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CSMA Striped Bass- A Put and Too ManyTake Fishery

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2018 at 11:54am


Marine Fisheries authorities consider no-possession limit for striped bass in central, southern waters

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has received the Marine Fisheries Commission’s approval to draft regulations for a no­-possession limit of striped bass in some waters of the state.

 

The proposal would apply to the Tar, Pamlico and Neuse rivers and other joint and coastal waters of the Central Southern Management Area.

 

The division recommended developing a supplement to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan to include the temporary management measures to protect two year classes of fish while the next plan amendment is being developed. The commission approved the recommendation at its business meeting last week.

 

The proposed supplement must first be approved by the secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality before it is developed.

 

Research has shown that striped bass in these waters are not a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, data suggests there have now been two successful spawning years, and those fish need to be protected.

 

The proposed no-possession regulations would end once the new plan amendment is adopted. The amendment could include the no-possession provision or recommend other management actions.

 

If necessary approvals are received, the division intends to hold one public meeting on the issue in the Washington area. The supplement would be brought back to the commission for adoption in February, and the regulations would be implemented by the division director through his proclamation authority.

 

In other business, the commission voted to:

·       Submit the names of Robert (Tim) Griner, Brian (Scott) Buff, Samuel (Sammy) Corbett, and Jack Cox to the N.C. Governor’s Office as nominees for the North Carolina Obligatory Seat on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council.

·       Recommend that the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission remain at status quo regarding the coastwide commercial allocation of summer flounder.

·       Readopt 41 existing rules under a state-mandated periodic review schedule.

·       Delay discussion of the Marine Fisheries Commission’s goals and objectives for an amendment to the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan until the next meeting.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrackishWater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 November 2018 at 7:36pm
I see an opening...
A rising tide lifts all boats...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2018 at 11:58am


In regards to this statement made by the NCDMF
"Research has shown that striped bass in these waters are not a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, data suggests there have now been two successful spawning years, and those fish need to be protected." NCDMF Press Release
...a good friend of the resource made this astute observation to me today-

I was thinking that it should be more like "Research has shown that the state's current estuarine management strategies for striped bass in these waters have not provided for a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, data suggests there have now been two successful spawning years, and those fish need to be protected".

I always found it easier to move forward if you recognized where you might have gotten things wrong.




Edited by Rick - 21 November 2018 at 12:29pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote todobien Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2018 at 12:22pm
I wonder if some addition clarification regarding amount of successful spawning would be useful? Was it a large percentage of those age classes were wild spawned, a small percentage or what level?

Technically I guess if you find 1 wild spawn it would be a successful spawn.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 November 2018 at 3:09pm
Originally posted by todobien todobien wrote:

I wonder if some addition clarification regarding amount of successful spawning would be useful? Was it a large percentage of those age classes were wild spawned, a small percentage or what level?

Technically I guess if you find 1 wild spawn it would be a successful spawn.

See:

http://portal.ncdenr.org/c/document_library/get_file?uuid=e2d46f4f-a24b-405a-8f5b-9d1635acf20c&groupId=38337
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2019 at 5:21pm

Release: Immediate

Contact: Patricia Smith

Date: Jan. 9, 2019

Phone: 252-342-0642

 

Fisheries seeks comments on proposed no-possession limit for striped bass in some internal coastal waters

 

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is accepting public comment on a draft temporary restriction for a no­-possession limit for striped bass in some waters of the state.

 

The proposed management measure would apply to commercial and recreational fishing in the Tar, Pamlico, Pungo, Bay and Neuse rivers and other joint and coastal waters of the Central Southern Management Area.

 

A no-possession requirement already exists for the Cape Fear River and its tributaries. The proposal would not impact striped bass fishing in the Atlantic Ocean, Albemarle Sound Management Area, Roanoke River Management Area, or in inland fishing waters under the jurisdiction of the N.C. Wildlife Resource Commission. 

 

The public may comment on the proposed management measure at a public meeting to be held:

 

Jan. 16 at 6 p.m.

N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington Regional Office

943 Washington Square Mall, Washington

 

Each speaker may comment for up to three minutes. More time may be allotted, depending on the number who sign up to speak. No other topic will be discussed at this meeting.

