Today’s burning striped bass conservation question: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?, or: Can the ASMFC bore a striper to death?

In case you missed it, the ASMFC’s Striped Bass Board met last week. You gotta love this group. The Commission’s inability to grasp that striper stocks are in trouble, and that they are charged with recovering that stock, is almost staggering in its perfection. That unspoiled incompetence was on full display during the proceedings. The Commission is, as Bobby Knight said, “a legless man who teaches running.” Do you know what they did for 2 1/2 hours? They performed a deep dive into the urgent matter of tube-and-worm rigs. Or, as Charles Witek of One Angler’s Voyage described it, debating “how many angels could dance on the head of a pin.” Never mind those pesky issues of collapsing bass stocks and overfishing.

Meanwhile, rogue ASMFC states like Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey maintain their laser-like focus on how they can kill more stripers. (You know, out of mercy. They don’t want any stripers to starve to death.)

What’s a concerned angler to do? First, read this excellent essay from the ASGA’s (American Saltwater Guides Association) Tony Friedrich. Next, don’t give up hope. We all know the ASMFC’s process is irreparably broken. The ASGA is our current best hope to effect change within and for the ASMFC. So, finally, support the ASGA. They’re doing good work. They have a plan. They need you to be involved.

Thank you.

Q: How many ASMFC Striped Bass Board members does it take to change a light bulb? A: C’mon. The ASMCF can’t change a damn thing.

6 comments on “Today’s burning striped bass conservation question: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?, or: Can the ASMFC bore a striper to death?

  1. Toby Lapinski says:

    I will say that while they spent way too much time on the tube & worm subject, and they got quite a long way off track at times, it did serve a great purpose and some good did come out of it in that the tube rig does not require the use of a circle hook for at least 2 years while some actual data is sought to support or refute the need for using said circle hooks on the tube rig, and the formation of a committee was approved to define the word “bait” and where it’s actual application to the use of circle hooks will apply going forward was huge. This was, IMO, a case of putting the horse back in front of the old carriage. As someone who sat in on the entire meeting, I do not think it was a complete waste of time,. Oh, and our rep from CT (Justin Davis) remains the one shining light in a room full of broken bulbs.

    • Steve Culton says:

      I appreciate your viewpoint, and I agree with your comments on Justin Davis. However, I have no faith that the ASMFC, as presently staffed and structured, will restore striper stocks and fulfill their mission. Their process is broken and they need to go.

  2. craig m heser says:

    as far as restoring striper stocks, there should be a moratorium on the taking of any stripers for two years.. Florida protects their fisheries much better than we do we can learn from them

    • Steve Culton says:

      Hi Craig, that FL has its fisheries act more together than CT seems to be universally agreed upon. Sadly, what the ASMFC should do is irrelevant to them, since they’ve never shown in their entire history that they are capable of managing a distressed stock or bringing a distressed stock back.

  3. William Giokas says:

    It all boils down to enforcement. No enforcement =no bass. That being said it looks like the stock is going to be fished out because of political pressure put upon the board. Look the Commercials didn’t meet their quota so what do they do add another day!
    This is not rocket science. Bill

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