Thursday, September 30, 2004
Bill Cochran's Field Reports: Striper regulations debated
Bill Cochran's Outdoors
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- The good and bad of the 2012 saltwater fishing season
- Column archive
Bill's Field Reports
- Virginia General Assembly goes soft on outdoor issues
- Quail Unlimited calls it quits
- Field reports archive
The time may be right for new regulations for striped bass fishing at Smith Mountain Lake. That’s the suggestion Dan Wilson, a Department of Game and Inland Fisheries biologist, has made to the Smith Mountain Striper Club. Some club members weren’t exactly happy with what they heard.
Wilson is kicking around the idea of a two-per day slot limit for cool weather months and a four-per day limit with no size restriction during warm weather months. There no longer would be a 20-inch minimum.
Surveys at Smith Mountain and elsewhere show mortality of striper released during warm weather months is as high as 80-90 percent. So why practice catch and release if the fish are going to die?
Wilson is advocating a regulation June through September where anglers would keep all the striper they catch up to four no matter the size then quit fishing.
During cold months, Oct. through May, the proposed regulation would be a two-per day 26- to 37-inch slot limit, meaning you could keep fish under 26 inches or over 37 inches, but nothing between.
Wilson said he was looking for ways to restore trophy striped bass at Smith Mountain Lake, where growth rates have declined and citation catches have dropped dramatically. Many fish have been lost to a parasite, but parasite numbers have declined, although they aren’t likely to disappear.
“We can continue doing the same thing and hope for the best or we can make some changes,” Wilson told club members.
Striper club members have been asked by Wilson to email their opinions about the proposals. His address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The proposals would have to go through normal channels and it would be July 1, 2006 before any changes became law.
LEAVING NO TRACE
Barbara Duerk, a hiker, biker and paddler from the Roanoke Valley recently completed the Master Trainer Lave No Trace Course in the Mount Rogers area. The summary of the training:
Plan ahead and prepare
Travel and camp on durable surfaces
Dispose of waste properly
Leave what you find
Minimize campfire impacts
Be considerate of other visitors
FOR MARTENS, SECOND AIN’T BAD
Forget about the old saying that nobody remembers who finished second? Aaron Martens placed second in a couple of the country’s biggest bass tournaments, yet this innovative angler isn’t about to be overlooked by his peers.
Martens was second in the CITGO Bassmaster Classic on Lake Wylie and second in the FLW Pro Tour on Lake Chaplain. He finished first in the U.S. Open on Lake Mead.
The 32-year-old angler from California uses lures and techniques seldom considered by other anglers. In the U.S. Open he fished a worm so slowly that it appeared to be dead. At the Classic, he used a spinnerjig, something most bass anglers have never used. The same can be said of the white-hair jig he often employs and the dropshot method he has popularized.
Where does Martens pick up his techniques? From pros that he admires? From bass magazines? Seminars?
No, form his Mom, Carol, according to the Gary Yamamoto’s newsletter: www.insideline.net.
“Instead of partying and going to the beach and surfing, I'd go fishing with my mom most every day,” he said. “It was great. I learned my techniques from her and just
grew up doing them. I can't say we really followed anyone else or that we tried to do what other people were doing.”
>Another heavy slug of hurricane water has disrupted fishing in many streams, including the James and New, just as the autumn season began. It has been that kind of year for smallmouth bass anglers. Even when the water has been fishable, the bass have been scarce, due to a string of years when drought harmed spawning success. It is going to be several years before the stream bass fishery returns. Look for trophy smallmouths citations to be down when the 2004 count is tallied.
>Fishing has been impressive for largemouth bass at Chickahominy Lake. Bass from 4 to nearly 8 pounds have been common, some of them taken on top-water lures and even on fly rods. One angler reported landing 30 bass on plastic worms.
>Robert Vandermark of Richmond caught a 60-pound blue catfish in the James River near Richmond just before the latest high-water occurred.
>One angler reported catching 45 yellow perch at Lake Moomaw.
>When the Chesapeake Bay striped bass season opens Oct. 4 anglers will be fishing under a new regulation. Two fish over 18 inches may be kept, but only one may be over 28 inches. In the ocean, two stripers may be kept, but both must be 28 inches or longer.
BILL /JACK RANDOLPH
>One of the top fund-raisers for the Ruffed Grouse Society is the H.C. Edwards Chapter located in Staunton. Last year the chapter ranked ninth in North America in net proceeds from sportsmen’s banquets, accounting for $33,900. The chapter was 13th in money contributed per person, which was just over $125.
>The Smith River Trout Unlimited Chapter is trying to beef up its membership and influence as public attention is directed to the Smith River brown trout fishery. The chapter has scheduled a dinner meeting 7 p.m., Oct. 4 at Rania’s Restaurant in Martinsville (147 E. Main Street). The group is in dire need of a new president. Guests are welcome. Information from Ted Tomczak, 276-629-2962.
