CCA MD watches for action on ‘cost recovery’
The Government Relations Committee recently affirmed its position calling for those who benefit from a fishery having to pay the costs of management of that fishery. CCA Maryland anticipates the Department of Natural Resources to announce before early January what, if any, legislation it will seek to mandate what costs of the commercial striped bass fishery are borne by those in that commercial industry.
The position states, “CCA Maryland strongly believes the user and financial beneficiary of the fishery should bear the responsibility for its management costs. If that can’t be done and taxpayers or recreational anglers are asked to continue covering that shortfall, then we believe the gill net fishery must be ended in favor of other fishing methods that can be shown to be manageable, accountable and enforceable.”
“This is not new thinking for CCA Maryland,” said Trent Zivkovich, chair, Government Relations Committee. “Rather, it’s clear indication of how important this issue is to us. This year members of the commercial gill net industry demonstrated that they do not care to obey Maryland’s laws benefitting all of it’s citizens, including other commercial fishermen. That raises the cost of managing that fishery, and it’s blatantly inappropriate for recreational anglers and taxpayers to bear those costs.”
Commercial fishing license and permit fees have not changed since the early 1990’s. Since fishing license and permit fees must be set by the General Assembly, legislation will be necessary to make any changes. In 2007, recreational license fees were raised with the resulting revenue used to increase the Department’s management capabilities and to improve recreational fisheries. In 2010, recreational anglers contributed approximately $4.4 million dollars to the Department just through license fees for tidal fisheries.
“Frankly, we are not asking for anything that has not already been put on the table,” said Zivkovich. “When the Department closed the commercial gill net season earlier this year, Secretary Griffin stated that if it could not be demonstrated that the commercial gill net fishery is viable, the Department would have to consider closing the fishery. Without cost recovery we don’t see the fishery as viable, and we plan on holding the Department to its word.”
CCA Maryland will alert members of legislative action as soon as it is announced.
Recreational anglers, menhaden gain victory
As has been reported in the news media, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) acted this month to reduce the harvest of menhaden by approximately 37 percent, but other actions impacting striped bass also occurred at that meeting.
After overwhelming support by CCA and other recreational anglers to curtail the harvest, ASMFC voted to raise the threshold figure for menhaden’s Maximum Spawning Potential (MSP) to 15 percent and the target for MSP to 30 percent. Currently it is believe that the menhaden stock is at approximately eight percent. These requirements will be in place in 2013.
“This action is a bonanza for recreational anglers since menhaden is a prime food source for striped bass and other game fish that we target,” said Tony Friedrich, CCA MD executive director. “It has taken years to achieve such a significant management measure as this; and while it will take additional years for the menhaden stock to recover, we can all be proud of this major step forward. CCA National Staffer Dick Brame, who represents our association at the ASFMC meetings, has been a leader in this achievement.
In other actions at the ASFMC meeting (as summarized in a report by Brame) the commission:
• Heard a report on the illegal commercial harvesting of striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River since 2003. More than $1.6 million in fines have been levied against 19 individuals and three corporations for illegally taking more than one million pounds of striped bass.
• Heard a report from the Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board indicating that “overall the resource is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring with the female spawning stock biomass (SSB) estimate at 109 percent of the SSB target and 137 percent of the SSB threshold.”
Revitalized Annapolis chapter holds meeting Dec. 6
The first meeting of a newly revitalized Annapolis chapter is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at the Boatyard Bar & Grill.
Shawn Kimbro, veteran angler and author of the upcoming book Chesapeake Light Tackle – An introduction to light tackle fishing on the Chesapeake Bay, will speak on “Tips for Cold Weather Jigging.” He will also discuss Careful Catch Maryland, a project developed by CCA MD and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to create understanding of the best ways to release fish.
“There’s no need to put away your fishing gear when the temperature drops,” said Kimbro. “If you know the best ways to stimulate striped bass to eat in colder water, you can still catch the resident fish that remain in the Bay throughout the winter and those giant migrating bass that come into the Bay this time of the year.”
“CCA is extremely excited to have a chapter starting again in Annapolis,” said Friedrich. “Not only is Annapolis the state capital, it is also the boating center of Maryland. We anticipate having frequent meetings that will appeal to recreational anglers and encourage anyone in the Annapolis area interested in fishing to join us Dec. 6.”
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. when attendees can purchase food and drinks from the menu. Election of officers for the new chapter and the presentation will start at 7 p.m. The Boatyard Bar & Grill is at 400 Fourth St., Annapolis, and anyone is invited to attend.
TieFest set for Saturday, Feb. 25
The 10th annual TieFest, the Atlantic coast’s premier fly fishing event, is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 25.
“Once again, we will have some of the best known fly anglers at TieFest demonstrating patterns that work in our area, casting skills that will make you a better fly fisherman, and answering questions,” said Friedrich. “This is probably the only place where recreational anglers can come to a show that doesn’t have an admission cost, walk up to some of the true celebrities in our sport, ask a question, and expect an answer.”
Among the those expected to attend TieFest are Bob Clouser, Bob Popovics, Steve Farrar, Steve Silverio and Brad Buzzi.
Board acts on variety of issues
At its meeting last week, the Board of Directors took a number of actions, including:
• Voting to establish a virtual state office and close the current physical office space, a decision that will save more than $8,000 annually. Storage space will be rented for banquet and other items, and meeting rooms will be rented when necessary.
• Combined the state Executive Board and Board of Directors into one body that will be called the Board of Directors of CCA Maryland.
• Move Chesapeake Tide to a once- a-year publication with an annual report format. The first will be received around December 2012.
• Elected officers for the coming year—Ed Liccione, chairman; Lew Armistead, vice chairman; Larry Jennings, secretary; Erica Kirby, treasurer; Trent Zivkovich, chair, Government Relations Committee; and Shawn Kimbro, vice chair, Government Relations Committee.
• Elected 44 members to the Board of Directors with staggered terms ranging from one to three years. Once an individual’s term is ended, he or she will be eligible to be re-elected.
“As a Board, we have a responsibility to be stewards of the association’s finances,” said Liccione. “After studying usage of our office space for more than a year, the Management Committee determined that there’s little use of the office other than for storage space and a few meetings. We can meet those needs without our current office and save a considerable amount of money.
“While the elimination of one issue of Chesapeake Tide will also result in a cost savings (approximately $3,000 annually), the decision was primarily made because our electronic communications have expanded and are providing information in a timelier manner.”
With the greater reliance on Tightlines members receiving this issue are asked to urge other members to make sure their email address is current to assure they also get the newsletter. To do this, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “add me to email list”.
Give the gift of conservation
Give CCA for the holidays
Stumped on what gifts to give during the upcoming holiday season? Consider a membership in the Coastal Conservation Association for recreational anglers or those concerned about the Chesapeake Bay. CCA National will send an electronic holiday card informing the recipient of your gift. For more information, see https://www.ccamembership.org/holiday-gifts/.
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