Popular Posts

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Upper Delaware Fishing Report

It's hard to believe we're nearing summer's end, especially when the Upper Delaware fished like the spring for the past couple of months. High water brought about by a wetter than usual summer led to generous water releases from both the West Branch and East Branch reservoirs. The result was cool water throughout the upper reaches of the Main Stem of the Delaware and happy, happy trout!

We had excellent streamer fishing on both branches of the Delaware including the upper section of the East Branch. More often than not the hatches were outstanding with big mayflies, isonychias and Cahills being the fly du jour on the Main Stem. Sulfurs, olives and terrestrials dominated the menu on the rest of the system with sporadic appearances of stenos.

Those who extended the effort of pounding the water with streamers were aptly rewarded with some terrific browns. Evening hatches and spinner falls were the icing on the cake. There were times when the fog created surreal fishing conditions and made seeing rising fish a challenge unto itself.

The last week or so saw more moderate water levels as the runoff and releases subsided. Nymphing has come more into play while waiting for rising fish. Dries and droppers have been as productive as anything else and provides more of a visual than swinging flies or bottom bouncing. This should continue as we await the hebes, caddis, and olives to increase their showing.

Tricos have been hatching while white flies have so far been scarce. Another spurt of isonychias is likely before it's all over. You can check out a hatch chart to see what should be or is likely to emerge.

Summers isn't over yet and water temperature and flow still play a critical role as to the quality of the fishing. Word from the grapevine is New York City agreed to increase the flows through September by 250 cfs above what the current water flow plan (FFMP) calls for. If this turns out to be true the fishing should stay sweet. Water flow data, including temperatures and a guide to wading the system can be found here: Delaware River Water Flow Data

The higher water flows we've seen this season has led to an increase in the survival of young trout. More water means safe haven from predators and it's been wonderful to see the large number of baby browns and rainbows in the river. Hopefully we'll get realistic water flows in the coming years so these fish can flourish.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Shad & River Herring

ASMFC Shad & River Herring Board Approves Draft Amendment 3 for Public Comment

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Shad and River Herring Management Board has approved for public comment Draft Amendment 3 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Shad and River Herring. The Draft Amendment proposes a suite of monitoring and management measures to protect, enhance, and restore American shad stocks to sustainable levels.

The Draft Amendment was developed in response to the findings of the 2007 benchmark stock assessment for American shad, which indicates that American shad stocks are currently at all-time lows and do not appear to be recovering. It identified the primary causes for the continued stock declines as a combination of excessive total mortality, habitat loss and degradation, and migration and habitat access impediments. Although improvement has been seen in a few stocks, many remain severely depressed compared to historic levels.

The Draft Amendment proposes modification to current coast-wide commercial and recreational management measures. Commercial management options include reducing harvest, closing fisheries with exceptions for systems with a sustainable fishery, closing fisheries on mixed stocks, and a coast-wide moratorium. Recreational fisheries management options include reducing harvest, implementing a licensing or permitting program, closing fisheries with exceptions for fisheries with a sustainable system, allowing a catch and release fishery only, and a coast-wide moratorium.

To improve data collection, the Draft Amendment proposes increased fisheries-independent and dependent monitoring. This includes monitoring of juvenile and adult American shad stocks; hatchery production; and commercial, recreational, and by-catch fisheries. Additionally, the Draft Amendment proposes increased coordination of monitoring activities for river systems under shared jurisdiction, as well as between freshwater and marine agencies.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Amendment 3, either through attending public hearings or providing written comments (a subsequent press release on scheduled public hearings will be released once the hearings have been finalized). Copies of Draft Amendment will be available by August 28 and can be obtained by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400 or via the Commission's website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM on October 16, 2009 and should be forwarded to Kate Taylor, FMP Coordinator, 1444 'Eye' Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Amendment 3).

Friday, August 21, 2009

ASMFC Striped Bass Board Approves Draft Addendum II for Public Comment

ASMFC Striped Bass Board Approves Draft Addendum II for Public Comment

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board has approved for public comment Draft Addendum II to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Draft Addendum proposes to allow unused coastal commercial quota of striped bass to be rolled over from one year to the next. Options include state eligibility and the amount of unused quota that may be carried over. The Draft Addendum also outlines procedures for implementing and monitoring quota roll over. Under the Draft Addendum, roll over would be prohibited if the fishing mortality rate exceeds the Plan's target or if the spawning stock biomass is below the Plan's target.

