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CSMA Striped Bass- A Put and Too ManyTake Fishery

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    Posted: 27 March 2019 at 9:18am

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Division of Marine Fisheries, Wildlife Resources Commission extend year-round striped bass season closure to inland, joint waters

  • 26 March 2019
  • Number of views: 79

MOREHEAD CITY – A year-round recreational striped bass season closure will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, March 29, 2019, in all waters of the Central Southern Management Area where a closure does not already exist. The Cape Fear River and its tributaries are already under a harvest moratorium and are not impacted by this change.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Steve Murphey and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Executive Director Gordon Myers issued consistent proclamations today that result in a year-round closure in all joint fishing waters of the Central Southern Management Area. Further, in light of protective measures already implemented through proclamations issued by Director Murphey that prohibit striped bass harvest and limit commercial gear, the Wildlife Resources Commission proclamation also closed the striped bass season in all remaining inland waters within the Central Southern Management Area. A year-round season closure is already in effect for all coastal waters of the Central Southern Management Area.

The Central Southern Management Area encompasses all waters from just south of Oregon Inlet to the South Carolina line. The major waterbodies and their tributaries impacted include, but are not limited to:

  • the Pamlico and Core sounds,
  • the Tar River downstream of Rocky Mount Mills Dam,
  • the Pamlico River,
  • the Pungo River,
  • the Neuse River downstream of Falls Lake Dam,
  • the White Oak River, and
  • the New River.

The closure does not impact striped bass fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, in the Albemarle Sound Management Area, the Roanoke River Management Area, or the Pee Dee River and tributaries downstream of Blewett Falls Dam.

A map of the closed areas can be found here.

The regulatory changes finalize implementation of Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan, which was adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission in February. The approved supplement contained a no possession measure for striped bass for both commercial and recreational fisheries in coastal and joint waters of the Central Southern Management Area.

The two agencies are currently working on Amendment 2 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan, as research has shown that the striped bass populations in the Central Southern Management Area are not self-sustaining. These temporary management measures will ensure the protection of naturally-spawned year classes of striped bass until the amendment is completed.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Get Bowed Up Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 March 2019 at 8:26am
Listened to all files except the last 8min of part one.

As it happened right here on the northern beaches, chuck's point about the 48 DD recorded, as I saw it with my own eyes, was without a question (to me) the best talking point and maybe the only one that was worth anything, in the justification for questioning the data and taking the management action.

Bolts, very smart guy, but he put himself into corner a couple of times.


learned more on the topic by listening to the audio.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 4:37pm


moved to stand alone post


Edited by Rick - 21 March 2019 at 4:43pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 4:03pm
What was the outcome of the second meeting?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 12:22pm
Originally posted by Chuck Laughridge Chuck Laughridge wrote:

This took under 15 minutes.

The next meeting at 1:00 may be of interest to y'all as it deals with the delineation of coastal, joint and inland waters.  Could have a huge impact on anadromous  species.  

Good Fishing!!!
 



PUBLIC MEETING NOTICE
 
NOTICE OF OFFICIAL MEETING OF THE NCWRC AND NCMFC JOINT COMMITTEE ON DELINEATION OF FISHING WATERS
 
TO:    Interested Parties
 
FROM:   Betsy Haywood, NCWRC Commission Liaison
 
DATE:     Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 1:00 PM    
 
Pursuant to G.S. §143-318.12, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission and NC Marine Fisheries Commission, public bodies of the State of North Carolina, announce an official meeting of the Joint Committee on Delineation of Fishing Waters.
 
As part of a periodic review of existing rules, the two commissions have formed the Joint Committee to fulfill their statutory responsibilities to jointly determine the boundaries that define North Carolina’s Inland, Coastal, and Joint Fishing Waters.
 
 
LOCATION:  NCWRC Headquarters     1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606    Commission Room, 5th Floor
 
  MEMBERS:  Rob Bizzell- MFC    Pete Kornegay – MFC    Doug Cross – MFC    Tommy Fonville – WRC    John Stone – WRC    Monty Crump – WRC
 
Seating is available in the Commission Room for visitors to observe the meeting.  www.ncwildlife.org www.ncdenr.gov


The waters up for review are shown below.  The Joint Waters (red) will be of particular interest-




Click on this link and a specific map within the link to review areas of interest-



As an example-

Does the habit and river salinities support "Joint" classification all the way to Pitchkettle on the Neuse River?






