The Allocation Morass

The Allocation Morass

Everybody wants more fish. Commercial fishermen make more money when they can harvest more product, while recreational fishermen have long cast envious glances at the commercial harvest, and tried, by various means, to convert some of those commercial landings into their own. It’s not just an inter-sector conflict. In both commercial and recreational fisheries, there […]

Fisheries Management: Reinventing The (Square) Wheel

Fisheries Management:  Reinventing The (Square) Wheel

Photo: Striped Bass Saltwater fisheries management is a relatively new science. Freshwater fisheries managers have been developing population models and experimenting with various management measures for years, but on the Mid-Atlantic coast, we never saw any such models until 1997, when a virtual population analysis was used to assess the striped bass stock. Fisheries management […]

Managing Fish? Show Us The Numbers

Managing Fish? Show Us The Numbers

One of the hottest issues in saltwater fisheries management is who—state or federal agencies—should have the power to manage the fish. Federal fishery managers have a record of success. In 2000, 92 federally-managed stocks were overfished and 72 were subject to overfishing. By the end of 2016, thanks to the efforts of federal managers, only […]

Creating A Crisis for Gulf Red Snapper

Creating A Crisis for Gulf Red Snapper

In 2017, at the behest of some federal legislators and angling-related organizations, the Department of Commerce (Commerce) reopened the private-boat recreational red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico, even though agency officials knew that such action would lead to significant overfishing and delay the recovery of the red snapper stock. Representatives of the recreational […]

Court Watching Over Red Snapper In Gulf

Court Watching Over Red Snapper In Gulf

On December 20, the parties in a federal lawsuit challenging the Department of Commerce’s (Commerce) decision to reopen the 2017 private boat red snapper season in the Gulf of Mexico reached a settlement that should bring an end to the litigation while protecting the red snapper resource. For those unfamiliar with the facts leading up […]

The Face of the Modern Fish Act, Revealed

The Face of the Modern Fish Act, Revealed

For more than six months, representatives of the recreational fishing industry and various anglers’ rights organizations have been telling recreational fishermen to support something that they call the “Modern Fish Act,” a bill more formally known as H.R. 2023, the Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017M (Act). Like one of those miraculous diets that […]

What Saltwater Anglers Have To Lose

What Saltwater Anglers Have To Lose

About twenty minutes from my house, there’s a spring creek that’s very popular with the flyfishing crowd. It flows through a state park, and is loaded with trout. In the river’s heyday, the park’s phone lines were flooded by calls from anglers trying to reserve fishing time. February and March were catch-and-release months. I remember […]