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January 25, 2010     Cape Gazette
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January 25, 2010

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Cape Gazette SPORTS & OUTDOORS FRIDAY, JANUARY 22 - MONDAY, JANUARY 25, 2010 87 Recreational, commercial anglers to. gather in D.C. Feb. 24 few boats did run for A tog last week with varying results. The ones who were able to run 30 miles southeast returned with fair numbers of fish. Those who tried waters closer to shore found very cold water and no fish. I don't expect this to change in the near future. To our south out of Virginia Beach the rockfish have moved up to 20 miles offshore and as far south as Oregon Inlet. Tog action was fair over offshore wrecks. Boats from Oregon In- let had limit catches of yeUowfm tuna one day and nothing the next. Hatteras Inlet boats are jigging up blackfin tuna, amber- jack and false albacore. MARCH ON WASHINGTON - On Wednesday, Feb. 24, recreational and commercial fishermen will meet on the steps of the Capitol Building in support of bills to put some flexibility in the feder- al fisheries management laws. Right now we expect large groups of fishermen from the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast regions where the feds have dosed the red snapper fishery and from the East Coast where the recreational sea bass fishery has been shut down. Both fisheries have a good population of the species in question, but because of the way the latest version of the law is written, the councils and the ad- ministration have no choice but to close the fishery. The law says overfishing must be stopped, no ffs, ands or buts. In the case of sea bass, the Ma- fine ReCreational Fishery Statis- tical Survey (MRFSS) indicated recreational fishermen were overfishing the stock after the Mid-Atlantic Council's Science and Statistical Committee had said the stock was not over- fished and overfishing was'not occurring. Even though MRFSS was declared bad science by a federal review board and the government is in the process of replacing the system, it remains the best available science and is still used to manage fish stocks. In addition, two weeks ago the Mid-Atlantic Council declared the sea bass stock was currently twice as large as it previously had calculated. We still don't know what this will mean when the current closure is over this spring. If the bills to allow more flexi- bility in the current manage- ment process pass, managers would have to consider all as- pects of the equation, not just one prediction from one flawed survey. They would also have to consider the social-economic ef- fects of their decisions. Flexibility would also help flounder fishermen because the time set for a complete rebuild- ing of a stock would no longer be written in stone. In the case of flounder the stock continues to grow, but because the law re- quires rebuilding in 10 years we continue to suffer with high size limit and small bag limits. An extension to 13 years for com- plete rebuilding of the flounder stock has helped, but since no one knows if the flounder stock has ever been as high as the cur- rent goal, it may not be possible to reach that number with an in- finite amount of time. As the law is written, if we don't hit the goal in 13 years the feds could close the flounder fishery indefi- nitely in spite of the fact that there are more flounder than at any time in recorded history. These laws were written with good intentions, but like some- one once said, "The mad to heil is paved with good intentions," People who would like to see an end to all fishing have used the new laws in an attempt to put the fishing industry out of busi- ness. The two bills proposed in the House and Senate would still allow managers to close a fish- ery that was really in trouble while giving them some flexibili- ty to moderate restrictions where common sense indicates harsh restrictions will do more harm than good. I would like to see as many Delaware fishermen as possible join me on the steps of the Capi- tol in support of these bills. The Delaware Fisherman's Alliance will be sponsoring a bus that will depart from Old Inlet Bait and Tackle at 9 a.m., Feb. 24. Right now the cost is estimated at $25 per person. Bring a box lunch, and the bus has a bath- room Call Clark or Butch Evans at 227-7974 to make a reserva- tion. DELAWARE FLOUNDER REGU- LATIONS - Right now Delaware " fishery managers are working on the new summer flounder regu- lations. As we have mentioned in previous articles, Delaware did overfish the quota in 2009, but the Mid-Atlantic Council in- creased the total allowable land- ings for summer flounder so the overfishing penalty won't be as severe as it could have been. Since I do not have a crystal ball I have no idea what the rec- ommendations will be, but in the Delaware Shore opens indoor hockey season The following are the results was tied at halftime with Mo Ab- Tori Cox had both second-half from games played in the Delaware Shore Field Hockey in- door league on opening day, Sun- day, Jan. 17: The opening game of the after- noon in the elementary division saw Red defeat Purple by a final of 4-3. Scoring for Red was Anna Steiner with three goals and An- nie Judge with one goal. Isabel Carulli (2) and Marissa LeGates had the goals for Purple. Green and Blue battled to a 2-2 outcome. Whitney DeMora gave the Blue team the halftime lead with a pair