In a move to help protect the speckled trout population, I’ve been told that the Virginia Marine Resources Commission on Tuesday issued an emergency shut down the fishery for 30 days pending another meeting in March.
However – and this is a huge however – the commission apparently only shut down the fishery for recreational anglers. Commercial fishermen, who still have some of their quota left, can continue to take trout until their limit is met.
Speckled trout – and some puppy drum – have been suffering from cold stun because of recent blasts of frigid air. When temperatures dip too rapidly, fish become disoriented or even die.
Commercial fishermen the past few weeks have been witnessed using dip nets to scoop lethargic fish swimming just below the surface in an attempt to warm themselves. The practice is legal, but has caused an uproar in the recreational angling community. And let’s face it, if they still have a quota to fill, it’s better than simply wasting fish.
But in North Carolina, where the same similar situation exists, fisheries managers immediately shut down the fishery for both recreational and commercial users until the summer. The action in North Carolina was quick and effective.
So why not the same in Virginia? If it’s an emergency situation, shouldn’t it be an emergency for all users – just like in North Carolina?
We’re waiting for answers from the VMRC and will update as soon as we hear back from them.