The New York Coalition for
Recreational Fishing is writing this to present our views
and sugestions concerning reduction in striped bass mortality.
We applaud information found in current comunications
indicating that the ASMFC intends to reduce mortality
The Montauk Surfcasters Association is a
non-profit organization that:
Similar to other clubs, organizations, conservations groups
and media editorials; the Coalition is, and has been,
concerned about a dramatic decline in the stock sizes
and migrations runs of striped bass; as well as documentations
showing an erratic and generally poor recruitment pattern.
The following represents a summary of our positions and
- 1. Minimum Size: We suport a 32"
minimum harvest size in the marine district. Furthermore,
we believe this size limit should be increased to 28"
in the spawning estuaries. It is time to correct the
action taken years ago when a sudden and dramtic decrease
in the minimum size from 36" to 28" was instituted.
It was a mistake. It was too much, too soon and send
a bad psychological message to anglers. At the time,
many anglers were opposed to the new minimum size and
urged a more conservative approach be taken. This is
to implement a wait and see policy in which the minimum
size would be lowered 2 inches at a time and each reduction
in the minimum size be followed by an extensive evaluation
of stock sizes.
- 2. Bag Limit: We believe a one fish
per person per day for all users of the resource including
party boats and charter boats is appropriate.
3. Reduction of the commercial harvest:
We applaud the share of the proposed 40% reduction.
- Seasonal closures
- Reductions of by-catch
- Seasonally, during spring and fall migrations, move
draggers farther off the beach to reduce by-catch
- 4. Prohibit Possession of striped bass in
winter along the entire coast.
- 5. Reduce mortality on the spawning ground
during the spawning period.
- Significant increase in minimum size.
- One fish per day per person
- Daytime possession only.
- No possession during peak 5 day period of spawning.
- 6. Poaching: Althought the striped
bass management plan does attempt to account for poaching,
the plan has never properly addressed the high level
of poaching that occurs in the inner cities of Baltimore,
Philadelphia, New York and Boston. Each year, millions
of very small fish are poached; ending up on dinner
plates, local restaurant menus, and most significantly,
in local markets and sidewalk displays in these inner
Historically, enforcement has been challengeing for
a variety of reasons including a lack of adequate numbers
of conservation police, ignorance regarding the problem
among local police, a lack of cooperation from local
residents and city judges who dismiss charges rather
quickly and arbitrarily, complaining that they have
"murders, rapes and drug dealers to deal with."
Of course we understand the importance of dealing with
the crimes noted, but preservation of living resources
is also important to our entire society.
We suggest the problem might be anaged ore efficiently
and effectively with the pplication of more creative
enforcement strategies, such as:
- Involve Fish and Wildlife. Effective enforcement
might be easier to achieve in Federal Courts.
- Combine enforcement agency personnel for periodic
sweeps of appropriate areas. A task force with officers
from the DEC (or equivalent), city police, state
troopers and federal agents would be more effective
and send a sincere message of commitment to poachers.
- 7. Increased federal funding of mycobacteriosis
research: The goal would be to both develop
strategies to eliminated the organism from the environment
as well as discover effective treatment approaches of
diseased striped bass that could be carried out in the
- 8. YOY Trigger Mechanism: It has
taken almost a decade for managers to react and consider
taking action following a noticeable decline in the
stocks. Thus it is clear that the new (current) YOY
trigger is not effective. We suggest that the management
plan return to the original YOY trigger, and that other
protocols be tightened to ensure a more rapid and effective
response to declining stocks.
Thank you for consideration. The Coalition believes we are
at a critical crossroads in striped bass management. It
is the right time to correct prior mistakes and modify the
plan with reduced mortality targets that will allow for
a more stable fishery. We know many fish species cycle in
abundance and this is true of striped bass; but a lower
year-to-year mortality would reduce the severity of downturns
because the population would be larger, longer. Finally
and to emphasize, the decline began in the early 2000s,
yet we are only attempting to change the regulations in
2013! The response time to poor recruitment and declining
stocks must be faster.
• Preserves and protects the privilege to fish on Long
• Represents MSA on the Fishing Advisory Board, an ad
hoc committee which advises New York State on matters
affecting surf fishermen such as permit regulations, beach
access, fees, habitat & use of State Parks.
• Represents fishermen on matters affecting the use of
Suffolk County Parks
• Lobbies elected officials on regulations affecting the
fishery, habitat protection and other environmental matters.
• Monitors State and local candidates for office and informs
membership on issues affecting fishermen.
Annual activities of the M.S.A include:
• Spring and fall clean-up of the beaches surrounding
Montauk Point; participation in National Beach Clean-up
Day; spring clean-up at Cedar Beach.
• Annual poster contest in Montauk as part of Oktoberfest.
• Annual picnic at Suffolk County Park - Third House.
• Participation in fishing seminars.
• Annual membership dues are $15.00 for adults 18
years and older; $20.00 for family.
• Members in good standing receive a quarterly newsletter.
• Six meetings per year: Four meetings held on the first
Saturday in May, June, October and November in Montauk;
two meetings held in Islip on the first Saturday of January
BOARD OF DIRECTORS:
1st. Vice President: Ken Dobos
2nd. Vice President: Mike Lang
Treasure: Paul Valenti
Communications Director: Jay Blatt
Recording Secretary: [Open]
Membership: Maryann Young
Website Maintenance: ShadoeFX
Web & Graphic Design
Original Website Design: Peresh Dave