Despite what biologists say, limits on bluefish go unrevised

October 08, 1995|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,SUN STAFF

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted last week not to further restrict commercial and recreational catches of bluefish, which biologists say are being overfished along the Atlantic seaboard.

The bluefish management board had passed a proposal to cut limits from 10 fish per day to three per day at an eight-inch minimum size for recreational fishermen and to reduce the commercial catch by 20 percent.

The two halves of the proposal were intended to reduce the overall catch of bluefish by 40 percent.

According to fisheries biologists, spawning stocks have been far below average since 1982, and the species has been overfished since 1986.

Canada geese committees

The Department of Natural Resources is organizing committees in Eastern Shore counties to identify habitat needs of wintering migrant Canada geese.

"The goal of the committee is to help DNR in the sound management of the migrant Canada goose population wintering habitats on the Eastern Shore," said DNR Secretary John R. Griffin.

In Dorchester County, for example, the committee is encouraging farmers and landowners to leave some unharvested crops in their fields and offering free wheat seed to landowners of farms where Canada geese traditionally forage.

"The Canada goose has provided countless hours of enjoyment to both hunters and tourists alike," said Dorchester committee chairman Randy Hiers. "We need to take care of the remaining birds to ensure our children have the same opportunities."

The Atlantic Flyway population of migrant Canada geese has declined in recent years because of poor breeding conditions in Canada and hunting pressure. The Canada goose season has been closed throughout the flyway for at least one year.

DNR's Wildlife Division is organizing similar committees in Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's and Talbot counties.

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