Rest in Peace Captain John M. Connell
March 18, 1968 ~ January 28, 2017 (age 48)
He was the well-known Owner and Operator of the party fishing boat
in Keyport, NJ.
So now all fishermen be of good cheer
And always remember Your Lord is near
The words of a hymn which can give courage to thee
Are "Jesus Saviour, Pilot Me".
Vimeo video courtesy of New Jersey Bayshore
MIKE'S MARITIME MEMORABILIA Department:
Our 2016 Holiday Edition of
Mike's Maritime Memorabilia
includes twenty-five wonderful vintage photographs of party fishing boats and the men behind them dating from 1911 through 2015. Check it out.
ELECTION DAY 2016 Department:
"I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
Republic: a state in which sovereign power is invested in representatives chosen by the people to govern. And government is the people and it's from the people to the leaders, not from the leaders to the people. The only public statement you make that counts is your vote, so follow your h
eart! May God Bless America.
BLUELINE TILEFISH Department:
2016 and 2017 BLUELINE TILEFISH REGULATIONS
4/15/2016 – The following are some of the new federal Blueline Tilefish Amendment regulations adopted at the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council (MAFMC) Meeting at Montauk, NY on April 13, 2016. The Amendment now goes to NOAA Fisheries for approval, but that's just a formality and it will become 'law' by the end of June. If you enjoy fishing for Blueline Tilefish, do it soon. As we have seen in other fisheries, the bogus statistics used to establish the ruthless regulations will destroy the Blueline Tilefish fishery in about two years.
The annual Blueline Tilefish quota set by the MAFMC is a
miniscule 87,031 pounds.
This is the combined recreational and commercial quota and 73% is allocated to the recreational sector and 27% is allocated to the commercial sector.
Think about it…
This is the Blueline Tilefish quota for
private boat and
commercial boat from Virginia through New York for a calendar year.
The impossibly low number essentially guarantees that the quota will be exceeded and it will then be game over for this fishery.
BLUELINE TILEFISH SEASON
For 2016 – Open now through December 31.
For 2017 – Open May 1 through October 31. Season closed from January 1 through April 30 and November 1 through December 31.
No minimum size for 2016 and 2017.
RECREATIONAL POSSESSION LIMIT
For 2016 – Continue the 2015 emergency action's recreational possession limit of 7 fish.
For 2017 – Recreational Possession Limit in 2017 depends on the type of boat you are fishing from:
For-hire Inspected Boat – 7 fish per person per trip
For-hire Uninspected Boat – 5 fish per person per trip
Private Boat – 3 fish per person per trip
COMMERCIAL POSSESSION LIMIT
For 2016 – 300 pounds whole (275 pounds gutted) fish per trip
For 2017 – 300 pounds whole (275 pounds gutted) fish per trip
Go see it for yourself…
A reasonable person attending any council meeting will quickly see that the eight Regional Fishery Management Councils in the U.S.
not the fair and honest bureaucracies
they are supposed to be.
BLUELINE TILEFISH Department:
4/06/2016 – For the past ten months, a NOAA Fisheries Emergency Action for Blueline Tilefish has constrained possession limits for the fishery in federal waters north of the Virginia/North Carolina border as requested by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC). The reason for the Emergency Action was that two or three North Carolina commercial fishermen realized that there were no landing restrictions for Blueline Tilefish in New Jersey and took advantage of the situation. These few commercial boats proceeded to catch Blueline Tilefish in federal waters and then land and sell the fish in New Jersey. Needless to say, this caused a spike in the Blueline Tilefish landings that caught the federal fisheries management folks flat-footed. Oopsie!
The one-year Emergency Action includes a requirement for commercial or charter/party vessels landing Blueline Tilefish in the Northeast region to hold a valid Northeast open access Golden Tilefish commercial or charter/party vessel permit and limits the commercial possession limit to 300 pounds whole weight per trip. This would have been enough, but the feds also slapped a 7-fish possession limit per trip on charter and party boats even though they were not part of the original sin. They soft-pedaled queries on why this was necessary.
The MAFMC is now in crisis mode and scrambling to create and implement a full-blown Blueline Tilefish management plan before the Emergency Action expires on June 4. It was easy enough for them to create a 74-page document with bureaucratic boilerplate, but then they had to deal with the facts that there is essentially no recreational catch data and they have no idea of the population size (no stock assessment) for Blueline Tilefish in the Northeast region.
Well, since there isn't any real data, they decided to create some. In late February, the MAFMC conducted a modified Delphi Process with folks familiar with the recreational Mid-Atlantic Blueline fishery and created landings estimates for party boats, charter boats and private recreational boats. The only real data they had were the Vessel Trip Reports (VTRs) provided by three party boats and a handful of charter boats. Nonetheless, the MAFMC staff did lots of fudging and came up with the landings estimates they wanted. Again, these are data-poor estimates and there was lots of tinkering with the data.
