Spot – Croaker

January 1, 2020.   Happy New Year from VSSA.  Our first action of the year will involve spot and croaker.  We’ve never had any bag limits placed on these fish in the past as the numbers always seemed to be good.  But even these fish don’t seem to be doing as well as they once were.  ASMFC has draft Addendums available for comment that will call for management of both spot and croaker.

Draft Spot Addendum

Draft Croaker Addendum

ASMFC is calling for a Traffic Light Approach (TLA) to manage both fish.  What this means is there will be limits applied only if MRIP determines that 30% or more threshold is met or exceeded.  If we go with Option A (Status Quo) the state (VMRC) would determine what the cuts will be if the threshold is exceeded.  Options B – D would pre-determine what the bags limits will be ahead of time and would be automatic.  Here is a summary of the options available.

Option A. (Status Quo) The Plan Review Team (PRT) would recommend the appropriate percent % reduction in  recreational harvest needed and state‐by‐state measures to achieve the harvest reduction  for approval by the Board. This will allow the individual states to meet the individual needs of their  fisheries. The application of an overall harvest percentage reduction would be proportional  to the magnitude of exceeding the trigger, using a combination of management tools that  include size limits, bag/trip limits, seasonal closures, and gear restrictions.   

Option B. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 30% red threshold, all  non‐de minimis states would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 50 per  person. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 60% threshold, all  states (including de minimis) would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 40 per person.   

Option C. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 30% red threshold, all  non‐de minimis states would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 40 per  person. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 60% threshold, all  states (including de minimis) would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 30 per person.   

Option D. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 30% red threshold, all  non‐de minimis states would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 30 per  person. If management action is triggered by meeting or exceeding the 60% threshold, all  states (including de minimis) would be required to institute a bag limit of no more than 20 per person. 

There will be a pubic hearing on these Addendums on January 7, 2020 at 6:30 pm Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 380 Fenwick Road, Ft. Monroe, VA 23651.

To help VSSA represent you please help by participating in this poll.  We created one each for both spot and croaker if case you desire different options.  There is a provision in the Addendums to keep additional spot and croaker for use as bait aboard the vessel but they are not fully clear as to storage in bait pens dockside.  VSSA will seek to ensure clarity for anglers who store spot and/or croaker dockside.

Spot Options.

What Management Option Do You Prefer for Spot

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Croaker Options.

What Management Option Do You Prefer for Croaker

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