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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Pennsylvania Updated Fish Contamination Advisory


Teresa Candori, DEP
Eric Levis, PA Fish and Boat Commission

Updated Fish Consumption Advisories Issued for 2010
Advisories Eased for Seven Water Bodies New Species, Water Body Added

HARRISBURG -- State officials today released updated fish consumption advisories that include two new fish species and a water body that had not previously been on the list, but also eases or lifts advisories on fish from seven water bodies.

The advisories were developed through an interagency partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission and the state departments of Environmental Protection, Health and Agriculture.

“Consumption advisories are not intended to discourage anyone from fishing or eating fresh fish in moderation,” Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger said. “However, at-risk groups and people who regularly eat sport fish are most susceptible to contaminants that can build up in fish over time and should space out fish meals according to these advisories, and in consultation with their physician.”

The advisories do not apply to fish raised for commercial purposes or bought in stores or restaurants.

All of Pennsylvania remains under a blanket advisory that recommends limiting consumption of any recreationally-caught fish to one meal per week. This advisory is designed to protect against eating large amounts of fish from waters that have not been tested, or for certain species that have not been tested or fish that may contain other unidentified contaminants. One meal is considered to be one-half pound of fish for a 150-pound person.

For 2010, new advisories have been added limiting consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Canadohta in Crawford County to two meals per month, and consumption of Largemouth Bass in Lake Jean in Sullivan and Luzerne counties to one meal per month as a result of elevated levels of mercury in the water.

A do-not-eat advisory has been issued for Channel Catfish in the Mahoning River in Lawrence County due to PCB contamination.

Consumption advisories have been eased but not lifted for the following locations and species:

• French Creek in Erie, Crawford, Mercer and Venango counties for Smallmouth Bass as a result of mercury contamination;
• Lake Erie for Walleye as a result of PCB contamination; and
• Schuylkill River from the confluence of Mill Creek at Port Carbon to the Auburn Dam in Schuylkill County for Trout as a result of PCB contamination.

Consumption advisories have been lifted for the following locations and species:

• Jacks Creek from the Paintersville Bridge to the mouth in Mifflin County for Brown Trout and White Sucker as a result of PCB contamination;
• Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg to the mouth and Little Chartiers Creek from Canonsburg Lake dam to the mouth in Allegheny and Washington Counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Chlordane contamination;
• Monongahela River from Pool 4 between the Maxwell Lock and Dam and Lock and Dam 4 in Fayette and Washington counties for Channel Catfish as a result of Chlordane contamination; and
• Sinnemahoning Creek from the confluence of Lower Jerry Run to the mouth in Clinton and Cameron counties for Largemouth Bass and Carp as a result of Mercury contamination.

People can get the health benefits of eating fish and reduce the potential risk of exposure to organic contaminants by properly cleaning, skinning, trimming and cooking the fish they eat.

Proper preparation generally includes trimming away fat and broiling or grilling the fish to allow remaining fat to drip away. Juices and fats that cook out of the fish should not be eaten or reused for cooking or preparing other foods. Mercury, however, collects in the fish’s muscle and cannot be reduced by cleaning and cooking methods.

More information on fish consumption advisories and the most current advisories are available online at www.depweb.state.pa.us, Keyword: “Fish Advisories” and http://www.fishandboat.com/fishpub/summary/sumconsumption.pdf.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Stream restoration on the Upper Delaware River

The Friends of the Upper Delaware River (FUDR) recently funded a study completed by LandStudies, Inc. which lays out plans for the rehabilitation of Sands Creek and Cadosia Creek in the Town of Hancock.

This project will serve as a pilot program for other streams in the region while benefiting fishery habitat and mitigating flooding.

Click here to Watch a Video

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Seven Streams in Pennsylvania Designated as ‘Exceptional Value

EQB Designates Seven Streams as ‘Exceptional Value,’ Increases Protection for 265 Miles of Waterways

Harrisburg – Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger announced today that 265 miles of streams in Pennsylvania will receive increased protection after being designated as “exceptional value” waterways by the Environmental Quality Board.

“Streams that are designated as exceptional value will receive the highest level of protection against pollution from point and non-point sources that could affect the quality and aquatic health of the watershed,” Hanger said. “This demonstrates the usefulness of maintaining a statewide water quality monitoring network that can accurately report the current health of our watersheds and determine if water quality in these basins is changing for the better or worse.”

The waterways receiving the new designation include Young Womans Creek in Clinton, Lycoming and Potter counties; Muncy Creek in Sullivan County; an unnamed tributary to Tunkhannock Creek in Susquehanna County; Spruce Creek in Union County; Blue Eye Run and East Hickory Creek in Warren County; and East Branch Dyberry Creek in Wayne County.

