is where our commercially run MFC stepped in.
Commissioner Bradley Styron, fish house owner and dealer, pushed through a motion to let commercial gill netters catch and sell 50 pounds of Speckled Trout per day, as long as those trout equaled only 10% of the other fish caught by the fisherman. This will go into effect this week! So here we go again with paying folks to have accidents! We already know how that is working out with our Red Drum don’t we? We would never have recommended a closure of the trout harvest for recreational fishermen if we had known that they would still allow the harvest and sale of trout by commercial gill netters! This is wrong, and it is unfair!
If there was ever any doubt in your mind why we MUST have game fish protection for Speckled Trout, we hope this incident has resolved all of those issues for you! As long as Speckled Trout remain a commercial fish, this tug of war will be never ending. It must end now! The only answer is GAME FISH status for Speckled Trout, Red Drum, and Striped Bass!
Our commercially run, money hungry, corrupt MFC has crossed the line for the final time! Please send our governor an email telling her what a great job her hand appointed MFC is doing at

Coastal Fisheries Reform Group

NC Marine Fisheries Commission Reopen Ocean Striped Bass Trawl Fishery


The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission has instructed the director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to reopen the state’s ocean striped bass trawl fishery to allow the remaining quota to be caught.

The commission voted 6-2 Friday to allow the fishery to reopen, adding the requirement for 30-minute tow times, to the previous regulations. The commission based the decision to limit the tow times on cooperative research tows from different fisheries agencies where the discard mortality rate is low.

Previous regulations, setting a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit will remain. Fishermen will also still be allowed to transfer trip limits to other fishing vessels that hold a striped bass ocean fishing permit for the commercial trawl fishery.

“As we finish out this season, fishermen need to be mindful of the events that have occurred and the concerns that have been expressed by the public and do everything they can to avoid the appearance of waste,” said division Director Louis Daniel.

The division has been inundated with e-mails, phone calls and letters since the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend when the agency received reports of thousands of dead striped bass in the water off Dare County. The division was able to confirm that at least one incident occurred off Bodie Island where a trawl boat fishing operation overloaded its net and released between 3,000 and 4,000 fish.

In response to public concerns, the division took steps to reduce the amount of striped bass discards in the commercial trawl fishery by replacing the previous 50-fish-per-day commercial trip limit with a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit. To avoid the need to throw back dead fish, commercial trawl fishermen were allowed to transfer trip limits to other fishing vessels at sea.

The division received complaints of another occurrence of dead fish on Feb. 3. N.C. Marine Patrol officers responded to the complaints and confirmed a total 251 dead fish that had either washed up on the beach or were seen floating in the water from the air. The striped bass trawl fishery closed Feb. 4, and the division decided to not reopen it until the commission could review the issue.

The division brought forward three options for the commission to consider:

1- Do not reopen the ocean striped bass trawl fishery;

2- Reopen the ocean striped bass trawl fishery with modifications to the regulations;

3- Reopen the ocean striped bass trawl fishery as a by catch fishery only.

The commission instructed the director to reopen the trawl fishery by proclamation in one-day increments. Daniel has not yet decided what day to reopen this fishery.

The commission also voted to ask the division to develop a proposal for allowing a commercial hook and line fishery to help avoid waste. The commission will discuss this issue further at a future meeting.

In other business, the commission voted Friday to:

Continue the spotted seatrout closure for both recreational and commercial fishing until June 15, as was recommended by the division. The commission also added a bycatch allowance of 10 percent of the daily harvest, up to 50 pounds, for the commercial fishery. This bycatch allowance is for weekdays only; the weekend harvest prohibition of spotted seatrout remains in effect for the commercial fishery. The intent of the bycatch allowance was to avoid waste of fish incidentally caught while targeting other species. The reason for extending the closure is to allow as many fish as possible to survive through the height of the spawning season. The state closed all coastal waters to the harvest of spotted seatrout Jan. 14 in response to several cold stun events. A proclamation continuing this closure will be issued today and become effective Thursday.

Adopt a supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan that increases the recreational minimum size limit to 15 inches and decreases the creel limit to six fish per day. A proclamation implementing this regulatory change will be issued today and become effective Feb. 21.

News Release From The Public Affairs Assistant

NC Marine Fisheries Commission Reopen Ocean Striped Bass Trawl Fishery | Virginia Beach Fishing – Charter Boats and Fishing Reports

Boat show is a go. It started today in Virginia Beach







The 58th annual Mid-Atlantic Sports and Boat Show started today at the Virginia Beach Convention Center. No, it’s not the show it once was, when the glory days featured anything and everything related to boating and fishing filled the old Virginia Beach Pavilion and spilled over into tents outside. But it’s a darned good boat show with plenty of new things to see in the boating world. While there isn’t as much from the fishing world as there used to be, several of the area’s angler’s clubs are on hand, as are representatives from the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament and Catchin’ for Kids. And one of the newest and hottest fishing reel manufacturers are on hand. The boys from Reedville -the ones from Innovative Anglers -are on hand with their new Release Reels. Really hot stuff. The show continues through Sunday, shutting down the doors at 5 that afternoon. I know it’s supposed to be a beautiful weekend.

NC Division of Marine Fisheries Meeting Feb 10th and 11th: NC Striped Bass Commercial Fishing


Who will be able to attend?

I am writing in response to your e-mail regarding your concerns about North Carolina’s striped bass fishery.
The ocean striped bass commercial trawl fishery is currently closed in North Carolina and will not reopen until after the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission meets this week. The commission is slated to review the striped bass incidents that occurred, the state’s response to them and what direction to take in management of this fishery.
The commission meets Feb. 10-11 at the Clam Digger Inn, 511 Salter Path Road, Pine Knoll Shores. The meeting is open to the public, and I encourage you to attend. Public comment periods are set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10 and 8:15 a.m. Friday, Feb. 11.
The commission will be informed of the numerous e-mails and phone calls the Division of Marine Fisheries has received regarding this issue.
I also anticipate putting out a news release following the meeting, most likely early next week. You may look for it on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website at under the News & Information link.
Patricia Smith
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Good Information Division of Marine Fisheries Meeting Feb 10th and 11th: NC Striped Bass Commercial Fishing