Posted by Brad on September 04, 2002 at 16:55:06:
In Reply to: Brad - I didn't post it but ----- posted by finfan on September 04, 2002 at 08:06:52:
(i would have preferred to continue this down below)
Here is what i actually said regarding the hatchery:
"As far as the return of the seabass and halibut being attributed to the restocking effort is concerned, i have my doubts. Don't misunderstand, i believe the OREHP is an incredible example of people working together doing something very real to enhance the fisheries, but the numbers of returned tags don't point to that effort being responsible for the return of the WSB. I have confidence that as time goes on, we will begin to seen the benefits of OREHP in earnest. As for the halibut, i only know of one restocking effort, that being in redondo Beach. I think that the expertise gained from that effort has the potential to benefit the overall populations of halibut, if the effort is ever stepped up."
That was in reply to this (yours) statement:
"To be honest - I think it will take a combination of three things. The rockfish recreational take limits are a start (they still need to be enforced). Second and I think the most important thing will be an island hatchery program. Very similar to the ones that (personally I think) are a big reason why the seabass and halibut fishery has shown such positive signs over the last few years. Lastly, as a collective whole, we still have a long way to go on the pollution factor in the SCB area."
Let me reiterate this point first, the WSB hatchery is arguably the most outstanding example of fisheries enhancement ever to succeed in our waters. All of those involved deserve our deepest appreciation.
Due to the removal of the gillnets (Prop 132) the seabass have made a remarkable recovery. We saw a dramatic increase in the catch numbers prior to the maturity of any of the hatchery fish though. That is not in any way to discount the hatchery effort, only to say that the recovery was in effect before the hatchery fish were being caught. A few years ago there was a huge sport WSB reduction effort at Palos Verdes, virtually ALL of these fish were too large to have been raised in the hatchery. That was the biggest local rec take memory.
I dismissed the sediment as a cause of the decline of resident species at the OUTER ISLANDS where the coastal sediment rarely if ever reaches. I still maintain that the absence of the slow-growth resident populations around Catalina are the result of recreational angling which removed all of the vital broodstock. There are very few OLD fish anywhere, and certainly not around Catalina.
Less pollution notwithstanding, if there are no mature fish, the populations will never recover.
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