How Northerneastern fishermen view the current spiny dogfish population

  • "Yes, way too many dogfish."
  • "We were seabassing and using a plain diamond jig no bait and the dogs were still attacking them."
  • "I feel the spiny dogfish stock is more than thriving.  They are more of a menace than doing any good.  I fish recreationally and also work as a mate.  When you have to pay for bait(spearing, killies, mackeral, etc) and all your catching is spiny dogfish it gets annoying and expensive. I say let the commercial guys have their way with them.  Just my opinion.  There are more important species to worry about such at the BLUEFIN TUNA FISHERY WHICH IS BECOMING NON-EXISTENT DUE TO OVERFISHING IN OTHER COUNTRIES!!!!!!!!!"
  • "I have been fishing recreationally the ocean off of Long Beach Island for the past 30 years and have gone through a number of spiny dogfish cycles.  However, in the past several years during the colder water periods the abundance of spiny dogfish has gotten to the point where they seemed to be the only species thriving."
  • "The dogfish population has pretty much displaced groundfish populations from the inshore and south channel fishing grounds that we frequent."
  • "The Dogfish overpopulation has curtailed my saltwater fishing so much that I fresh water fish 90% of the time."
  • "I have personally spoken to hundreds of recreational and commercial fishermen from New England down to North Carolina about the dogfish issue. The general consensus is that dogfish numbers have been building and now they often make fishing impossible. One of the biggest concerns of both groups is the voracious appetite of the hordes of dogs that travel the coasts, eating every living thing in their path.  Another concern is the obvious expansion of their range. Even the guys in North Carolina say they often cant set a net without the dogs swarming it and eating anything that is captured."
  • "Just recently I worked on a charter boat for a offshore Sea Bass/Tile Fish trip. We were harassed all day by the Dogfish oNce they found the bait. after they found the bait we had to leave to find other spots. They are thick as thieves from the canyon to the upper Delaware Bay. Sorry about the 20 words but I dont think you can explain what I see in under twenty words."
  • "I operate a 6 pack charter boat out of cape may nj. I fish heavily for striped bass + drum fish . I have been fishing since january when we made several trips to the wilmington rocks for seabass. There are times when you can't get thru the doggies to get to the bass. Case in point , made several deep drops for tile,where we actually brought up 3 to 4 doggies at a time from 700ft althe way into 300ft. In the lower delaware bay, you can not fish any water deeper than 15 ft without getting covered up."
  • "Haven't seen this many dogs in 30 years of fishing. Pretty much destroyed every offshore fishery during the winter in the mid-Atlantic region."
  • "As a conservation minded organization we see an increased  dogfish fishery as an essencial element to rebuilding other interrelated stocks of concern."
  • "COMMERCIAL GILLNETTER with 40 years experience Iím catching an AVERAGE DAY ON DOGS IN N.H.3-8 THOUSAND POUNDS, 80 PERCENT FEMALE.
  • "I live in San Francisco and fish Cape Cod. I do a lot of striper and tuna fishing. Now I am doing bass fishing in the Cape Ponds. I used to back east every 3 weeks for 5 days during the spring, summer and fall. All Saltwater fishing. The dogs have helped me become a better gaffer and spine remover."
  • "I just spoke via Sat Ph to the Captain on my boat out of Point Judith, RI on his way in from frustrating Scup hunt " Shortened trip couldn't get away from Dogs-- worse than ever: 5 out of 7 tows plugged with dogfish".   P.S. Dogs major predator of infamous Winter Flounder. They're also demolishing the Squid."
  • "I feel that the dog fish problem is out of control and affecting many fisheries. i am sure they are eating many small sea bass , fluke weakfish, and many other young fish. they are putting a big burden on many charter and headboat and also the many small boat  operator. i am an avid fishermen and year after year see this problem getting bigger and out of control something has to be done and the 3,000 lbs limit is not in any sense large enough."
  • "Basically, the dogfish have overpopulated our waters for some time now.  We as fishermen 'SEE' it everyday on the water.  When our vessel hauls gillnets and they are inundated with dogfish and nothing else, then there exists a problem!  For those that design these regulations, perhaps each and everyone one of them with an 'opinion' (and we all know what is said about 'opinions') should put in an entire summer on a gillnetter or dragger to see it for themselves!  Or, let them pay charter after charter to catch the enormous amounts of dogfish.  It is absolutely ridiculous!"
  • "I have been fishing the Delaware Bay and near shore for 30 years and have never caught so many Dog fish as I have in the last 3 years. They are all over the place, and no one wants them."
  • "The extent of the devastation cannot be calculated since scientist have no idea on how many ling, cunners, cod, sea bass, scup, haddock, whiting and so on were consumed by dogfish to help these fish grow into numbers never seen even by those who fished right after World War II. The Dogfish is truly an apex predator that can survive the harshest handling when caught, go for untold periods of time without much food, travel with ease hundreds of feet vertical in the water column while being able to swim hundreds of miles within a week or two, time. Mismanagement is something NMFS is slowly coming to grips with as far as the spiny dogfish, as they now realize that some species, no matter its place in the food chain, can harmfully effect the stock biomass of many food fish and other marine life."
  • "The codfish gear we haul is plugged with dogs and the occasional cod we catch is stripped to the bone of flesh. They act just like piranha, only itís our catch that theyíre eating."