DEP recommended the new designations based on five years of data collected through Pennsylvania’s Water Quality Network, which provides long-term, fixed-location monitoring of watersheds’ chemical and biological quality.

Data collected through monitoring gives DEP a reference point from which to observe changes in water quality and to track the health of streams to see if human activity is affecting water quality or to determine if cleanup and pollution control efforts are improving conditions. The network also gives the state data to monitor the quality of water that Pennsylvania sends to or receives from neighboring states.

Surface water quality standards are mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, which requires states to designate uses for streams such as drinking water, recreation and fishing, and to set criteria to protect streams for those uses. In addition, an anti-degradation component of the act requires that streams designated as exceptional value or high quality must be maintained at existing quality.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Water Quality.

Monday, December 14, 2009

President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Funding to be Used for Immediate Asian Carp Control Measures

Release date: 12/14/2009

Contact Information: Enesta Jones (EPA), jones.enesta@epa.gov, 202-564-7873, 202-564-4355, Lynne Whelan (USACE), lynne.e.whelan@usace.army.mil, 312-846-5330

WASHINGTON - Great Lakes Inter-agency Task Force Chair and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson today announced $13 million in federal funding to prevent Asian carp from migrating further toward the Great Lakes.

“The challenge at hand requires the immediate action we're taking today. EPA and its partners are stepping up to prevent the environmental and economic destruction that can come from invasive Asian carp,” said Task Force Chair Lisa P. Jackson. “President Obama’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Congressional support have given us what we need to significantly and immediately reduce the risk of Asian carp reaching the Great Lakes and destroying such a valuable ecosystem.”

President Barack Obama has made restoring the Great Lakes a national priority. In February 2009, he proposed $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, an unprecedented investment in the nation’s largest fresh surface water ecosystem. Congress approved that funding level and President Obama signed it into law in October. The funding for immediate carp control measures would come from the $475 million initiative.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has identified more than $13 million in funding needs for measures to deter Asian carp from moving closer to Lake Michigan. The majority of funding announced today will be used to close conduits and shore up low-lying lands between the Chicago Sanitary Ship Canal and adjacent waterways. Agencies remain concerned that during times of heavy precipitation water – and therefore carp – can wash from adjacent waterways into the canal. Initiative funding will support work by the Corps to reduce the risk of invasion from these collateral access points. Some of the funding will support more genetic testing to pinpoint where carp may be in the Chicago Area Waterway System. The agencies will continue to identify other mechanisms for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

Today’s announcement follows on the heels of a November 23 announcement that a portion of initiative funding will be available for interested stakeholders through a request for proposals (RFP). Invasive species controls are a priority under the initiative. EPA, through the Great Lakes National Program Office is seeking applications from a diverse group of participants and partnerships to support the goals of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The RFP is online at http://epa.gov/greatlakes/fund/2010rfp01. It also follows work by several federal agencies that are part of the Inter-agency Task Force, in addition to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and other state, provincial and binational agencies to keep carp from migrating through the canal in early December while the Corps shuts off one of its electric barriers for maintenance.

The Task Force, chaired and coordinated by EPA, was created in May of 2004 under a presidential executive order and is responsible for implementing federal efforts to protect and restore the Great Lakes.

Interesting Facts About Anglers & Boaters

As Per The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation
Boaters and anglers are significantly more satisfied with their marriages, relationships and friendships — and are more likely to have a close relationship with their children – than those who don’t boat or fish.

Boaters and anglers are more likely to recycle, carpool and donate money to environmental organizations than people who aren’t boaters and anglers.
Connecting with family is a primary reason for going fishing.
Source: RBFF online survey (2007)

Monday, December 07, 2009

Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus Members Support Inclusion Of Recreational Fishing In Task Force Report

December 1, 2009 (Washington, DC) -Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus (CSC) member Rep. Adam Putnam and CSC House Co-Chair Rep. Dan Boren sent a letter today to the Chair of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force urging inclusion of the recreational fishing community in the formation of a proposed new ocean governance structure.

The letter, addressed to Ms. Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), is in reference to the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force released in September, which failed to include issues of concern to the recreational fishing community.

"It's very important that America continue to be a good steward of all our water resources," said Rep. Putnam. "And recreational fishing has established itself as a valuable partner in this effort. Through the special taxes they pay, sportsmen provide hundreds of millions of dollars each year to support conservation efforts. They also act as a powerful network for educating people on caring for the natural environment. I urge the Administration to work with sportsmen and not against them."

"Inclusion of the recreational fishing community in this effort could greatly assist the task force's stated objectives," said Rep. Boren. "They should welcome the participation of recreational anglers and seek their support in ensuring the conservation, maintenance, and restoration of our nation's oceans and lakes."