If that wasn't enough, the estimates were then given to the MAFMC Science and Statistical Committee (SSC) who then used a bunch of data-poor methods to arrive at an acceptable biological catch (ABC) for Blueline Tilefish. Not surprisingly, the SSC came up with a very low catch recommendation because of the great uncertainty in the data. I don't know why the MAFMC requested the SSC to produce an acceptable biological catch at this time. From previous MAFMC actions, they could have deferred the ABC for a few years and simply used average catch estimates for creating regulations while they obtained real catch data and did a stock assessment.
According to the latest MAFMC SSC report on March 22, the 2015 recreational catch estimate was 143,000 pounds. Using their data-poor methods, the SSC's recommended acceptable biological catch for the Blueline Tilefish fishery is an astonishingly low 81,400 pounds. The acceptable biological catch includes both commercial and recreational fisheries. In addition, the MAFMC has determined that approximately 76% of the catch is recreational and 24% of the catch is commercial. Going forward, this means the party, charter and private boats will be allocated 76% of the acceptable biological catch or 61,900 pounds. This is a whopping 57% catch reduction from 2015. And this is on top of the catch reductions due to the Emergency Action. This recreational catch reduction is unfair in its magnitude.
At a MAFMC webinar held on April 5, the MAFMC staff in essence, introduced sector separation regulations, and proposed the following recreational regulations based on the SSC recommendation.
Party boats: 5 fish possession limit per angler per trip from June 29 through October 31, and a 7 fish possession limit per angler per trip from November 1 through June 28.
Charter boats: 3 fish possession limit per angler per trip from June 29 through October 31, and a 5 fish possession limit per angler per trip from November 1 through June 28.
Private boats: 3 fish possession limit per angler per trip from January 1 through December 31.
There is a MAFMC Council Meeting at Montauk, NY from Monday, April 11 through Thursday, April 14. The MAFMC Tilefish Committee will review and consider the SSC recommended acceptable biological catch and the above proposed recreational regulations on Monday, April 11. On Wednesday, April 13, the Council will review the Tilefish Committee recommendations and approve a Blueline Tilefish Amendment to the existing Golden Tilefish Fishery Management Plan.
I don't know about you, but to me, these federal goings-on are outrageous and yet another fisheries management debacle is in progress. The federal management bureaucracies are obsessed with creating catch estimates and then presenting them as gospel. However, catch estimates are a poor substitute for real research and are a big reason why the fisheries management process is broken and why our confidence in the federal bureaucracies is at an all-time low. The fisheries management process is not broken because of the science used to manage fisheries, but in how it is MISAPPLIED by the bureaucracies that control it.
FLUKE FISHERY RESEARCH Department:
March 23, 2016 – Last September, the
SAVE THE SUMMER FLOUNDER FISHERY FUND (SSFFF)
held a stakeholder meeting that recapped the next round of Fluke research the SSFFF is sponsoring and introduced the fishery scientists that are doing the work.
The new research includes two parallel projects. The first is to create a better assessment model that more accurately portrays the Fluke fishery. The second is to collect information on sex composition and discards of recreational fishermen on the East Coast. The goal of this research is creating a better assessment model that more accurately portrays the state of the Summer Flounder fishery. The results of this SSFFF funded research will be presented at the next NMFS Scientific Peer Review which is expected sometime in 2016/2017. It will help the feds make a better stock assessment process that ultimately results in the Summer Flounder regulations and catch quotas we get.
The research is well under way and costs are somewhere between $60,000 and $80,000. The SSFFF has much of the costs covered, but they need our help to raise $25,000 by early summer to complete the research.
Please pitch in and help ensure the future of a healthy Summer Flounder fishery with fair access for all user groups.
Donations can be made by check and mailed to SSFFF, P.O. Box 86, Brielle, NJ 08730
Or you can donate on-line at
The Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund was started seven years ago by a group of concerned East Coast anglers and is governed by a board of directors comprised of recreational fisherman, Captains of for-hire fishing boats, and members of the fishing tackle industry. The SSFFF has no political affiliations and is neither a recreational nor commercial fishing lobbying group. Their Mission Statement was and continues to be non-political with the simple premise that improved fisheries science funded by the SSFFF will ultimately lead to better management decisions and more equitable access to the stock for all user groups.
ALICE'S RESTAURANT Department:
March 4, 2016 Epilogue
The reason the fisheries management process is broken is not because of the science used to manage fisheries,
but in how it is MISAPPLIED by the bureaucracies that control it.