The existing management program addresses coastal commercial quota overages, requiring payback of an overage in the subsequent year, yet it is silent on coastal commercial quota underages. Since the implementation of Amendment 6, coastal commercial quota underages have been more common than overages. While avoiding a quota overage signifies managerial success, a quota underage represents lost opportunity to commercial harvesters. Quota underages may result from changes in fish abundance or distribution, environmental factors, fishing effort, and regulatory measures.

The Draft Addendum presents a hypothetical situation to analyze the potential effect of allowing roll over. Had all unused coastal commercial quota in 2003 through 2007 been rolled over and then harvested in 2004 through 2008, the average increase in the total coastal commercial quota would have been less than 15 percent and the average increase in the total coastwide harvest less than two percent. An analysis by the Technical Committee indicated that a 15 percent increase in the coastal commercial quotas would have a limited effect on the fishing mortality rate, and that large fluctuations in recreational harvest, which is not regulated by quota, present a greater level of risk of exceeding the fishing mortality target or threshold. However, the Technical Committee also noted that the potential effect of roll over on the stock increases if quota underages occur due to population decline. Other concerns included the two to three year lag in reporting the fishing mortality ra!
te estimate for any given year and that allowing roll over could provide an incentive to under report harvest.

Fishermen and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on Draft Addendum II, either through attending public hearings or providing written comments (a subsequent press release on scheduled public hearings will be released once the hearings have been finalized). Copies of Draft Addendum II will be available by August 28 and can be obtained by contacting the Commission at (202) 289-6400 or via the Commission's website at www.asmfc.org under Breaking News. Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 PM (EST) on October 8, 2009 and should be forwarded to Nichola Meserve, FMP Coordinator, 1444 'Eye' Street, NW, Sixth Floor, Washington, DC 20005; (202) 289-6051 (FAX) or at comments@asmfc.org (Subject line: Draft Addendum II).

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mercury in the Nation's Streams

U.S. Department of the Interior Office of the Secretary - U.S. Department of the Interior - www.doi.gov - News Release

August 19, 2009

Barbara Scudder (USGS), bscudder@usgs.gov, (608) 821-3832

Jennifer LaVista (USGS), jlavista@usgs.gov, (703) 648-4432
Study Reveals Mercury Contamination in Fish Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Scientists detected mercury contamination in every fish sampled in 291 streams across the country, according to a U.S. Geological Survey study released today.

About a quarter of these fish were found to contain mercury at levels exceeding the criterion for the protection of people who consume average amounts of fish, established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More than two-thirds of the fish exceeded the U.S. EPA level of concern for fish-eating mammals.

“This study shows just how widespread mercury pollution has become in our air, watersheds, and many of our fish in freshwater streams,” said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. “This science sends a clear message that our country must continue to confront pollution, restore our nation’s waterways, and protect the public from potential health dangers.”

Some of the highest levels of mercury in fish were found in the tea-colored or “blackwater” streams in North and South Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Louisiana — areas associated with relatively undeveloped forested watersheds containing abundant wetlands compared to the rest of the country. High levels of mercury in fish also were found in relatively undeveloped watersheds in the Northeast and the Upper Midwest. Elevated levels are noted in areas of the Western United States affected by mining. Complete findings of the USGS report, as well as additional detailed studies in selected streams, are available online.

For a national listing of fish advisories from the Environmental Protection Agency, click here.

Mercury, a neurotoxin, is one of the most serious contaminants threatening our nation’s waters. The main source of mercury to natural waters is mercury that is emitted to the atmosphere and deposited onto watersheds by precipitation. However, atmospheric mercury alone does not explain contamination in fish in our nation’s streams. Naturally occurring watershed features, like wetlands and forests, can enhance the conversion of mercury to the toxic form, methylmercury. Methylmercury is readily taken up by aquatic organisms, resulting in contamination in fish.

“This study improves our understanding of where mercury ends up in fish in freshwater streams,” said USGS scientist Barbara Scudder. “The findings are critical for decision-makers to effectively manage mercury sources and to better anticipate concentrations of mercury and methylmercury in unstudied streams in comparable environmental settings.”

