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Commercial - Recreational - Conservation Issues An open forum for the exchange of ideas and positions on current and proposed regulations in saltwater fishing and conservation.

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Old 01-07-2012, 09:36 AM
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Thumbs down As if things couldn't get worse -> TOG restrictions



Tog Regulations to Tighten in N.J.

Minimum sizes, open seasons affected.

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</div> Anglers targeting tautog, commonly known as "tog" or blackfish, will face more stringent regulations on the species following a decision made Thursday by the state Marine Fisheries Council.
Federal regulators ordered New Jersey officials to reduce the recreational harvest of the popular food and sport fish by 53 percent, and council members complied by reducing the length of the open season on the species, as well as upping the minimum size limit.
"There's no good option," said council member Dr. Patrick F. Donnelly, of Brick.
The council met in Galloway Township Thursday to vote on a plan to reduce the annual harvest.
"We cut out of every season, a little bit here, a little bit there," he said.
In the end, council members approved a relatively complicated slate of regulations for blackfish, which opens and closes the seasons multiple times per year. The size limit will remain at 15 inches all year long, up from the current minimum size of 14 inches. Anglers will also be able to take fewer fish home.
The regulations approved are:
Date/Season Size Limit Bag (Possession) Limit Jan. 1 - Feb. 28 15 inches 4 fish March CLOSED April 15 inches 4 fish May 1 - July 26 CLOSED July 27 - Aug. 30 15 inches 1 fish Sept. 1 - Oct. 17 CLOSED Oct. 18 - Nov. 15 15 inches 1 fish Nov. 16 - Dec. 31 15 inches 4 fish The new regulations did not sit well with local party and charter boat captains, who said the reduction in season length, as well as the possession limit, could cost business in already troubled economic times.
"The customers are so used to having two more fish, and now we're going down to four," said Captain Ken Namowitz of the Mimi VI party boat, which sails from Point Pleasant Beach. "For us to get that one extra fish is a livelihood."
Other skippers decried the fact that boats from New York routinely fish in New Jersey's waters, including commercial vessels, affecting the local blackfish populations.
"We're getting a lot of hell from the New York sector. There's zero enforcement going on," said Capt. Chris Hueth of the Big Mohawk party boat, which sails from Belmar. "Their season is closed right now, and they're still fishing. What's taking place in the ocean, and I'm there everyday, is nuts. Guys are commercially fishing this stuff, and bringing it back to New York."
"We're getting penalized for somebody else's greed," Hueth added.
For now, there's no going back. The council has approved the regulations, which were required to be in place Jan. 1, according to Gilbert H. Ewing, the council president. Donnelly said the state council had few options after the edict issued by federal regulators to cut the harvest.
"We tried to maintain that fourth fish," Donnelly said.

Related Topics: Blackfish, Fishing Regulations, New Jersey, Tog Fishing, tautog, and tog

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Old 01-07-2012, 08:58 PM
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Default Re: As if things couldn't get worse -> TOG restrictions

I guess the party boat captains complaining about NY boats don't know about all the Jersey party & charter boats fishing in NY when the fluke, weakfish & flounder season is closed There's nothing quite like watching half the Highlands fleet drifting the channel outside my harbor while the season is closed

Pointing the finger at NY is a load. Yes, there are NY boats fishing NJ when they shouldn't be BUT there are also Jersey boats with burlap sacks full of tog hanging over the side at the reef.

Take a look at the 2012 regs for blackfish in NY - it'll make you feel a lot better about yours. In fact, without looking at them, I'll guess that NJ has a shorter size limit, longer season, and larger bag limit than NY - in nearly every fishery.

All poachers are a problem - regardless of where they come from BUT poaching is not accounted for in any fishery management plan, so they don't figure into landings calculations.
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Old 01-07-2012, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: As if things couldn't get worse -> TOG restrictions

To be honest Steve, I overlooked the beef about NY boats until you pointed it out.

Down my way there are a TON of tog and no one other than NJ anglers or those visiting take them.

Yet we are getting sqeezed
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Old 01-07-2012, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: As if things couldn't get worse -> TOG restrictions

Reductions are coast-wide; and by most accounts, they are needed. Blackfish are slow growing, and their popularity among recreational anglers has soared over the past decade. Add in the legitimate commercial landings, and the un-accounted for pressure of poaching, and you have a whole lot of pressure on blackfish.

I'll tell you where I agree 100 percent with Chris, and that is regarding the lack of enforcement. I am talking about near-zero enforcement. But before we go pointing fingers at ECOs, we need to understand the scope of their responsibility and the fact that they have been cut to the bone, manpower wise.

My personal belief is that lack of enforcement is the single greatest impediment to the success of fisheries management. NOAA, NMFS, PEW & and endless stream of government and private organizations keep coming up with ways to reinvent the wheel, but the simple fact is that you can make all the rules you want, but if you don't enforce them, there is zero net effect. These fisheries geniuses are all playing mental masturbation.
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Old 01-14-2012, 11:02 AM
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Default Re: As if things couldn't get worse -> TOG restrictions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brokenrod View Post

Take a look at the 2012 regs for blackfish in NY - it'll make you feel a lot better about yours. In fact, without looking at them, I'll guess that NJ has a shorter size limit, longer season, and larger bag limit than NY - in nearly every fishery.
NY Announces Changes To Blackfish (Tautog) Regs

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has set new recreational fishing rules for blackfish (tautog) for 2012. The changes are necessary to comply with interstate management measures to assist in rebuilding blackfish populations.

http://boatinglocal.com/fishing/ny-a...h-fishery.html


-The season has been shortened by 70 days, and now runs from October 8 to December 4.
-The minimum size limit has been increased to 16" total length.
-The possession limit of 4 fish per day remains unchanged.
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