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January 3, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 3, 1997

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8 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, Janum'# 3 = Jifiiiar# 9, 1997 Continued from page 6 been somewhat surprised that some people Oppose the petition. We are even more surprised, though, at the sometimes bitter and nasty tone of the opposition, as well as the gross distortion of slUiCe of the facts. We understand that there are some who oppose and resent any land use change. For example, there are probably those who do not like a bed-and- breakfast inn located in an other- wise private residential area (and we therefore find it ironic that the owners of such an inn so vehe- mently oppose our petition). Nev- ertheless, we believe the facts sup- port the petition. To those who oppose our peti- tion so the public may continue to "enjoy" the natural beauty of this environmental gem, please ask yourselves, are you saving the en- vironment by inviting thousands to trample through the area with their dogs, litter and illegal sub- stances? Are our backyards the only places whre the public can stroll along Silver Lake? To those who want to protect the environ- ment, I suggest that a conservation easement is better than a public right-of-way. To those who want Barefootin' Continued from page 7 is 29 years old and weighed in at 65 pounds. The oldest striped bass in cap- tivity is 21 years old. The largest ever netted was caught in North Carolina in 1891 and weighed 125 pounds. "That's a while back so I'm not sure how accurate the information is," said Epifanio, "but it still had to be a huge fish. "I think there will be quite a few of the fish wintering in the deeper, lower bay waters and some will migrate fui'ther south," said Epi- fanio this week. "There's sup- posed to be a large body of stripers that winters in the deeper coastal waters off the coast of the Chesapeake Bay between Cape Charles and Hatteras." Epifanio said those fish will be- gin moving again in April and May when they move up the HudY son River, the Delaware Bay, the Chesapeake Bay and into the fresh waters of the Roanoke area around the Carolina sounds for spawning. "They spawn in fresh water and then begin moving down again. Some of them migrate as far north as Maine in the summer before moving southward again when the water temperature begins falling. There was some controversy over whether there is a distinctive stock of Delaware stripers. The C&D Canal is a major spawning area and that has raised questions over whether the Delaware and Chesa- peake fish are part of the same stock. But there's genetic infor- mation out now that shows differ- ences between the Hudson, Delaware, Chesapeake and to stroll along Silver Lake, I would say that there are other places to stroll, and remind you that prior to 1993, no one knew this right-of-way still existed. We are good neighbors and we ask for your support for our con- servation easement. Victor A. Houlon Dewey Beach In response to Frederick We feel obliged to respond to Dewey Beach Mayor Frederick's letter commenting on our Dec. 13 Letter to the Editor on the situa- tion involving the attempt by a handful of Dewey Beach property owners to close the public access to the walking path around the southern end of Silver Lake. In his letter, the Mayor said that if we had spoken with "anyone" associ- ated with the Town Government. before writing our letter, "correct information" (on the town's posi- tion) could have been obtained. In point of fact, we and Marte Tillman did contact and speak with the following town officials prior to writing our Dec. 13 letter. They were: Town manager Bill Rutherford, Commissioners James Bracken and Faith Duncan, and Mayor Frederick himself. We also spoke with State Senator- elect George Bunting, State Rep- resentative John Schroeder and I Roanoke stocks," said Epifanio. He said that the small stripers spend the first two to three years of their life in the estuaries where they are spawned before joining the ocean migraters. "All those fish that we're seeing in the 36 inch and above range are ocean migraters." Epifanio's charts show that the 28 inch fish, which are the mini- mum keeper size in Delaware, are at least five to seven years old. "The thinking is that those fish have already reached sexual matu- rity and have had a chance to spawn," he said. "Once they get into that 36 inches and up range they're ten years old and older." Based on his information, Epi- fanio sees good striper fishing for the next several years at least "I think there are good stocks of keeper size fish now and from what I understand the Chesapeake Bay spawn in 1996 was the largest ever recorded in 25 years of record keeping. I'm not sure that the regulations - the moi'atoriums and size and quantity limits - are the reason for the dramatic recov- ery of these fish we've seen in re- cent years. But I do know that they haven't hurt and I continue to support them. Fishermen like the idea of limiting out on fish and they have also become conserva- tion-minded." Epifanio also noted that there continues to be a federal moratori- um in place on the taking of striped bass - often referred to as rock fish - in federal coastal wa- ters which begin three miles from the beach. "I think the stripers are around all winter and will be feeding. They'll be there if people want to go for them." DelDOT Deputy Attorney Fred SchrancL While we receive good and encouraging input from the three state officials, it appeared to us that the Dewey Beach officials contacted were only concerned with the procedural matter, i.e., that the town had not been directly notified of the effort by the Dewey Beach property owners to deny the public access to the Sil- ver Lake walking path right of way. Indeed, we were told by sev- eral town officials that this was a "private" issue and not a public one. Thus, the town did not appear to have a position on the sub- stance of the issue - the right of all Dewey Beach residents and visi- tors to have access to the beauty and safety of the Silver Lake path. It is this failure to which we - as long time property owners and residents in the town - strongly object. The Mayor quite correctly stat-- ed in his letter to the editor that "when making decisions concern- ing state property, the higher-or- der question is, "Is the public be- ing served?" We heartily agree with this statement and believe that this is what is really at the heart of the Silver Lake access is- sue. We encourage the Town of Dewey to endorse the rights of the public in this regard and take a formal position against the elimi- nation of those rights at the earli- est possible time. Vivian and Bob Barry Dewey Beach Katz column outrageous I have just finished reading the piece by Nancy Katz. Ordinarily I do not read Nancy Katz' worL but did so this time because it was brought to my attention as an out- rageous piece of journalism. This piece is symptomatic of wha is wrong with peoples' outlook when thinking about their repre- sentatives. Starting with the press, which seems to feel it has the right to make any kind of egregious comment it wishes regarding the elected officials of this country without any consequences. This has the deleterious effect overall of denigrating all elected officials to the lowest common denomina- tor. Editors should remember that those in office were elected by the people. Ms. Katz obviously wants to convince her audience that the President and his appointed offi- cials are similar to her kind, which she describes so knowingly in her piece. In her last sentence she says "'s cool not to acknowledge people like myself there." I thought she described herself very well in the article. Now when I go to the Inaugural events I've been invited to, I'll be on the lookout. Barbara M. Shortley Henlopen Acres Meals on Wheels says thanks On behalf of Meals on Wheels of Lewes & Rehoboth, Inc., I. would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere apprecia- tion and heartfelt thanks to the Lewes Consortium for assisting us with our annual mail campaign fundraiser this year The students, under the direction of their job coach Cathy Ward, stuffed, la- beled, sealed and sorted by zip code 13,750 letters recently mailed to area residents. This fundraiser is one of our major events and the proceeds are used to carry out our mission - to feed the homebound and reduce the al- ternativ.e of institutionalization. We thank the students of Lewes Consortium for their support and we look forward to working with them again in the near future, Kathleen Keusld Director Meals on Wheels of Lewes & Rehoboth Historical Society thanks supporters Thank you for your support and help in publicizing our 1996 Christmas Tour of Lewes. We ap- preciate your cooperation and ef- forts in promoting this annual event. Proceeds from this event are used for the maintenance of our buildings. A tour of this size can only successful with the help of many volunteers-members and friends. Thank you to all who helped in planning and working to make our tour a success. Jane D. 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