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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
By dbalon on 5/26/2017 3:28 PM
Chappy and Norton Point Beach Report
TTOR, Chris Kennedy
May 25, 2017

Beach Update

Most beaches on Chappy and Norton Point are open this holiday weekend for oversand vehicles but current permits are required to drive on the beach.  If you haven’t grabbed your permit yet, make sure to stop by Coop’s Bait and Tackle in Edgartown or the gatehouses at Chappy or Norton Point. Also, while its still in your mind, we highly recommend that you put your tow rope, shovel, tire gauge and a jack support board back in your beach buggy—trust us you will wish you had done this when you find yourself stuck on the beach some late evening this season.

Norton Point looks good right now but we are still awaiting Mother Nature to drop some sand on the outside beach adjacent to the gatehouse.  The first ¼ mile at Norton Point is impassable on the outside beach due to erosion.  OSV’s may travel on the inside trail just past the gatehouse and you can move onto the outside beach a short way down the barrier beach.  Norton Point gets a little skinny as you near Wasque which allows only one vehicle at a time to traverse a short 200 foot section of beach before you reach Chappy.  Norton Beach will have a number of plover and tern nests established shortly which will probably require the closing of the beach near sections where chicks are located. Still too soon to be able to predict where or when that will happen, but experience has taught all of us that it is likely to happen. 

Wasque Point is really broad in most spots, but severe erosion at the junction of Leland Beach and Wasque Point has forced the Trustees to temporarily block through traffic to Chappy as of Thursday mid-day(5/25/2017). 

A Coastal Flood Warning has been issued for Martha’s Vineyard by the National Weather Service for tonight.  We will re-evaluate the situation in the morning and will reopen access around Wasque to Leland as soon as we can.

At Wasque Point, please avoid the beach grass which is slowly beginning to move outwards from the cliff.  The grass helps stabilize the beach which is in all of our interests.  No shorebirds are currently nesting at Wasque Point but that could change as the habitat looks ideal for nesting plovers. 

Leland Beach will once again be a hotspot for plovers.  Several pairs of birds have been spotted looking for nesting areas on the outside and inside beach at Leland and we expect nests to be laid down close to the middle of Leland Beach in the coming weeks.  Given its importance to nesting plovers we are asking fishermen and vehicle drivers to once again keep their dogs on a leash.  Dogs which are found off of leashes may be asked, along with their owners, to leave the beach.  Repeat warnings will result in permit revocation.  Areas where plovers and terns are nesting will be posted as “NO Dogs” areas.  Please help us pass the word. 

Dogs will not be allowed on designated Swimming beaches this summer.

Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge is open for vehicle access except for the very end of the Gut where a family of plovers has taken up residence.  Again, this is not a surprise as these birds tend to be early nesters and hatchers.  Ecology staff have found other nests at the Elbow which may result in additional closures in that area.   But we have learned that Mother Nature laughs at us when we think we have the habits and behaviors of wildlife figured out. We also expect to see plovers setting up nests in the coming weeks in all the usual places on East Beach.  OSV access across the East Beach Swimming beach will be allowed until mid-June when we will close vehicle access to prevent vehicles from driving among swimmers, sunbathers and kids.

All gatehouses will be open and beaches will be fully patrolled seven days per week beginning Friday, May 26.  As always the Trustees appreciate the support of the Martha’s Vineyard Surfcaster’s Association!

By dbalon on 5/22/2017 9:21 AM
The Dick’s Bait & Tackle annual Memorial Day derby has been renamed in honor of Hawkeye.

The Bob Hawkeye Jacobs Memorial Day weekend derby takes place this Friday 5/26 12:01 am until Monday 5/29 at 4:00 pm sharp. Boat and shore division bass and bluefish.  The derby is run out of Dick’s Bait and Tackle – sign-ups, weigh-ins, and awards.  Please consider participating and honoring our good friend Hawkeye.

This is a great event to please try to sign up and participate if possible.

Fish on!
By dbalon on 5/11/2017 8:32 AM
Stripers Forever
May 10, 2017
Brad Burns, President


Yesterday the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission debated on whether or not an increase in striped bass harvest of about 10% should be allowed for next year. The motion to take the increase out to public hearings failed 10 votes to 5. Hooray! NJ, DE, MD, VA, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission – a shill organization that simply provides the Chesapeake Bay states an extra vote – all voted in favor, and all other states voted against. What changed from the first vote was that CT, NY, NC all changed their votes from yes to no, and that did it for us.
 
Why the change of heart from last winter when this idea was dreamed up? I think in the final analysis there were three reasons. The first was that the actual catch is hard to predict. The catch was thought to have decreased considerably on the coast but had actually increased in the Chesapeake Bay area, and these were the same people who wanted still more. It didn’t sell well. The scientists predicted that there was a very good chance that the catch in 2018 would actually increase by more than 10% even with no change in regulations. This was because of an increased number of fish in certain year classes that both the Bay and the coast are expected to fish on, and lastly because a stock assessment with a lot of new science is being proposed for 2018. Many thought it was likely that even if a change was made this year it would probably be changed again – perhaps reversed – next year.
 
In any case we dodged a bullet, and I hope our advocacy was helpful. This reprieve will give us a chance to see another year class born in the Chesapeake Bay before the issue is tackled again. Some of the recent YOY have been poor, but the trend isn’t really conclusive because there are also occasionally really good ones. The science is also evolving. During yesterday's meeting there was a discussion about the new science methods, and they are talking about some of the complicated aspects of the old models that we have long had issues with. I’m sure that all of the problems won’t be fixed, but perhaps the population estimates will get better and more reflective of what we actually see on the water. Along with the new science was a discussion about perhaps designing various stock reference points and management triggers to reflect a different set of values for the fishery, and how this will be an opportunity to take a new look at just how and for what values the striped bass fishery should be managed. Hopefully we will be able to influence this process to achieve more recognition of the socio-economic value of high quality angling.

Science and advocacy matters. Thanks to everyone who wrote and lobbied for no increase in the regulated harvest. Alone a single voice is nearly silent but together we have raised an awareness of the need to protect and conserve. I believe we have pricked and awakened the latent conscience of many regulators that are beginning to realize that no longer will the recreational fishermen and women silently allow commercially vested interests to destroy what is our fishery too.

Brad Burns, President
Stripers Forever​​​​​​​

By dbalon on 5/4/2017 2:30 PM
The Striped Bass are right around the corner! Get ready for some great Spring action as the waters warm up in May. Water temp is right around the magical 50 degree mark so the fishing will be heating up anytime soon.

Get off to a great start with the May MVSA Newsletter.  Included is remembering Ed Lepore (Bonito Ed), a Summary of the April MVSA Mtg, MVSA In-House Updates/Process, TTOR Beach Report, Striped Bass Report, Story of the Courtesy Patrol,  Calendar Events, etc...

Check out the full report enclosed here. Just click on the link below.

2017 May MVSA May Newsletter.pdf