The Task Force was created to develop a draft national policy and implementation strategy for conserving and managing the oceans, the Great Lakes, and the coasts of the United States. The draft policy would potentially govern federal Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters and Great Lakes resource conservation and management and assist in the coordination of these efforts among federal, state and local agencies.

"Along with our sporting partners, we discussed in detail issues of interest and concern to the recreational fishing community in a July meeting and followed up with a written submission to Ms. Sutley," said Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation President Jeff Crane. "We offered specific, detailed recommendations to the task force, emphasizing the need to recognize and promote recreational angling in any federal policy the Task Force developed."

The letter from Putnam and Boren notes that the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund is supported by taxes paid by anglers and boaters. In 2008, the fund provided $398 million to states for sport fish restoration and $126 million for coastal wetlands planning and restoration. Millions more went to conservation grants and boater safety programs.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Most Sought After Fish in the U.S.

AnglerSurvey is a monthly consumer monitoring service of Southwick Associates, Inc. Here is their 2008 report for the most sought after species for US anglers in both freshwater and saltwater.

Please note the rankings report the species targeted most often, which is not always the same as the anglers’ preferred species or the species most commonly caught. For example, a Texas angler’s favorite fish may be freshwater trout, but does not pursue trout based on the distance to the nearest trout fishery. Instead he targets bass on most trips – which is reported in the tables below – but catches mostly panfish over the course of the year based on that species high numbers.

The tables show largemouth bass continues to lead as the most targeted freshwater fish in the U.S., followed by panfish, smallmouth bass and trout. Saltwater anglers favor spotted seatrout, red drum, flounder and striped bass respectively. Saltwater anglers often target more than one species per trip, with flounder and red drum frequently targeted in the same trip as spotted seatrout. For more detailed information, contact Southwick Associates.

Freshwater :

Largemouth or spotted bass


Panfish (Crappie, Perch, Sunfish, Bluegill/Bream)


Smallmouth bass








Any freshwater fish that bites




Striped bass (freshwater) or hybrid bass


Pickerel, pike or muskie




White bass and Sunshine bass








Other fish not on this list


Based on 11,000+ completed surveys in 2008


Spotted seatrout or weakfish


Redfish, red drum, channel bass




Striped bass


Any saltwater fish that bites




Other fish not on this list


Grouper, snapper, sea bass


Mackerel (king, spanish, boston, etc.)










Rockfish (Pacific coast only)


Calico bass








Tautog (Blackfish)










Based on nearly 4,500 completed surveys in 2008

Southwick Associates, Inc. specializes in natural resource & environmental economic, business and statistical research. Their staff is comprised of economic, business and statistics professionals throughout the U.S. who have in-depth experience measuring the values, benefits and revenues possible from fish, wildlife, and water-related natural resources plus their associated industries. They help clients better address many business, legal, legislative and public communication issues through the practical application of reliable and accurate economic information and statistics.

For information and other reports, visit: www.southwickassociates.com

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Orvis Wins Fly Rod & Reel's 2010 Kudu Award

In their December '09/January '10 issue, Fly Rod & Reel magazine announced the winners of their 2010 Kudu Awards. Not surprisingly to those who fish them, the Orvis Helios Rod took the fly rod honors.

The Helios first showed up three years ago and after numerous field trials and evaluations Orvis now offers this rod in a selection of practical and essential freshwater and saltwater versions. The Freshwater rods come in 2 weights up to 7 weights, including switch rods in 5, 6, and 7 weights. The poularity of switch rods that allow you two hand or single hand cast is growing from the steelhead and salmon rivers to the larger trout rivers. The Helios switch rods are just the rod for doing double duty in varying situations.

When Orvis added the Helios Ion they gave the small stream angler the advantages of Helios technology in a package designed for the challenge close quarters provide, where quick loading and pin point accuracy can determine your success. In lengths as short as six feet all the way up to 7'9", these Helios Rods start out weighing less than an ounce. The perfect brook trout rod and also a rod that can handle bigger fish on bigger water.

On the Saltwater side you'll find Helios Rods in 6 through 12 weights. There's an 8 weight switch rod in the line up too. This versatile switch rod is excellent for casting off the beach for striped bass, Atlantic salmon fishing and steelhead on the larger rivers.

Congratulations to Orvis for achieving Fly Rod & Reel's Kudu Award.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NY DEC Proposes American Shad Fishery Closures

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

With the American shad population in the Hudson River at historic lows, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced draft regulations to prohibit commercial and recreational fishing for American shad both in the Hudson River and the Marine and Coastal District of New York.

The closure is necessary because the Hudson River shad stock has declined dramatically since the 1990s. Juvenile production dropped to below average in 2002 and has not rebounded. Hudson River recreational and commercial fisheries were restricted in 2008 with the hope that it would trigger some improvement in production of young American shad. With no improvement in stock status, a fishery closure was the only remaining alternative.

DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis said: "New York is proposing this measure because of the severity of the declines in the American shad population throughout the region and the importance of protecting this species. DEC has thoroughly evaluated all the data available and a closure is the most appropriate step to help this fishery recover."

Last year the DEC adopted the Hudson River American Shad Recovery Plan (PDF, 109 Kb) to help rebuild the stock. In 2009, several parts of the Recovery Plan were implemented, including: a tagging/tracking study to better to understand adult spawning habitat use; a bycatch monitoring program to quantify American shad caught in ocean fisheries; sample collections to evaluate habitat use by early life stages of fish; and a continuation of diet studies on predatory fish such as striped bass. DEC is working on a Recovery Plan update which will include a progress report and is developing reopening criteria for the recreational and commercial fisheries.

Also, DEC's draft regulations propose a change to the daily creel limit for American shad in the Delaware River from 6 fish a day to 3 fish to further protect that population.

The draft regulations were released today in the New York State Register - NYS DOS Division of Administrative Rules - 2009 State Register Index . The public comment period will be open until Jan. 4, 2010. Written comments can be sent to Kathryn Hattala, NYSDEC 21 S. Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561 or by email to kahattal@gw.dec.state.ny.us .

For further information regarding status of New York's American shad stocks, please visit the DEC website and access Hudson River American Shad Status (PDF, 78 Kb) document.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hydros Fly Rods

Orvis Rod & Tackle has done it again! After the very successful introduction of the Helios rods a couple of years ago the Orvis Company has taken the same graphite and scrim technologies and applied them to the new Hydros series of fly rods. It looks like they took the jewelry off the Prince and came out with a rod that is just about every bit as good as a Helios. Just a lot less bling.

What are some of the differences? The Hydros rods don't have the cool Recoil guides of the Helios nor does it come in a sexy woven graphite rod tube. The rod is in your basic Codura covered tube and the hardware on the rods are more in line with other companies premium rod lines.

What did this do? Well, first it made the Hydros rods the second lightest fly rods made (the lightest rod is still the Hydros' rich uncle, the Helios). And they did this at a price point that's lower than other premium rods. If you're in the market for a new rod you should give this rod a try.

Am I going to replace my Helios rods with this rod? Of course not. But the next rod I buy that I know is going to get banged around in the boat and generally used very hard is likely to be a Hydros.

The Hydros was Winner of the Midcurrent.com 2009 Best of Show award and is already being manufactured from 3 weights to 12 weights, in all the same configurations as the Helios except for the switch rods. I already see myself using the 8'6' or 9' 5 & 6wt and the 9' 9 & 10wt as my standard boat rods. The 10' 7wt should make a sweet steelhead rod on the Great Lakes Tributaries. And I already know what my next 12wt is going to be.

A light rod that casts well, fishes well, is built tough and costs less is a good thing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Mine Drainage Treatment Plant Will Improve 35-Plus Miles of the West Branch Susquehanna River

$11 Million Project Will Treat Up To 10 Million Gallons of Mine Water per Day

Barr Township, Cambria County – Construction has begun on a mine drainage treatment facility that will restore aquatic life to the upper reaches of one of America’s most polluted rivers and improve the economic outlook for the entire region, according to the Department of Environmental Protection.

During a groundbreaking ceremony today, DEP Deputy Secretary for Mineral Resource Management J. Scott Roberts said the Lancashire #15 treatment plant will improve water quality in at least 35 miles of the West Branch Susquehanna River.

“No place in America has paid a heavier price for the unregulated mining practices of the past than Pennsylvania’s northern bituminous coal fields and the West Branch Susquehanna River,” Roberts said. “Here in the midst of some of the most remote and beautiful country in the eastern United States, approximately 1,000 miles of the West Branch and its tributaries are impaired because of mine drainage.”

The new mine drainage treatment plant will treat up to 10 million gallons per day of acidic water from the abandoned 7,100 acre Lancashire #15 mine complex. Currently, the Susquehanna River is losing this water because the Lancashire #15 mine pool is pumped, treated and discharged to the Ohio River Basin on the other side of the mountain. This prevents the mine pool from rising to an elevation where it will drain into the West Branch. In 1969, the mine blew out and caused a fish kill for more than 40 miles of the West Branch of the Susquehanna.

The influx of fresh water into the basin will counteract the effects of numerous acidic discharges in the headwaters, restoring aquatic habitat to an estimated 35 miles of the river and improving water quality as far downstream as the Curwensville Lake in Clearfield County.

In addition, the added water will help make up for the estimated 15.7 million gallons that agricultural operations use in the middle and lower Susquehanna Basin, extending the benefits of this treatment plant as far downstream as the Chesapeake Bay.