Edited by Rick - 21 March 2019 at 1:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chuck Laughridge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 March 2019 at 11:49am
This took under 15 minutes.

The next meeting at 1:00 may be of interest to y'all as it deals with the delineation of coastal, joint and inland waters.  Could have a huge impact on anadromous  species.  

Good Fishing!!!


Edited by Chuck Laughridge - 21 March 2019 at 11:49am
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Today the WRC heard this motion-

Motion by Chuck Laughridge to ask the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to adopt concurrent regulations for recreational harvest in Supplement A in joint coastal waters. Second by Pete Kornegay. Motion carries with no opposition. 

The agenda-

AGENDA
 N.C. WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION SPECIAL MEETING March 21, 2019, 11:00 a.m. 1751 Varsity Drive NCWRC Conference Room, 5th Floor Raleigh, North Carolina
 
 
CALL TO ORDER AND WELCOME - Chairman John Coley
 
This meeting is being recorded as a public record and is audio streaming live at www.ncwildlife.org. As a courtesy to others silence all cell phones during the meeting. 
 
 
ROLL CALL FOR COMMISSIONERS PRESENT IN PERSON AND BY TELECONFERENCE – Margo Minkler
 
 
MANDATORY ETHICS INQUIRY - North Carolina General Statute N.C.G.S. § 163A-216  mandates that the Commission Chair shall remind all Commissioners of their duty to avoid conflicts of interest and appearances of conflict under this Chapter, and that the chair also inquire as to whether there is any known conflict of interest or appearance of conflict with respect to any matters coming before the Commission at this time.  It is the duty of each Commissioner who is aware of such personal conflict of interest or of an appearance of a conflict, to notify the Chair of the same. Chairman John Coley
 
 
CONSIDERATION FOR REGULATION OF STRIPED BASS HARVEST IN THE CENTRAL SOUTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA (CSMA) – Consider adoption of a Proclamation to address conflicting regulation of recreational Striped Bass harvest in the waters of the CSMA – Executive Director Gordon Myers (EXHIBIT A)
 
 
OTHER BUSINESS 
 
 
ADJOURN – Chairman John Coley 

The outcome-

Based on recommendations from the Executive Director, the WRC voted to close all CSMA waters INLAND and Joint to recreational harvest.

The CSMA is now totally closed to all harvest.




Edited by Rick - 21 March 2019 at 11:26am
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Materials and audio file from the emergency meeting-

Agenda and Motions



Audio files-







Edited by Rick - 21 March 2019 at 10:56am
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The proclamation will be issued this week and take effect Monday, March 18, and the closure is expected to continue for about two years until Amendment 2 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is adopted. Amendment 2 could continue the provision or recommend other management actions.





M-6-2019

PROCLAMATION

RE: GILL NETS – GILL NET CLOSURE AND RESTRICTIONS - CENTRAL SOUTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA (CSMA)
- WESTERN PAMLICO SOUND AND RIVERS


During an emergency meeting on March 13, 2019, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission directed the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director to issue this proclamation pursuant to N.C. General Statute 113-221.1 (d). The Director has no legal authority to modify or change a proclamation when the proclamation is specifically directed by the Commission under this statute. This proclamation supersedes proclamation M-5-2019, dated March 7, 2019. This proclamation prohibits the use of ALL gill nets upstream of the ferry lines from the Bayview Ferry to Aurora Ferry on the Pamlico River and the Minnesott Beach Ferry to Cherry Branch Ferry on the Neuse River. It maintains tie-down (vertical net height restrictions) and distance from shore restrictions for gill nets with a stretched mesh length 5 inches and greater in the western Pamlico Sound and rivers (excluding the areas described in Section I. B.) in accordance with Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan.

Stephen W. Murphey, Director, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, under specific direction from the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, pursuant to N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(d), hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Monday, March 18, 2019, the following restrictions will apply to gill nets:

I. AREA DESCRIPTIONS (See Map)

A. All Internal Coastal Fishing Waters (includes Joint Waters) west (upstream) of the 76° 28.0000’ W longitude line which passes near Roos Point at the mouth of Pamlico River south to Point of Marsh at the mouth of the Neuse River (excluding the areas described in Section I. B.)

