Saturday, February 19, 2011
MAINE SUPER, CONSERVATION AGENCY ON ITS WAY TO REALITY? SALTWATER LICENSE MAY LEAD TO IMPROVED STRIPED BASS FISHING.
MAINE SUPER, CONSERVATION AGENCY ON ITS WAY TO REALITY?
SALTWATER LICENSE MAY LEAD TO IMPROVED STRIPED BASS FISHING.
Proposed Maine Legislative documents LD 210 and 308 might be the beginning of an effort to combine the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) into one super agency of conservation.
The LD 308 summary reads as follows: “This bill repeals the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 12, section 6312 establishing the saltwater recreational fishing registry and Title 12, section 6032 establishing the Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation and Management Fund and does the following.
It provides for voluntary saltwater recreational fishing registration.
It directs the Commissioner of Marine Resources to work with the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a system that allows a person to register on the voluntary saltwater fishing registry online, by checking a box on a freshwater fishing license or watercraft registration or by mailing in a postcard distributed by the departments.
It prohibits the establishment of a fee for registering on the saltwater recreational fishing registry and directs the Commissioner of Marine Resources and the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to administer the saltwater recreational fishing registry within the departments' existing resources.”
Sponsor of the LD 308 is Representative Jonathan McKane and co sponsors are: Rep. Chipman of Portland, Rep. Olsen of Phippsburg, Rep. Prescott of Topsham, Sen. Snowe-Mello of Androscoggin, Rep Tilton of Harrington and Sen. Trahan of Lincoln.
Another Bill, LD 210 sponsored by Senator Trahan of Lincoln is about the same concept and reads as follows: “This bill repeals the laws that established the current saltwater recreational fishing registry and the Marine Recreation Fishing Conservation and Management Fund and does the following.
1. It establishes a saltwater recreational fishing registry under the jurisdiction of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
2. It directs the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to establish a registry system that allows a person to register online, through an agent or in conjunction with the purchase of a freshwater fishing license.
3. It provides that a fee or online system fee, and in most cases an agent fee, may not be charged to a person registering on the registry.
4. It requires the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to administer the saltwater recreational fishing registry within the department's existing resources and provides that the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the Commissioner of Marine Resources may not expand enforcement activities regarding the registry beyond existing department resources unless federal funding is secured to cover the costs of those expanded enforcement operations.”
The Bill is cosponsored by: Representative CLARK of Millinocket
Senator COLLINS of York
Senator LANGLEY of Hancock
Speaker NUTTING of Oakland
President RAYE of Washington
Representative SANDERSON of Chelsea
Senator SCHNEIDER of Penobscot
Senator SNOWE-MELLO of Androscoggin
Representative TILTON of Harrington
It appears that these legislations disguise a step closer to combining at least two state agencies into one. Why would a saltwater permit/license/registry be administered by a fresh water agency? And why would bills pointing to Inland Fisheries and Wildlife management be assigned to the Legislative Marine Fisheries Committee? Doesn’t make any sense to me. Mix apple juice with orange juice and you don’t get citrus juice.
I am one of the first to admit that Maine’s current saltwater registry law is a convoluted system that needs change. My solution is to have a real saltwater fishing license, controlled and administrated by a real saltwater agency – DMR – and use the funds to enhance Maine’s valuable, recreational, saltwater fisheries. No money coming into DMR means NO Enforcement, NO Enhancement, NO Future.
Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife finances its operation by selling license to hunt, fish, trap, and registers numerous machines used in the outdoors. Maine’s Department of Marine Resources is expected to address recreational saltwater issues with no internal funding mechanism. So, it must use commercial funds to do anything for the recreational community under its jurisdiction. I don’t think the commercial fishing community wants its money being used on recreational issues!
The old adage, if it costs nothing you get nothing in return is most appropriate to LD’s 210 and 308. People should contact their legislators to appose these bills if they want Maine to have a future on our coastal shores, especially the valuable striped bass fishery.
Ever wonder how the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine might feel about one super conservation agency? Call and ask them. If they support these two legislative bills we may be seeing the beginning of the end to two separate conservation agencies, one for inland and one for coastal. Maine – “TheWay Life Should Be” – should have good fisheries management to support that motto. A real saltwater fishing license will help to establish good marine fisheries programs.
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Maine has new saltwater fishing regulations. Below is the new information on law changes on Maine’s salt waters. Note the below is directly from DMR so there aren’t any interpretations.
DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES
Chapter 42 - Striped Bass
42.01 Statewide Striped Bass Size Restrictions, Harvest Methods
1. Method of Taking.
A. It is unlawful to fish for or take striped bass in the waters of the state territorial waters, except by hook and line. It is unlawful to use a gaff to land any striped bass.
B. It is unlawful to use multiple (more than two) barbed or barbless treble hooks on any artificial lure or flies while fishing for striped bass in territorial waters.
