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Lewes, Delaware
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January 17, 1997     Cape Gazette
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January 17, 1997

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60 - CAPE GAZETYE, Friday, January 17 - January 23, 1997 Rc:at:tion mixed on upping commercial striper catch OUTDOORS Mike Short der from 13 to 14 inches for com- mercial fisherme.n. The Division is also proposing to establish a minimum size limit on sea bass of nine inches for both recreational and commercial an- glers. Individuals can present their opinions and/or request additional information by writing the Fish- eries Section, Division of Fish and Wildlife, 89 Kings Highway, P.O. Box 1401, Dover, DE. 19903. Written comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 7. The public hearing will be held Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the DNREC Auditorium. Striper season eyed Captain Jerry Btakeslee com- plained that too little public notice was given for the Jan. 9 public hearing on striped bass commer- cial harvests. Blakeslee and others com- plained that there were too few recreational fishermen notified for the hearing held by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commis- sion. But the hearing itself at Delaware's Department of Natur- al Resources and Environmental Control drew a relatively modest crowd of fishermen and the fire- works were sparse. Sea bass, conch, flounder changes debate Jan. 30 The Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife will hold a public hearing on Jan. 30 to discuss size limits, possession limits and sea- sons for summer flounder and minimum size limits for sea bass and conchs. The Division is proposifig to in- crease minimum size limits on summer flounder from 14 to 14.5 inches for recreational anglers; in- crease the number of summer flounder allowed in possession from eight to ten for recreational anglers and to increase the mini- mum size limits on summer floun- Conservation These fishing line recycling boxes at Indian River Inlet offer a way fishermen can protect their environment Discarded line can snare fish or other wildlife and ulti- mately cause their deaths Fishermen should either use a recycling center or cut the discarded line "into short sec- tions so it is not long enough to become tangled with wildlife. Recreational fishermen urged that the status quo be maintained and that commercial fishermen be allowed to again take approxi- mately 90,000 pounds of rockfish again this season. That's consid- ered a very modest amount and commercial fishrmen argued for increasing the amount. One proposal being considered would increase the catch to what is also considered a relatively modest level of approximately 170,000 pounds per year for the entire state. "It is clear to us by every indica- tor we have at our disposal that the Delaware striped bass population is in great shape ... In fact, the de- finition of fully restored may have to be revised upward somewhat in future years because of the un- precedented !arg.e year classes that were produced .iq the Chesapeake in 1993 and ,!99,6,Y: according to a letter from Andy Manus, director of the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife , Option one.would maintain the status quo. Option two would in- crease Delaware's commercial catch and option three would cause dramatic swings or "whip- sawing" in commercial quotas, ac- cording to a handout from the At- lantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Delaware came down on the side of increasing commercial quotas. Manus' letter continued "Apparently there are those who have developed cold feet now that the time is rapidly approaching for us to move on to a higher, yet still controlled, rate of fishing mortali- ty. Specifically, some recreational interests have become reluctant to allow commercial sectors of the fishery to resume harvesting their share of the resource out of fear that increasing the commercial harvest will cause the recreational sector to suffer, and that the stocks will again begin to decline." Recreational fishing interests, including the Delaware Saltwater Sportfishing Association and Delaware Mobile Surfishermen, supported the status quo. Howard Nygood, Blakeslee and Don Churchill were among those sup- porting the status quo. Others worried that the bycatch in the spring by fishermen netting for shad wastes large numbers of striped bass, which must be dis- carded, even if they are already dead. They worried that some- thing needs to be done to protect those fish, some of which are fe- males waiting to spawn. Several commercial fishermen joined the state in supporting in- creased catches. Julie Wagner, Leonard Voss and Mark Craven were among those who supported increasing the catches with option two getting the most support. Delaware individually notified commercial fishermen of the hear- ing (the state has a list based on commercial fishing licenses), but was not able to individually notify recreational fishermen. Continued on page 61 All Yearl LEWES FISHHOUSE & PRODUCE 1130 Highway One 5 Points, Lewes, Delaware , H ] m::* ALASKAN KING CRAB LEG$,)uus , $11.991b. 7_.. -- While supplies last--  DAYS Retail & Wholesale Open Tues.- Sun. - 12 - 6:30 Fri. & Sat.- 11- 7 644-0708 TIDES Ill _,, .ee0 .our home I! warm and cozy...  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