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Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters
Martha's Vineyard
Surfcasters Association
P.O. Box 3053
Edgartown, MA 02539
Author: Created: 7/6/2011 7:37 PM RssIcon
Another MVSA Blog by Dave
By dbalon on 11/21/2011 10:03 PM
                  Public Hearing: Nov. 29, 6:00 PM. in Danvers & Nov. 30, 6:00 PM in Plymouth
The MA Div. of Marine Fisheries (DMF) will be holding public hearings on two important conservation measures that will have an immediate impact on saving our stripers. You can help stop the wasteful killing of stripers by voicing your support for these two proposals. The DMF is doing something right. Let's let them know we have their back on this
1)       The DMF is proposing to require both recreational and commercial fishermen fishing for or in possession of striped bass to use circle hooks when fishing with whole or cut natural bait. The reasoning is that traditional "J" hooks are often swallowed by striped bass causing internal damage and increasing discard mortality. Circle hooks have demonstrated the ability to hook the fish in the mouth and thereby decrease mortality rates.
2)        The second proposal is to prohibit the use of "yo-yo" rigs. "Yo-yo" rigs and other similar gear that use natural baits rigged with embedded weights not attached to the terminal tackle increase discard mortality when striped bass swallow the bait and the associated weight. DMF is proposing to prohibit the use of this gear by both recreational and commercial fishermen.
MA Stripers Forever endorses both proposals.  The outcome will be greatly influenced by input from the public and the DMF is looking for our support. You can be certain that all the recreational fish hogs and the "commercial" SB fishermen will be out in force to oppose both proposals. This is our chance to support and not fight the DMF!
The first hearing will be Nov. 29 at 6:00 PM. at the CoCoKey Hotel and Water Resort, 50 Ferncroft Road in Danvers. The second will be Nov. 30 at 6:00 PM at the Radisson Hotel Plymouth Harbor at 180 Water St. in Plymouth. Written comments will be accepted until Dec. 2. E-mail to, or mail to 251 Causeway St., Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114.
Thanks for being involved and taking action on these two conservation issues that can save the lives of many fish that will die if we don't show up and support these proposals.
Dean Clark /Fred Jennings
PS If you will be going to either of these hearings (and we sincerely hope you will) please email one of us and let us know. Thanks.

By dbalon on 11/19/2011 1:02 AM
There are new categories for the club's Derby, First Fish and Last Fish. Pins will now be awarded for the first bluefish caught and the last bluefish caught in a calendar year.
In addition the first striper and the last striper (any size) will be awarded pins too. However the stripers cannot be landlocked pond fish. They must be salt water fish not brackish water holdovers.
Enter the fish like any other into the contest by filling out an MVSA In-House Derby slip. The link to the MVSA In-House Derby slip can be found by clicking on this link:
MVSA In-House Derby Slip

There is no differentiation between shore, boat, all tackle or fly rod fish.
Obviously first fish doesn't apply to 2011 at this point but last fish does. Fish are still being caught as the weather keeps holding out. See if you can be the last fishermen still standing and catching.
Bragging rights awarded.
See you out there.

Will Geresy
MVSA President
By dbalon on 11/13/2011 3:25 PM

Experts have made the first scientific attempt to quantify the shark phenomena in local waters, and what they have concluded is (spoiler alert): More seals means more sharks.

Click here to read the full report given to the Cape Cod Times.

By dbalon on 10/28/2011 8:23 AM
This is what Wasque looks like as of October 27, 2011. It looks as though erosion has eaten into the cliffs where the Swan Pond used to be. These pictures were taken from the walkway down to the beach to give our readers an idea of how close the surf line is to the stairway.
Both the outside and inside trails to the Rip are closed to traffic but it doesn't matter. Even if you could get out there it would be difficult to navigate through the debris field on the beach.
By dbalon on 10/28/2011 7:48 AM
RFA Ad Banner 2
Recreational Fishing Alliance  
Contact:  Jim Hutchinson, Jr. / 888-564-6732  
For Immediate Release
October 27, 2011     


Interested Angler Advocates Can Still Fax Comments Until November 2

(10/27/2011)  Following a full month of public hearings and debate, the deadline for public comment to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) with regard to the Atlantic Menhaden Draft Addendum V is quickly coming to a close on Wednesday, November 2, 2011.