B. All Internal Coastal Fishing Waters (includes Joint Waters) west (upstream) of a line on the:
1. Pamlico River beginning at a point from the Bayview Ferry 35° 25.6681’ N - 76° 44.3929’ W running south to a point at the Aurora Ferry 35° 22.6244’ N – 76° 44.8947’ W;
2. Neuse River beginning at a point at the Minnesott Beach Ferry 34° 58.0371’ N - 76° 48.3639’ W running south to a point at the Cherry Branch Ferry 34° 56.2269’ N - 76° 48.5725’ W.

II. GEAR RESTRICTIONS

A. In the area described in Section I. A., it is unlawful to fail to equip gill nets with a stretched mesh length 5 inches and greater with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards to restrict the vertical distance between the top and bottom lines to 36 inches or less. If the vertical height of the net (distance between the top and bottom line) is 36 inches or less, no tie-downs are required. Nets must be set so as to fish on the bottom and not exceed a vertical height of 36 inches.

B. It is unlawful for any portion of the gill net with a stretched mesh length 5 inches and greater to be within 50 yards of any point on shore when set or deployed in the Pungo River north and east (upstream) of a line beginning at a point at Sandy Point 35° 26.8680’ N - 76° 33.9520’ W; running southwesterly to a point at Field Point on the west shore at 35° 26.2810’ N - 76° 35.5530’ W.

C. In the area described in Section I. B., it is unlawful to use ANY gill nets.

III. GENERAL INFORMATION

 A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 03J .0103.

B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.

C. The intent of this proclamation is to implement orders of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(d). This order of the commission is being implemented in conjunction with Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan to reduce bycatch of striped bass in gill net fisheries in the specified areas of the CSMA.

D. A gill net is defined in accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I. 0101(3)(h).

E. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule15A NCAC 03J .0103(a)(2) states it is unlawful to use gill nets in internal waters from April 15 through December 15, with a stretched mesh length 5 inches or greater and less than 5 ½ inches.

F. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103(i)(2) states for gill nets with a stretched mesh length 5 inches or greater it is unlawful from June through October, for any portion of the net to be within 10 feet of any point on the shoreline while set or deployed unless the net is attended. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03J .0103 (j) defines the shoreline as the mean high-water line or marsh line, whichever is more seaward.

G. Proclamation M-3-2014, dated February 3, 2014 prohibits the setting of gill nets in the Joint Fishing Waters of the state from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday each week. Portions of Albemarle and Currituck sounds are exempt from that provision.

H. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221(f) and 113-221.1(c) all persons who may be affected by rules and proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current rules and proclamations. Multiple rules and proclamations regulating a fishery, species, gear, etc. may be in effect concurrently.

I. Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at http://ncmarinefisheries.net

J. During an emergency meeting on March 13, 2019, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission directed the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director to issue this proclamation pursuant to N.C. General Statute 113-221.1 (d). The Director has no legal authority to modify or change a proclamation when the proclamation is specifically directed by the Commission under this statute. This proclamation supersedes proclamation M-5-2019, dated March 7, 2019. This proclamation prohibits the use of ALL gill nets upstream of the ferry lines from the Bayview Ferry to Aurora Ferry on the Pamlico River and the Minnesott Beach Ferry to Cherry Branch Ferry on the Neuse River. It maintains tie-down (vertical net height restrictions) and distance from shore restrictions for gill nets with a stretched mesh length 5 inches and greater in the western Pamlico Sound and rivers (excluding the areas described in Section I. B.) in accordance with Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan.

 

 

signature

 

 

 

Stephen W. Murphey, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES, DEQ

March 15, 2019
12:14 P.M.
M-6-2019











Edited by Rick - 19 March 2019 at 2:45pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 12:41pm
As a reminder and to put things into perspective, the following partial quote comes from 

GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF NORTH CAROLINA
SESSION 2017

                                                                                                                                              HOUSE House BILL DRH30315-MH-118   (03/25)

Short Title:      Protect Striped Bass/Central Southern Area.

