Barring any surprise developments, Maryland's 1991 fall rockfish season will go off as planned, according to the plans put together by the Striped Bass Advisory Board.
In addition, the fall harvest allocation has been increased from 750,000 pounds to 1,071,740 pounds.
The advisory board has done an excellent job putting together the1991 striped bass program. For the most part, it has become a unitedworking group that has tackled difficult problems and come up with appropriate solutions.
I do not agree with all the solutions, but Iknow how and why they were reached and I cannot fault the final package. I hope the majority of the members are reappointed to next year's board.
A few weeks back I became rather upset with the state Department of Natural Resources for suggesting an alternative to the 1991 fall striped bass season.
Someone was afraid the advisory board's proposal would be perceived as unfair to one or more of the stripedbass user groups. The state called a meeting of the advisory board, which told senior DNR managers that it planned to stick to its guns and then voted 9-to-1 to keep its recommendations for the fall season.
We have been awaiting the DNR's decision on the fall season ever since.
I think one point that is missed by many is the abuse theseadvisory board members take from their own constituents. While at the SBAB meetings, they work to get the best deal they can for their group. Then they go back to their respective organizations and the shouting starts.
I know of charter captains who were so unhappy with the board's actions that they yelled unpleasant oaths and, of course, blamed the charter boat representative for not getting a better deal.I am fairly certain this happened to the representatives of the other user groups.
It was a very frustrating task, but these folks dida heck of a job. By proposing an alternate plan, the DNR managers indicated they did not support all the efforts of the advisory board members nor did they appreciate the frustrations the members had to endure.
I'm surprised that board members kept their cool and didn't tell those DNR managers what they thought of their alternative suggestions.
The DNR has now withdrawn its alternative proposal and is backing the advisory board's recommendations for the fall striped bass season.
Once Gov. William Donald Schaefer approves the package, itwill start through the red tape mill that will produce a regulation or series of regulations in time for the opening of the season in October.
Earlier this week, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission approved a boost in the Maryland harvest quota to 1,071,740 pounds. The increase is based upon the computer model DNR biologists use to determine striped bass management initiatives.
It will be split between recreational (455,490 pounds), commercial (455,490 pounds)and charter boat (160,761 pounds) fishermen.
Next weekend isthe sixth annual Budweiser/Calvert County Cardiac Society $20,000 Trout and Bluefish Pro-Am Fishing Tournament.
The tournament is fished out of Solomons, one of my favorite fun fishing ports on the Chesapeake.
Grand prizes are awarded for the largest sea trout and bluefish, and daily prizes also are awarded. In addition, prizes will be given to seniors over 65, for children under 13 and for female anglers.
Information, call 535-1554.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena. His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.