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Old 03-16-16, 12:47 PM   #1
Captmikestarrett
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Default Potomac Changes

This was sent out to all tournament directors..


Dear 2016 Tournament Director,
As many of you know, the Department has recognized a problem with the fishery for largemouth bass in Potomac River. To help solve the problem and improve fishing in the future, the Department has taken several actions over the past 2 years, including the development of a stocking plan. The Department has also received valuable feedback regarding the idea of catch-and-return areas. We will keep you posted on whether the Department will propose a catch-and-return area regulation along with the details of that regulation.
We want to let you know about an additional management action that the Department is taking to address problems with the largemouth bass fishery (see attachment). A lag in reproduction in recent years has and could continue to reduce numbers of older fish. This raises concern because older, bigger fish are the least common in the population and often the most retained during tournaments. These large fish are also more susceptible to post-release stress and/or mortality, especially during warmer water months. The Department wants to work with tournament directors to reduce the number of large fish coming to the scales.
Beginning in March, this management action will limit possession of 15-inch or bigger largemouth bass to one per tournament angler for tournaments held in Potomac River and upper Chesapeake Bay fisheries between June 16 and October 31. Tournament anglers will still be able to possess up to five (5) bass that are 12 to 15 inches. We hope this action will help replenish older age groups of largemouth bass. Replacement of these age groups should result in a healthier, more robust population of bass.
The action was approved by the Department's Secretary Belton and builds upon a best management practice within the permitting application ("the fishable slot"). It is described in the attached memorandum, along with scientific justification and a plan to review its effectiveness. This possession limit will be added as a stipulation to future permit requests for 2016 and 2017. If an angler weighs in more than one (1), 15-inch or larger fish per tournament day, then the director will be fined a penalty for each violation. If you have your permits for 2016, then we highly encourage your voluntary adoption of this stipulation.
We have considered several actions over the past 6 months, many with significant input from you and other stakeholders. I know that this action will lower the weights of bags and this may be disheartening to some anglers. It should not affect a competition for a lunker or the spirit of competition. We look forward to working with you to protect and improve the bass angling experience for the future.
Please do not hesitate to call me regarding the action at 410-260-8257 or send me an email.
Sincerely, Joe Love.
Joseph W. Love, Ph.D.
Tidal Bass Manager
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Old 03-16-16, 11:07 PM   #2
bassboogieman
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It is a shame that such a large body of water needs this kind of restriction placed upon it. Without a doubt the fishery has declined over the last few years, nor can the fact that there is tremendous pressure on the Potomac from tournament and recreational anglers be disputed. Hopefully those responsible for the management of these waters will find a viable solution to restore the river to its former glory and the black bass will once again thrive.
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Old 03-30-16, 12:34 PM   #3
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But there is a plan 2 that allows you to keep 5 of any size but regulations include how the fish are brought to the scales and released. It also does not include tournaments held on the VA side of the river or in DC. Besides the fact that the river has normal cycles and there are numerous fish under 12" right now and they will be in the 15-18" range in 1-2 years. This is a bunch of crap led by a guide (not Mike) who hates tournaments and is an ***.
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Old 03-30-16, 02:22 PM   #4
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Well the PEN didn't work so now the ROD is being taken to the tournament guys...
I don't think this is over yet, the economic impact to MD business will be significant while those on the VA side remain unaffected as regards the Potomac. Just the loss of ramp fees at Smallwood, where multiple tournaments launch and weigh in every weekend, could be well into 5 figures per month. Smallwood State Park depends heavily on access fees to operate and MD will have to find a way to replace that money to keep it open. Not a lot of intelligent thought went into this, IMO. These regulations also apply to the Upper Bay which will also feel economic impact similiar to the MD side of the Potomac River. Tournaments scheduled there will not have the option to change thier location to VA and the primary launch site in Northeast, MD is private and the owner stands to lose a lot of money due to tournament cancellations this summer as well as other businesses in the area.
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Old 03-31-16, 01:30 PM   #5
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Add in the new catch and release areas in the Maryland creeks. This may cause some issues for some tournament guys but not if you fish main river grass beds or the VA creeks.
Mostly its bad decisions made on incomplete information. VAGIF says river/creeks are fine and nothing needs to change but MD is rushing to make changes.....stupidity? Incompetence?
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Old 04-01-16, 09:01 AM   #6
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I find it a boost in my pocket.. I fish Mattawomen exclusive from June-August.. every weekend a small club is there pounding the waters and dropping dead fish at the dock.

With out the added pressure of the tourny guys it will allow us to get a better class of bass. But let the record state I am not a fan of the Pen or the Rod.

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