Oct 24 2011
Mar 14 2011
Check out Jed Fiebelkorn, one of our Lateral Line Ambassadors, as he hosts Trout Unlimited’s: On the Rise. The show airs on The Sportsman Channel.
Upcoming shows to check out:
All Times Eastern
Mon. 3/28 @ 10AM
Tue. 3/29 @ 8PM
Sun. 4/3 @ 3:30PM
(In the picture is Jed with a striped bass he caught on the fly while fishing with us in the southern Chesapeake Bay)
Feb 23 2011
An ongoing study by the Chesapeake Bay Ecological Foundation (CBEF) determined that low numbers of Atlantic menhaden, the predominate striped bass prey species within the Chesapeake Bay and along the Atlantic coast, have affected the growth, health and migration of striped bass. Since 2004, the CBEF, with assistance from East Carolina University, has examined over 7,000 striped bass from the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean along the Virginia and North Carolina coast.
Data collected by this study indicates that malnutrition observed in 16” to 24” striped bass from Maryland’s section of the Chesapeake Bay (upper Bay) is a consequence of ecological depletion (insufficient numbers of young menhaden less than 10” and bay anchovy). Malnutrition is also exacerbated by low numbers of other forage species. CBEF studies of resident and migratory striped bass determined that in most years since 2005, menhaden constituted over 75% of their diet (by weight). Within the Chesapeake Bay, striped bass growth decreased, a significant percentage of striped bass have mycobacterial infections and striped bass natural mortality rates have risen.
Diminishing striped bass numbers culminated in threatened species status in the upper Bay in 1984 and a fishing moratorium in 1985. In 1990 the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), which is responsible for the management of menhaden and striped bass, partially reopened the fishery in state waters and in 1995 declared striped bass fully recovered. Within the upper Bay a harvest cap was imposed for the first time and the 14” minimum size was raised to 18” (4-5 years of age). This size limit protected more than 90% of immature female striped bass which historically emigrated to coastal waters and became ocean residents before reaching 18”; only re-entering the Chesapeake Bay on spring spawning migrations after reaching maturity at age 6 or older. Within ocean waters the minimum size was set at 28” to allow most females to spawn at least once before reaching harvest size. These actions resulted in a greatly expanded striped bass population, and intensified feeding on menhaden and adult bay anchovy in ocean waters.
During the early 1990s, coincidental with burgeoning striped bass predation on menhaden and bay anchovy, adult menhaden were severely overfished off New England concurrent with intensive fishing by the purse seine reduction fishery (large scale harvest of fish for processing into products such a fish oil and meal) in the Virginia section of the Chesapeake Bay (lower Bay) and in ocean areas from New Jersey to North Carolina. The Omega Protein Corporation currently owns and operates the only remaining menhaden reduction fishery. This fishery, the largest on the Atlantic coast, competes with striped bass, fish eating birds and many marine predators. During 2009 and 2010, approximately 500 million young, immature menhaden (less than 10”), about 43% of the total numbers landed, were harvested in the lower bay and nearby coastal waters by Omega Protein. These immature menhaden are crucial to the diet of the Bay’s malnourished 16” to 24” striped bass and are supposed to be protected according to ASMFC’s ecological objectives in their Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.
This study revealed that large numbers of striped bass greater than 28”, predominately females, which historically migrated from summer habitat in New England waters during the fall to feeding grounds in coastal ocean waters off Virginia and North Carolina, now arrive in the upper Bay during late fall and remain through the spring spawning season – a previously undocumented event. This study also documented a significant increase in the population of immature female striped bass in the upper Bay during October through December of 2010. These females represented 25% of striped bass in the 18” to 24” range; two times higher than the 12% average in 2008 & 2009 and four times higher than the 6% average in 2006 & 2007. Immature females in this size range normally inhabit ocean waters and are protected by the 28” minimum size limit. However, within the Chesapeake Bay, immature female striped bass greater than 18” can be harvested by recreational and commercial fisheries.
Diet analyses, body fat indices and the unprecedented shift in established feeding patterns by migratory striped bass indicate that menhaden and bay anchovy are severely depleted on their coastal feeding grounds. Consequently, migratory striped bass that over-winter in the Chesapeake Bay are competing with resident striped bass for menhaden of all sizes.
