Tag: weakfish cape may co

Kensdock report 2-8-10 {Feb.2 ASMFC weakfish board meeting}

———–More indecision by the Asmfc weakfish board——–
The weakfish are in the most depleted condition in history with the real possibility of extinction!  98% of the letters received were pleading for a moratorium for weakfish. The data clearly indicated a moratorium would offer the best chance for recovery. Yet, the weakfish board made one more bad decision,in allowing 100 pound by catch per trip” for ever commercial net on the east coast and to allow recreational fishermen to kill the last of the breeders. obviously, this decision was made in complete disregard to the majority and the science. It is time for some new council members!
Tom Fote quote—–
How do you keep an industry going?
You know, we also talk about we’re supposed to
build a sustainable fishery for a sustainable industry.
If you start closing down both those industries, it
takes a long time for that industry to recover. end——-


I think this stock is in such a state that you need to
tell the public that it’s in real trouble. It’s near
Even with a moratorium, it won’t recover in 20 years.

Your goal should be to maintain as much SSB as

possible in order to allow a quicker recovery

whenever the conditions allow it to recover. The

good news is this is not a red snapper or a goliath

grouper. It doesn’t have a 40-year recovery time. It

can recover in two or three or four years, so we’re not

looking at a long moratorium. I think that this is a

time when this commission needs to stand up and say

this fishery is real trouble and we need to stop fishing

for them. It’s pretty much that simple. Thank you.  

Quote——-                   MR. MARK GIBSON     ——————quote:

 Even if that’s all I got, it’s better to

have twice as much than zero and put the stock

precariously close to extinction as far as I can see

from this. I think the peer review panel said much

the same thing, that F is still a limiting – is

exacerbating the problem and it’s unsustainable.

That’s what you have to manage. A lot of managers

don’t like to accept the fact that what you have to

manage is F and that sometimes sustainable Fs

declines with externalities that happen to fish stocks.

It’s a lot like the serenity prayer if you’re familiar

with it. You know, you have the wisdom to know the

difference between the things you can change and

those that you can’t and have the courage to change

the ones you do. I think that’s what we’re faced with



Kensdock report 12-28-09 What happened to the weakfish?


I attended the weakfish hearing and I reviewed all the minutes from the weakfish board. I have spoke with many avid fishermen that fished mainly for weakfish. In Cape May co. NJ we seen a dramatic drop in the weakfish in the spring of 2002. They just did not make an appearance at all. I believe I know exactly why the weakfish did not show up in the spring of 2002 and have not shown up since in any numbers in Cape May co.NJ. On valentines day 2002  six sink net boats rounded what they thought” were blue fish,unfortunately for us sportfishermen  it turned out to be hundreds of thousands of pounds of eight to ten pound weakfish.
There is no doubt in my mind that the entire Cape May co.NJ  weakfish population was killed on valentines day 2002. The weakfish stock was allowed to be reduced to the point that predation is now a factor!  Predation was not the cause of the weakfish decline,very poor management was the cause. It should be noted that recreational fishing groups,commercial groups and letters from prominent politicians pressured the ASMFC into not significantly reducing the weakfish harvest years back. I hope they do not repeat the same mistake with flounder or with weakfish in the future.
It is imperative to the rebuilding of the weakfish stock that we use state of the art hatcheries. New Jersey saltwater fishermen have a choice to make. We either support a saltwater license that will make the saltwater hatcheries a reality in NJ or we do not support a saltwater license knowing that the weakfish may never return to your favorite spot without your help.

11-23-09 Kensdock report

The weather  will not give us a break this fall. North East wind and rain! Just about the time the water clears the wind turns North east and it start to rain. When the condition have been at lest fair, keeper stripers have been caught from Avalon and Stone harbor beaches. Just a few caught on poppers the rest on live bunker or eels. Clam has also taken some nice stripers. The water temperature is 57 degrees. The speckled trout season was a bust as only three specs have been caught to date.What happened to the specs?? Remember the 2002 weakfish season when every sharp weakfish angler in Cape May co. NJ was asking the same question about the weakfish?  I believe the mystery of why the weakfish did not show up for the 2002 season has been solved:
The last example I’ll give you is the Valentine’s Day Fishery back in 2002, I believe, when a group of about four or five sink net boats went about 30 miles offshore in 360 feet of water, fishing a large-mesh, six-inch gill net for large bluefish, and they all rounded off their boats with tens of thousands of pounds of eight- to fifteen-pound gray trout; very unexpected, unavoidable.