 

The public may also comment on the proposal in writing online here or by mail to:

 

Comments

Central Southern Striped Bass Supplement

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

P.O. Box 769

Morehead City, N.C. 28557

 

Public comment will not be accepted by email or over the telephone.

 

Written comments will be accepted until 5 p.m. Jan. 23.

 

The Division of Marine Fisheries is developing the new restriction through Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan. The division received approval to go forward with the supplement from the Marine Fisheries Commission at its November meeting and from Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Michael Regan in a Dec. 19 letter.

 

The division recommended the proposed temporary restriction to protect possible naturally-spawned year classes of striped bass until Amendment 2 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan is adopted. Amendment 2 could continue the no-possession provision or recommend other management actions.

 

Research has shown that striped bass in Central Southern Management Area are not a self-sustaining population and that fishermen are mainly catching hatchery-raised fish; however, data suggests there have now been two naturally-spawned year classes. The proposed temporary management measure would offer additional protection for those non-hatchery fish.

 

The proposed supplement will be brought before the Marine Fisheries Commission for adoption at its Feb. 20-22 business meeting. If approved, the management measure would be implemented by proclamation no later than March 1.

 

Draft Supplement A to Amendment 1 to the N. C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan and other related documents may be found on the division’s website here.




http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/nr-04-2019-striped-bass






Edited by Rick - 09 January 2019 at 6:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrackishWater Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2019 at 5:58pm
What is the plan to protect these two year classes of fish from the gill nets?
A rising tide lifts all boats...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2019 at 6:01pm
Originally posted by BrackishWater BrackishWater wrote:

What is the plan to protect these two year classes of fish from the gill nets?
 

What the MFC should do is:
  • Match the proposed 2017 WRC rule change increasing the recreational minimum size limit to 26"
  • Close all commercial harvest of striped bass in the CSMA.
  • Prohibit all gill net fishing in the Neuse(Minnesott Beach/Cherry Branch) and Pamlico(Bayview/Aurora) rivers at the ferry lines to the inland water boundaries.
  • Require full-time gill net attendance in all remaining CSMA waters.

Mail your comments here- (Immediately!)

Comments

Central Southern Striped Bass Supplement

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries

P.O. Box 769

Morehead City, N.C. 28557


The link provided for the online survey doesn't work for me.  I get this message-
Information We're sorry. You have already taken this survey.


See if it works for you.  I did take the WRC survey, so it may be the same.



Edited by Rick - 09 January 2019 at 6:24pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 January 2019 at 11:45pm
Survey link did not work for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 January 2019 at 9:30am
Rick,
I think we would have a better response if this were put in a separate thread.  Right now, folks see an 8 page thread and may not read it.

We do want folks to come out.

c
The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2019 at 5:07pm


Latest info on this saga starts on page 353-


You can see the public comments both written, in person and for the online survey.

The Division's recommendation is unchanged-  a complete moratorium.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2019 at 6:33pm
Looks like all comments are for a net ban. Complete ban.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 February 2019 at 10:47am
And, despite the slight of hand the DMF used to mute the impact of these comments by relegating a complex, serious issue to a yes or no question, albeit with ancillary comments that still seem purposefully separated in order to squirrel the commenters' logic from their arbitrary, or informed selection of yes or no- we see a definite wish amongst the giant majority of BOTH yes and no commenters, that they want the CSMA stripers protected by the use of fair regulations and the restriction or elimination of gillnets. That is, both yes and no respondents expressed this same desire, and in fact said the same thing, only they (me, especially) might have been hoodwinked into selecting the "short term profits selection (yes) (yes, me). I was impressed by a couple facts evident in appendix 2: Glenwood DE was the only obvious commenter pleading to keep his bycatch so he can net shad, and, there were but two commenters in all of Dare county, which suggests we have our heads stuck somewhere up here. Also, if all those fabulous anglers who commented from way inland started increasing their friends who might also become active in this fight, we would gain strength by moral impetus. I am impressed that all those people from Wilmington to Hampstead piped up, as it shows the coast isn't completely obscured by the pall of the death cult. Of course, I sincerely apologize to everyone that I bit on that trick with these comments, and voted yes. I meant : no.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 February 2019 at 4:10pm

My public comment today to the Commission-

Dear Commissioners,

 

Below is the public comment that I submitted to the Commission on February 19, 2016.  Yes, three years ago. 


