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  #1  
Old 02-08-2012, 08:15 AM
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JakeF JakeF is offline
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Default MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Hi guys,
Please take a moment to read the below letter from Dean Clark of Stripers Forever regarding this very important issue. If you are concerned about the future of striped bass fishing, and can make it to Boston on the 28th, we NEED you to step up and put action behind your convictions. This is where the rubber meets the road.

The Board of Directors of the MA Chapter of Stripers Forever (of which I am a member) met this past Saturday to discuss the upcoming hearing and what our game plan should be going in. The biggest challenge before us is getting folks to actually SHOW UP at the hearing and testify in support of this legislation. I know that it's on a Tuesday, and most of us have jobs, etc., but I am making the commitment to take a day off and be there for this and I need you to do the same.

We have already prepared many short pieces of testimony that you can just read before the Committee if you are uncomfortable drafting your own. All you have to do is show up, stand up when it's your turn, and read.

As Dean mentions below, we're also working on providing transportation from a number of different locations for as many as we can.

PLEASE seriously consider taking this step in support of the fish that we all love.
~ Jake


Quote:
Folks,
I am asking my friends and fishing acquaintances for a real favor. It is not often that I am so compelled but this is one of those important moments that I feel it is necessary to act…to get off my butt and actually make a difference.

As you all know the stripers are in trouble and that the commercial influence and pressure on the regulators is making the situation worse. There is a Conservation Bill plus two others that will directly impact wild striped bass coming up for a hearing on Feb 28th at the State House in Boston..... and we need live bodies to make a statement... we need your help..... we need you to be there if it’s at all possible!

Our plans are to provide transportation from the Cape/So. Shore, metro west and the North shore to make it easy for you to attend. Invite a friend to join you. Your presence and testimony will be very important.

There will be three Bills heard that day:
1) The Conservation Bill which prohibits the commercial sale of wild stripers, has a slot limit component, reduces the recreational harvest by 50% and sets the commercial quota aside for conservation.
2) A health Bill that asks for the testing of all wild striped bass for potentially harmful contaminants and the issuing of warnings if appropriate.
3) A Bill that directs the State to manage the wild striped bass for its greatest economic value/return to the Commonwealth.

There is going to be a tidal wave of opposition to all three Bills from commercial interests for the obvious reasons. However we have some strong Bill sponsors and feel that with a significant turn-out we have a really good chance of making progress….. of saving our bass.

This is really important. I don't ask this sort of thing very often. Please be there if you can. We, you and I have a real opportunity to personally make a difference in the conservation of our wild and threatened striped bass. Come to Boston and let’s get these Bills passed.

Please contact me for more information and for transportation details. Thank you so much for helping out.
Dean Clark
Co-Chair MA Stripers Forever
[email protected]
P.S. if you cannot make it, you can email a letter supporting the Bills. Contact me for details. Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 02-11-2012, 02:35 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Good luck Jake.....As usual , you're leading the battle... Sent in letters..just wish I could be there in person to help..This is a very important issue for the stripers all along the East coast.....Your Pal , Jim
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:09 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Jake....I posted on our west coast Sol forum asking for letters from the members in support of the Gamefish Bill..Hopefully they will respond with letters from Visiters to your state, & how they hope the fishery doesn't continue to decline,& will come back for future trips etc..The more mail the better !.....Jim
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Old 02-11-2012, 08:07 AM
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Jim, thanks so much for your steadfast support.
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Old 02-15-2012, 03:43 PM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Every one should be thanking you as you seem to be the main guy doing all the work ! Your name comes up always for the fishery & the enviroment..We need more guys like you...Look how the menhaden issue turned out.....Any time you want to move to the west coast, we would welcome you with open arms..Our fishery here is still bad....Jim
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Old 02-24-2012, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