And when you think about it, anyone or any group that pushes this fisheries management problem without at least making some suggestions on how to make it better is really a part of the problem.
At the March 3 New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting, it was crowded and standing room only, but this doesn't happen at the federal council and federal commission meetings, and that is where the management decisions are really made. The results are federal meetings that are done in a vacuum without any real
in-your-face knowledge about how it affects people and there is a big disconnect with reality.
I don't want to be part of the problem, so I take my own advice and occasionally drag my sorry ass to these meetings, and when it is time for public comment,
I stand up and introduce myself as a recreational angler, look them square in the eye, and respectfully say
"I've got a problem…"
I'm just a single voice, but if more of us did this, these councils and commissions would have a much harder time shrugging their shoulders and passing the buck.
I want them to be engaged and connected to the people they are supposed to serve and do something positive.
It's a similar situation
to the one Arlo Guthrie sang about in his protest song against the Vietnam War draft
"Alice's Restaurant Massacree" back in 1967. Here's an excerpt from the song…
"And the only reason I'm singin' you the song now is 'cause you may know somebody in a similar situation. Or you may be in a similar situation, and if you're in a situation like that and everything else has failed, there's only one thing you can do: Walk into the shrink wherever you are, just walk in, say, "Shrink, you can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant", and walk out."
"You know, if one person, just one person, does it, they may think he's really sick and they won't take him."
"And if two people do it, in harmony, they may think they're both faggots and they won't take either of them."
"And if three people do it! Can you imagine three people walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out? They may think it's an Organization!"
"And can you imagine fifty people a day? I said FIFTY people a day… Walkin' in, singin' a bar of "Alice's Restaurant" and walkin' out?"
"Friends, they may think it's a MOVEMENT, and that's what it is."
2016 NEW JERSEY RECREATIONAL FISHING REGULATIONS Department:
March 3, 2016 – I just got back from the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council meeting in Galloway Township, NJ. The NJ recreational fishing regulations for 2016 were announced and the meeting went off without any dramatics or theatrics at all. The reason for this... It was very clear that both sides of the table knew they were dealing with a broken regulatory process that does not and will not work. Further, that the quotas and other regulatory parameters given to the state by the feds are not viable. It is akin to tossing a dog some table scraps.
It was also clear that by the time the regulatory process gets down to the state level, it's already a done deed and it makes no sense to jump up and down or get mad. Unlike previous years, the Council didn't bother to present the multiple options they discussed internally for each of the fisheries; the Council simply took the federal directives and came up with the best way of dealing with a bad situation and said here it is.
I came away from the meeting with the new-found realization that the folks on the Council and the folks in the state fisheries management really care about what is happening and are doing their best to help the recreational and commercial fishing communities. They took what was given to them and tried to work something out. To me, they are not part of the problem. Unlike some of the other players, they didn't simply shrug their shoulders and push the problem and blame upstream to the federal council, the federal commission, NOAA Fisheries, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act reauthorization, the U.S. Congress or the President of the United States. When you think about it, anyone or any group that pushes this fisheries management problem without at least making some suggestions on how to make it better is really a part of the problem.
The reason the fisheries management process is broken is not because of the science used to manage fisheries, but in how it is MISAPPLIED by the bureaucracies that control it.
The 2016 recreational regulations announced by the Council will be finalized by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, who will then make the official announcements, but no changes are anticipated.
2016 NEW JERSEY RECREATIONAL FISHING REGULATIONS for Fluke, Sea Bass and Striped Bass
FLUKE – NJ state waters
Season open from May 21 through September 25, 18-inch minimum size, 5 fish possession limit
FLUKE – Delaware Bay
(New for 2016)
Season open from May 21 through September 25, 17-inch minimum size, 4 fish possession limit
FLUKE – Island Beach State Park
Season open from May 21 through September 25, 16-inch minimum size, 2 fish possession limit
BLACK SEA BASS – NJ state waters
(23% quota reduction from last year)
Season open from May 23 through June 19, 12.5-inch minimum size, 10 fish possession limit
Season open from July 1 through August 31, 12.5-inch minimum size, 2 fish possession limit
Season open from October 22 through December 31, 13-inch minimum size, 15 fish possession limit
– Unchanged for 2016
1 fish at 28 inches to less than 43 inches AND 1 fish at 43 inches or greater
Atlantic Ocean 0 to 3 miles from shore – No closed season
Delaware River and tributaries – Season open from March 1 through March 31 and June 1 through December 31
All other marine waters – Season open from March 1 through December 31
STRIPED BASS BONUS PROGRAM (SBBP)
– For 2016, New Jersey received a 215,900 pound commercial quota for Striped Bass from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey prohibits commercial netting and/or selling of Striped Bass, the NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife utilizes this quota to provide a "bonus" fish for recreational anglers. The SBBP is unchanged for 2016.