Feb. 18th, 2016 MFC Meeting Public Comment

Good Morning-

Today, I’d like to discuss Central Southern Management Area striped bass.  Management of striped bass within the CSMA is the joint responsibility of the MFC and the WRC.

Striped Bass in the CSMA are considered a stock of concern by the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.  Due to heightened concern in the Cape Fear River and its tributaries, a no commercial harvest regulation was established starting on July 1, 2008, setting precedence.

Today there is compelling data that shows you should close the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers along with their tributaries to commercial fishing.

The CSMA is a hatchery origin put-grow-take fishery.  Parentage Based Tagging shows that 95% of the Neuse River stock is of hatchery origin.  Tag-return data indicates that the Pamlico and Neuse Rivers are essentially closed systems.

Federal money through excise tax on sport fishing gear under the Dingell-Johnson Act is paying for the stocking of CSMA striped bass.  It appears that the WRC is using those dollars as intended and the MFC is converting at least 2/3 of the public benefit from striped bass restoration to commercial fishing interests in violation of federal law.

It is prohibited to use Dingell-Johnson funds for the primary purpose of producing income.  Data shows that over the last ten years commercial fishermen landed 70% of the CSMA striped bass with recreational anglers landing 30%.

Since 1994 the Neuse and Tar River systems have experienced an annual mortality of 40% to 70%.  The reported harvest and discard from the recreational creel survey, combined with the commercial trip ticket data do not approach the level that is required to explain that level of mortality.  Data suggest that gill net mortality is being significantly under reported on trip tickets.  When cryptic mortality is included, the commercial sector could easily be responsible for 85% or more of all CSMA striped bass mortality.

Present management of this important fishery is preventing re-establishing a sustainable spawning stock biomass, which is making recovery impossible.  Managing the fishery for predominately commercial harvest is placing the whole stocking program in jeopardy. 

I ask that you take action, it is within your authority to immediately close this fishery to commercial fishing in its entirety or in parts that you deem fit. 

Please do so, sooner rather than later.  Later may be too late and forever. 

Ending the stocking program would allow those fingerlings to find a permanent home somewhere else and NC risks not being able to re-establish an adequate or economical stocking source in the future.


The major, and only, change that has occurred during the three years since writing the letter above is two-year classes of juvenile abundance that suggests the occurrence of a sweet-spot for successful natural spawning and recruitment.   Today, I am cautiously optimistic that this Commission will address the immediate need to protect these two-year classes of fish that truly are a natural gift that may come once in twenty to thirty years.  


W
here I continue to be disillusioned is with the failure to adequately address the major recruitment bottleneck- Gill Nets.  


Kyle Rachels and Benjamin Ricks (NCWRC) in their 2017 federally funded study Exploring Causal Factors of Spawning Stock Mortality in a Riverine Striped Bass Population found that-

(Note:  My highlighting in red for emphasis)

From 1994–2015, Striped Bass instantaneous fishing mortality in the Neuse River ranged 0.12–0.84 and exceeded the overfishing threshold in 12 of 22 years. A global linear model using environmental and exploitation factors accounted for 55% of the variability in spawning stock discrete annual mortality. An information theoretic approach was used to elucidate the best linear model predicting discrete annual mortality. The best model included previous-year gill net effort and same-year commercial harvest (ωi = 0.64, R2 = 0.50). Model-averaged coefficients for gill net effort and commercial harvest suggest total exploitation impacts that are congruent with other studies of Neuse River Striped Bass. Results indicate that reducing exploitation to target levels will require substantial reductions in gill net effort in areas of the Neuse River where Striped Bass occur. Reducing exploitation may increase spawning stock biomass and advance the age structure of spawning females, conferring an increased likelihood of successful recruitment and production of dominant year-classes during periods of favorable environmental conditions.  