C. It is unlawful to use treble hooks when using bait.
The following becomes effective January 1, 2013:
It is unlawful to use any hook other than a circle hook when using bait. For purposes of this chapter the definition of circle hook means “a non-offset hook with a point that points 90º
back toward the shaft of the hook”.
D. Any striped bass legally taken from the territorial waters shall be immediately released alive into the water from which it was taken, or killed at once. Any striped bass killed becomes part of the daily bag limit in accordance with Chapter 42.02.
2. Size Restrictions.
It is unlawful to take or possess striped bass which are less than 20 inches long or greater than 26 inches total length but less than 40 inches total length. It is unlawful to possess striped bass unless the fish are whole with head on and are between 20 and 26 inches total length or 40 inches and greater total length.
42.02 Striped Bass - Limits, Personal Use
It is unlawful for any person to fish for, or take or possess striped bass in or from territorial waters the waters of the state, except for personal use. The sale of wild striped bass caught for personal use or by commercial fisheries in other States or jurisdictions is prohibited in the State of Maine.
It is unlawful for any person to take or possess more than one (1) striped bass each day which may be between 20 and 26 inches in total length or 40 inches or greater in total length.
Note: No other changes are proposed in Chapter 42.
DEPARTMENT OF MARINE RESOURCES
Chapter 43 - Bluefish
43.01 Bluefish Limits
1. Method of Taking
A. Daily and Possession Limits.
Except as provided in 43.01(BA)(1) it shall be unlawful for any person to take, catch, kill, or possess more than 3 bluefish per day.
(1)B. Exemptions. The daily limit and possession limit shall not apply to persons licensed
under 12 M.R.S.A. §6501 and §6421. The possession limit shall not apply to persons licensed under 12 M.R.S.A. §6851 and §6852.
B. It is unlawful to use multiple (more than two) barbed or barbless treble hooks on any artificial lure or flies while fishing for bluefish.
C. It is unlawful to use treble hook(s) when using bait.
The following becomes effective January 1, 2013:
It is unlawful to use any hook other than a circle hook when using bait. For purposes of this chapter the definition of circle hook means “a non-offset hook with a point that points 90º back toward the shaft of the hook”.
D. Any striped bass killed during the take of bluefish becomes part of the daily bag limit in accordance with Chapter 42.02.
Chapter 43 Bluefish
The Department is required to work within the framework provided by the ASMFC Management Plan that limits options when considering state management plan changes and
has explored rule changes that could protect bluefish. Fishing for bluefish with bait is an efficient means of catching bluefish during the spring, summer, and fall and a popular method
of catching all sizes of bluefish. There are advances in gear types that can enhance the conservation of current bluefish stocks without imposing stricter bag limits, seasons, or
closures. One area where improved conservation could occur is reduction of the discard mortality for bluefish caught and released by recreational anglers. The discard mortality for bluefish is~69% for bluefish that swallow a baited hook, and/or are hooked in the stomach, and then released. A study conducted to look at the survival of bluefish caught and released by hook and line (Williams, E.H. 1995. Survival of fish captured by hook and released. Masters Thesis,
University of Rhode Island, Kingston. Studies conducted separately on striped bass, for comparison to the bluefish studied, indicate that mortality with the use of circle hooks can be as low as 0.08, or less than 1%. One of the best studies conducted may be found online at
This was a Maryland Coastal Conservation Association (CCA), Maryland Charter Boat
Association, and Maryland Saltwater Sportsman Association Study.
Regarding multiple treble hooks; based on angler and staff observations when two or more sets of treble hooks are “impaled” in a bluefish the amount of handling time is greatly
increased resulting in injuries that subsequently lead to increased mortality It is the Department’s position that these conservation measures are necessary and takes into consideration requests to allow tackle inventory to be sold (similar to the process used when converting from lead sinkers to less toxic sinker materials that lessen or eliminated
the tackle shop’s economic impact); and to use the next two seasons as a period for education of the public and guides, plus address the use of bait on treble hooks to reduce deep-hooking
mortality, Chapter 43.01(1)(C) would be modified to delay the use of bait on hooks other than circle hooks until January 1, 2013. Plus, during the interim period, as suggested by comment, the use of bait on treble hooks would be prohibited, thus giving an interim period to adjust to the new restrictions. These modifications are not considered substantive changes to the proposed rules as they offer a mechanism to find a balance to the range of comments and suggestions.
A technical correction has been made to Chapter 43.01(1)(B) removing the text ‘in territorial waters’. This phrase was removed based upon a question that resulted in a review to
find that this should not have been in these rules and was a typo carried over from the similar striped bass rules. Similarly, section D was also found to be unnecessary and removed based
on a commenter’s question regarding the use of bluefish when fishing for tuna.