“Capturing and treating the acid mine drainage that impairs 5,500 miles of Pennsylvania’s rivers and streams and reclaiming our 180,000 acres of abandoned mine lands is one of the most ambitious environmental restoration efforts in the nation,” Roberts said. “Construction of the Lancashire #15 mine drainage treatment facility is a significant step toward restoring this waterway and the entire region, improving property values and recreational opportunities, and providing fresh water to offset downstream agricultural consumption.”

The facility will go online by the fall of 2011. It will pump water from the mine, treat it with hydrated lime to remove metals, and raise the water’s alkalinity before it is discharged into the river.

The plant’s construction will be financed by Pennsylvania’s Acid Mine Drainage Trust Fund, created with funds set aside from the federal Abandoned Mine Lands Fund. The federal fund is supported by a tax on the modern coal industry and is distributed to states as annual grants to reclaim mine sites that were abandoned prior to passage of the federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977.

In addition, the Susquehanna River Basin Commission has placed a $3.9 million appropriation from the legislature in trust to fund partially the perpetual operation and maintenance of the plant. The commission has set aside another $2.1 million for the operation and maintenance of a planned treatment plant in the headwaters of the Clearfield Creek, which is also severely degraded by mine drainage and negatively affects water quality where it joins the West Branch downstream of Clearfield.

Through a combination of federal funds and grants from Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener program, DEP and local watershed groups have spent $85 million on 280 mine drainage projects, and have restored aquatic life to formerly dead streams, such as Babb Creek in Lycoming and Tioga counties, Toby Creek in Clearfield and Jefferson counties, and the Stoneycreek River in Cambria and Somerset counties.

For more information, visit www.depweb.state.pa.us, keyword: Abandoned Mines.

Monday, November 09, 2009

NOAA Commissions New Fisheries Survey Ship

November 6, 2009

NOAA Ship Pisces.

NOAA Ship Pisces is the third of four newly constructed fisheries survey vessels and is homeported in Pascagoula.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Senior NOAA officials today commissioned NOAA Ship Pisces, the nation’s most advanced fisheries research vessel, and dedicated a new fisheries laboratory in Pascagoula, Miss. The vessel and the NOAA laboratory will support fisheries research in the Gulf of Mexico, southeastern United States and the Caribbean.

“Our fisheries and the marine ecosystems that support them are vital to our nation’s economy,” said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator, who attended today’s ceremonies. “The knowledge we’ll gain from Pisces and the Pascagoula laboratory will greatly enhance our understanding and stewardship of these precious resources.”

Pisces, built by Pascagoula based VT Halter Marine, is equipped with high tech research equipment and quiet-hull technology. The vessel is so quiet and so advanced that scientists can study fish populations and collect oceanographic data with minimal impact on fish and marine mammal behavior.

The 208-ft ship is the third of four newly constructed NOAA fisheries survey vessels of the same class. Pisces is operated by the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and is homeported in Pascagoula.

NOAA's new Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s Pascagoula laboratory.

NOAA's new Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s Pascagoula laboratory.

High resolution (Credit: NOAA)

Pisces was named by a team of students from Sacred Heart School in Southaven, Miss., and christened by Dr. Annette Nevin Shelby, professor emerita at Georgetown University and wife of U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

The new Southeast Fisheries Science Center’s Pascagoula laboratory replaces the laboratory that was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. At approximately 55,000 square feet, the building contains office space for 104 scientists, a library, and meeting rooms. This enables NOAA to consolidate several previously dispersed programs in the Pascagoula area including the Pascagoula Laboratory; National Seafood Inspection Laboratory; and the Documentation, Approval and Supply Services office.

One new feature at the facility is an environmental laboratory that will allow scientists to analyze environmental data such as temperature/depth profiles, oxygen data, and other environmental data collected on all survey cruises. These data will be useful in monitoring environmental factors such as hypoxia, but also will be incorporated into ecosystem models.

The structure is also designed to be more hurricane resistant, with a first floor elevation of 17 feet and is capable of withstanding winds up to 150 mph. Walton Construction, LLC, based in Kansas City, Mo., with an office in Harahan, La., led the design and construction team which includes partners such as HDR in Alexandria, Va., and Gibbens Drake Scott in Kansas City.

NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth’s environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.

NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration - Captain John Lowell Named Director of NOAA Office of Coast Survey

Tuesday, November 03, 2009


Nov 3rd, 2009 | By Capt. John McMurray

ASFMC Denies Increase in Commercial Striped Bass Harvest
Anglers rally to defeat proposal for commercial sector to kill more fish

Coastal Conservation Association commends the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) for denying a proposal to increase the commercial harvest of striped bass at its meeting this week in Newport, Rhode Island. The proposal would have allowed commercial fishermen to add at least half of their uncaught commercial striped bass quota to their quota for the following year. Many anglers from CCA Maine made the journey to Newport to express their concern over the status of this important fish, and their voice made a difference.

