January 2018 Cold Stun Event That Could Impact This Speckled Trout Season

Below is an email from the chairman of the Fishery Management Advisory Committee (FMAC) Jeff Deem.  As you will in see in Chairman Deem’s comments below, the early January 2018 cold stun event, the effect on Virginia’s overwintering speckled trout population and the Committee’s advice to the Commission in how to proceed will be the major topic of discussion at their next meeting, February 12th.  Following this year’s cold stun event the VMRC received requests from concerned recreational anglers to close the speckled trout fishery immediately and keep it closed through the major portion of the spawning period this season.  The discussion at this meeting could set the table for how the Commission acts (or does not act) with regulations for speckled trout not only in 2018 but could include establishing “triggers” for following years to dictate a more immediate response to future cold stun events.  North Carolina’s management of speckled trout already has such a plan in place.

Opinion’s among Virginia anglers varied widely on this issue following the February 2015 cold stun event, as indicated by Mr. Deem’s comments below.  The goal for this meeting is for the FMAC to hear the full range of angler opinions at this meeting for their discussion.  Therefore I urge all of you (and I know a portion of those that receive this email have already heard about this meeting) to attend if at all possible and pass this information on to any, and all, interested individuals.  The meeting will be held at 2600 WASHINGTON AVENUE, NEWPORT NEWS, VA, VMRC COMMISSION Meeting ROOM, 4TH FLOOR, on MONDAY FEBRUARY 12, 2018, starting at 6:00 P.M.  The meeting agenda is attached above and the speckled trout issue is the first item on the agenda.

Lewis

Lewis Gillingham

Director Virginia Saltwater Fishing Tournament

757.491.5160 Business

vswft@mrc.virginia.gov

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