The SBBP season is open from September 1 through December 31.
Recreational anglers can harvest a third fish between 24 inches to less than 28 inches per day in addition to the current daily possession limit.
MIKE’S MARITIME MEMORABILIA Department:
February 14, 2016 – It's cold outside and cabin fever is running rampant, but our Winter Warm-Up Edition of vintage fishing and boating photographs will help you get through. The fifteen wonderful photographs in this edition date from 1954 through 2013 and are guaranteed to warm you up.
You can see all of these wonderful photos at...
Mike's Maritime Memorabilia Winter Warm-Up Edition
Our Winter Warm-Up Edition includes this 1954 photo of Captain John Gutman’s ANGLER at Captree, NY...
Decorated with bunting, Captain John Gutman's "ANGLER" sits in her new slip at the recently opened Captree State Park Marina in 1954. Built in 1947 at Brooklyn, New York, the "ANGLER" was one of two known 45-foot party boats ever built with a steel hull. Her sister ship, the "WHITBY", sailed from Sheepshead Bay. Captain Gutman and his "ANGLER" relocated to Captree from Babylon, New York and was one of the first party boats to secure a slip at the new Captree State Park Marina.
Over the last 13 years we have posted more than 1,600 vintage photos of party fishing boats, fishing memorabilia, marinas, lightships, lighthouses and other interesting stuff from the New Jersey and New York saltwater fishing scene on our Mike's Maritime Memorabilia pages. We encourage you to browse these wonderful pictures and enjoy over 150 years of our fishing heritage and our fishing trip down memory lane.
FISHING LINE DIAMETER Department:
January 25, 2016
Is a thinner fishing line better?
All things being equal, yes it is. For a
Fishing Line Diameter Comparison
of more than
popular monofilament, copolymer, fluorocarbon fishing lines and braided superlines in tests from 6-pounds to 600-pounds, see our
page. Updated for 2016, it contains over 1,000 lines of data presented in a table for each line test and the brands and line types are displayed in order of increasing diameter. It makes it easy to see who offers the thinnest lines. Folks that visit the page can also download a PDF copy (22 pages). You'll need a cup of coffee and some donuts for this puppy.
NEW JERSEY STATE RECORD SALTWATER FISH Department:
December 17, 2015
The New Jersey DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife officially certified a
NEW STATE RECORD BLACK SEA BASS
On December 12, angler
from Philadelphia, PA was on an offshore Sea Bass and Porgy trip aboard Captain Jeff Gutman's
from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ and he landed a
MONSTER 9-POUND BLACK SEA BASS.
Steve weighed in his big fish at Dave Arbeitman's
tackle shop in Brielle, NJ
and here is the tale of the tape…
Weight: 9-pounds 0.0-ounces
Complete List of NJ Record Saltwater Fish
The fish was checked and identified by a New Jersey DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife biologist and a record application form was submitted. The Division declared it a NJ Record Black Sea Bass on December 17.
Steve was using a Shimano rod and Shimano reel filled with 40-pound PowerPro braided line. He was fishing in 180-200 feet of water with a bottom rig with 3/0 hooks and clam baits. Steve's Black Sea Bass beats the previous NJ state record by 11ฝ-ounces and is only 1-pound 4-ounces shy of the current IGFA World Record.
2015 has been a great year for breaking records in New Jersey
Complete List of NJ Record Saltwater Fish
Four new NJ State Record Saltwater Fish hit the record book in 2015 - Tautog (Blackfish), Blueline Tilefish, Black Sea Bass and Cunner (Bergall). The first three are managed by NOAA Fisheries and they tell us these three species are in trouble and impose highly restrictive sizes, bag limits and short seasons. That's crazy.
SHAKE, RATTLE AND ROLL Department:
October 2, 2015 – A slow moving low pressure area sitting offshore has made fishing in the New York Bight very difficult for nearly two weeks. Strong easterly winds from the low have been a big factor for both inshore and offshore fishing and there have been lots of canceled trips. However, a couple of the offshore boats have squeaked in a few trips during the last few days and made it out to the canyons in search of tuna.
You don't have to go out, but you always have to come back home. The following photos are of Captain Jeff Gutman's VOYAGER entering Manasquan Inlet after a tuna trip. The photos were taken at 1:40 PM EDT Wednesday, September 30 and while the seas at the mouth of the inlet looked evil, Captain Jeff says he idled in without skipping a beat except for some
shake, rattle and roll
. (The VOYAGER is a 100-foot aluminum Gulf Craft offshore party boat sailing from Point Pleasant Beach, NJ.) We would like to credit the person who took these neat photos, but alas, we don't know who it is.