(Public)

Sponsors:

Representatives W. Richardson, Adams, and Wray (Primary Sponsors).




Whereas, the commercial striped bass harvest in the CSMA, which is capped at 25,000 pounds annually, is only 15% of the total yearly striped bass harvest taken from all internal coastal waters in North Carolina, with the remaining 85% coming from the Albemarle Sound Management Area; and

Whereas, records of the DMF show the annual value of the commercial striped bass harvest from the CSMA to the 168 commercial fishermen participating in the harvest averages about $68,600 or about $408 per fisherman while the cost of stocking striped bass that make up the harvest is around $600,000 per year; and


https://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2017/Bills/House/HTML/H853v0.html 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 12:15pm
The WRC has scheduled a special meeting to discuss the motion from the MFC  re: stripers in joint waters:


***Notice the WRC plans to live stream the audio from this meeting (unlike DMF did for the Wednesday emergency meeting).***

March 13, 2019

M E M O R A N D U M

TO: Interested Parties
FROM: Betsy Haywood, Commission Liaison
 NC Wildlife Resources Commission

SUBJECT: Notice of Special Meeting – Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 11:00 am
1751 Varsity Drive, 5th Floor Commission Room
NCSU Centennial Campus
Raleigh, North Carolina

Pursuant to G.S. 143-318.12, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, a public body
of the State of North Carolina, hereby files notice of a special meeting to consider a request from
the NC Marine Fisheries Commission to adopt concurrent regulations for recreational harvest of
striped bass in the Central Southern Management Area.

**The live audio webcast of the WRC meeting will be available at www.ncwildlife.org under
Public Notices and Pending Rules.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 5:41am

Possible that an unintended consequence will be to shift effort from upstream to downstream of the ferry lines, which includes Bay River.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stump1187 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:18pm
Originally posted by Rick Rick wrote:


No take rec and commercial for striped bass in the CSMA.

No gillnets period inland of the ferry lines.

Standard rules downstream of the ferry’s.

Bay River will be just like last year except for a no possession rule for striped bass.


So, will be gill nets galore then. Yay. At least it’s something In the right direction.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:12pm

No take rec and commercial for striped bass in the CSMA.

No gillnets period inland of the ferry lines.

Standard rules downstream of the ferry’s.

Bay River will be just like last year except for a no possession rule for striped bass.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stump1187 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:07pm
So, what does this mean for other bodies of water in between such as Bay River? Open season for all to take what they want?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TomM Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:01pm
Big thanks to five brave souls👍 The director and staff need to go. Only happen if Cooper fears voter crunch or thru legs. It is a start.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 9:37pm

I guess the Secretary doesn't understand his responsibility either...but he does.  The Secretary is just playing politics making sure the commercial supporters know that he supported status quo.

Fisheries management through political science.


STATEMENT: Secretary Regan's Statement on Marine Fisheries Commission's Non-Emergency

Raleigh

NC Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael S. Regan issued the following statement on the emergency meeting called by the Marine Fisheries Commission this week:

I am disappointed by the Marine Fisheries Commission calling an emergency meeting with only 48 hours notice for a non-emergency. The Commission used bad judgment in directing the Division of Marine Fisheries Director to take actions that contradict science and the recommendations of the division’s scientists.  I certainly hope this is not a precedent we will see again from this Commission.

The statute empowering the Marine Fisheries Commission to direct issuance of gill net bans in certain areas does not authorize the Secretary or the Department discretion to overturn such a directive.

This press release is related to:

STATEMENT: Secretary Regan's Statement on Marine Fisheries Commission's Non-Emergency




Edited by Rick - 14 March 2019 at 9:51pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 9:30pm

Tail wagging the dog...

The responsibilities are clear.

The Commission establishes policy and rule for management-




The Division is responsible for implementing the policy and rules of the Commission...not setting policy and rule...and sure as hell not whining about it.




The Director needs to go.




Edited by Rick - 14 March 2019 at 9:32pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 7:35pm
And this is why I won't be writing a thank you to the Governor (or voting for him again).


I started to throw shade on this earlier but decided to allow some positive vibes to spread.  And then Rick opened the door.

The governor gave us an extra year with a commercial fisherman in the chair of the MFC.  And he has appointed an at-large seat that is an automatic commercial vote.