If anyone is interested in attending, please contact me ASAP.
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Old 02-26-2012, 02:35 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Well Jake...Just a few days left..Letters are in & hope all the members are doing the same..This will certainly bring the stripers back if this goes tru..Hopefully the politicians understand how important this is even for the state..Iv'e got my fingers & toes crossed for this vote...Good luck my friend , If this passes, you'll hear me cheering from the west coast......Jim
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Old 02-29-2012, 07:38 AM
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JakeF JakeF is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Hi guys,
The hearing room at the State House was packed to overflowing yesterday. I arrived about 10:00am and got in line to sign-in to speak, by the time I got to the sign-in book it was already on page 7, and about 4 more pages were filled after me. They allowed Senators & State Reps who were in attendance to speak first (led by pro commercial fishing "champion" and MA ASMFC delegate Sarah Peake) , followed by a few panels from various groups, then took additional testimony in the order that people signed up. It was nearly 3:45pm by the time my name was called and I spoke in favor of the bills on behalf of the Club, and testimony was still being heard when I had to leave. I was cornered by commercial fishermen as soon as I exited the hearing room, and spent another 15 minutes or so defending our position.

Those in favor of gamefish status were outnumbered by those not in favor by a ratio of about 3 to 2 at best, but I felt we made a good showing and some good arguments. That said, I doubt very much that any of these bills will make it out of committee this year given the reaction and statements made by committee members. The committee chairpersons were both clearly on the side of the commercial fishermen.

Wednesday March 21st is "Joint Rule 10" day. This is the day that Committees have to take action on bills for the session. These are the options: vote the bill out favorably, vote the bill out unfavorably, refer to another committee, put them in a "study Order" or request an extension to work on them in Committee. Favorable and unfavorable bills go to the calendar and are actionable on the floor. If the bills are reported out unfavorably, we could seek to debate the committee action and overturn the unfavorable committee vote on the floor. If they put the bills in a study order (which is likely), we should fight this as it basically kills them for the session.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us.
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Old 02-29-2012, 01:19 PM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

I have a sorry heart today..I had such great expectations for a positive vote..I wonder why they didn't majority vote this issue in as the bass are worth many times as much sport fishing than commersial take..Makes me think there are under lining reasons...In California issues, we have a saying " water don't flow down river...It flows to money"..Me thinks in Ma it's the saying" money flows to politician campaign funds"..I believe it's the same in all of the big business world...Well...we can't give up, since it's the fishery that suffers greatly...Have to keep pounding the issue till they can't ignore you any more..Knowing you ! you'll be at the fore front of the battle..Glad there was a good turnout of fishermen at the meeting..It's just a battle, not the entire war...Hang in there guys.... Jim
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Old 03-02-2012, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

I've been through these things many, many times.. spoke many times back when i was one of he few voices of the public.. as you notice.. these are always scheduled when most folk have to work.... they always end the same... votes are bought and paid for in advance... it all is a big dog and pony show... hopefully some day it will change...
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:33 PM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Roccus...You're right about this issue..I'm sure theres money paid for campaign funding in Mass., just like it is in California..We also just lost a bill that will allow two giant pipes to pump more water down south for growers..Its making a few individuals very rich, & they certainly donate to their favorite politicians,,We're loseing because it wouldn't pass the voters, So they change the law which allows them to build without a vote..And we pay for it anyway...This means the end of our fishery .Stripers, Salmon, shad, steelhead,& others have deminished...Salmons been closed for 2 years now...Thats why so many guys come to your state to fish bass..And now you're in the same boat as us.It really pisses me off that THEY can do what they want & get away with it. People don't want it & they get away with it anyway...I'm really sorry you seem to have the same problem we have...ROTTEN POLITICIANS with no consience what ever !We have to remember when voting these idiots in again..At least the menhaden issue won out..Thats a plus...Don't give up guys, cuz thats what THEY want...no oposition at all.....Jim
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:06 AM
ironskippy ironskippy is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

Stumbled across the support for the bills here and thought I should mention why the recreational fishermen of Mass were against them.

The major recreational organizations that represent Mass fishermen (RFA, MassBass, etc) were adamately opposed to the bills. South Shore Guides and Stellwagen Bank Charter Boat Assoc. also were against the bills.

When you are sent materials such as the following, I can understand why you would be supportive of the bills.
" 1) The Conservation Bill which prohibits the commercial sale of wild stripers, has a slot limit component, reduces the recreational harvest by 50% and sets the commercial quota aside for conservation."

