The ASMFC Striped Bass Management Follies, or: A Master Class in Procrastination

I know from procrastination. I’m a professional writer. I’ve been procrastinating since my days at Roosevelt Junior High. I advanced my grasp of the art form in college. And perfected it as an adult.

But I’ve got nothing on the ASMFC’s Striped Bass Management Board.

My best attempt at situation distillation is this: the Board was meeting on the issue of allowing the transfer of commercial quotas between states. They put the issue out for public comment last year. Of the thousands of conscientious stakeholders who responded, a whopping 98% voted in favor of NOT allowing transfers. So the board decided to…(Don’t bother with a drum roll. You probably know where this is going.) …kick the can down the road. Do further studies on the impact of commercial transfers, then come back to the issue in May. Not necessarily awful. But they didn’t even mention the option that the vast majority of stakeholders favored. It’s as if we didn’t exist. Tone deaf, bad form, and so characteristic of a badly broken committtee.

There are two more detailed analyses that I encourage everyone to read. The first is from Charles Witek’s blog One Angler’s Voyage: The Fastest They’ve Ever Done Nothing. The second is from our friends at the American Saltwater Guides Association, Striped Bass Recap From ASMFC Hearing. Both are highly worthy of your time.

At this point it would be easy for all of us to throw up our hands in frustration and quit. I exhort you to not do it. In fact, this should only steel our resolve. Some day, and that day is coming, we are going to win. And so will the stripers.

Waves pounding on the shore. That’s what we need to be.