Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report

TUES. NOV. 25, 08 -- Lots to write and read

Tuesday, November 25, 2008: Waves: Small. Water clarity: Good.

First, I got this interesting feedback regarding that spooky buggy overturn to our south.

“Jay mann,
I read your story on this, and although i wasn't present i personally know both men, they are both lucky to be alive with the conditions that were present at the time, ( Dense fog, night time and cold water) as far as the guy that drifted 200 yd's out he doesn't even know how far out he went,( he did say it was a good distance and the water was over his head you would have to ask the rescue team how much rope they let out ) he had neoprene waders on and was hanging onto a cooler to stay afloat, the rescue personnel went after him with wet suits and flippers and a floatation device that was attached to a rope that was fed out from the beach, my Friend was told by the rescue swimmers that the only way they found him was because he had a head light on and that is how they could see him. the other guy was standing on the hood of the truck until they pulled him in. the man upstairs was looking out for them, he had a cell phone and was able to keep it out of the water and call 911 as soon as they went in.”

(I know this is going to sound sophomoric, but sudden things always come when we least expect it. By that I mean ain’t it always how it goes: You’re doing something you’ve done a million times, your mind is already down the beach a ways and in a blurry instant the world is upside down and you’re in the drink struggling to survive? There’s a message there that we’ve heard before but lose to complacency. Stay alert and tuned or else. With hunting season moving in, that “or else” can heavy metal consequences. J-mann)


Small bass are thick as bottom bricks but are hitting the beach only during the final minutes of daylight – going for diamond jigs, Rat L Traps, Wildeyes and plastic eel look-alikes. Teasers work. Blues are the main bait biters. Nowhere near as much fun to have them knocking with the Classic over.

CLASSIC DEPARTS: Seems like only yesterday the 54th LBI Surf Fishing Classic began. It’s over now –and a winner in many ways.
It was a fine-hooking affair. The bluefish take made the biggest splash, far and away; 894 angers caught 457 blues.
Not only is that the second highest number of slammers in the past 10 years or so, it is easily the most tourney-long take. Big blues were caught with a near-daily regularity – something seldom seen in the six-week event. Usually bluefish weigh-ins arrive in short-period bursts, over a one- or two-day period.
The Classic’s overall take of stripers was down a bit but the shop-showing of big bass was quite respectable. I kept portraying the one-a-day showing of cow bass as “rogue” fish, since the best bass of the day was often way above the next largest fish for that time frame. The weaving in of major stripers made for some exciting competition.
One of the highlights of Classic 2008 was the rapid website listing at http://lbift.com. The daily weigh-ins and tailing data were a-web in nothing flat. The data was so rapidly fed into the system that many anglers were using the info to plan immediate fishing strategies.
This year’s slight drop in Classic entrants was fully expected with the iffy economy and mean-spirited fuel prices. Still, 894 entrants is not shabby at all, considering we were barely reaching 500 contestants as recently at 1992. Super thanks to all who got involved – and kept this long-lived classic alive and quite well.
All the details of the weigh-ins and prizes are up at http://lbift.com. By going to the bottom of the opening page, you can click back over the past 10 years of the tourney.


The LBI Cup Results:

1st Place: Baja Products Combined total weight of 32.4

2nd Place: Almost Heaven Too Combined total weight of 25.56

3rd Place: Still Smokin Combined total weight of 25.20

Heaviest Striper: Baja Products - 20.8
Heaviest Bluefish: Still Smokin - 12.22

The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club
IGFA member club since January 11, 1940
Sportfishing History in the Making


[Copyright 2008 Gloucester Daily Times (Massachusetts)] By Patrick Anderson - November 25, 2008 - Scientists and now federal regulators have confirmed what local fishermen have been saying for a few years: the spiny dogfish is doing all right.

The New England Fishery Management Council has eased restrictions for catching and landing dogfish, the frequently-maligned little sharks that had been largely off limits in federal waters after being overfished in the 1990s.

The decision to increase by 200 percent the number of dogfish that can be caught in federal waters comes after an interstate commission earlier in the month increased the quota for dogfish caught in state waters by 50 percent.

Under the new rules, the quota for boats with a federal permit will go up from 4 million pounds to 12 million pounds for 2009. Each boat will now be able to catch 3,000 pounds of dogfish per trip.

Both decisions are a reaction to a recent study by federal scientists that indicated that after 10 years of protection dogfish are now plentiful and their fishery rebuilt.