FLUKE FISHERY RESEARCH Department:
September 28, 2015 – The latest news about the Summer Flounder (Fluke) fishery on the East Coast happened at a stakeholder meeting held at Dave Arbeitman's Reel Seat tackle shop in Brielle, NJ this past Thursday, September 24. It was chaired by Greg Hueth from Save The Summer Flounder Fishery Fund and in attendance were about thirty commercial fishermen, party boat operators, and representatives from industry and the press. The meeting recapped the next round of Fluke research and introduced the fishery scientists that are doing the work.
The next round of research includes two parallel projects. The first is to create a better assessment model that more accurately portrays the Fluke fishery. The second is to collect information on sex composition and discards of recreational fishermen on the East Coast. The data from the second will be incorporated into a sex -specific stock assessment. The intent is to complete these projects in time for the next NOAA Peer Review in 2016.
What's new this time is that NOAA Fisheries is very interested in the upcoming research and is collaborating with these fishery scientists and have already contributed data that they have in their vaults. Given that, it is a promising undertaking for future Fluke regulations.
On the other hand, the new research will likely not result in any substantial regulatory changes for two to three years and by then, many more folks will have lost their businesses.
Similar issues exist with many other rebuilt fisheries and the overarching problem rests squarely with Congress and their inability to pass the Magnuson-Stevens Act reauthorization. They have the power and the money to fix this problem. If they won't do their jobs, pull the lever on Election Day and let's get some fresh faces in Congress.
The distinguished fisheries scientists doing the Fluke research are:
Dr. Patrick Sullivan, Professor at the Department of Natural Resources, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Cornell University.
Dr. Daphne M. Munroe, Assistant Professor at the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University.
Jason Morson, Researcher at the Department of Marine and Coastal Sciences, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, Rutgers University.
You can get more information about the new Fluke research they are doing from the Save The Summer Flounder Fishery Fund at
Some background info… In August 2015, the Mid Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted in favor of a whopping 29% cut in the Summer Founder (Fluke) quota for both the commercial and recreational sectors starting in 2016. It is significantly lower than the outrageous 43% reduction that was originally proposed, but still a killer. Why did this happen? After all, the biomass of Fluke is at record-high levels and the fishery is considered rebuilt. So what is going on?
Traditionally, Fluke regulations have been length-based and this has worked reasonably well for many years. However, the federal Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act as it is written, forces fisheries managers to take a conservative approach whenever any of the measurement benchmarks, such as young of the year, is even slightly less than expected. Over the years, this has caused a regulatory increase in the minimum size of the Fluke we are allowed to keep for the table. However, Fluke are funny critters. They are one of the many species where the female is larger than the male and the females grow faster than the males. Consequently, most of the Fluke we keep are now mature, roe producing females and this definitely has broken the present length-only management model.
WHO WILL GET THE FISH Department:
September 14, 2015 – Who will get the fish? For more than a decade, our federal government, our federal fishery managers and non-governmental environmental preservationists have asked, no mandated, that recreational and commercial anglers wait until the fish stocks are rebuilt. Wait and be rewarded with plenty they said. After years of sacrifices and many promises, it is painfully evident that this is simply a lie.
As fish stocks are rebuilt, ever increasing restrictions are our only reward.
It is a game, an absurd game of waiting endlessly and in vain.
Our Congress has failed us. The House of Representatives passed the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act reauthorization in early June, but the Senate has sat on their thumbs and their companion bill is non-existent. And now that the federal election cycle is in full swing, the Magnuson reauthorization is on the back burner.
The House, the Senate, the Supreme Court and the President exercise the power of the federal government. These few hundred people have the sole responsibility and the power to fix any domestic problem if they want to. We the people are their bosses and must hold them accountable, but do we have the guts to manage our own employees? Honestly, we should vote all of them out of office.
So who will get the fish? Will you? Will your children? Will your grandchildren?
BLUELINE TILEFISH Department:
NOAA Emergency Action for Blueline Tilefish goes into effect on June 4
Fisheries of the Northeastern United States: Blueline Tilefish Fishery;
Secretarial Emergency Action
June 4, 2015 – This emergency action implements possession limits for the Blueline Tilefish fishery in waters north of the Virginia/North Carolina border as requested by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. These emergency management measures temporarily constrain fishing effort on the Blueline Tilefish stock while a long-term management plan is developed. While the primary focus of this emergency action is to stop the commercial fleet from landing high levels of Blueline Tilefish, recreational anglers are also constrained. Here is what is allowed…
A commercial possession limit of 300 lb. whole weight per trip.