ASMFC decisions that address menhaden overfishing must also resolve the fundamental problem – ecological depletion of Atlantic menhaden in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
Feb 14 2011
I was glad to be home this year to attend Tie Fest 2011 this past Saturday. Tie Fest started as a small gathering of fly fishing and fly tying enthusiasts in a basement on the western shore of the Maryland Chesapeake Bay. The vent grew to take over a fly shop on Kent Island for a day a year and finally over the last few years had to be moved to the Kent Island Yacht Club. The event is now put on and sponsored by the Kent Island CCA chapter. The event is designed to be pure, that means admission is free to attend. The event attracts the best of the best fly anglers and fly tiers from around the world. We are talking the likes of anglers like Lefty Kreh, Bob Clouser, Bob Popovics and many other great fly tiers. You can get one one time fly tying demonstrations and advice as well as casting demonstrations and advice by Lefty.
As always it was a great turn out. I snapped some pictures while spending some time at the show for your viewing enjoyment. Good seeing everyone and catching up, look forward to seeing everyone on the water this year and at the 2012 Tie Fest next year!
(You can enlarge the images by clicking on them; they will open in a new window. All photos taken by Brandon White and may not be used or reproduced with out express written permission)
The first picture sums up the spirit of the event, everyone learns from one another (those not familiar, in the picture is fly fishing legend Lefty Kreh on the right, Bob Clouser (creator of the clouser minnow) standing up and Bob Popovics (said to be one of the most innovative saltwater fly tiers ever) at the fly tying vice.
Bob Popovics fly tying
Bob Popovics fly tying
Feb 11 2011
In response to a rash of massive striped bass kills along the coast, CCA North Carolina will request the NC Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to eliminate trawling of any kindas a permissible fishing gear for striped bass. The incidents, photographed and videotaped by recreational anglers in the area, were the result of commercial trawling operations in state waters and have prompted outrage up and down the East Coast. CCA North Carolina will request decisive action at the MFC meeting in Pine Knolls, Feb. 10-11.
“The MFC has an obligation to responsibly manage these resources,” said Jay Dail, Chairman of the CCA NC. “Allowing a fishery to dump thousands of dead stripers over the side as a regular course of doing business is not responsible management. At the very least, the Commission should immediately outlaw the use of indiscriminate, highly destructive trawls in state waters in favor of more selective gear.”
In response to the first of the striped bass kills on Jan. 21, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries implemented regulatory changes to address discards of striped bass in the commercial trawl fishery. The Division replaced the previous 50-fish-per-day commercial trip limit with a 2,000-pound-per-day trip limit. The action was intended to allow the commercial industry to keep fishing while avoiding regulatory discards. The plan failed as another fish kill event, complete with trails of dead, floating bass, were again witnessed and recorded.
CCA North Carolina will request the MFC to establish a commercial hook-and-line only fishery for striped bass, a far more selective gear that will prevent the tragic waste of striped bass common to trawls.
Sadly, the NC Fisheries Association’s response to the recent fish kills wasn’t about the unwanted loss of striped bass, but one of location, “The federal government obstinately refuses to allow an increase on commercial quota or any percentage rollover, and the EEZ is still closed. These boats wouldn’t be anywhere near these recreational boats who were taking all the videos if they didn’t have to stay within three miles.” stated its director.
“This isn’t a question of ‘getting away with it.’ It’s about a flagrant waste of a public resource. On top of that, the economic hit of denying those fish to recreational anglers should be a significant concern to the state,” said Jim Hardin, President of CCA NC. In 2000, a study by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science indicated Virginia stood to generate about $181 million if the state allocated 100 percent of the striped bass to the recreational sector. Allocating 100 percent of that state’s stripers to the commercial industry would generate about $24 million. “Allowing this kind of destructive fishing practice to continue off our coast does not make sense at any level. It has to stop and we expect the MFC to take appropriate, effective action.”
Feb 10 2011
It might be cold in Maryland, but the fishing for stripers is pretty hot for light tackle and fly fishing anglers. The below was caught the other day while casting light tackle lures in one of the many warm water discharges in the Chesapeake bay. You can read a full fishing report here. Nice striper man!