After careful deliberation following comprehensive analysis of the draft, the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) has prepared their final comments for submission to the ASFMC, which are now posted at the RFA homepage at  


"RFA has been in close contact with its members along the Atlantic Coast, individuals and business involved with the menhaden bait fishery, and other organizations that have an interest in responsible menhaden management," writes RFA executive director Jim Donofrio in the opening comments to the letter to ASMFC's Toni Kerns, outlining RFA's official position. Calling ASMFC's current management measures for Atlantic menhaden a "failure," RFA said annual harvest reductions are necessary in the menhaden fishery, while saying that reductions need to be directed specifically at the reduction fishery.


"Harvest reductions in concert with revised management measures geared toward the reduction fishery, have the highest likelihood of achieving the existing or revised management goals in the coming fishing seasons," Donofrio said.


"It is without question that fishing mortality which is driven primarily by the reduction fishery landings exceeded the fishing mortality target in every single year except once in the past 52 years," Donofrio said, adding "Reduction landings from the most recent year, 2010 report a 27% increase from 2009."


"A sensible response from any resource management body would be to address this problem in a responsible manner through the implementation of management measures," he added.


In recent days, numerous advocacy groups have come out with one- and two-page policy positions calling for newer and more restrictive fishing mortality thresholds which RFA openly supports. However, Donofrio points out in his letter that without management measures being revised through an amendment process, any revisions to biological reference points as proposed in the ASMFC's Addendum V draft will be meaningless."


"RFA supports Option 2 for fishing mortality thresholds," Donofrio said, explaining that a new threshold would result in an almost immediate 23% reduction in overall menhaden landings. "In a general sense, RFA supports a threshold associated with higher maximum spawning potential ratio because it would ensure a greater percentage of menhaden available for forage."


The RFA goes on to explain that "a harvest reduction is necessary," while also adding that they are "extremely concerned that option as written does not include a mechanism to prevent landings from increasing as the stock responds to management objectives."


RFA's comprehensive six-page policy position addresses each of the options included in the ASMFC draft, and tackles important considerations such as gear restrictions, season and area closures, mortality targets, along with cap and effort controls within both the bait and reduction industry.


"What the ASMFC has given the public to review does not reflect reality," Donofrio said this week in preparing final comments. "ASMFC is trying to make the pain of harvest reduction go across the board equally when the real culprit is Omega Protein out of Reedville on the Chesapeake and the displaced herring fleet in federal waters. Given that harvest occurs in both federal and state waters, the best answer that's not on the document would be for menhaden to be jointly managed by both ASMFC and the regional fishery management council."


RFA has summarized their full comments into a one-page document for RFA members and advocates to submit their own comments if interested. Those supporting RFA's more comprehensive position can download, print, sign and fax a similar position to Toni Kerns, Senior Fishery Management Plan Coordinator for Management, at 703-842-0741.


Click here for RFA's full comments to ASMFC

Click here to download, print, sign and fax your own version:



About Recreational Fishing Alliance
The Recreational Fishing Alliance is a national, grassroots political action organization representing recreational fishermen and the recreational fishing industry on marine fisheries issues. The RFA Mission is to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect marine, boat and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our Nation's saltwater fisheries. For more information, call 888-JOIN-RFA or visit
By dbalon on 10/20/2011 10:37 AM

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced that the 2011 Young of the Year (YOY) Striped Bass Survey is 34.6, well above the long-term average of 11.9, and exceedingly higher than 2010’s results of 5.9. This is the fourth highest measure of striped bass spawning success in the Chesapeake Bay in the survey’s 58-year history.

“This reinforces our understanding that when conditions are right, the striped bass population is capable of producing robust year classes of young rockfish,” said DNR Fisheries Service Director Tom O’Connell.

The survey also documented an increase in the abundance of juvenile blueback herring- a population that had previously decreased dramatically in the Chesapeake Bay and along the coast. White perch, another important food and sportfish species, saw near record reproduction.