Those fish were all dead …”


11-5-09 Kensdock report ASMFC weakfish board adopts addendum IV


The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission was formed by the 15 Atlantic coastal states in 1942 for the promotion and protectionNovember 5, 2009 (202) 289-6400

ASMFC Weakfish Board Adopts Addendum IV in Response to

Depleted Stock Status

Newport, Rhode Island – The Commission’s Weakfish Management Board approved measures to

reduce exploitation by over 50 percent in both the recreational and commercial sectors. Addendum IV

requires states to implement a one fish recreational creel limit, 100 pound commercial trip limit, 100

pound commercial bycatch limit during closed seasons, and 100 undersized fish per trip allowance for

the finfish trawl fishery. All other management measures previously adopted to conserve the stock and

reduce bycatch remain in effect.

The Board’s action comes in response to the stock status of weakfish. A recent peer-reviewed

assessment found the weakfish stock to be depleted, with spawning stock biomass estimated to be three

percent of an unfished stock, well below the 20 percent threshold and 30 percent target reference points

also approved by the Board as part of Addendum IV. The decline in biomass reflects a sustained rise in

natural mortality after 1995, rather than fishing mortality which has been modest and stable over the

same time period.

“The Board received a significant amount of public comment supporting a coastwide moratorium. In

recognition of this, it chose to implement measures that would discourage directed fishing, limit bycatch

mortality, and ensure that critical sampling programs remain on track,” stated Board Chair Roy Miller.

While the decline appears to have resulted from a change in the natural mortality of weakfish in recent

years, it is further exacerbated by continued removals by commercial and recreational fisheries.

However, given the high mortality levels, the stock is also unlikely to recover rapidly. The Addendum’s

measures are intended to reduce the level of harvest without creating a large amount of discards.

Addendum IV will be available via the Commission’s website at http://www.asmfc.org under Breaking News

by November 15. For more information, please contact Nichola Meserve, Fishery Management Plan

Coordinator, at (202) 289-6400 or nmeserve@asmfc.org.





of coastal fishery resources. The Commission serves as a deliberative body of the Atlantic coastal states, coordinating the conservation

and management of nearshore fishery resources, including marine, shell and anadromous species.

1444 Eye Street, N.W. — Sixth Floor — Washington, D.C. 20005

(202) 289-6400 (phone) (202) 289-6051 (fax) http://www.asmfc.org


10-11-09 Kensdock Avalon fishing report

The water is clean,north west wind,water temperature today is 65 degrees. I fished from the beach for the last hour of the out going tide today I caught a few small blues. I jumped in my boat and headed to a favorite spot for the top of the incoming tide looking for speckled trout. No luck. A group of local sharps have a combined 250 hours of  hard fishing with very little success just small blues and short stripers. All conditions are good with the exception of water temperature which is border line high.

Kensdock report 9-8-09 Cape May County fall Stripers

It may feel like fall with the cool north east ocean breeze blowing but Cape May county  fishermen’s fall season arrives with the north west wind. The more often  the wind blows north west the better the fall fishing will be. It has been over ten years since we were locked into a great north west wind flow. 1998 was the only year in my life I did more beach fishing than bow hunting. I know fishermen here in Cape May County that caught over a thousand keeper stripers in the fall of 1998. When the conditions are right there is no need to use live bait or chum for stripers.  I would rather catch one keeper striper on a popping plug or rubber bait than catch one hundred of them  using  chum or live bait.  When you know where to find the stripers under all conditions you will not have the desire  to use chum or live bait for stripers. My son and I were enjoying a  Sunday afternoon last October striper fishing.On the way to our fishing spot we passed a few guys chumming for stripers with clam bellies, I always slow to a crawl and give as much room as I can when passing fishermen on the hook and fishing. How are you doing my son asked the chummers, five shorts in four hours the guy said. My son said to me that is all they caught! I was surprised they caught anything in the spot they were fishing. No mater how much chum you throw into the water or how lively your bait is you are not going to pull fish from very far away from your location.  I like to shut down the outboard engine on my boat a thousand feet from the spot we are going to be fishing and drift into position. The wind was out  of the north east about 10 knots and had the bait pushed into a cove  in the back bay. We had two keepers stripers and sixty eight shorts on that nasty cold October afternoon all on bucktails with pink twisters. You can catch fish on the first couple of days of north east wind but the longer it blows north east the worse the fishing will become.

Kensdock Fishing report ASMFC no action taken on flounder overage

 ASMFC Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Board Takes No Action Regarding Projected Recreational Overages Washington, DC – The Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and, Black Sea Bass Management Board (Board) met via a web-based conference call yesterday and decided to take no action regarding potential overage in the 2009 recreational fisheries for black sea bass, scup, and summer flounder. The recreational fishing community should be prepared for considerably reduced fishing opportunities next year due to anticipated large overages in the 2009 harvest of scup and black sea bass. “The take away from yesterday’s meeting was the clear message from the Board that 2010 recreational size limits, possession limits, and/or seasons will be significantly restricted for the 2010 recreational fisheries,” stated Board Chair A.C. Carpenter. Last month the Commission’s Interstate Fisheries Management Program Policy Board had unanimously directed the Board to take action prior to September 1. The Board was presented with recreational harvest projections for black sea bass that indicated the harvest target could be exceeded by 86% to 165%. Based on these projections, the Board considered and rejected a motion to close the black sea bass recreational fishery on September 30, 2009. The motion failed with four votes in favor (Virginia, North Carolina, National Marine Fisheries Service, and US Fish and Wildlife Service) and seven votes in opposition (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland). 