A recreational possession limit of seven Blueline Tilefish per person, per trip.
During the last several weeks, the Mid-Atlantic and South Atlantic Councils were butting heads over management of this fishery and both submitted contrary requests to NOAA. Recreational interests were particularly concerned about a
one fish per vessel per trip
limit proposed by the South Atlantic Council since it would in effect shut down the recreational fishery and be detrimental to the shore economy in the Mid-Atlantic region.
Thanks go to
U.S. Senator Cory Booker
U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone
(D-NJ, District 6) who came to the aid of recreational anglers and gave NOAA and the South Atlantic Council the input they needed for providing a more reasonable emergency action for the Mid-Atlantic region. Thanks also go to
Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA)
for their behind-the-scenes help with this issue. These elected officials and the RFA played a major role in averting an unsubstantiated regulatory change to one Blueline Tilefish per vessel per trip that would have shut down the recreational fishery and adversely affected many boatmen, local businesses and shore communities in the Mid-Atlantic region.
H.R. 1335 – Strengthening Fishing Communities and Increasing Flexibility in Fisheries Management Act
June 1, 2015 – Signed into law in 1976, the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) has been transformed in recent years from its original intent of conserving our nation's fish and supporting our nation's fishermen, to a weapon used by anti-fishing groups to drive fishermen off the water. Congress is set to reauthorize the MSA again and there is a bill in the House of Representatives to amend the MSA that is supported by recreational fishing interests. House Bill H.R. 1335 provides fishery managers with more flexibility in rebuilding fish stocks and includes a provision that allows fishery regulators to consider the "economic needs of the fishing communities" in setting annual catch limits. You can view the full text of H.R. 1335 at
H.R. 1335 was approved by the House of Representatives on Monday, June 1, 2015
with a vote of 225 Ayes to 152 Noes.
To see how your Congressman voted, you can see the tally at
The Senate does not currently have a companion bill. If and when it comes, the bill will likely come from Senator Mark Rubio (R-Fla), who chairs the Subcommittee on Oceans, Atmosphere, Fisheries, and Coast Guard within the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The Senate bill will be different than the House bill, and the House and Senate will have to fold the two together.
Once both the House and Senate have approved the bill in identical form, it becomes "Enrolled" and sent to President Obama.
The President then has the option to sign the bill into law or veto it. But wait, there's more...
"If the President were presented with H.R. 1335, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill."
On May 19, the Obama administration
threatened to veto H.R. 1335.
The Obama Adminstration says it will undermine the use of science-based actions to end and prevent overfishing, and the existing Magnuson Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act is good enough. In other words, it is a big "screw you" to recreational anglers, boatmen and our local fishing communities and businesses.
You can view the Obama administration's Veto Threat at
NEW JERSEY STATE RECORD SALTWATER FISH Department:
May 28, 2015
In May 2015, the New Jersey DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife certified the catch of
three new State Record saltwater fish.
of Mount Laurel, NJ recently reeled in the new state record
. Frank's fish weighed 25 pounds, 5.92 ounces and eclipsed the previous 1998 record by 5.92 ounces. The fish measured 33 inches in length and a girth of 23 inches.
of Doylestown, PA, made his way onto the NJ state record fish list by landing a 23 pound, 4 ounce
Gray (Blueline) Tilefish
. Mark's fish eclipsed the previous record caught last year by 4 ounces and measured 35.5 inches in length with a girth of 22.5 inches.
Jorge Antonio Costa
of Philadelphia, PA reeled in the newest record, a
weighing 3 pounds, 2.4 ounces. Jorge's fish measured 16.5 inches in length with a girth of 12.5 inches. Jorge was bottom fishing on Captain Jeff Gutman's VOYAGER in the Mud Hole with a custom rod and a Penn reel with 30-pound line.
ROGUE'S GALLERY Department:
"Keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer."
Here are the environmental non-governmental groups, foundations and trusts (ENGOs) who claim that they are working for the good of commercial fishermen, recreational anglers and the public, and that flexibility in the fisheries management process will make things worse.
Through endless lawsuits, they and their deeply funded activists are
for forcing the National Marine Fisheries Service and other governmental groups to rigidly adhere to arbitrary and unrealistic stock rebuilding goals and schedules.
infiltrated the ranks
of the federal and regional fisheries management agencies with their shills and lackeys, and that included NOAA's ex-Chief Administrator (and PEW Fellow)
PEW CHARITABLE TRUSTS
Pew is the 900-pound gorilla of the rogue's gallery and it
bankrolls the rest of the groups listed below and many others not shown.