Unfortunately, the actual truth is that the slot limit contained in the bill would actually increase the recreational kill of striped bass in this state by an exponential amount. One needs only to look north to the state of Maine to see what will happen. Maine killed 1900 percent more stripers the year the slot was put in place. Massachusetts would likely have to impose closed periods to the take of striped bass if that were to become law here because we would be out of compliance with asmfc rules. As a guide and a member of a family that owns a bait shop, that would have meant the death of two longtime operations. Use your own experience to tell you how many 3lb stripers would end up on a grill from biting a sea clam, zara spook, or Kastmaster. All those additional baby bass killed would have never spawned to propagate the species.

It is important to remember that you are not advocating a sound biological policy formed from sound science, you are instead speaking in favor of the ideology of one guy from Maine. The result of Maine's allowance of the take of juvenile bass speaks for itself. That slot limit would be devasting to the coastwide migratory stock if it was the rule in a high catch state such as Massachusetts. The committe of legislators considered the bill in good faith. They, like you and I, want to protect the resource and that is why they formed the opinions they did. As the recreational organizations said at the hearings, stripers forever does NOT speak for the recreational fishermen of Massachusetts and that is why the bills will fail - not because of some hidden money trail

john b
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Old 03-07-2012, 04:49 AM
gregorjim gregorjim is offline
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Default Re: MA Gamefish Hearing on February 28th, 2012

iron skippy...I have not seen you post ever, nor is there any info on you in profile..You're a mystery man ? I'm surprised you didn't push for a gamefish issue without the slot..This would certainly help the fishery...I guess I don't trust commercials to do the right thing..I feel if you're making money on fishing & temptation rears its head, then bad things happen,,Look on the poachers post..Also hard to tell whats going on in their boats.where in recreationals, you can tell if they're over limiting''I find it hard to believe the slot would dramatically hurt the bass fishery..Perhaps its bait guys that can't release fish ..Maybe a circle hook restriction can be implemented as to our California salmon . I do know we ( california) anglers never attempted to fish Halibut ,as there was none to be had, only a occasional by catch while fishing stripers..The DFG found that 13 commercial boats were literally cleaning out the major schools where they hung out near the cliff house area in San Francisco...Also found that many of the Comm ercials were over limiting etc..Bottom line was the Dfg bought out the licences & that was that..Took about one year & like a miracle, halibut started showing up all over the San Fran Bay & even were caught off beaches...Its been a few years now, but they're a triving fishery, especially since our bass & salmon have been totally destroyed by water grabbers from Southern California Agri growers,,,These growers make multi-millions off the water & want more..They pay big bucks to campaign funds for the political votes..Even put striper irradication bills to cease our fight over water..They figure if the fish are gone, then the water opposition will cease...I'm sure the same problems occur with the big commercial interests too... A lot of us travel to your stae to enjoy the fishery..Allmost all don't keep any fish at, just catch & release....It's been proven that the fish are about 20 times more valuble as sportfish than as commercial take... So why did they vote come out that way unless a lot of pressure from the commercials....Its the same as our halibut fishery,,A few make big bucks of the fish , where as now the whole bay area & the outside beaches trive greatly with sportfishing, plus much more money brought into the area,,,And you if you are a guide & your family in bait shops would know , that this gamefish issue helps everyone..Its a chain reaction of wealth brought into a much bigger area, than a few commercialsIt really pains me to see your once fantastic fishery go downhill..History repeats as it was depleated before because of overfishing, mostly by commercials...then finally brought back..Only to have the same commercials wiping the bass out..Think the state would have learned a lesson the first time...But Money talks...Theres also the poaching problems, both by commercials & sportfishermen..I think Judges should be accoutable for their decissions as to linient sentences to repeat offenders....Too many slap on the wrist for serial types..I even checked into a case last year about a guy caught 40 times & goes from 2 yrs jail down to 6 days..I wrote the judge asking why? No response !..Any way I hope you're not a commercial mystery man ! And will do your best for the bass fishery , which is my intent..If you are who you say then you will straighten out the slot issue & get whats left of your fishery back to gamefish status..Your state is vital as they really get hit hard while in Mass.. Jim
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