He appointed a deq secretary and a dmf director who are trying desperately to preserve status quo.

So please forgive me if I don't thank the governor.  He has really $crewed us for a while with his appointments at every level.


This proclamation vote passed IN SPITE of him thanks to 5 MFC members who wanted common sense to prevail.

So my THANK YOU goes to the 5 who voted to fix a problem - not prolong it.  I salute the 5 of you and hope you keep pushing for meaningful reform.


To the rest of the crowd - with the governor at the top - go pound sand!






Edited by bakesta - 14 March 2019 at 7:36pm
"Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest." --- Mark Twain
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 5:52pm


Please carefully read the above several times.

If Gordon Meyers wrote that news release after being directed by the Wildlife Resources Commission to issue a similar proclamation, he would be fired within 48-hours.

Your legislator needs to hear from you. Please make them aware of your dissatisfaction with Director Murphey and Secretary Regan’s response to the Marine Fisheries Commission’s actions to support sustainable resource management.   

Friends of the resource- your legislator and the Governor need to understand that Secretary Regan made a huge mistake choosing Director Murphey to be Director.  The Secretary and the Deputy Secretary were emphatically warned in March of 2017 that-

First, I fully realize that posting the director's job is a formality.  

 

The director's job needs to be filled from outside of NC if it is a permanent replacement.  No one at NCDMF or a former NCDMF employee should be considered.  The informed public has zero confidence in senior Division staff to manage our fisheries and coastal habitats for sustainability. 

 

What really needs to happen is to put a strong interim director in place to clean house, establish policy and right this ship that rolled over a long time ago.  Only then will you be able to conduct a legitimate search to find a quality person to fill the director's job.  No one in his right mind would want to come into that mess as a permanent long-term position unless he or she is unqualified and hired to maintain status quo.

 

The incestuous relationship between SeaGrant, NCDMF, NCDA&CS and our research universities is preventing proper resource management.  Everyone is scratching each other's backs to promote and defend the use of unsustainable gears and practices in NC's commercial fishing industry.  These agencies have made a career out of supporting the commercial fishing industry.  There's a lot of job security in studying and trying to manage the unmanageable- supporting and trying to manage the use of those unsustainable gears and practices fishing on depleted and overfished stocks.

 

NCDMF is the poster child for Regulatory Capture.


The response that I received to the above was-


 

Thank you for your message and your feedback.  As demonstrated by our posting of the position, we are conducting a national search for the next director of the Division of Marine Fisheries.  I am committed to finding a great leader for this important division.


There was zero interest outside of the well-known former or current DMF employees- zero.  No credible candidate was interested  in coming to NC to take on the quagmire of attempting managing the unmanageable- "sustainable" fisheries in NC. 


Steve Murphey was the "best" candidate.


What has Director Murphey done? 


Given his inexperience in broad species management, he has relied on the "expertise" of those that came up thorough the ranks with him at DMF- those personal friends of his and his wife.  Particularly he is relying on his unofficial "Deputy Director" Katy West.  


Katy West has unabashed blatant commercial industry bias.  Nothing she has ever produced or will produce can be trusted to not have the potential for that bias.  She was the brain-trust behind the "success" of tie-towns and offsets in the striped bass fishery.  


Based on the news release above and the preceding actions of the Director- It is time for change.


The Governor can make that change or the legislature can make it.


 







Edited by Rick - 15 March 2019 at 7:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 4:49pm

Roy Cooper

Governor

Michael S. Regan

Secretary

cid:image002.png@01D40ED7.355AD610

Steve Murphey

Director

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith

Date: March 14, 2019

Phone: 252-726-7021

 

Marine Fisheries Commission overrules fisheries director and adopts gill net prohibition

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted Wednesday to overrule the director of the Division of Marine Fisheries and prohibit gill nets upstream of the ferry lines in two river systems.

 

The commission passed a motion directing Division of Marine Fisheries Director Steve Murphey to implement the year-round closure by proclamation upstream of the Bayview/Aurora Ferry in the Pamlico River system and upstream of the Minnesott Beach/Cherry Branch Ferry in the Neuse River system.

 

The proclamation will be issued this week and take effect Monday, March 18, and the closure is expected to continue for about two years until Amendment 2 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is adopted. Amendment 2 could continue the provision or recommend other management actions.