Linear modeling indicates gill net effort is the most important factor influencing spawning stock mortality among the exploitation and environmental factors examined. Gill net effort accounted for substantially greater variability in spawning stock mortality than commercial harvest, and the model-averaged coefficient identifies gill net effort discrete annual fishing mortality u= 0.29. This suggests that the commercial multispecies gill net fishery imparts substantial mortality even when the Striped Bass harvest season is closed. The reason for this mortality is obscure, but may be attributable to dead discard mortality; over-quota and high-grading mortality; avoidance, predation, and drop-out mortality; or unreported, miss-reported and illegal harvest (ICES 1995; Gilman et al. 2013; Uhlmann and Broadhurst 2015; Batsleer et al. 2015). In particular, discard mortality should be carefully considered as Clark and Kahn (2009) found that Striped Bass are acutely susceptible to discard mortality in multispecies gill net fisheries. Furthermore, Striped Bass discards in the large mesh gill net fishery were identified as the primary source of mortality within the CSMA (NCDENR 2013). The effect of gill net effort on discrete annual mortality as estimated by linear modeling is within 3% of the estimated effect of cryptic mortality in a cohort-based model (u= 0.26; Table B.3 in Rachels and Ricks 2015), while the effect of commercial harvest was identical to the estimated commercial harvest discrete annual fishing mortality rate in that study.

Current high exploitation rates combined with low stock abundance and a high contribution of hatchery fish to the spawning stock (Rachels and Ricks 2015; Bradley 2016) suggest the expected recovery time of Neuse River Striped Bass continues to be “both uncertain and long” (Hilborn et al. 2014). Our research suggests fisheries managers should reduce exploitation by focusing on reductions in gill net effort in areas of the Neuse River utilized by Striped Bass. Reducing spawning stock exploitation may confer an increased likelihood of recruitment during periods of favorable environmental conditions, thereby leading to improvements in population abundance and increased numbers of wild fish in the spawning stock.

 

When I think about the gift of two-year classes of naturally spawned fish, I am reminded of the tremendous waste of red drum that occurred in 2013 when commercial gillnetters exceeded the fall quota by 11,000 pounds.  Illegal targeting of red drum in that bycatch only fishery was well documented.  We saw a tremendously successful red drum spawn that eventually resulted in busted quotas and excessive discard numbers.  Without properly addressing gill nets and gill net discard mortality, CSMA striped bass are headed for the same destiny.  Inadequate regulations and enforcement will yield the same results for striped bass just as it did for red drum.  In long-lived fish like red drum and striped bass, nature intends for these "gifts" that come once every 10 to 20 years to carry us through the poor recruitment years.  With our estuarine gill net fisheries at severe over-capacity, nature’s way of rebuilding stocks just never happens once a fish "recruits" to large mesh gill net size.


Gill net mortality, both directed and non-directed, must be adequately addressed to eliminate a major recruitment bottleneck for CSMA striped bass.


Directed and non-directed recruitment over-fishing by the commercial fishing sector has led to a truncated age structure preventing the establishment of a spawning stock biomass that can produce dominant year-classes.  Mature dominant year classes are needed to increase egg deposition on the spawning grounds.  Increasing the spawning stock biomass and advancing the female age-structure to older fecund individuals will lead to improved wild recruitment, which is the goal of Amendment 1 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan as stated on page 1.

 

The goals of Amendment 1 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass FMP are to achieve sustainable harvest through science based decision-making processes that conserve adequate spawning stock, provide and maintain a broad age structure, and protect the integrity of critical habitats.


You are aware that the Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan contains proclamation authority.

 

North Carolina’s existing fisheries management system is powerful and flexible, with rulemaking authority vested in the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NCMFC) and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) within their respective jurisdictions. The NCDMF implements NCMFC rules and policies. The NCMFC and NCWRC have authorized the NCDMF Director and the NCWRC Executive Director proclamation authority. Depending on the agency, proclamations may be utilized to establish seasons, authorize or restrict fishing methods and gear, limit quantities taken or possessed, and restrict fishing areas. Thus, all necessary authority needed for management of the striped bass fisheries is available through the existing state fishery management process


State Rule provides-

15A NCAC 03H .0103 PROCLAMATIONS, GENERAL 

(a)  It is unlawful to violate the provisions of a proclamation issued pursuant to a rule of the Marine Fisheries Commission, as provided in G.S. 113-221.1. 

(b)  If specific variable conditions are not set forth in a rule of the Marine Fisheries Commission that grants proclamation authority to the Fisheries Director, the Fisheries Director shall consider the following variable conditions in exercising proclamation authority: 

(1) compliance with changes mandated by the Fisheries Reform Act and its amendments; 

(2) biological impacts; 

(3) environmental conditions; 

(4) compliance with Fishery Management Plans; 

(5) user conflicts; 

(6) bycatch issues; 

(7) variable spatial distributions; and 

(8) protection of public health related to the public health programs that fall under the authority of the Marine Fisheries Commission. 