'The change in rules was prompted by updated scientific advice that the spiny dogfish stock is neither overfished, nor is overfishing occurring,' a statement from the New England Fishery Management Council indicated.

The continued protection of dogfish has frustrated fishermen because the sharks show up in their nets and on their lines, but have largely had to be thrown back into the water dead because of the low quota. Fishermen also contend that dogfish eat more profitable species, such as cod and haddock, depressing the already heavily regulated numbers of those species.

Charter fishermen complain that some days they are not able to set a line for tuna or striped bass because dogfish, which have healthy appetites for a wide range of foods, are swarming their boats. The sharks are called dogfish because they travel and hunt in packs.

The market for dogfish in the United States is limited, with use as food rare and demand limited to uses such as fertilizer.

But in Europe, dogfish are frequently eaten, both fried in fish and chips and smoked. Their fins are also used in Chinese shark's fin soup.

Spiny dogfish are long-living and slow-growing, making them vulnerable to overfishing. They have two spines along their backs filled with a mild venom.

Gloucester is one of the few ports on the East Coast with a facility for processing dogfish. The only other Massachusetts processor is in New Bedford.


MARRAKECH Morocco, Member countries of an international tuna conservation body agreed Monday to cut the annual catch of Atlantic bluefin tuna for 2009 by about 20 percent from the current level to 22,000 tons, negotiation sources said Monday.

The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas also agreed to cut the catch for 2010 to 19,950 tons on the final day of its eight-day annual meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, the sources said.

The current quota is set at 27,500 tons for 2009 and 25,500 tons for 2010.

Atlantic bluefin tuna is facing a rapid decline in stocks due to reckless fishing. Most of the tuna caught in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean is consumed in Japan.

Fatty parts of their meat, known as 'toro,' are especially sought after and fetch high prices.

The annual meeting brought together 45 countries including Japan, France, Spain and the United States as well as the European Union.

Members like Japan and the United States had backed a proposal submitted by an ICCAT scientific panel for halving the annual catch of bluefin tuna in the region from the present level to about 15,000 tons or less.

The European Union had proposed a cut of 3,000 tons in the annual catch.

In previous annual meetings, the ICCAT agreed on gradually reducing total annual catches of bluefin tuna to 25,500 tons by 2010.

But some member states proposed tighter controls, citing rampant overfishing and underreported illegal fishing. The ICCAT panel estimated the actual annual catch has risen to 61,000 tons.

Environmental protection organizations have been calling for the total termination of bluefin tuna fishing in the waters.

Copyright 2008 EUobserver.com] By Leigh Phillips - November 25, 2008 - Bluefin tuna in the Mediterranean will see next year's catch stretch far beyond what scientists recommend are safe levels if the fishery is not to collapse.

The commission responsible for managing the fishery, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), at a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco on Monday (24 November) opted to set quotas at 22,000 tonnes for 2009, far higher than the scientists' recommended 8,500 to 15,000 tonnes to avoid a crash in stocks.

Despite expressing concern for the state of the diminishing fishery, the European Union has been blamed by environmental groups for forcing developing world nations into backing the higher catch.

European Union fisheries commissioner Joe Borg had initially described the meeting as the last chance for the bluefin tuna fishery, and at the World Conservation Congress in October, Spain - the biggest tuna-fishing country - and Italy Italy backed a suspension of the fishery.

EU statements had called 'the situation of the bluefin tuna is critical,' with representatives saying 'urgent action is needed.'

However, in the end, it was European Union that pushed for the ICCAT decision, supported by Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria and subsequently also backed by Japan.

The World Wildlife Fund for Nature, a green NGO, said after the meeting: 'The debate has been marred by allegations of the European Commission threatening developing state members with trade retaliations should they support lower catch limits and extended closed seasons.'

The BBC has reported that conservationists in Marrakech said the EU told developing countries they would impose trade penalties on bananas and other goods if they did not side with Brussels.

Oceana, another campaign group, called the decision a 'disaster.'

Xavier Pastor, the group's European director, said: 'ICCAT's credibility has been destroyed by the negotiating countries who opposed responsible management measures for bluefin tuna.'

'Instead of preserving the bluefin tuna stock from collapse, they gave in to the fishing industry's short-term economic interests. With this decision, we can only wait for the disappearance of bluefin tuna.'

WWF says it has given up on ICCAT as a responsible manager of fisheries and will now look to boycotts and other measures to try to achieve a sustainable bluefin fishery.