The USGS studied mercury contamination in fish, bed sediment and water from 291 streams across the nation, sampled from 1998 to 2005. Atmospheric mercury is the main source to most of these streams — coal-fired power plants are the largest source of mercury emissions in the United States — but 59 of the streams also were potentially affected by gold and mercury mining. Since USGS studies targeted specific sites and fish species, the findings may not be representative of mercury levels in all types of freshwater environments across the United States.

All 50 states have mercury monitoring programs, and 48 states issued fish-consumption advisories for mercury in 2006, the most recent year of national-scale reporting to the EPA. The EPA regulates mercury emissions to air, land and water. In February 2009, the EPA announced that it intends to control air emissions of mercury from coal-fired power plants by issuing a rule under the Clean Air Act.

For a podcast regarding today’s announcement, click here.


2009 Storm Names

The National Weather Service's names for the 2009 Atlantic tropical storms:


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

NY PFD Requirements Change

Life Jacket Wear Requirements

Beginning November 1, 2009, Section 40, Subdivision 1 of the Navigation Law shall be amended by adding new paragraph (e), which reads as follows:

No owner or operator of a pleasure vessel less than twenty-one feet, including rowboats, canoes, and kayaks shall permit its operation, between November first and May first, unless each person on board such vessel is wearing a securely fastened United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size when such vessel is underway.

Failure to wear a lifejacket on such vessels will be considered a violation under Section 73-c if the Navigation Law and is punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $250, applicable to either the operator and/or the owner of the vessel.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup

Ocean Conservancy's 24th Annual International Coastal Cleanup to be Held Saturday, September 19th: Online Registration Opens with 2,500 Cleanup Sites Around the World, Thousands More to be Added Soon
Sign up to Clean up! Locate a Cleanup site near you and join the hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world Start a Sea Change this September

Media Contact: Tom McCann

August 4, 2009

(Washington DC) — Today, Ocean Conservancy announces a new searchable online registration system for the International Coastal Cleanup helping volunteers find a Cleanup site in their hometown. The International Coastal Cleanup is the world's largest volunteer effort to help protect the ocean. Last year, nearly 400,000 volunteers hit their local beaches, lakes, and rivers with a common mission of improving the health of the ocean and waterways. On one day, they removed and tallied 6.8 million pounds of debris, from 6,485 sites in 100 countries and 42 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. To find a 2009 Cleanup site near you visit: www.oceanconservancy.org and search on a world map or by town or zip code.

"The ocean is our life support system yet marine debris continues to threaten its health. We know that trash travels. Wherever we live, each of us has a responsibility to prevent litter from trashing our beaches and hurting coastal economies, injuring and killing marine wildlife, and choking an already threatened ocean ecosystem," said Vikki Spruill President and CEO of Ocean Conservancy. "Trash in the ocean is one of the most widespread pollution problems threatening our ocean and waterways and it's entirely preventable."

Each year, volunteers from around the world spend a few hours removing trash and debris from beaches, lakes, rivers and other waterways keeping track of every piece of trash they find. Ocean Conservancy uses that information to produce the world’s only annual country-by-country, state-by-state index of the problem of marine debris. The report is shared with the public, industry, and government officials as we work together to end to problem of marine debris.

“The Cleanup gives everyone a chance to be a part of an important global movement to end the tide of ocean trash,” says Dianne Sherman, Director of the International Coastal Cleanup. “This new automated registration system will help volunteers from Boston to Bangladesh find a site near them and join in the effort to start a sea change."

Coca-Cola has been supporting the International Coastal Cleanup since 1995 and has been the lead sponsor since 2005 raising awareness of the issue of marine debris and the personal responsibility we all share in solving the problem. In 2008, Coca-Cola activated a network of over 50,000 employees and associates in 35 countries to help clear beaches and waterways of debris. As part of its $20 billion, 10-year initiative to address climate change, Bank of America has supported the International Coastal Cleanup for the past several years, with thousands of associates participating in Cleanup events across the United States and around the world. Other national sponsors include Booz Allen Hamilton; The Dow Chemical Company; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Philip Morris USA, an Altria Company; and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

For additional information about the International Coastal Cleanup, and to sign up to be a part of the next wave of volunteers visit: www.oceanconservancy.org/cleanup