 

Murphey had declined to voluntarily implement a similar motion passed at the commission’s February meeting that requested he restrict the use of gill nets that interact with striped bass upstream of the ferry lines in the rivers and require attendance of gill nets that interact with striped bass upstream of the tie-down lines in the Central Southern Management Area.

 

The February motion was made following the adoption of Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan, which provided for a year-round season closure for striped bass in internal waters in the Central Southern Management Area. The Central Southern Management Area runs from just south of Oregon Inlet to the South Carolina state line.

 

In a March 4 letter to the commission, Murphey wrote that he carefully considered the issue but concluded that scientific data does not support the management measure. Gill nets are not the primary or even the most significant source of discard mortality in the Central Southern Management Area striped bass fishery.

 

“This letter and Supplement A acknowledge discards in both the recreational and commercial industry, but it also points out that gill net restrictions already in place have resulted in significant reductions in striped bass discards and that recreational discards are increasing in recent years,” Murphey said.

 

Wednesday’s meeting was an emergency meeting called under North Carolina General Statute section 113-221.1(d), which authorizes the commission to review the desirability of directing the fisheries director to issue a proclamation. Once the commission votes under this provision to direct issuance of a proclamation, the fisheries director has no discretion to choose another management option and is bound by law to follow the commission decision. In these cases, under existing law, the decision of the commission to direct the director to issue a proclamation is final and can only be overruled by the courts.

 

“I have talked to the secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, and the secretary has talked to the Governor’s Office, and the secretary does not agree with the approach for this proceeding,” Murphey said.

 

The Division of Marine Fisheries has implemented the year-round striped bass season closure for commercial fishermen in coastal fishing waters, managed by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and in joint fishing waters, managed cooperatively between the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. However, the Division of Marine Fisheries has delayed implementation of the no-possession measure for the recreational fishery in joint fishing waters because it is currently inconsistent with Wildlife Resources Commission management measures for those waters.

 

At Wednesday’s meeting the Marine Fisheries Commission also passed a motion asking the Wildlife Resources Commission to adopt a year-round closed season for striped bass for recreational harvest in joint fishing waters.

 

Research has shown that striped bass in the Central Southern Management Area are not a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, data suggest there have been two recent naturally-spawned year classes. The no-possession management measure will offer additional protection for those non-hatchery fish and protect larger females which could increase natural spawning stock biomass.

 

###

 

 


Website: http://www.ncmarinefisheries.net

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ncdeq

Twitter: http://www/twitter.com/NCDEQ

RSS Feed: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/opa/news-releases-rss

P.O. Box 769, 3441 Arendell St., Morehead City N.C. 28557

 

 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:52am
Originally posted by Glacierbaze Glacierbaze wrote:

Rick, if you are offering your letter as a template for others, you might want to delete, "

<span style="text-align: left; text-indent: 0px; letter-spacing: normal; font-family: "Calibri",sans-serif; font-variant: normal; word-spacing: 0px; white-space: normal; orphans: 2; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;">I attended the special meeting and would like to compliment". </span>



Done.

Everyone, please send an email to the Governor.

Dear Governor Cooper,

I am writing to show my support for the pro-resource action taken by the NC Marine Fisheries Commission on Wednesday, March 13th during the special called meeting in Kinston. Recreational anglers and conservationists have been requesting protection for this important fishery since 2015. I strongly agree with the request of the five commissioners who submitted letters requesting the meeting. Action to reduce gill net mortality and to provide protection for the two-year classes of natural spawned striped bass on the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers is the future of this fishery. The magnitude of these 2014 and 2015 wild spawned fish are the first this fishery has seen in more than thirty years. The Commission took much needed action to provide additional protection to these future spawners.

Actions such as yesterday's are always contentious. Adding to that contention were the facts surrounding the meeting- a short notice, special called meeting directing the Director to take action that he disagreed with taking.

I would like to compliment Chairman Bizzell on the professional manner in which he conducted the meeting. He allowed every commissioner and the Director the opportunity to present their opinions, positions, data and allowed ample time for questions and discussions.

