Stripers on the Fly Forever

This is for one of my fellow Gowanus Noodlers (you know who you are), who is enchanted by the idea of catching stripers on the fly after doing the party boat thing for years. Peter Laurelli has got real cahones, nerves of steel, and I’d guess infinite patience. His work has been featured on many fly fishing blogs, but since I gather you don’t read them, I’d provide it for you.  I don’t know what possessed him to film his exploits fly casting to stripers in NY’s waters, but bless him. Enjoy.

Thanks to Brooklyn Urban Anglers Association for the find.

FYI, I’m a member of Stripers Forever. If you’ve ever fished for striper and consider it a delicious game fish that you want your children to be able to fish for, then consider supporting SF. SF believes (as do I) that Stripers should be a gamefish, i.e. non-commercial. Why? Policy across the mid-Atlantic seaboard varies state-to-state resulting in fishery that is continually threatened by commercial interests. For example,  in NC, many fishermen and concerned anglers have noted the wasteful discard of stripers outside the slot limit by commercial fisherman who trawl (not to mention the other species in the discard). Here’s an example shot on video:

I can personally attest that the direct action I took as part of the SF campaign to end North Carolina’s wasteful discard rules had some results. My email and hundreds of others were answered by the NCDMF, but I wouldn’t have known to get involved without SF’s vigilance. Fortunately, several journalists were alerted and wrote about the issue as well.

Here was my original letter and the NCDMF’s response:

Louis Daniels PhD

NC DMF

Dear Commissioner Daniels,

I recently read about the tragic discard of Striped Bass in NC waters. The story itself contains a link to a YouTube video showing pictures of the dead floating stripers as commercial fisherman attempt to achieve a limit by culling high-grade fish. I’ve also read how you and your team actually take the time to grapple with these issues (I admire that your team chose to temporarily close the speckled trout fishery just-in-case) and work with your community.  As a member of Stripers Forever, I agree that “Stripers are worth considerably more per pound if allocated to the recreational fishery in North Carolina than when taken by commercial harvest.”  I hope that you and your team will use the power of your office to work with your local community to keep this from happening in the future.

As you know, what you do in the NC fishery has a profound impact on the entire NE fishery for stripers. You’re pioneers on the front line and your actions could affect striper fishermen (both recreational and commercial) everywhere for the better or worse. I hope that you will enter this into your official comments of whatever research or community outreach your office intends to do.

Good luck and thanks for doing the hard work.

And here’s the NCDMF’s response:

Dear Mr. Johnson,

I am writing in response to your e-mail regarding your concerns about North Carolina’s striped bass fishery.

On Jan. 21, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries implemented regulatory changes to address discards of striped bass in the commercial trawl fishery. The division replaced the previous 50-fish-per-day commercial trip limit with a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit. To avoid regulatory discards, the new regulations allow commercial trawl fishermen to transfer trip limits to other fishing vessels that hold a striped bass ocean fishing permit for the commercial trawl fishery. This way, all the fish will be landed and count against the commercial quota.

Thank you for your interest in North Carolina’s marine fisheries.

Sincerely,

Patricia Smith

Membership to Stripers Forever is free, there are no dues, so consider it.

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