“The Striped Bass Board understands that anglers at the north and south of the striped bass range are not seeing the numbers of fish they saw even just a few years ago,” said Richen Brame, CCA’s Atlantic States fisheries director. “There is cause for concern and we commend the ASMFC for taking a conservative approach.”

In its formal comments before the ASMFC against the proposal, CCA cited several disturbing trends in the striped bass fishery, including a dramatic decrease in the number of striped bass caught and released by recreational fishermen, particularly in the northeastern states of New Hampshire and Maine, the prevalence of the fatal disease Mycobacteriosis among the Chesapeake Bay spawning stock, and a Fish and Wildlife Service annual survey that encountered the fewest striped bass in the survey’s history.

“While officially the stock is not overfished and not undergoing overfishing, there are signs that the overall abundance is declining,” said Brame. “The proposed action to allow the commercial industry to take more fish was not a remedy for any of the problems we are seeing with striped bass. Increasing abundance is what will fix those problems.”

While the motion was defeated by a vote of 8-6, the margin of the victory means recreational anglers will have to maintain vigilance at the ASMFC to protect the recovery of striped bass.

“After the vote on the original motion, there was immediately another motion to allow the commercial sector to rollover 25 percent of their uncaught harvest to the next year, which was also defeated,” said Brame. “We will continue to see efforts like this and it was very encouraging to hear Board members remark on the number of comments they received against this proposal from the public. Our members will have to be ready to stand up for conservation.”

The following states voted against the rollover proposal: Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia. Voting for the proposal were Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Potomac River Fisheries Commission, North Carolina and the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Fish and Wildlife Service abstained.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

DEC Arrests Striped Bass Poachers in Brooklyn, NY

October 30, 2009

Routine Patrol Nets 2 Men Catching Undersize and Over-limit Fish

State Environmental Conservation Officers recently arrested two fishermen in Brooklyn for catching dozens of striped bass that were undersized and in excess of allowable limits, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced.

While on marine patrol in the Breezy Point area, Environmental Conservation Officers (ECO) Jamie Powers and Kevin Thomas spotted activities on a boat that made them suspect poaching and they tracked the vessel back to its dock in Shell Bank Creek off Seba Avenue. There, the ECOs witnessed John Arena of Parksville, Sullivan County, and Mark Sarubbi of Brooklyn, struggling to drag two totes full of striped bass up to a truck.

The officers then approached the men and began counting the catch. The fishermen, who realized their day of "good" fishing had just met its end, watched as the ECOs counted out 46 striped bass - the legal recreational limit for the trip for both men is only 2. The fish weighed a total of 295 pounds and the vast majority of the fish - 40 - were less than the minimum size requirement of 28 inches.

Arena and Sarubbi were arrested and charged with possession of 40 undersized Striped Bass; possession of 44 Striped Bass over the legal recreational harvest limit; possession of 46 untagged Striped Bass; taking Striped Bass for Commercial Purposes without a permit; and failing to possess a valid food fish license. Additional charges are anticipated.

Their arraignment is scheduled for early December. They are facing thousands of dollars in fines and a possible four years in prison. The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office is prosecuting the case. The fish were seized and destroyed because Striped Bass are not permitted to be harvested for commercial sale from waters west of East Rockaway Inlet due to the potential level of contaminants in the fish.

Information on illegal harvest of any species of saltwater fish, shellfish or crabs can be reported to the Marine Enforcement Unit at (631) 444-0460 or by using the toll-free number of 1-877-457-5680.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative

For Immediate Release

Keith Sutton, Executive Director

ksutton@futurefisherman.org, 703-402-3623


Physh Ed Reaches 16,200 New Students During 2008-09

Physh Ed helps teachers connect children with nature through outdoor recreation.

MCLEAN, Va. (October 20, 2009)—The Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative, which provides grants for K-12 teachers to incorporate fishing and boating activities into their school curriculum, has proven fishing is a fun way to lure children back outdoors. During the past seven years, the Future Fisherman Foundation (F3) has awarded more than $1,200,000 in grant funds to help teachers from 325 schools in 47 states deliver angling, boating and aquatic conservation programs through the Physh Ed Initiative. Most schools approach this program in a cross-curricular manner, teaming physical education, science, math, health and art teachers to deliver lessons.

Seventy-seven new schools each received $2,500 grants for the 2008-2009 school year. Thirteen former grantees were awarded $500 in supplemental funds. The funding was used to purchase fishing and boating equipment, cover field trip costs and buy curriculum materials and other resources to help educators reach state standards for learning in science, physical education, art and other subjects. It also defrayed the cost of a five-day training for new grantees, which prepares them to teach aquatic conservation, spin casting, fly fishing, fly tying and boating to their students.