I was out scouting in the back bay today. I found  pods of mullet  with stripers feeding on them. The water was on th dirty side. The water temperature was 71 degress.

8-19-09 Kensdock todays ASMFC weakfish meeting,update 8:55 pm

Take  time to read the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries weakfish management board meeting minutes. http://www.asmfc.org       
 Here is quote from

 And, finally, I would just like to say, as I said before,

no matter what happens with the peer review in June

the board needs to remember that weakfish is in a

depleted condition, a depressed state. We can’t agree

with that particular panel on why it is there. One of

the main things that they said was that predation may

be maintaining the population at low levels without

having contributed to the original decline in the


We agree that overfishing was the problem in the

eighties. We have used management to get the stock

started back in an increasing mode during the early

nineties and mid-nineties, and then all of a sudden it

dropped back down. Now, we definitely agree that it

was overfishing early on. We’re saying the split

happened in the early thousands that predation is the

main focus of a problem out 

out there, and it is

continuing to maintain those levels and we can’t

seem to break through it to move forward. That’s it

for me. Like I said, I tried to do this real quick.


I was in contact with Nichola Meserve Fisheries Management plan coordinator today via email. She informed me that in light of the dramatic weakfish stock decline the ASMFC weakfish board initiated an addendum. The draft addendum will include  a range of options to severely  restrict the harvest of weakfish, including a moratorium on harvesting weakfish. The addendum is being fast tracked and could be approved in November.





MR. RUSS ALLENS’ report to the weakfish board:

Kensdock fishing report 8-2-09 Help the weakfish

speckled-trout-013I have been called over the top, crazy, and more by many people that do not share the passion for salt water fishing that I possess for it and other activates in life. Here are a few examples: I was called crazy last December for taking my skiff for a 5 mile ride at 2:00 am in a 30 kt. NW wind,10 degree wind chill  and no  compass. Crazy was replaced with wow when I returned to my dock with a cooler full of speckled trout. I was called nuts for talking a friend into flying me to Florida in his jet for fresh ballyhoo hours before the mid Atlantic. When Governor Florio tried to dismantle the fish and game council I use the same over the top, crazy whatever attitude to start a grass roots letter writing campaign that started in Cape May County and spread through the State of New Jersey all the way to High point in Sussex County, NJ. The thousands of individually written letters helped I am sure to change the Governors mind. I used the same crazy. Nuts, attitude to personally call over a thousand people to urge them to attend the federal fish and wildlife meeting in Cape May county co… So many of our people showed they over flowed into the parking lot. The meeting went our way to say the lest. I also started a grass roots letter writing campaign to keep the land open to hunting and salt water fishing. When the manager made the decision  to keep the land open to hunting he reported that 98% of the letters he received were in favor of keeping the land open to hunting, this was reported in the Atlantic City press. When the Cape May county park purchased hundreds of acres of traditional hunting land and decided to post no trespassing signs on the land. I used the same attitude to start up the grass roots machine to urge all cape may co. hunters to attend the Cape May co. Freeholders meeting. When Ruth fisher took the podium she asked if there was a sale on flannel shirts! The meeting turned out a record crowd that I think still stands today. The freeholders reopened the traditional land to hunting.

         Being over the top, crazy, nuts about a cause or activity   is synonymous with being passionate. Being passionate about what you are involved in brings success.

 The kind of push that it is required to bring the weakfish back has not been applied!  The kind of campaign were every salt water angler on the east coast makes a phone call,writes a letter,  sends a comment via email  to  a Congressman, Senator, Assemblymen, Governor and the ASMFC. We need letters in every News paper on the entire east coast to let all the people know about the poor condition of the weakfish. Only with this kind effort will the weakfish return to your favorite spot .                                                                                                                                           

                                                                                                      Make it happen,

        I received an email from Nichola Meserve fisheries management plan coordinator for ASMFC. She will continue to accept comments for the August 19 weakfish meeting. The comments will be printed and hand delivered from this time forward.
Send your comment today. Remember there will be people at the meeting urging the ASMFC to continue to allow commercial and recreational fishing regardless of the fact that the weakfish are inches away from the endangered species list.
Send your comment to :

  Today was filled with rain,thunder storms and downed trees. The water temperature was 67 degrees. I spoke with Bruce today, he said  he has limited out on flounder in all but one trip. Bruce is an oldgrounds, Reef, ocean flounder sharp. He has made five trips so far this year. He likes to fish tight to the structure and expects to loose 8 to 10 rigs a trip. If you are planning a flounder trip in the back bay plan on not catching any  fish to bring home.