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Lewes, Delaware
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December 11, 1998     Cape Gazette
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December 11, 1998

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Michael Short -7 :i 86-CAPE GAZE'IWE, Priday, December il 7- December 17, 1998 EPA gives mixed report on regional fisheries ClB seeks place to hang its hat By Michael Short The Center for the Inland Bays (CIB) continues to search for a home. The CIB is charged with protecting the inland bays and it meets regularly, but the organiza- tion has no real home, just a small office north of Nassau. Center Executive Director Bruce Richards said the center hopes to have a place to hang its hat within three years. Possibili- ties include state land, a private donation or the College of Marine Studies - perhaps in the college's vacant research park. There is al- ready a $50,000 grant on the books for the CIB, which is enough to get started but not nearly enough to actually RICHARDS build a facility. Richards developed a draft pro- posal for such a building and sub- mired his proposal to the CIB ear- lier this month. No action has been taken, but the draft calls for a small dormitory for volunteers, a laboratory, a conference room and space for demonstration projects. There were initial plans to lo- cate a facility at the James Farm near Bethany Beach, but there was little public support. Report card f'tsh findings The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report on the con- dition of the Mid-Atlantic estuar- ies offers an interesting view of local fisheries. The report, which focuses on the region's inland bays, Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bay, offers the following general observations: American shad populations are improving The striped bass fishery in Chesapeake Bay and the Delaware estuary is considered to be recovering The white perch population is stable but low in Chesapeake Bay Summer flounder populations are stable or perhaps declining in the Delaware Estuary Summer flounder populations are improving in the Maryland coastal bays Shore-zone species composi- tion suggest degraded conditions in the Delaware coastal bays Drum species, like drum and sea trout populations are variable in the Delaware estuary. Christmas is coming The environmentalist on your list this season might like a state park pass. State environmental officials are selling the $20 season pass, and it is a good idea for the nature lover this holiday. The pass is good for a year, ex- cept for Fenwick Island State OUTDOORS Park's unincorported area and Fort Delaware. It also comes with a comple- mentary holiday greeting from the Delaware Division of Parks. By Michael Short The fishing news continues to be good, with some weakfish be- ing reported early in the morning or just before dark at Indian River Inlet. There are bluefish, sea bass on the wrecks, shad and herring in the inlet. But the major news con- tinues to be striped bass and tau- tog, with stripers occasionally hit- ting the 40-pound mark, roughly the size of a bread truck. R&R Sports Center, Old Inlet Bait & Tackle, Bill's Sport Shop and Lewes Harbour Marina all re- port excellent striper and tautog action this week. "The striper ac- tion is good, and I think it will be good for the next few weeks," said Joe Morris of Lewes Harbour Ma- rina. Delaware Bay R&R Sports Center's striper tournament ends Saturday, Dec. 12, so people better register-ft to have a chance to top Gordon Wellings' 43.5-pound fish. R&R said stripers were caught while drifting eels and jigs in all the usual areas, with the nod of the best areas going to Overfalls and Prissywicks Shoals. Other top spots included Brown Shoal, 8B and 8A and the Icebreakers. Some nice blues are still mixed with the stripers. Top catches reported by Bill's Sport Center included the follow- ing: Brian EllioR and Skip Mosiej, who caught fish while drifting eels at Overfalls Shoal to 17.5- pounds; Janice Dant, who caught a 14.5-pound striper at 8A Buoy and a nice 5.75-pound tautog on the Outer Wall; and Al South, who fimited on tautog at the wall. Bill's also reported that "Ron, at the Haystacks for stripers and bluefish. R&R reported the following great catches: Kevin and Pop Parker, and Start Dove, who took nine keeper fish and released three of them; David Payton, 39.5- pound striper; Pep Workman, 36- pound striper; Ron Talley, 26.35- pound striper; Aaron Sidell, 21.98-pound striper; John Floyd, 23.69-pound striper, young Ross Karsnitz, very nice 14-pound fish - I've been told that father Craig Karsnitz has vowed eternal vengeance after I mentioned how long it took him to catch a striper in a column last month; Roy Boehmer, 21.27-pound striper; Ed Shelby, 23.97-pound fish; Chip Kelly, 42-pound fish; and Nick Stellini, 20.5-pound fish. Morris said that Capt. Ted Moulinier on the Indian returned with a great striper catch. R&R also reported good tautog catches by Glen Sherwood with a 8.30-pound fish, Tim Boones' 7.1 l-pound fish, Richard Hard- ing's 7.87-pound fish and Pete Bailey's 11.77-pound tautog. Lewes Harbour also reports some trout at night at the Cape Henlopen Pier on grabs, small jigs and other lures. Catch them while you can, because the water tem- perature is dipping fast. Surf R&R said that surf fishermen had.good catches this week with bluefish and schoolie stripers tak- ing mullet and lures. Francis and Chuck Pyle had a limit of blue- fish. Brad Hazzard and Bill Smith had limits of trout. Skip Lessig had two dandy flounder - 19-inch- es and 22 inches - on whole mur, let rigs. Soni Moore bagged his lirmit of stripers at 30 inches and :32 inches. "Mary and Barb" had specklled trout and blues on the beach. Bill's said that J.T. Boldimg, Don Halverson and Bill Marimer Inlet on the outgoing tide and caught big numbers of blues. Joe Bauer, Bill SniRor, Peter Ritchie, Wayne Whitney, Mickey Bremer and Mike Warner all reported large bluefish at Conquest, Haven and Keybox roads. Dan Molinaro caught 22 stripers, two of them keepers, at the point at Cape Hen- lopen. Bluefish were also caught at the point on herring baits. Indian River Inlet Old Inlet reports a lot of stripers at the inlet just before dark, along with plenty of hickory shad, blue- fish and trout. Top catch may be the striper weighing 37-pounds, caught just offshore by John Quiqley Monday, Dec. 7. Old Inlet suggests bucktails and white worms or live eels for stripers, bucktails tipped with white worms for trout fished just before dark, shad darts for hickory shad and pretty much anything for bluefish, with the incoming tide the best bet for catching blues. The inlet may be the hot spot right now, with some exceptional stripers showing up. Ocean wrecks or trolling Bill's reports that Capt. Bill and Kathy Baker returned with a nice catch of sea bass and tautog caught from wrecks; they used sand fleas for those, squid tenta- cles for sea bass and green crabs for trophy tog Phillip McAtee caught a 12 3/4- pound bluefish on the Mac Attack, which also r.eported tog limits. Working the gulls along the beach in about 20 feet of water, on a very slow troll, provided lots of striper action for the crew of the Slicker III. a: big Christmas with a # basket from Bluewater filled with toys f goodies for your pool or spa! B LUEWATER, LTD.