 

The CSMA needs a gill net moratorium to address non-directed bycatch mortality- the significant driver of Cryptic Mortality.


The DMF observes both large and small mesh gill net trips under the terms of the Sturgeon and Turtle ITPs.  The image below shows those areas in the CSMA where striped bass interactions occurred during DMF observed trips from 2012 to 2017.



Using the online program EarthPoint and DMF data, I plotted the striped bass occurrences showing the geospatial relationship to the Neuse and Tar river ferry routes, which are shown as a solid red line.



Using the same data, I plotted the striped bass data against the well-established NCDMF Gill Net Tie-Down Line established under Proclamation M-3-2015.

 


I request that this Commission honestly review the facts.  In doing so, you will see that gill net discard mortality is driving cryptic mortality, which is the primary source of total mortality in the CSMA.  


I ask that you adequately address the primary source of mortality through a motion and vote that requests that the Director issue a proclamation closing the Neuse and Tar rivers to all anchored gill nets at either the ferry routes or the Tie-Down Line.  The WRC supports closing the rivers at the ferry lines.  The data plots above suggest that a more conservative approach would be a closure at the Tie-Down Line.


Failure to adequately address gill nets will result in a complete failure of the FMP- a failure that needs to be prevented now, not in ten or twenty years if or when nature gives us our next gift.  These two-year classes of naturally spawned fish with natal imprinting are the future of a sustainable fishery.  If these fish are lost and stocking stops, striped bass will be almost fully extirpated in the Neuse and Tar rivers within five years.

 

Sincerely and Best Regards,


 







Edited by Rick - 19 February 2019 at 6:16pm
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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 February 2019 at 4:52pm
Great letter Rick. Thank you very much for expressing the viewpoint of many in a logical, common sense manner. Hopefully the Commissioners will understand what you have presented.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 6:16pm

...my follow-up email today-

Chairman Bizzell-

Thank you for asking Nancy Fish to formally include my email from last week on CSMA Striped Bass in with the March briefing book materials.

In that email I made the following request-

I ask that you adequately address the primary source of mortality through a motion and vote that requests that the Director issue a proclamation closing the Neuse and Tar rivers to all anchored gill nets at either the ferry routes or the Tie-Down Line.  The WRC supports closing the rivers at the ferry lines.  The data plots above suggest that a more conservative approach would be a closure at the Tie-Down Line.

The use of proclamation authority is necessary because Supplement action "consisting of a no-possession limit for striped bass in the CSMA" fails to adequately address the primary and over-whelming source of mortality.  Such action also fails to recognize the public's right to enjoy a federally stocked fishery for recreational purposes.

On several occasions, this commission has experienced past uncertainty as to its authority to direct the director to use proclamation authority granted to the director by the MFC.

Please see the email exchange below between me and Director Murphey.  I hope the following excerpt from that exchange clarifies the commission's authority.

(Note: My highlighting below in red is for emphasis.)

The MFC may call a special meeting to review any issuance or proposed issuance of a proclamation and may approve, cancel or modify a previously issued proclamation or may direct the director to issue a proclamation.

I hope this commission will take appropriate action this week on behalf of CSMA Striped Bass.

I would like to share the following in regards to the fact that the USFWS is providing stocking for the Neuse and Tar rivers-

§80.51   What activities are eligible for funding under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act?


The following activities are eligible for funding under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act:


(a) Sport Fish Restoration program. 

(1) Restore and manage sport fish for the benefit of the public.

(2) Conduct research on the problems of managing fish and their habitat and the problems of fish culture if necessary to administer sport fish resources efficiently.

(3) Obtain data to guide and direct the regulation of fishing. These data may be on:

(i) Size and geographic range of sport fish populations;

(ii) Changes in sport fish populations due to fishing, other human activities, or natural causes; and

(iii) Effects of any measures or regulations applied.

(4) Develop and adopt plans to restock sport fish and forage fish in the natural areas or districts covered by the plans; and obtain data to develop, carry out, and test the effectiveness of the plans.

(5) Stock fish for recreational purposes.

