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Managing Fisheries for the Future


Marine Protected Areas

A Fisheries Ecosystem Plan

The Need for Monitoring

Remembrance of
Things Past

Knauss Fellows

Basket of croakers on a crabbing boat - by Skip Brown
Bycatch - like this basket of croakers on a crabbing boat - provides one example of how each fishery involves more than a single species.
Managing the
Bay's Fisheries

Deale, Maryland, 4:30 a.m. It's days before Thanksgiving and Keith "Bootie" Collins is steering his workboat the Catherine C through the cold dark of Rockhold Creek on the Chesapeake's western shore. Huddled in the cabin for warmth, he and his three crew are headed for the Bay's open waters to harvest fish from several pound nets. The season for pound netters, open since April, will shut down on November 29th. For eight months Collins has been steering the same early morning route - while he will bring in white perch, croaker, menhaden, sea trout, eel and several other species, his money crop is striped bass.

What was hardly a faint glow ahead becomes more visible - the yellow light on Collins' first pound net, about two miles out from shore. As the Catherine C gets closer, the crew - Bryan Clark, Johnnie Smith and 76-year old Raymond "Tuck" Fountain - pull themselves into rubberized suits, effortlessly despite the cramped quarters. Collins maneuvers the workboat parallel to the leading edge of the pound net's crib - the cul de sac or "pocket" where fish are trapped - and secures it to the poles holding up the rest of the net. All four hustle into the skiff they've been trailing and paddle around the back edge of the crib. Once they position the skiff parallel to the workboat, they begin gathering the net inch by inch, securing it to hooks on the skiff, drawing both skiff and netted fish closer to the Catherine C.     Read more . . .

- The Editors

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