of goals, while Madi Irwin had the first-half goal off an assist by Lexi Gooch Midway through the second half, Gooch scored the goal to tie the game. In the last game of the division for the afternoon, Gold earned a 3-1 win over Orange. The game bott scoring for Gold and Raegan Jackson for Orange. Carey Karl broke loose in the second half with a pair of goals to give Gold the win. M00edd'.00o.00ames In the mixed division games, Red continued to lead the divi- sion with a 13-3 victory over Pur- ple. Catie McColley (2) and Alyssa Mills had the goals for Purple. Sara Kolobielski (4), Christine Bristowe (3), Caroline Judge (2), Kat Judge (2) and Re- becca Sponaugle (2) scored for Red. Blue pulled out a win with a pair of second-half goals to get past Green by a final of 3-1. Pey- ton Shockley had the first-half goal for Green early in the game. Kaci Coveleski tied the score with just over three minutes be- fore halftime. goals for Blue. In a back-and-forth game, Gold defeated Orange by a final of 7-4. Taylor Trimmer had the hat trick for Gold. Goals from Camryn Bern- helmet, Tess Bernheimer and Abbey Hilligoss finished out the Gold scoring. Jordan Brown, Megan OFoole, Allie Yeager and Katie Smith had the goals for Or- ange. Games resume at 3 p.m., Sun- day, Jan. 24, in the Milton Ele- mentary School gymnasium. Looking to the near future, Delaware Shore will host the first winter indoor invitational tourney Jan. 24, for the U14 divi- sion. Teams from Baltimore, Kent Island, upstate and local teams will participate. The following weekend the U16 teams will take the floon final analysis I would expect a 19-inch size, four-fish bag and no closed season. The public hear- ing in a few weeks will make the final decision. TRADE SHOW SET JAN, 29-31 - The Maryland Watermen's As- sociation will host its 36th annu- al East Coast Commercial Fish- ermen's and Aquaculture Trade Exposition Friday through Sun- da, Jan. 29-31, at the Ocean City Convention Center on Ocean Highway in Ocean City, Md. The show will feature boats, fishing equipment, clothing, safety gear, environmental/bay information and more. There al- so will be free seminars on a va- riety of topics related to the ma- fine industry along with events for children. General admission is $12. For more information, call 410-604-0909. TWO BOATS JOIN ARTIFICIAL - REEFS - Two retired ocean-going vessels were sunk Saturday, Jan. 16, over Delaware's artificial reefs as the Department of Nat- ural Resources and Environmen- tal Control continues to expand aquatic habitat while furthering the state's recreational angling and diving opportunities. The Atlantic Mist went down onto the Del-Jersey-Land In- shore Reef, Delaware's newest artificial reef- and the site that later this year will receive the ex-USS Arthur W. Radford, a Navy destroyer, as the largest vessel ever reefed on the East Coast. The Atlantic Mist, a 180- foot menhaden boat, joined a sister ship sunk earlier from the menhaden fishing fleet, the Gre- gory Poole, in the ocean deptlis 26 miles off the Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland coasts. The Del-Jersey-Land Reef is thus named because the site is equi- distant from the three states af- ter which it is named. The second sinking Saturday was the 78-foot shrimper Frieda Made onto the Redbird Reef, Delaware's most prominent arti- ficialreef, whose name derives from the retired New York City "Red Bird" subway cars that constitute most of the reef, more than 1,000 cars in all. With the subway cars accounting for a to- tal surface area of more than 2.5 million square feet, Redbird Reef supports a marine life communi- ty up to 400 times richer than the natttml bottom. Before becoming a menhaden ship, the Atlantic Mist entered service in the 1950s as the USS Ely, a submarine escort and coastal patrol craft based out of Sheboygan, WIS. AS the Ely, it was one of the first ships to tran- sit the new St. Lawrence Seaway and also was the last Navy ship homeported at the Sheboygan Naval Reserve Center, which closed in 1995. The Frieda Marie achieved notoriety last summer when it ran aground off Chincoteague along the coast of VLrginia. The two ships' combined length is less than half that of the former Radford (563 feet), to which Delaware will take title soon as the fn'st step toward a planned late spring or summer sinking. Decommissioned and retired ships are prepared for sinking by having strategic slits cut into the hull, which are then patched over until the ship is towed to its destination. Once over the reef, the patches are removed and the sea cocks opened, flooding the ship's compartments and en- abling it to sink very quickly. Both vessels were cleaned and prepped, then towed to the reef sites and sunk by the Dominion Marine Group of Norfolk, Va., under contract with the Division of Fish and Wildlife Delaware Reef Program, and primarily funded through the federal aid from the Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The vessels were cleaned by Dominion Ma- fine Group to remove all greases. and buoyant materials that might be harmful to the marine environment. The U.S. Coast Guard inspected and approved the boats prior to transport. For more information on the state's artificial reefs, visit eries/Pages/ArtificialReefPro- gram.aspx, or call JeffTinsman at 302-739-4782. Eric Bumley is fulltime outdoors writer who lives between Lewes and Milton. He can be reached at Eburnle@aol,com. JUDGE I ONLY 1 LEFT!