Sad news indeed, and unfortunately news we’ll be hearing more often. In Massachusetts, from which I write, we’re wringing our hands over the past couple years of poor herring returns. As a striped bass fisherman, I worry about the herring, as they are a primary early season forage species for the stripers.
It’s the sportsman’s paradox, that we must often restrict our sport, in order to improve our sport. Few know this as well as an east coast striper fisherman, as we’ve seen our species go from boon in the ’70s to bust in the 80’s and a slow, painful road back in the 90’s. Our fishery is strong now, but there were days when I felt sure that we’d never see the fishing I saw as a teenager again. And in some ways, we’d best not…
Jim notes the paradox in his inimitable style:
As a sport fisherman who really enjoys chasing salmon off the Golden Gate, or further North off the Humboldt Coast, I have very mixed feelings about the salmon fishing closure. On one hand, I will really miss tussling a slab sided King to the side of my boat, however, taking the pressure off the remaining salmon stocks for one or two seasons may result in my being able to catch free running wild salmon at a later date.
I can only hope California has the success we’ve seen on the east coast.
BTW, my predicition is that this week will be the start of the 2008 striper season in Massachusetts. We should see the arrival of fishable numbers of schoolies on the south side of Cape Cod, in the usual spring spots, the rivers creeks and bays. Remember to remove your barbs, this is going to be catch and release fishing until early to mid May. Once you’re sure the fish are in, this is a really good time to take a kid fishing for some of the fast early season action.