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Fishery Management Council Begins Charting Course for the Future
Tuesday, 20 September 2011 15:14

mid atlantic fisheries console

Today the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council launched its much-anticipated initiative to develop a vision and strategic plan for the region's managed fisheries. While the Council has effectively rebuilt its managed fisheries over the last 35 years, it still faces long-term challenges, such as maintaining productive ecosystems and addressing the needs of communities that rely on ocean resources.

"This is a pivotal moment in the management of our region's fisheries. We have spent most of the past 35 years successfully rebuilding fish stocks in the Mid-Atlantic, and now that these stocks are rebuilt we need to work closely with our constituents to develop a cohesive vision for the future. This will enable us to identify successful outcomes for our fisheries and the fishing communities that depend on their continued resilience and productivity,” said Council Chairman Rick Robins.

The Council's first and most important step toward developing the vision and long term strategic plan is seeking the public's input. A survey has been posted to the Council's website (http://www.mafmc.org/vision/) for the public to begin providing their thoughts, ideas, and comments on fisheries management policies and processes. The survey, which includes opportunities to provide detailed input on each fish species managed by the Council, will be available until January 31, 2012.

In addition to the survey, over the next several months Council staff will be visiting coastal communities to hear from constituents and those most affected by the Council’s decisions. A list of these locations and events will be posted and frequently updated on the Council's website.
"This is a completely stakeholder-driven initiative and our number one priority is to hear from our constituents. They will determine how the vision and strategic plan are developed. Their input will have a real impact on how our fisheries are managed in the future," added Council Executive Director Dr. Christopher M. Moore.

For more information and/or to get involved visit http://www.mafmc.org/vision/ or contact Mary Clark at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (302) 526-5261.800 N State St., Suite 201, Dover, DE 19901 Phone (302) 674-2331 * FAX (302) 674-5399

NJ Summer Flounder Quotas To Increase In 2012
Written by Rod Houck   
Saturday, 20 August 2011 04:57

 Summer FlounderIn a joint meeting of the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (Council) and the Black Sea Bass, Scup and Summer Flounder Management Board of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (Board) in Wilmington, DE on Wednesday, approval was given to recommendations to increase Summer Flounder and Scup quotas for the 2012 fishing season by 1.55 million pounds and 21.43 million pounds, respectively.

 The overall black sea bass quota will be the same for 2012, however, the recreational catch target will be decreased by nearly a half million pounds to account for increases in discards.

 Following the advice of the Council's Science and Statistical Committee (SSC), monitoring committee and staff, there was much debate about the summer flounder and scup quotas, but the final decision to increase the quotas was rendered with overwhelming support from both the Council and the Board.

 Black sea bass, however, was far more contentious. Capt. Adam Nowalsky, chairman of the New Jersey chapter of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA-NJ) and serving as New Jersey's Legislative Commissioner's Proxy to the ASMFC Board, put forth a motion with strong support from New Jersey's other Commissioners and Council members to keep the 2012 recreational catch target the same as for 2011. This motion passed the Council in a narrow 10-9 role call vote, but was defeated by the Board 6-5. Since the species are jointly managed, both the Council and the Board must approve any measures, thus resulting in a failed motion.

 A motion was then put forth that would have reduced the black sea bass 2012 catch target by almost 700,000 pounds, but an amendment again put forth by Capt. Nowalsky won favor by both bodies resulting in a lesser 470,000-pound reduction.

NJ Striped Bass Fishing - A Season To Remember
Written by Rod Houck   
Saturday, 25 June 2011 08:26

Just before sunrise on June 5th, Jack Merwede, from Lavallette and Whiting, hooked in to a striped bass of a lifetime while fishing with colleague Mike Chizhik on his 22' Shamrock.

After having run in to large school of bunker at the mouth of the Shark River in Avon, Snag-and-Drop was the order of the day. Two 25 lbers were already in the boat when Jack decided to try a unique surf  fishing technique currently under development. Jack used a fish-finder type rig with an 8/0 Octopus Circle, 3 ounce weight and bunker chunk on the end of a 7' Ugly Stick with a Shimano 3500 Baitclicker, spooled with Power Pro. Certainly more of a fluke rod than a striper rig.  Of course Murphy's Law prevailed as the monster bass picked up the chunk from the bottom and took off for parts unknown. Fortunately, Mike's boat handling expertise afforded some time to catch up with the brute and wear her out . After a 20 minute chase and struggle, the 50 inch-50 pound trophy was brought to the boat. This fish was Jack's lifetime best by almost 19 lbs.






NJ Saltwater Fishing Free Registry (Now In Effect )
Written by NJDEP   
Tuesday, 03 May 2011 05:05

{jcomments off}

The Free NJ Saltwater Fishing Registry is now in effect as of this date. If you haven't registered now is the time

One question that was asked by a lot of guys earlier is part of the Q&A on the NJDEP site for the registry.

Q. I already signed up for the federal registry; do I still need to register in NJ?

A. Yes.  All anglers and for-hire vessel owners and operators must register with the NJSRRP in 2011.  New Jersey will provide a complete dataset to the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish and maintain a list of exemptions from the federal saltwater angler registration program.


The registry is an important tool that will help fishermen and policy makers work together to better account for the contributions and impacts of saltwater anglers on ocean ecosystems and coastal economies. It is part of a national overhaul of the way NOAA collects and reports recreational fishing data. The goal of the initiative - known as the Marine Recreational Information Program, or MRIP - is to provide the most accurate information possible that can be used to determine the health of fish stocks. Reliable, universally trusted data will in turn aid anglers, fisheries managers and other stakeholders in their combined efforts to effectively and fairly set the rules that will ensure the long-term sustainability of recreational fishing.   For more information, visit www.CountMyFish.noaa.gov.

This Registry is NOT a License.  All Marine Fisheries Rules and Regulations must be followed at all times.

For more information on the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program, please refer to thier Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page.


Individual saltwater anglers ages 16 and older MUST register if ANY of the following criteria are met:

Recreationally fish with a hand line or rod and line, spearfish or fish by hand
Recreationally fish in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey
Recreationally fish in marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land the catch in New Jersey


Individual saltwater anglers are EXEMPT from registering if either of the following apply:

  • Under the age of 16
  • Solely fish on for-hire (party and charter) vessels that are registered with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program

For-hire vessel owners/operators MUST register if:

  • Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine and fresh tidal waters of the State of New Jersey


  • Carry individuals who engage in recreational fishing in the marine waters outside the State of New Jersey but land their catch in New Jersey

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