The Pew Trusts was established by the children of Sun Oil Company founder Joseph N. Pew and his wife, Mary Anderson Pew and has about $6 billion in assets. In 2004, the Pew Trusts changed from a foundation into a nonprofit organization. As such, it can now raise funds freely and devote up to 20% of its budget to lobbying the public sector. Pew Charitable Trusts also funds the Pew Research Center, the third-largest think tank in Washington DC. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013, total revenues were about $322 million and total expenses were about $300 million. With over 600 employees, they are indeed a well endowed and powerful adversary.
2005 Market Street, Suite 1700, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Rebecca Rimel, President and CEO
MARINE FISH CONSERVATION NETWORK
1725 Desales Street, NW
Washington, DC, 20036
Robert C. Vandermark, Executive Director
1350 Connecticut Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Andrew Sharpless, Chief Executive Officer
ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
These are the folks that brought
Catch Shares, hard Total Allowable Catches (TACs) and NOAA's Chief Administrator Jane Lubchenko
into your life. Jane was a member of their board of directors.
257 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010
Fred Krupp, President
PEW ENVIRONMENT GROUP
901 E St. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Joshua S. Reichert, Executive Vice President and Managing Director
THE OCEAN CONSERVANCY
1300 19th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Andreas Merkl, Chief Executive Officer
CONSERVATION LAW FOUNDATION
62 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02110
Bradley M. Campbell, President
Ask them some hard questions. They wrongfully portray fishermen (YOU) as greedy and uncaring about the future of any fishery and as the sole cause of fishery problems. Fishing is an environmental issue to them and they don't want you to fish.
Treat them accordingly.
THE BIG QUESTION Department:
Is our fisheries management too important to be left to fishermen?
It must be so, since we continuously suffer the consequences of the decisions made by our federal fisheries bureaucrats. Unfortunately, these non-elected fishery managers control the federal system and through their mandates, indirectly control the state systems too. Most importantly, they are not required to directly report to our elected officials and apparently can do what they want without consequence or culpability.
The federal fisheries management system is broken or in bureaucratic vernacular,
. The system is rigid to a fault, unrealistic, filled with incorrect assumptions, bad science, inaccurate and conflicting fisheries data, and strongly influenced by a small, but powerful and well-endowed group of environmental zealots who are more interested in preservation instead of conservation.
By now, it should be clear to all recreational fishermen, party boat operators, charter boat operators, commercial fishermen, marina operators, tackle shop owners, tackle distributors, bait wholesalers, tackle manufacturers and anyone else that makes a livelihood directly or indirectly from fishing activities, that
FISHERMEN ARE THE ENDANGERED SPECIES!
The final goal fisheries management bureaucrats have is to eliminate recreational and commercial fishing except for a select few. They are unfairly picking on the fishing community by mandating ever-harsher regulations that reduce fishing seasons, increase minimum sizes and reduce possession limits for an ever-increasing variety of fish.
Unfortunately, as a group, recreational anglers are splintered and fragmented, and are always in a reactive mode; we jump up and down and scramble every time we hear that a new regulation is coming (and new regulations are arriving with alarming frequency.) We meet with the bureaucrats to explain our case, we show them contrary data, and we let them know that they are affecting our quality of life. Alas, our plea falls on deaf bureaucratic ears.
The federal fisheries management system has created debacles
with Winter Flounder, Fluke, Striped Bass, Sea Bass, Blackfish and Tuna fisheries, and they are looking to mess with more species. Enough already!
The fisheries bureaucrats are running amok all across the country and the crazy thing about this is that
we have not heard a peep from any of the
You would think that they would be very concerned; if we cannot fish, they will not be able to sell us their fishing rods, reels, lures and all of the other goodies they make.
WHERE ARE YOU Shimano, Penn, Calstar, Accurate, Berkley, Loomis, Plano, Eagle Claw, PowerPro, Mustad, Ande, Braid, Jinkai, Quantum, Sampo, Abu Garcia, Owner, Momoi, Spro and Daiwa???
YOU ELECTED THESE FOLKS Department:
HUNTING AND FISHING ARE OUR RIGHTS – THEY ARE NOT ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES!
You are being cheated by unfair regulations from runaway federal bureaucracies. Congress hires these bureaucrats and Congress can abolish their jobs. Let your elected representatives know about it.
YOU FISH AND YOU VOTE
– Your comments are important and are indeed heard by your elected representatives. Here are some links, addresses and telephone numbers for elected officials in this region. Please note that the United States Postal Service checks snail mail addressed to these folks for security reasons and this delays delivery. Most of the following links connect you to their e-mail contact page.
Go ahead and give them a piece of your mind!
