Run Herring! Run!
The Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Commission approved a three-year ban in all state waters on harvest, possession and sale of river herring. The November 2006 decision came in response to recent drastic declines in river herring spawning runs. No river herring may be taken any sooner than 2009.
Since the National Marine Fisheries Service started encouraging fishermen to go out and catch abundant stocks of Atlantic herring more than a decade ago, herring have been virtually absent from inshore waters. There are evidently two species of herring—river herring and ocean herring. Regardless of what is to blame, both stocks are in trouble. During the past five years, river herring from Maine to Miami have not been returning to spawn.
Seagulls from Florida to Maine are nervous as violators of the restriction will be fined as much as $1,000 for ignoring the new restrictions. This is just another blow to an already depressed seagull population. Since the capping of the landfills (town dumps), it has been getting harder and harder to make a living as a seagull or “dump duck” as they were sometimes called.
This will hurt the striped bass fishermen as well. Live herring is one of the best baits for stripers. The best natural bait for stripers is of course—lobster.
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