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10/19/2011

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Anybody who cares about balance in the Chesapeake, about the importance of food chains and who may enjoy eating and/or catching Rockfish should send comments to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission supporting cuts in the Menhaden quota. These fish are prime forage for rockfish, bluefish and scores of ocean going fish. The sharp declines in their populations will have broad deleterious effects on fishes throughout the Atlantic.

Many recreational fishermen use soft crabs as bait for rock. A large rock can contain upto 100 small crabs undigested in its stomach. More rock mean less crabs. Anytime one species is out of balance the effect is felt up and down the food chain. I haven't found any legislator or DNR person who acknowledges that predatory rock affect the crab population. If someone can correct my understanding of this interaction, please enlighten me. I want to see all species at a healthy level.

Menhaden are narrow bird feeders that eat plankton, and in turn are food for fish and other important fish, as well as sea animals and water wildlife like ospreys.

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