While the Director and his staff did not agree with the Commission's actions, I personally want to thank you for putting a Commission in place that understands its responsibility to the resource and the people of NC. This Commission tackled a tough issue by implementing difficult and much needed management measures. This Commission looked to and acted for the future.

Too often past Commissions have lacked the leadership and desire to take necessary actions to adequately protect our important resources. Too often the desire for continued harvest today won over proper management supporting tomorrow.

I sincerely want to thank you for appointing pro-resource commissioners with principle, knowledge and desire like Rob Bizzell, Cameron Boltes and Pete Kornegay. Their actions support the goals of your Marine Fisheries Policy Paper.

Sincerely and Best Regards,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 10:47am
Dear governor, I have watched the trajectory of your administration with regard to how your team supports our estuarine resources and the attendant biomass therein, and must admit that this turn, in the CSMA striped bass milieu where stocked fish are being exploited by commercial operators for profit despite specific legal prohibition against said commercial use, on both the state and federal side, is surprising because it shows a tiny amount of change toward some hint at conserving the resource, albeit, in an emergency scenario that has been long allowed to fester by the people who have controlled the DMF and the MFC. Your appointment of Bizzell, Boltes and Kornegay has given the impression that we are not wholly driven to allow the exploitative extraction of every striped bass in that corridor, but the inclusion of gill nets within the rivers seems ill conceived if actually saving the run has any chance to succeed, and the insouciant doubling of bycatch stripers in the Albemarle management area proves we have been hoodwinked, but serves as the tacit reason as to why such half measures were finally brought on in the Pamlico watershed. You might think that we are all deceived to believe you have represented the public at large, but I, for one, am not. I know you continue to wear the boots that stomp on the common sense of anyone who follows these matters and has held out hope that our state could ever affect the position that biomass and habitat is heritage, and not the unchecked obliteration of once viable fish populations that continue to be devastated by the big moneyed interests who prevent conservation and continue, unimpeded , to devastate the heritage we once possessed. Thanks a lot for your continued fealty to the estuarine death squad and their supporters from Canada and Pennsylvania, with help from your like minded fellows in the GA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Glacierbaze Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 9:59am
Rick, if you are offering your letter as a template for others, you might want to delete, " I attended the special meeting and would like to compliment".
"You can never elevate your own character by stepping on someone else's."

"Never argue with a man who loves the sound of his own voice."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 9:12am
I ask that everyone take just a couple of minutes to help this and other important fisheries.  Please send Governor Cooper a letter showing your support for the actions taken by the MFC-

roy.cooper@nc.gov

Dear Governor Cooper,

 

I am writing to show my support  for the pro-resource action taken by the NC Marine Fisheries Commission on Wednesday, March 13th during the special called meeting in Kinston. Recreational anglers and conservationists have been requesting protection for this important fishery since 2015.  I strongly agree with the request of the five commissioners who submitted letters requesting the meeting.  Action to reduce gill net mortality and to provide protection for the two-year classes of natural spawned striped bass on the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers is the future of this fishery.  The magnitude of these 2014 and 2015 wild spawned fish are the first this fishery has seen in more than thirty years.  The Commission took much needed action to provide additional protection to these future spawners.  


Actions such as yesterday's are always contentious.  Adding to that contention were the facts surrounding the meeting- a short notice, special called meeting directing the Director to take action that he disagreed with taking.


I attended the special meeting and would like to compliment Chairman Bizzell on the professional manner in which he conducted the meeting.  He conducted the meeting in a manner that allowed every commissioner and the Director the opportunity to present their opinions, positions, data and allowed ample time for questions and discussions.  


While the Director and his staff did not agree with the Commission's actions, I personally want to thank you for putting a Commission in place that understands its responsibility to the resource and the people of NC.  This Commission tackled a tough issue by implementing difficult and much needed management measures.  This Commission looked to and acted for the future. 


Too often past Commissions have lacked the leadership and desire to take necessary actions to adequately protect our important resources.  Too often the desire for continued harvest today won over proper management supporting tomorrow.  


I sincerely want to thank you for appointing pro-resource commissioners with principle, knowledge and desire like Rob Bizzell, Cameron Boltes and Pete Kornegay.  Their actions support the goals of your Marine Fisheries Policy Paper. 