(6) Acquire real property suitable or capable of being made suitable for:

(i) Sport fish habitat or as a buffer to protect that habitat; or

(ii) Public access for sport fishing. Closures to sport fishing must be based on the recommendations of the State fish and wildlife agency for fish and wildlife management purposes.

(7) Restore, rehabilitate, improve, or manage:

(i) Aquatic areas adaptable for sport fish habitat; or

(ii) Land adaptable as a buffer to protect sport fish habitat.

(8) Build structures or acquire equipment, goods, and services to:

(i) Restore, rehabilitate, or improve aquatic habitat for sport fish, or land as a buffer to protect aquatic habitat for sport fish; or

(ii) Provide public access for sport fishing.

(9) Construct, renovate, operate, or maintain pumpout and dump stations. A pumpout station is a facility that pumps or receives sewage from a type III marine sanitation device that the U.S. Coast Guard requires on some vessels. A dump station, also referred to as a “waste reception facility,” is specifically designed to receive waste from portable toilets on vessels.

(10) Operate or maintain:

(i) Projects that the State fish and wildlife agency completed under the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act; or

(ii) Facilities that the agency acquired or constructed with funds other than those authorized by the Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration Act if these facilities are necessary to carry out activities authorized by the Act.

(11) Coordinate grants in the Sport Fish Restoration program and related programs and subprograms.



§80.54   What activities are ineligible for funding?

The following activities are ineligible for funding under the Acts, except when necessary to carry out project purposes approved by the Regional Director:

(a) Law enforcement activities.

(b) Public relations activities to promote the State fish and wildlife agency, other State administrative units, or the State.

(c) Activities conducted for the primary purpose of producing income.

(d) Activities, projects, or programs that promote or encourage opposition to the regulated taking of fish, hunting, or the trapping of wildlife.



Sincerely and Best Regards,



Edited by Rick - 19 February 2019 at 6:19pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote j.willis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 7:12pm
We will see what the MFC decides to do Friday morning...... or not do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marker39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 February 2019 at 8:03pm
Rick,

Thanks for all you do.

"Keep Pounding"

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 February 2019 at 9:02am
Rick's work is an imposing edifice of igneous rock, formed in the deep magma chambers but now cool and above ground, for all to gaze upon and wonder, for it shows us as we are. What body of intelligent humans can ignore such a clarion call to rationality and simple justice? What circle of wizened coastal oligarchs could possibly ignore and elude the logic he hath lain before them?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2019 at 2:54pm

...reported elsewhere on this website, but I wanted to also place it here for history-

Passed 5-4

Yes- Boltes, Kornegay, Laughridge, Koury, Bizzell 

No- Hendrickson, Cross, Romano, Blanton


While is seems like roll your pants legs up for it's getting deep with semantics-

Here is the legal interpretation-

At a normal business meeting the commission has to "ask".

At a special called meeting, the commission can "direct" and the Director is obligated to comply.

This is the legal interpretation straight from the Division-

Proclamation authority must be granted to the director in a particular commission rule for it to be used.  There also must be a variable condition that needs to be addressed and the variable condition is provided in commission rules.  For most species, all of this has to occur under the umbrella of the Fisheries Reform Act laws for management actions included in the state’s fishery management plans. 
 

Once the draft amendment, inclusive of the preferred management options selected by MFC the division has to submit it to the DEQ Secretary and a legislative committee (then JLCGO and now ANER) and get an approved fiscal analysis by OSBM before notice of text for draft rule can be posted.  Even after the MFC approves the final rule, the state Rules Review Commission must approve (this is also where the 10 letters of objection law may come into play).  Finally, the authority of proclamation rests with the MFC and is delegated to the director to suspend or implement a particular rule.  The MFC may call a special meeting to review any issuance or proposed issuance of a proclamation and may approve, cancel or modify a previously issued proclamation or may direct the director to issue a proclamation.

 

The current Striped Bass FMP has existing proclamation authority.


North Carolina’s existing fisheries management system is powerful and flexible, with rulemaking authority vested in the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission (NCMFC) and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) within their respective jurisdictions. The NCDMF implements NCMFC rules and policies.  The NCMFC and NCWRC have authorized the NCDMF Director and the NCWRC Executive Director proclamation authority. Depending on the agency, proclamations may be utilized to establish seasons, authorize or restrict fishing methods and gear, limit quantities taken or possessed, and restrict fishing areas.  Thus, all necessary authority needed for management of the striped bass fisheries is available through the existing fishery management process. 


