Woke up after full day in Baltimore (more on that later ) and found a steady rain.looked at map and it was green with some yellow so decided to stay home today
YESTERDAY was a full day working as an NJ Advisor on summer flounder,SeaBass ,and scup (porgies)…Representatives from every East Coast state but Delaware were in attendance.
First topic was Summer flounder and it appears at this point next year’s allocation will be about same as this year. However we got into a discussion on regionalization and why NJ is in NY region and what can be done to change. I will be surprised to see a change UNLESS SOUTH JERSEY fishermen start pounding on their Congressmen and Senators .This is what NY did and it screwed NJ
We also had a discussion on size and some discussion on changing to a total length. In other words instead of 5 fish over 18″ you would have a total length like 72″ of fluke you can keep.This would allow almost everyone an opportunity to take some fish home for dinner . I will give this idea to NJ Fish council at July meeting and see what interest there is .CLEARLY the current summer flounder regulations are having an effect on South Jersey economy and several moving boats to Delaware where they can fish for summer flounder all year and keep 4 at 16″
SEA Bass is a mess EVERYONE in the room agreed that Sea Bass population is exploding and there are plenty of sea bass to be caught HOWEVER the flawed statistical date being used indicates the opposite and reflects a serious decline which is why we are seeing significant cuts in Sea Bass alloocation. This was a heated discussion and not sure where it will go followingoint was changing the regulations from a yearly review to a 3 year plan WHICH in my opinion is more reason to get some political help in getting NJ out of NY region

as fishermen ,you can sit back and bitch or you can get involved and have your voice heard.
letters to Congressman.Senators asking for their involvement on getting NJ back to a separate region OR tied into Delaware region as under current regionalization plan NJ comes out on short end of the stick..Also attending NJ fish council meetings and voicing opinions can help provide a direction to council mem this meeting
Scup(porgies) is reported to be way over population targets and some discussion on lowering the size in attempt to reduce populatuon.Commerical guys are getting pennies a pound for Scup. Scup is primatily a north Jersey and above fishery currently
all of our comments were logged into a doucumet that ASMFC and Mid-Atlantic COMMISIONERS will review in July meeting . Plans will be developed and presented for public review late in the year
One other discussion was moving from a indivual size to a maximum length in total.In other words insteaD OF 5 FISH over 18″ go to a total length as an example of 72″ and you can keep all the fish within that 72″ This would provide fish for most people to take home for a dinner . Instead of 5 fish over 18″ you could have 2 fish at 16, 1 at 18″ and 1 at 22″ or 3 at 17″ and 1-21″ etc etc
This is out of the box think and I’m not optimisitc that NJ is ready for it BUT I plan to present it to NJ council on July 9th