Yes, it is for real as of right now coming upon 1400 hours on a Friday afternoon.
Normally when taking lunch at 1300 hours on a Friday afternoon, the work day is over...at least for those who work in government. I should know.... especially when working day tour hours on a Friday. Did someone say 'Happy Hours Fridays' starts at lunch when employed in the public sector?
But you would imagine this regulatory issue would of been addressed on the NE Multispecies worksheet in order that both the for-hire industry and fishing public at large would know what they can keep in their coolers once May 1st rolls around.
Fishermen making plans as the weather warms may be wondering what goes on with the May 1st start date when the new rules for the fishing calendar go into effect, and even Captain Tim Tower - fv BUNNY CLARK pointed this out in his yesterday morning fish-news report, to wit:
There has been some discussion about the new regulations due out any day now. I'm not sure that (publishing the new recreational fishing regulations) is going to happen before the season.
And if it doesn't, the regulations stay the same as they were last year until they (the National Marine Fisheries Service) do! That means that the bag limit for haddock will remain at fifteen fish per person as opposed to the proposed twelve haddock limit.
That's part of the problem with the regulatory system. When a proposal is accepted it takes much too long for it to be implemented. The other part of the problem is that we can't expect any regulation to last for more than a season, leaving all of us wondering what we can and can't keep for the season coming up.
It leaves us, as a party/charter fishing business in a vulnerable position trying to sell fishing spots for the next season.
Hmmmm..... in fact, yesterday afternoon and for those who have signed up for GARFO mail, you would have received this:
What was one supposed to think after full well knowing that the NEFMC had made some regulatory changes for the recreational sector in the GOMaine from the meetings during this past winter of 2017? This led to the question being directly asked to the 'FMS' or Fishery Manager Specialist at GARFO who then sent this back:
This is in response to your message to Jennifer Goebel about 2017 recreational regulations:
Yes, current recreational regulations for cod and haddock will not change on May 1, 2017. However, we are preparing a proposed rule soliciting comments on new measures recommended by the New England Fishery Management Council. Once the proposed rule is out, more information will be available.
One can speculate on what effect it will have in changing angler behavior in being allowed 3 more haddock per person post May 1st. Will more trips be made by anglers because of this administrative oversight?
So at this time on a Friday afternoon, it does make one wonder "why" this issue has not been put into the regulatory compliance format for anglers in the GOMaine regulations for when the new season starts on May 1st. Yes, the haddock possession reduction was made to protect and lessen the indirect catch mortality of the 'sacred cod'.... but how much of a difference is there in lessening cod mortality for an angler catching a limit of either 15 or 12 haddock?
Either way, enjoy the "bonus" haddock season for the time being while fishing in the GOMaine.