Paul Haertel of the JCAA was at this week’s bluefish scoping hearing, and said the one thing everyone seemed to agree on was there should be a 10-year rebuilding period in order to avoid even more restrictive regulations than we’re now facing.
That particularly makes sense with a species such as the bluefish which has been very cyclical over the ages. As I’ve noted before, there were virtually no adult blues when I was growing up on Long Island — though there were snappers every summer to be caught with my bamboo pole from docks in Merrick during the 1940s.
The adults eventually returned, and we’ve had them ever since. The present scarcity doesn’t seem as bad from my point of view in comparison to my youth. After the early May run of big blues in Manasquan River had been a flop the previous year, they were back in force last spring though, fishing was tough after that — and almost a complete zero in Raritan Bay. Just as with weakfish, I wouldn’t be surprised to see either a rebound this year — or even worse bluefishing.
The ASMFC also got plenty of flack about the unauthorized transfer of recreational bluefish quota to commercial fishermen instead of leaving it unused for conservation. They indicated that much of that transferred quota may not have been used — and are supposed to come up with an accounting.
The comment period is open to March 17. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
After a calm day, small craft warnings are back up through Friday morning. North winds at 15-20 knots with gusts to 25 may be accompanied by light freezing rain in the morning.
The Jamaica from Brielle will be sailing to far offshore wrecks at 1 a.m. Saturday for jumbo porgies, cod, pollock and hake. Call 732 528-5014 for reservations.