  • "Two commercial Giant Tuna chummers who fish out of  Cape Ann have described to me their attempts to get a baited hook down through the layers of Dogfish to Bluefin Tuna in the Jeffries Ledge area in the Gulf of Maine.  After seeing nothing but  Dogfish on their electronic fish-finder, they elected to heave anchor and steam five miles away, only to find that when stopping and tuning in the fish finder again, the scope was still "black" with Dogfish. They tried the technique again, steaming "out of the area" at high speed, only to encounter the same magnitude of the dogfish menace.  Then they gave up and ran for home. One of our members reported Dogfish in the Vineyard Sound area so aggressive and voracious that they were hitting trolled artificial plugs!"
  • "So many dogfish in VA waters that you can't fish for anything else. They're eating everything out there."
  • "Dogfish make it impossible at times to fish for sea bass, and other bottom fish."
  • "From  five fathom to two hundred fathoms I have had them attack and ruin my fresh caught cod and monk fish it use to be a time where they would go to the south or offshore closer to the warmer water now they stay all winter and do nothing but work against rebuilding the stocks."
  • "I am the owner operator of four boats from newbedford mass to Maine since 1971 never saw so many dogfish. Somthing has to be done or stocks will never rebuild.
  • "I am a recreational fishermen in Delaware I fish the Delaware Bay and ocean.When fishing the bay or ocean wrecks for every target fish I catch I catch 20 spiny dogfish.
  • "There is not a doubt in any tuna fisherman's mind that the abundance of dogfish throughout the Northeast has severely impacted tuna catches over the last decade. If action is not taken soon to control the hoard of dogfish, the ecosystem in general and the migratory habits of bluefin tuna in particular may be permanently altered and, in spite of our rigorous conservation efforts, the traditional giant tuna fisheries may be destroyed forever."
  • "As recently as 3-4 years ago, using (3) 600ft nets, I could catch 200-500 lbs of cod close to the beach gillnetting. Now it is about 5-10 fish daily and about 400-1500 lbs of dogfish."
  • "The costs associated with gear destruction to tub trawls by the dogfish has eliminated the month of December  as a traditional fishing time for me. Our season in my area is only a 4 month opening to begin with, now reduced by 25%"
  • "I've been fishing on the Jersey coast for over 40 years.  It has been obvious that the Spiny Dogfish population has gone up and is so far out of proportion.  Likewise the decrease in other more valuable species is obvious.  What do you think that these doggies eat?  Let's send the doggies to England in a box."
  • "I own a commercial fishing boat and have been fishing for 30 years,the over abundance of dogfish have hurt our ability to target other fish species not to mention the predation on those species."
  • "I organize  several  fishing  trips outta  barnegat light  on a  charter boat  not  everyone  that  fish's  with me has a  computer   could  you  help me out  with a  letter   that i can have on the  boat  and  also  fellow  fisherman  that i know   they  can sign , date it,  give any info  you  need   that  will help  with the  dog fish problem i was  out  last weekend  blackfishing  w/ crabs  and  we  caught  them  !!!   on  crabs  no less."
  • "I am a commercial fisherman from Chincoteague Virginia. I have been a fisherman for 35 years, fihing for every species of fish that travel up and the coast, I am very concerned with the overpopulation of spiny dogfish. They seem to be eating everything in the ocean. They are also going places they have never been caught before.Ex. Chincoteague Bay a very shallow body of water averaging about six feet is infested with dogs early in the spring.The Chesapeake Bay is also experencing the same thing. If there is nothing done to slow the population growth I would be willing to say there will be a disaster in the environment."
  • "I am a commercial and recreational fisherman out of point judith RI . I have witnessed the dogfish menace since 2001 . Poor science has now brought these fish to numbers beyond the imagination. Last summer mid may through july there were sightings of dogfish by numerous boats commercial and recreational . These fish were measured in square miles it was estimated that from the reports over the radio. These fish stretched from the beach in narragansett to the mud hole and beyond. Some of these schools of fish were three miles square do the math. Fish schools from shore out to 40 miles that is only what was on the surface. On the party charter boat i work on we caught 500 or more dogfish with a group of forty customers while trying to catch fluke. These fish would follow the others up it looked like a bad horror film thousands of these fish were around the boat for the entire day. We moved away from them and could drift for 100 ft before they caught on to us. It was awful.when i was gillnetting for these fish in cape cod they would come on board and regurgitate baby codfish haddock and small lobsters. Boy i wonder why the grounfish and lobster populations are down. These fish are destroying our fisheries like a toothy vacuum cleaner. This is no longer a problem it is on the verge of catastrophic. These fish if unchecked could cause an entire collapse of numerous fisheriesat one time. Please help us . There is a viable commercial market for these fish letsm utilize the resource and everyone wins."
  • "My understanding is that dogfish breed all year round and are ready to prey upon most species at birth. They feed on countless "desirable and endangered species". They need no protection from humans."
  • "Spiny dogfish are a problem.  They eat all the fish fry for species we target daily.  This fishery should be opened to unlimited commercal fishing."
  • "Some groundfish industry representatives oppose Sector management because the existing Sectors have not caught their codfish quotas.  The exploding dogfish population is outcompeting codfish and disruption spawning aggregations.  It is one of the reasons we have yet to catch our quotas, and until we manage this population appropriately, the truggling groundfish industry will suffer."