Chairman William Wise began the meeting at 2:05 p.m.
After introductions by the Council members present and DEC’s Director of Marine Resources, Mr. Jim Gilmore, Chairman Wise went over the day’s agenda. He stated that there will not be a quorum of councilors present for the afternoon’s meeting. The audience expressed their frustration to another meeting where items would not be able to be voted on and the Council members concurred. They, too, feel the frustration of not being able to assemble a full Council and stated that part of the problem was due to empty Council seats which they are trying to fill. Another problem is Council members who sometimes have a hard time getting the time off from work to attend the meetings. To try and counteract that particular problem, January‘s meeting is going to be an evening one, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the hopes that we will be able to achieve a quorum. The meeting will be on 17 January, 2012 at 7:00 p.m.
Public Comment Period
Mr. John Mihale commented on establishing a control date on striped bass and summer flounder (fluke) harvest permits, the subject of pending legislation and an agenda item before the Council. He noted that the western end of Long Island and the waters around New York City have been closed to commercial striped bass fishing for years. Persons living in that area who hold a striped bass permit have a hard time using their permit. On the other hand, those holding a special commercial harvest permit for fluke can fish for fluke anywhere in the Marine District. Using catch levels as a factor in retaining these permit or not might present a bias against persons living in the area closed to striped bass harvests. It would be better to use fishing effort. If someone can demonstrate that they have been actively fishing, but they have relatively little documented striped bass or fluke landings, this should count heavily towards their retaining their permit(s)
Draft Minutes, 20 September 2011 Council Meeting
Despite the fact that the draft minutes could not be voted on because of the lack of a quorum, Chairman Wise asked the councilors present for any comments on the minutes from the September meeting. Councilor Melissa Dearborn said she felt that there were a couple of comments from the last meeting that should be included in the minutes but are presently not. For instance, in the Council’s discussion of the lack of participation by anglers in the new saltwater angler registry program, Mr. Jim Hutchinson had stated a concern regarding the lack of DEC staff presence at trade shows, which were a good opportunity to promote the registry. Mr. Hutchinson offered free booth space to the Department at the Fishing Tackle Trade Trade Show in February 2012. Ms. Dearborn also recalled Mr. Hutchinson’s suggestion a link to a registry information page should be put on the main page of the DECF web site.