The Physh Ed program reached more than 16,200 new students during the 2008-2009 school year. Of these, 12% were from economically disadvantaged households, 24% were minorities, and 36% included students with special needs.

The 77 new grantees received a total of 5,346 volunteer hours from parents, community members and state aquatic educators, the equivalent of $68,000 of volunteer time. Teachers also secured donations of rods, reels, tackle, kayaks and boating supplies in the amount of $99,000. This $167,000 of combined in-kind and product donations represents an 88% match to the $199,000 grant funds dispersed to schools.

Grantees received assistance from local chapters of national fishing and conservation organizations such as Trout Unlimited, Bassmasters, Federation of Fly Fishers and the Izaak Walton League. They received product and equipment donations from Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Dick's Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, Plano, Shakespeare, Pure Fishing, Wal-Mart and Target, among others.

The 2008-2009 Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Initiative was a partnership between F3 and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. F3 is currently searching for funding to continue expanding the Physh Ed program into the 2010-2011 school year and invites donors to contribute through F3’s secure online system. For more information, please visit www.futurefisherman.org or contact Director of Education Teresa Rodriguez at (703) 402-0004.

Established in 1986, the Future Fisherman Foundation unites the sportfishing industry and a nationwide network of state outdoor educators, national conservation groups and youth organizations dedicated to introducing America’s youth to angling and the outdoors. These efforts help people of all ages have safe and enjoyable fishing experiences that foster conservation ethics.

P.O. Box 6049 | McLean, VA 22106 US

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fish Regs Fight Goes Federal | Long Island Press | News, Long Island, Local News, Breaking News

Fish Regs Fight Goes Federal | Long Island Press | News, Long Island, Local News, Breaking News

The fight over saltwater fishing licenses has now reached the federal level.

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) asked the U.S. Department of Commerce and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) on Monday to set up a registration process for Long Island’s saltwater anglers so they only have to register once in their lifetime.

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How Do Hunters and Anglers View The Color Pink For Outdoor Equipment?

Posted 13 Oct 23:08 by donna@southwickassociates.com

For Immediate Release: October 13, 2009

In an recent poll from HunterSurvey and AnglerSurvey, sportsmen and women were asked how color, particularly pink, factors into the market for purchasing angling and hunting supplies such as fishing rods and reels, firearms, binoculars, coolers, and other similar outdoor equipment.

For hunters and target shooters, taken from nearly 3,700 sportsmen and women, the most popular colors for purchase of supplies were camouflage, where 62 percent of males and 60 percent females prefer this color. The following popular colors included black, green, and brown. The lowest preference for both male and females included brighter colors- white, yellow, and multicolored. And 15.4 percent women preferred pink, unrelated to breast cancer causes. Overall, 20 percent of men and women did not care about color in purchasing supplies.

Anglers reported similar results, based on responses from 2,523 males and 148 females. Again, the most popular color was black, with 52 percent of males and 38 percent females preferring this color. Sixteen percent of women preferred pink- and the lowest preference was still reflected in orange, yellow, and overall brighter shades. 30 percent overall did not factor color into purchasing.

Factoring color into the decision-making of purchasing equipment did not present a significant difference in men and women. Among hunters and target shooters, 57 percent of men said color was important, and 47 percent of women deemed color important. Anglers showed an even slighter difference, with 53 percent men and 56 percent women who considered color an important factor in purchasing decisions.

Males are more likely to expect pink to boost purchases by women. When asked if women are likely to purchase outdoor equipment goods in pink unrelated to breast cancer awareness, 53 percent of male hunters agreed but only 41 percent of female hunters agreed. Among anglers, 50 percent males and 40 percent females agreed pink boosts such sales.

With a smaller percentage of women, in comparison to men, agreeing that women are likely to purchase pink- just for the sake of pink, rather than for breast cancer - brings to mind the question of whether or not selling pink equipment unrelated to breast cancer is a condescending way to market that audience. Among hunters, 42 percent of men believed it was condescending, and 47 percent women reported it was condescending, or less than half. Responses were similar among anglers with 46 percent males and 50 percent females believed it to be condescending.

On another note, the discrepancy between pink for the color and pink for breast cancer awareness was significant. Among all hunters and anglers, 72 percent and 74 percent respectively, regardless of gender, believed selling pink equipment to promote breast cancer awareness would promote sales. Eighty seven percent of female hunters agreed that pink equipment would sell better if intended to promote awareness, along with 88 percent of female anglers.