>Todd Schaaf of Hume, Va. has advanced to the BASS Federation Championship next spring, earning that right by finishing first place on the Virginia Team in the CITGO BASS Federation Eastern Division in Gilford, N.H. The Virginia Team finished fourth behind New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. The overall winner was New Hampshire Team member Joe Lucarelli.
>Interior Secretary Gale Norton has announced more than $70 million in grants to support conservation planning and wildlife habitat across the country. Included was $184,000 to protect the habitat of one of the largest concentrations of federally endangered Mitchell’s Satyr butterflies in Floyd County.
VIRGINIA SALTWATER FISHING TOURNAMENT
Here are the standings of the Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament:
BLACK DRUM: 95 pounds, Joseph Roub, Baltimore, Md., Hog Island Bay.
COBIA: 103 pounds, 8 ounces, Vince Ainsley, Aylett, lower-western Chesapeake Bay.
CROAKER: 5 pounds, Jarvis Taylor, Richmond, lower York River.
DOLPHIN: 50 pounds, Jereme Wilson, Chesapeake, off Virginia Beach.
FLOUNDER: 14 pounds, 4 ounces, Betty Smith, Chesapeake, lower-eastern Chesapeake Bay.
GRAY TRIGGERFISH: 4 pounds, 12 ounce, Justin Hurst, Suffolk, lower-western Chesapeake Bay.
GRAY TROUT: 12 pounds, 12 ounces, Greg Thayer, Gloucester, upper-eastern Chesapeake Bay.
KING MACKEREL: 52 pounds, Cecil Smith, Virginia Beach, off Virginia Beach.
KINGFISH: 1 pound, 14 ounce, Bobby Smith, Portsmouth, lower-western Chesapeake Bay.
POMPANO: 3 pounds, 6 ounces, Arlon Stith, Petersburg, lower James River.
SEA BASS: 6 pounds, 14 ounces, Mark Fueller, Rio Grande, N.J., off Virginia Beach.
SHEEPHEAD: 19 pounds, 3 ounces state record, Jeff Hutton, Virginia Beach, lower eastern Chesapeake Bay.
SPADEFISH: 13 pounds, 10 ounces, Jake Mapp, Franktown, upper-eastern Chesapeake Bay.
SPANISH MACKEREL: 6 pounds, 6 ounces, Patrick Quisenberry, Mechanicsville, upper-western Chesapeake Bay.
SPECKLED TROUT: 13 pounds, 12 ounces, Walter Kellum, Hayes, Mobajack Bay.
SPOT: 1 pound, 8 ounces, Susan Davis, Petersburg, lower Your River.
STRIPED BASS: 63 pound state record, Carolyn Brown, Virginia Beach, off the Virginia Coast.
TAUTOG: 22 pounds, 9 ounces, Julie Ball, Virginia Beach, off Virginia Beach.
TUNA (BLUEFIN): 180 pounds, 4 ounces, Okey Bolling, Pasadena, Md. off Eastern Shore.
TUNA (OTHER): 241 pounds, Mike Wolf, Sterling, off Virginia Beach.
WAHOO: 107 pounds, Chris Miles, Virginia Beach, off Virginia Beach.
Dedication of Piedmont Phase of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, Sept. 30, 9:30 a.m., Kemper Park (near intersection of Virginia 20 and 35), Charlottesville.
Bowhunting deer season, Oct. 2.
Smith River Trout Unlimited Chapter meeting, 7 p.m., Oct. 4, Rania’s Restaurant in Martinsville (147 E. Main Street), information from Ted Tomczak, 276-629-2962.
Smith Mountain Striper Club fall tournament, Oct. 9., information from Rex Smith, email@example.com.
Bowhunting bear season, Oct. 9-Nov. 6.
CITGO Bassmaster Open tournament, Oct. 14-16, Smith Mountain Lake.
Author Leonard Adkins will be signing copies of “The Best of the Appalachian Trail Day Hikes” and “The Best of the Appalachian Trail Overnight Hikes” at the following Roanoke locations: Oct. 15, Barnes and Noble, 1-3 p.m.; Oct. 16, Ram’s Head Book Store, 1-3 p.m. Both books are out in new Second Editions.
Roanoke Valley Friends of NRA Banquet, 5:30 p.m., Oct. 16, Salem Civic Center, $30 single, $50 couple, mail ticket requests to Roanoke Valley FNRA, P.O. Box 463, Daleville, VA 24083, information from Dennis Mizack, 540-774-2289.
Grouse season Oct. 25-Feb. 12
H.C. Edwards Chapter of Ruffed Grouse Society Banquet, 6 p.m., Oct. 29, Augusta Expoland, Fisherville, info and tickets from Matt Smith, 540-459-3559 or 540-432-7732.
Muzzleloading deer season east of Blue Ridge, Oct. 30.
Rabbit season Nov. 1-Feb. 14.
Muzzleloading deer season west of Blue Ridge, Nov. 6.
Quail season Nov. 8-Jan. 31.
Firearms deer season Nov. 13.
Got an event? Let us know: firstname.lastname@example.org