Bottom line-


If the Director fails to adequately address the motion to the satisfaction of the Chairman or four out of the five commissioners that voted Yes, then a special called meeting can be held anywhere in the state to vote on a new motion to "direct" the Director to issue a proclamation for which he must comply.


The commission also voted for a two year moratorium on all harvest of striped bass in the CSMA while the next FMP amendment is being completed. That motion is a done deal. Neither commercials nor recreational anglers can legally retain a striped bass in the CSMA for the next two years.

The motion above "asks", a special meeting will "require", that the Director take action under the proclamation authority granted to him in the current FMP to address variable conditions.

The single largest source of mortality is non-directed gillnet discards in other gillnet fisheries.

This takes the nets completely off our important finfish species at the Tar and Neuse river ferry lines. All fish will benefit- speckle trout, red drum, Southern flounder, large mouth bass, shad, etc.

It requires 100% attendance from the gillnet tie-down line to the river ferry systems.  That should significantly reduce discard mortalities for striped bass unless they are illegally retained, which is always possible and happening to some extent with both sectors. 





Edited by Rick - 22 February 2019 at 3:10pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2019 at 4:16pm
Thanks for the map Rick.  That would be a great first step.


Now a question has popped up in my cynical mind.

It says "....gillnets that interact with striped bass...."    

Are there any gillnets that don't interact with striped bass?


I know the correct answer - but I don't know "the DMF answer".  I suspect that the correct answer will not be the same as "the DMF answer".  

I also suspect that DMF will  request a 3 year study (funded by rec money) to determine which gillnets interact with striped bass.


Sorry to throw shade - - I just don't like any language that can be interpreted differently by different people.   I wish it had said -- "No gillnets of any kind are permitted......."





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bread Man 1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2019 at 6:18pm
More feel good band aid management.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2019 at 7:04pm


Yep, we all know that we need a complete gillnet and trawl ban for estuarine waters.

I've been told that you eat an elephant one bite at the time.  Patience is not an easy virtue for me.

Gillnets and otter trawls are a white elephant that NC cannot afford to keep chewing on slowly-

White Elephant
noun
noun: white elephant; plural noun: white elephants
  1. a possession that is useless or troublesome, especially one that is expensive to maintain or difficult to dispose of.
    "a huge white elephant of a house that needed ten thousand spent on it"



Edited by Rick - 23 February 2019 at 2:49pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote cnaff Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2019 at 12:12pm
Thanks, Rick, for your work in spelling out for THEM, and us , the logical delineation of waters that must be proclaimed as out of bounds to further directed and cryptic mortality by gear if we are to somehow save the run, and maintain a fishery in the future for Pamlico stripers. The silliness of indulgence in such half-measures as continuing to allow gear which is guaranteed to entangle these fish as they try to enter the sound off both rivers, is emblematic of the state apparatus' penchant to apply nothing but window dressing to cover the blood running out from under the curtain of that all too familiar theater of the absurd which continues as if nothing has changed. If a stock of fish requires protection from mortality in order to be saved, then people so entrusted should exercise good faith in pursuing this end. Instead, we get less than minimal protection in that gear is encouraged and allowed to be placed within the critical geographic core of the fishery which is designed to entangle these fish and will ensure the fish will be entangled and that cryptic mortality previously shown to be driven by that fishery will also continue as usual. In a large sense, this is the same question we face in the shrimp trawl fishery- can the state of NC employ and enforce conservation of fish resources within its estuarine NURSERY? I believe, unfortunately that the answer is, no, it cannot. I think that this is because of political and systemic corruption tilted in favor of deep pocketed players who keep the game on by moving goalposts and pushing the status quo, controlling the governor and his minions, and paying off members of the GA, all while using the process which should prevent these abuses as the MEANS by which they ensure the abuses will continue unabated.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2019 at 8:50pm

The Director issued his decision today on the Commission's motion asking him to issue a proclamation closing the rivers to gillnets at the ferry lines and require attendance at the tie-down line to the ferry line- he declined to do so.


