Generally for both men and women, marketing better quality outdoor equipment in darker or more neutral shades is preferred; however, unless produced for the awareness of breast cancer or a general cause, producing pink, or feminine colors is not the major concern for women purchasing equipment- in fact, they would prefer black, green, or brown over pink. Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, agrees, “Overall, the differences between mens’ and womens’ responses were minor. It shows that there isn’t a great market to capture among women just by using a specific color.” Tammy Sapp of The Womens’ Outdoor Wire, www.womensoutdoorwire.com, wrote on women’s favoring of pink and also concluded “that color alone may not woo women who are shopping for equipment” and that “pink is effective when used to help support finding a cure for breast cancer but may not be important otherwise.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Administration Ignores $125 Billion Sportfishing Industry in New Ocean and Great Lakes Management Policy

For Immediate Release
Mary Jane Williamson, Communications director
mjwilliamson@asafishing.org, 703-519-9691, x227

Obama Administration Ignores $125 Billion Sportfishing Industry in New Ocean and Great Lakes Management Policy

October 5, 2009 - Alexandria, Va. – A sweeping oceans and Great Lakes management policy document proposed by the Obama Administration will have a significant impact on the sportfishing industry, America’s saltwater anglers and the nation’s coastal communities. The draft policy, the Interim Report of the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, issued on September 17, will govern federal Pacific and Atlantic Ocean waters and Great Lakes resource conservation and management and will coordinate these efforts among federal, state and local agencies. This past June, President Obama created the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, led by the Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), to develop a draft national policy and implementation strategy for conserving and managing the United States ocean territory and the Great Lakes.

“While we are by and large supportive of the intent of the Interim Report, the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) has serious concerns regarding the direction the administration is taking regarding how to manage our nation’s marine and freshwater public resources, choosing a tone of preservation over conservation,” said ASA Vice President Gordon Robertson. “We are very disappointed that the task force failed to recognize recreational fishing’s significant conservation, economic and social contributions and include recreational fishing as a key policy component. The sportfishing community strongly supports healthy and abundant ocean, coastal and fishery resources which have a direct impact on sustaining vibrant local coastal communities. Outdoor recreation, especially recreational fishing, is an integral part of coastal economies throughout this nation and therefore should be included as a priority in any national ocean policy.”

“In regards to recreational fishing specifically, it is a long-standing policy of the federal government to allow public access to public lands and waters for recreational purposes consistent with sound conservation including the nation’s wildlife refuges, national forests, and national parks and should be reflected in a national policy for the oceans and Great Lakes. In fact, the use of public resources by recreational anglers is essential to the conservation model used in this country for fish and wildlife management,” said ASA Ocean Resource Policy Director Patty Doerr.

Doerr further said, “As with any good federal policy decision, discussions about measures that may restrict public access to public resources must involve an open public process, have a solid scientific basis and incorporate specific guidelines on implementation and follow-up. We are very concerned about the abbreviated 90 day timeline which forced the Task Force to issue this policy document prematurely. The implications of such a policy are vast and nationwide. Therefore, the review process should be very deliberate and go well beyond the 30 days public review and comment period which started on September 17.” The Task Force's Interim Report is currently under a 30-day public review and comment period.

Since 1950, with the passage of the Sport Fish Restoration Act, anglers and the sportfishing industry have provided the bulk of funding for fisheries conservation and management in the United States through fishing license fees and the federal manufacturers excise tax on recreational fishing equipment. According to NOAA Fisheries, saltwater anglers contribute over $82 billion annually to the economy. Despite taking only three percent of the saltwater fish harvested each year, the recreational sector creates nearly half the jobs coming from domestic saltwater fisheries.

Robertson concluded, “The sportfishing community believes that recreational activities such as responsibly-managed and regulated recreational fishing deserve full consideration and incorporation in the administration’s ocean and Great Lakes policy. Providing the angling public with access to public resources is no less important than conserving those resources. Therefore, we urge the Task Force to include recreational fishing as a separate and distinct ocean and Great Lakes priority. We also urge all anglers and recreational fishing supports to make their voices heard.”

In July, ASA staff met with White House staff to provide comments to CEQ and the Task Force. In August, ASA staff met with Department of Interior staff to discuss their involvement in the Task Force and provide ASA’s perspective on various ocean policy issues, including marine spatial planning and marine reserves.


The American Sportfishing Association (ASA) is the sportfishing industry’s trade association, committed to looking out for the interests of the entire sportfishing community. We give the industry a unified voice speaking out when emerging laws and policies could significantly affect sportfishing business or sportfishing itself. We invest in long-term ventures to ensure the industry will remain strong and prosperous as well as safeguard and promote the enduring economic and conservation values of sportfishing in America. ASA also represents the interests of America’s 60 million anglers who generate over $45 billion in retail sales with a $125 billion impact on the nation’s economy creating employment for over one million people.