'ICCAT's string of successive failures leaves us little option now but to seek effective remedies through trade measures and extending the boycott of retailers, restaurants, chefs and consumers,' said the group's Mediterranean's fisheries programme leader, Sergi Tudela.


Copyright 2008 The News Tribune] By Les Blumenthal - November 25, 2008 - WASHINGTON, Here's the question: What does a community organizer from Chicago who spent four years in the Senate before being elected president know about spotted owls, endangered salmon, mountain bark beetles, Western water rights, old-growth forests and the maintenance backlog in the national parks?

The answer: Probably not much.

President-elect Barack Obama has offered only scattered clues as to where he stands on the most pressing public lands and endangered species issues.

In reading the tea leaves, however, environmental groups are optimistic, timber industry and land-rights groups are wary, and an influential lawmaker is excited about having an ally in the White House.

'This guy is a quick study and I'm sure he will find competent people,' said U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Belfair, who as chairman of the House Appropriations interior subcommittee oversees nearly $28 billion in annual funding for the Interior Department, the U.S. Forest Service and the Environmental Protection Agency. 'We will be able to work with him. Anything will be better than (President George W.) Bush.'

When it comes to the environment, Obama has focused his attention almost exclusively on global warming and clean energy. There are few references on his campaign Web site to on-the-ground issues, especially those specific to the West.

Obama received an 86 out of a possible 100 in the environmental scorecard for members of Congress published by the League of Conservation Voters. He was also a co-sponsor of a bill that would have protected about 58 million acres of federal lands. The Bush administration had sought to open up those roadless lands to development.

Asked about public lands and endangered species issues, Tommy Vietor, an Obama transition spokesman, said, 'President-elect Obama believes there is only one president at a time, and thus isn't commenting on many of these issues at this time.'

Even so, some hints about where Obama is coming from can be gleaned from those reviewing natural resource and environmental issues during the transition.

Dan Hayes, who is leading the effort at the departments of Interior and Energy, is a former deputy interior secretary in the Clinton administration who has a background in water and greenhouse gas issues. John Leshy is a former Interior Department solicitor who has ties to one of the most ardent environmentalists on Capitol Hill, Rep. George Miller, D-Calif.

'I don't think Barack Obama has done a lot of thinking about endangered species and forest issues,' said Bill Arthur, a deputy national field director for the Sierra Club based in Seattle. 'That's not his job. What is important is who he appoints around him.'

Arthur said there already have been encouraging signs from members of the transition team who have indicated an Obama administration would reverse Bush administration initiatives and bar mountaintop-removal mining in Appalachia and block oil and gas leasing in southern Utah's Red Rock area.

Another Bush initiative that almost certainly will face scrutiny is a rule that would allow individual federal agencies to decide whether their actions violated the Endangered Species Act, rather than consulting with the Fish and Wildlife Service, which administers the act.

Environmentalists are hopeful the new administration will reverse what they see as eight years of setback after setback.

'I am 54 years old and I have actively worked on environmental issues for 25 years,' Arthur said. 'I'm not naive or myopic. There will always be some cold showers when it comes to these issues. But I see an administration coming in that believes change is not just needed, it is vital.'

Lands-rights groups say they'll be watching the new administration closely.

'So far he has picked Clinton administration people for his transition team and I don't think that bodes well for us,' said Chuck Cushman, who heads the American Land Rights Association based in Battleground, Wash. 'We could have our work cut out for us.'

The timber industry also is uncertain how it will fare under the Obama administration. However, Tom Partin, who heads the American Forest Resource Council in Portland, said that the industry needs to work with Obama, especially on forest health issues.

'We're keeping our powder dry,' he said. 'We can't write this administration off. We have to be players with them.'

As the Montana primary approached in May, Obama, in perhaps his most succinct statement on public lands issues, answered questions from the Flathead Beacon newspaper in Kalispell.

He said he believed that sustainability - using resources in a way that provides for the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs - was the most important factor in managing federal lands.

'If we're going to have timber industries operating on public lands, then we should make sure that old-growth forests aren't destroyed but it's that second growth' that's harvested, he said.

Obama also told the newspaper that it was critical to designate additional wilderness areas for permanent protection, but that a balance needed to be struck by competing interests on federal lands. He also said his administration would 'listen rather than dictate' in working with state and local officials.

'What I want is to be able to pass onto our children and grandchildren the same extraordinary gift that we received from our parents and grandparents,' Obama said.

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