Edited by Rick - 04 March 2019 at 8:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2019 at 9:19pm

I made a mistake above-

If the Director fails to adequately address the motion to the satisfaction of the Chairman or four out of the five commissioners that voted Yes, then a special called meeting can be held anywhere in the state to vote on a new motion to "direct" the Director to issue a proclamation for which he must comply.

The following statute does not apply to this situation-


Below is the statute that applies-




Boltes, Kornegay, Koury and Laughridge can formally request that Bizzell join them in a request for an emergency meeting to direct the Director to issue the proclamation...I think.








Edited by Rick - 04 March 2019 at 9:21pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ray Brown Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2019 at 9:48pm
All five of them voted for the request. If they felt that good about it then at least force them to publicly say why they would not go to the mat to implement what they believed should happen. There has been no science put forth since their vote that says Rachael and Ricks are wrong in blaming the gillnets.

Let's see if these five care enough for the resource to finally take a stand against the inherent problems of entanglement nets or see if they are just the same old MFC being lead by the DMF to a prearranged conclusion yet again.

Let me put this another way. If this stops here then each of the five who have stated over and over they serve to improve the status of our stocks are the ones who have the opportunity to take a step and didn't take it. Time to be who you say you are or be seen for who you really are.

Can I hear an Amen?

Edited by Ray Brown - 04 March 2019 at 10:03pm
I am a native of NC. The "bycatch captial of the east coast of the US". Our legislature lets us kill more fish for no reason than any other Atlantic Coast state. I hope they are proud.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bakesta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 March 2019 at 10:21pm
Amen Ray!!


It's time to finally show who is in charge.  If the MFC allows the DMF to thumb its nose like this, then they might as well cancel all future meetings.


And please don't miss the point that this is a clear statement by the Governor.  His person - who he hand-picked - is insisting that commercial netting on a collapsed species continue - even though they must all be thrown back dead.  For what - 12 dollars worth of shad?????

This is the governor's decision.  Once again - there never was a nickel on the dresser.Dead   

This state is ridiculous.Angry






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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rick Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2019 at 7:07pm


I certainly don't have to remind anyone here of the snails pace that DMF takes addressing overfishing and overfished stocks- if ever.

I will provide the link to the audio of the promises that were made at the Feb 2018 meeting concerning Southern Flounder.  Those promises resulted in Commissioner Laughridge withdrawing his motion asking the Director to issue a proclamation containing measures that would immediately address overfishing.

The Director said that his staff could have recommendations ready in 8-10 months in order to provide the Commission with the Division's recommendations in time for action at the Feb 2019 meeting.

We all just saw that failed to happen and the Division in now talking May at the earliest and possibly August.

Promises on Striped Bass????  I don't think so.

Special meeting to direct the Director to issue a proclamation- absolutely.


Start listening at 46:25 into the audio or at 21:01 left in the audio.

Listening to the full 21 minutes will be worth your time.

In February 2018, the Director used the term arbitrary and capricious about issuing a proclamation for Southern flounder.  Based on what we know today about the shape of the stock, that was a bluff.  Is there any doubt that the Division already knew a year ago the shape of the stock- zero.  It was a delaying tactic that has worked for over a year.  Will the Commission have the data to act in May? August?  Will we have a resource oriented Commission to act in August?  That depends on what Gov. Cooper does in July with two appointments to replace Laughridge and Koury.  

The road never ends for this can.




Edited by Rick - 05 March 2019 at 7:18pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chriselk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 March 2019 at 8:57pm
Yes Rick,
You are right.  Director Murphey promised options for the Feb 2019 MFC meeting all last summer and fall.  In fact, I have his promises in writing, demonstrating his sincerity.  How many of his predecessors in his position have done that?

He also directed staff to have those recommendations/options ready and staff complied, in spades (think 72% reduction presented to the Flounder AC).

It is public knowledge that in the last moment, Secretary Regan interceded and prevented the Feb presentation.  In this particular case, I don't think you can blame Director Murphey.  His boss(es) tied his hands.

Regardless of what the MFC votes in, IMO, there will be no flounder regulation changes this fall.  Those who know the process know how easily it is to block it, either through MFC appointments and/or the 10 letter rule.  The former is controlled by the executive branch and the latter through the legislative branch.  Neither has a history of pro resource actions.




The above comments are my personal opinion and do not represent those of any organizations or agencies I may be a member of.
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