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
Office of the Governor, PO Box 001, Trenton, NJ 08625 (609) 292-6000
US Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
359 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-3224
US Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
528 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4744
US Congressman Donald Norcross (D-NJ, District 1)
1531 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-6501
US Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ, District 2)
2427 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-6572
US Congressman Tom MacArthur (R-NJ, District 3)
503 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4765
US Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ, District 4)
2373 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3765
US Congressman Scott Garrett (R-NJ, District 5)
2232 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4465
US Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. (D-NJ, District 6)
237 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-4671
US Congressman Leonard Lance (R-NJ, District 7)
2352 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5361
US Congressman Albio Sires (D-NJ, District 8)
2342 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-7919
US Congressman Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ, District 9)
2370 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-5751
US Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ, District 10)
103 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-3436
US Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ, District 11)
2306 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5034
US Congressman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ, District 12)
126 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 (202) 225-5801
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
State Capitol Building, Albany, NY 12224 (518) 474-8390
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
478 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4451
US Senator Charles E. Schumer (D-NY)
322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-6542
US Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY, District 1)
1517 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3826
US Congressman Pete King (R-NY, District 2)
339 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-7896
US Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY, District 3)
2457 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3335
US Congressman Kathleen Rice (D-NY, District 4)
1508 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5516
US Congressman Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY, District 5)
2234 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3461
US Congressman Grace Meng (D-NY, District 6)
1317 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2601
US Congressman Nydia M. Velแzquez (D-NY, District 7)
2302 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2361
US Congressman Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY, District 8)
1607 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5936
US Congressman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY, District 9)
2351 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6231
US Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY, District 10)
2109 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5635
US Congressman Dan Donovan (R-NY, District 11)
1725 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3371
US Congressman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY, District 12)
2308 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-7944
US Congressman Charles B. Rangel (D-NY, District 13)
2354 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4365
US Congressman Joseph Crowley (D-NY, District 14)
1436 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3965
US Congressman Jos้ E. Serrano (D-NY, District 15)
2227 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4361
US Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY, District 16)
2362 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-2464
US Congressman Nita Lowey (D-NY, District 17)
2365 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-6506
US Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY, District 18)
1529 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5441
US Congressman Chris Gibson (R-NY, District 19)
1708 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5614
US Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY, District 20)
2463 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5076
US Congressman Elise Stefanik (R-NY, District 21)
512 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-4611
US Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY, District 22)
319 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3665
US Congressman Tom Reed (R-NY, District 23)
2437 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3161
US Congressman John Katko (R-NY, District 24)
1123 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3701
US Congressman Louise Slaughter (D-NY, District 25)
2469 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3615
US Congressman Brian Higgins (D-NY, District 26)
2459 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-3306
US Congressman Chris Collins (R-NY, District 27)
1117 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515 202-225-5265
Delaware Governor Jack Markell
Tatnall Building, William Penn Street, Dover, DE 19901 (302) 744-4101
US Senator Thomas R. Carper (D-DE)
513 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2441
US Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-DE)
127A Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5042
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan
100 State Circle, Annapolis, MD 21401 (410) 974-3901
US Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
509 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4524
US Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)
503 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4654
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe
P.O. Box 1475, Richmond, VA 23218 (804) 786-2211
US Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA)
388 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4024
US Senator Mark Warner (D-VA)
475 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2023
Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy
State Capitol, 210 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106 (860) 566-4840
US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
706 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2823
US Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT)
136 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4041
Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo
222 State House, Providence, RI 02903 (401) 222-2080
US Senator Jack Reed (D-RI)
728 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4642
US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
530 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2921
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts State House, Room 280, Boston, MA 02133 (617) 725-4005
US Senator Edward Markey (D-MA)
255 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2742
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
317 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-4543
New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan
State House, 107 North Main Street, Concord, NH 03301 (603) 271-2121
US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)
144 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-3324
US Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
506 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2841
Maine Governor Paul LePage
Office of the Governor, #1 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 (207) 287-3531
US Senator Susan M. Collins (ME)
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-2523
US Senator US Senator Angus King (ME)
133 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510 (202) 224-5344
Don't know who your Senator or Congressman is? Then track 'em down...
FIND and CONTACT Your
FIND and CONTACT Your
While you're in the swing of things, you can find members of the
New Jersey Senate and Assembly
For more regulatory madness on our fisheries, see our
It's the Law
There is more to come on these unsavory topics as they unfold, so hold your nose while we put some week-old clams in your bait cup.
SUPPORT OUR TROOPS Department:
You can help support our brave troops that are far away from home. Steer your browser over to the USO (United Service Organizations) web site at
. A nonprofit, congressionally chartered, private organization, the USO relies on our generosity to deliver its special brand of comfort, morale and recreational services to service members and their families during the last seventy-five years. Stop on by and spread some cheer. We wish our troops a speedy return to their homes, their families, and their fishing poles.
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