 

Sincerely and Best Regards,




 


Edited by Rick - 14 March 2019 at 9:25am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Redfisher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 7:55am
Finally towards the end when Denial, Defense, Deflection and Delay were falling well short of the four commercial horsemen of the apocalypse needs, Commissioner Cross played the INTIMIDATION card with the statement that any Commissioner voting for the resource could be held personally liable for "arbitrary and capricious" actions.  The Commission's attorney immediately discounted Cross's statement.  God Bless him, ain't Doug just special.  I'm glad his daddy has a business to support him.

Wasn't it Cross that personally attacked you in an editorial??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 10:46pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 10:09pm
Can frivolous lawsuits filed after threatening to do so considered intimidation?

Edited by todobien - 13 March 2019 at 10:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 8:11pm
LOL  Good summary, Rick! Funny, but true.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 7:48pm

There was great interest from the recreational sector with several posters on this board in attendance.  The commercial side had Brent Fulcher and Glenn Skinner there with a gentleman joining them late that I understand is an ex-employee of DMF, retired, who part-time commercially gillnets on the Pamlico River from his residence.

The meeting had full attendance with all nine commissioners present.  It looked like Hendrickson was going to be a no show, but turns out Brent Fulcher had him cornered up in the hallway coaching him on the NCFA's position right to the 10:00 bell.

Director Murphy clearly stated in his opening monologue that "The Secretary does not agree with the approach to this meeting".

The Division Attorney was clear in his actions that the Division was not going to provide information helpful to the Commission's goal.  There was mention of the March 12th email and then audio recordings from the Nov-2018, Aug-2018 and Feb-2019 MFC meetings "needing to be entered into the record".  The Division Attorney on several occasions stopped the Director or Division staff from answering questions related to the motion.  He cautioned the Division that this was the Commission's motion and not the Division's.

As Ray mentioned above- when specifically asked what estuarine gillnets in the CSMA rivers do not interact with striped bass, the Director stated that he couldn't answer that question and would have to ask his staff to study it.  

Commissioner Blanton, god bless him, came across as a total bullballyhoo artist... but a sincere one with zero credibility.  He was concerned that a gillnet moratorium at "the ferry lines" was going to completely shutdown the commercial gillnet fishery from south of Roanoke Island to the SC line.  Blanton went into detail about how Hatteras commercial fisherman would be out of business.  Blanton went into detail about how Swan Quarter drift gillnetters working the Pamlico Sound would be out of business.

When Director Murphey was asked how a moratorium on gillnets at the "ferry lines" would impact the Spanish mackerel drift net fishery in the Pamlico Sound, he replied " I'll have to get back to you on that". 

...ahhh, then Blanton, who failed to do his homework, realized that the "ferry lines" were the Pamlico and Neuse River ferry lines not the Ocracoke and Hatteras ferry lines.   WOW!  ...and Blanton is Rep Steinburg's proxy on the ASMFC.  God help us.

Speaking of homework-  Is Hendrickson ever prepared?

Hendrickson did his typical feigning of disgust that all of this "new" information is being sprung upon him with no notice when all of it was either in the FMP or his February briefing book.  Lets get with the program or get embarrassed for your 4th meeting this May.  I'm hereby offering my public service to Hendrickson to bring him up to speed (tutor) ahead of every MFC meeting with every word and fact in his briefing book.  Obviously Brent and Jerry aren't cutting the mustard.

Hendrickson then made his typical condensing statement that this time went something like this (directed at data presented by Commissioner Kornegay)-  "if I was writing a report with the end game in mind to get rid of gillnets then I can see why the author would structure his data in the method he has.  I think doing anything for one side versus the other will be arbitrary and capricious."

That would be only one of about a dozen times that the words "arbitrary and capricious" were used by Hendrickson, Cross, Blanton and Romano.  

Finally towards the end when Denial, Defense, Deflection and Delay were falling well short of the four commercial horsemen of the apocalypse needs, Commissioner Cross played the INTIMIDATION card with the statement that any Commissioner voting for the resource could be held personally liable for "arbitrary and capricious" actions.  The Commission's attorney immediately discounted Cross's statement.  God Bless him, ain't Doug just special.  I'm glad his daddy has a business to support him.







Edited by Rick - 14 March 2019 at 8:22am
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