Feb 07 2011
Hunting and fishing interests around the country have mobilized in recent years to protect the waters and lands of southwest Alaska’s famed Bristol Bay region. These groups are applauding today’s announcement by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that the agency is planning an assessment of the Bristol Bay watershed to better understand how future large-scale development projects may affect water quality and Bristol Bay’s salmon fishery. EPA initiated this assessment in response to concerns from federally-recognized tribes and others who petitioned the agency in 2010 to assess any potential risks to the watershed. “The potential development in the region is scary for sportsmen,” said Scott Hed, Director of the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska. “Each year anglers and hunters make the trip to Alaska just for an opportunity to fish and hunt in the famous Bristol Bay watershed. Sportsmen and women from across the country have joined forces to stop plans by foreign mining interests that could turn the entire Bristol Bay region into a massive mining district. Today’s announcement by the EPA shows that the agency recognizes the threats posed by the proposed Pebble Mine project, and that it is better to address these very serious concerns up front rather than wait until it may be too late.” Over 325 sporting groups and businesses oppose the mining plans in Bristol Bay. Sporting conservation groups and trade associations include Dallas Safari Club, Trout Unlimited, Federation of Fly Fishers, European Fishing Tackle Trade Association, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, American Fly Fishing Trade Association, American Sportfishing Association, Izaak Walton League of America, Wildlife Forever, Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, Bull Moose Sportsman’s Alliance, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, North American Fishing Club, North American Hunting Club, and the Campfire Club of America. Some of the most recognizable brands in hunting and fishing products have expressed their wishes to protect Bristol Bay as well, including Sturm, Ruger & Co., Savage Arms, Buck Knives, Hornady, Sitka, Filson, Orvis, Sage, Simms, ExOfficio, Patagonia, Scott, Hardy, and more than 150 others. “This is an issue that unites the complete spectrum of the sporting community,” continued Hed. “When you have got catch and release anglers and makers of fly rods and reels working in concert with big game hunters and firearm manufacturers, that’s a powerful set of interests – all in agreement that large-scale mining in the Bristol Bay watershed is simply the wrong idea in the wrong place. We look forward to working with the EPA and other decision makers as this public process to determine the fate of Bristol Bay moves forward.” Background Bristol Bay = International Fishing and Hunting Mecca The stakes are high for sporting interests in southwest Alaska’s Bristol Bay region, an area that is home to the world’s largest wild salmon runs, as well as some of the greatest trophy rainbow trout fishing and remote wilderness hunting on the planet. It’s a wild, remote and rugged place that is in the crosshairs of a plan to develop a massive mining district on millions of acres of state and federal lands. Commercial, sport, and subsistence fishing all depend on the wild salmon supported by Bristol Bay’s healthy waters. For thousands of years, Alaska natives have lived off Bristol Bay’s land, waters, and of course, its fish and wild game. Bristol Bay is home to the world’s largest commercial wild sockeye salmon fishery, with earnings accounting for nearly 33% of Alaska’s total harvest earnings. The harvest and processing of Bristol Bay fish generates nearly $450 million a year and provides jobs for thousands. For more information on the Sportsman’s Alliance for Alaska visit: www.SportsmansAlliance4AK.org
Feb 04 2011
A well-orchestrated group of of thieves is targeting Colorado fly shops. So far they have made off with several thousand dollars in merchandise. The group is stealing high end product. Among the shops hit thus far: Laughing Grizzly, Angler’s All, Charlie’s Fly Box, Trout’s Fly Shop, Orvis Cherry Creek, and Rocky Mountain Anglers. Thefts occurred February 2-3.
Suspects are two couples, Middle Eastern or Latin in appearance, well groomed and dressed fashionably. Once couple distracts the store staff while the other steals merchandise. Suspects have called ahead and verified that you are indeed a specialty fly shop. Cell phone area codes that have been used are (402) and (815). A Maroon passenger van with an Illinois license plate # K714 248 was used by the suspects.
The photo above is the only known photo of the suspects that is available at this time.
BE ON ALERT! Protect your business, and if you get a chance to pinch these crooks by calling the police, do it!