Click here for the full article.
By dbalon on 10/18/2011 9:54 AM

The MV Surfcasters have played a role in supporting the MV Derby American Heroes event in the past, and were out in force on Sept 20'th to support the visiting wounded warriors and their families during the 2011 East Beach outing.  MV Surfcasters provided logistical support moving the visitors from the Beach Plum Inn out to East Beach.  Surfcasters then worked one on one with the vets and their families casting for blues and dunking bait on East Beach throughout the afternoon and early evening of the 20’th.  As much as this is a fishing outing, it's really more about spending time with the vets, making them feel welcome, and providing them with an opportunity to relax and enjoy some of the wonderful places we get to fish on MV.


Surfcasters who helped out included Wally White, Bob Lane, Mike Stimola, Janet Messineo, and Phil Horton.  Surfcasters Peter Johnson, Paul Schultz, Will and Sue Geresy, and Dan Geary were part of the TTOR team that supported the outing.  The vets and their families had a great time. 

Click here to see photos of the event.

By dbalon on 10/11/2011 12:19 PM
Some of the MVSA members have sent in some nice photos that show what fishing the derby is all about. It is not always about catching fish but more of the overall experience of fishing the derby. There are no fish pictures in this particular album as it is more to show some of the great scenes and experiences people have had while rebuilding friendships. There are also some great sunrises and sunsets that will last a lifetime for those who were there to enjoy them.
If anyone else has pictures they would like to share or would like to have them posted into this album please let us know by using the CONTACT US tab on the website.

Click here to see the Derby Scenes photo album.
By dbalon on 9/21/2011 2:30 PM

Senior officials from the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will hold a public information session and discussion about offshore federal wind energy development southwest of Martha's Vineyard on Wednesday, September 21 at 5 p.m. at the Katharine Cornell Theatre, 54 Spring Street, Vineyard Haven.

On August 18, 2011, BOEMRE published the Area of Mutual Interest (Rhode Island and Massachusetts) all for Information and Nominations and corresponding Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental Assessment in the Federal Register.

The purpose of this Wednesday’s meeting is to explain these proposals, the next steps in the process, and to gather input from the public, state, local and tribal leaders, representatives of the fishing industry, as well as members of the public. BOEMRE officials will explain the commercial leasing process and provide the public with additional opportunities to provide input on important environmental, socioeconomic issues and alternatives to be considered in the Environmental Assessment (EA).

This is an important opportunity for members of the federal Wind Energy Task Force, Selectmen, planning board members, members of the Wind Energy Plan for Dukes County Work Group, and other interested organizations and people to discuss these issues with senior officials from the federal and state governments. BOEMRE officials are expected to participate include Maureen "Mo" Bornholdt, Program Manager, and Jessica Bradley, Project Coordinator, at the Office of Offshore Alternative Energy Programs. BOEMRE Director

Michael R. Bromwich said “It’s important that we hear from stakeholders who will be affected by offshore wind development to ensure that we do it in the right way and in the right places. We are determined to make sure that relevant interests and concerns are appropriately considered early in the planning process.”

Save the Date: On Wednesday, October 5, at 5 p.m., representatives from the Ocean Conservancy will hold a meeting on Martha's Vineyard to discuss how Martha's Vineyard and other areas along the coast are dealing with BOEMRE’s approach to wind energy development. It will include how to best seek the appropriate balance between moving ahead with renewable energy development versus the desire to carry out adequate marine spatial planning in advance of decisions about where to locate development. More details, including the location, will follow.

(Note: The MVC is sending out this reminder to make sure that all interested parties are aware of this Wednesday’s meeting, but the Commission is not organizing this meeting.)

By dbalon on 9/11/2011 8:05 PM
Day 1 of the 2011 MV Derby has shown fishermen there has been a lot of changes to the Martha's Vineyard shoreline since Hurricane Irene passed through New England. One of the most drastic changes that will affect fishermen is the Wasque boardwalk area. The lower half of the boardwalk, that used to be a nice scenic walk around Swan Pond, has been completely blown apart by the storm surge of Hurricane Irene. Even worse is the tranquil Swan Pond is now completely gone and filled in with sand. It is difficult to imagine but Swan Pond is now just a memory and part of the Wasque beach front.

Click here to see photos taken by Ron Domurat.
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