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Old 06-13-2018, 07:09 PM   #41
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:49 PM   #42
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I saw this all over Narragansett Bay in RI. Even in the main shipping channel! There was no clear navigatable path up the bay and as the fishermen use little clear or white bottles to mark their traps, with any chop at all, they are near invisible.
It is the job of the USCG to ensure that the navigatable channels in the US are clear of obstacles to safe navigation, but apparently in the North East lobster fishing is more important to them than the safety of the maritime public in their waters.
I finally bought a set of spurs and ignore them now, hopefully costing the lobstermen a pretty piece of change every time I hit one and cut their trap line.

Every time you see a trap in a marked navigatable channel, call the CG on VHF channel 16 and raise a ruckus. Also, call them by phone and make a formal report/complaint. Maybe if enough folks complain, they'll stop hassling boaters over minor details and get off their lazy a$$es and do something that will really help improve the safety of boaters in these waters!
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:29 PM   #43
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Maybe if enough folks complain, they'll stop hassling boaters over minor details and get off their lazy a$$es and do something that will really help improve the safety of boaters in these waters!
No that this is relevant to this thread, but since you went there...
I'm sorry but that characterization of our Coast Guard does not match my experience at all. I am extremely appreciative of their presence and their actions, and would never describe them as "lazy". While no person or organization is perfect, their service saves many lives and gives me the safety net that enables me to cruise.
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Old 06-18-2018, 03:44 PM   #44
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Every time you see a trap in a marked navigatable channel, call the CG on VHF channel 16 and raise a ruckus. Also, call them by phone and make a formal report/complaint. Maybe if enough folks complain, they'll stop hassling boaters over minor details and get off their lazy a$$es and do something that will really help improve the safety of boaters in these waters!
I find this to be an unfair characterization of the USCG. They are not 'hassling' boaters. They are performing safety inspections to enforce safety regulations. This is in our best interest to reduce our risks and the time, risk and cost of S&R's, which we all share in the burden of cost as taxpayers.

These are hard-working folks, who work long hours for little pay, and I've seen no evidence to substantiate your claims.
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Old 06-18-2018, 05:03 PM   #45
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I'll reiterate that at least in my experience, there is Maine, and there is the rest of the world. And there is no comparison between the two.
I would certainly tend to agree, but there are parts of the Keys and SW FL that try to give it a run for its money in certain seasons. Especially those little black buoys. There was one trip where every time I set the autopilot, it seemed like one would immediately pop up from the bottom straight ahead; got kinda spooky.

Northumberland Strait twixt PEI and New Brunswick puts up a good contest too. I managed to get a lobster pot water skiing behind my buddy's Hatteras 42LRC... no sign of any buoy and we were keeping a pretty close watch.... I thought.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:05 PM   #46
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I saw this all over Narragansett Bay in RI. Even in the main shipping channel! There was no clear navigatable path up the bay and as the fishermen use little clear or white bottles to mark their traps, with any chop at all, they are near invisible.
It is the job of the USCG to ensure that the navigatable channels in the US are clear of obstacles to safe navigation, but apparently in the North East lobster fishing is more important to them than the safety of the maritime public in their waters.
I finally bought a set of spurs and ignore them now, hopefully costing the lobstermen a pretty piece of change every time I hit one and cut their trap line.

Every time you see a trap in a marked navigatable channel, call the CG on VHF channel 16 and raise a ruckus. Also, call them by phone and make a formal report/complaint. Maybe if enough folks complain, they'll stop hassling boaters over minor details and get off their lazy a$$es and do something that will really help improve the safety of boaters in these waters!
Are you sure that the Coast Guard is responsible? I believe the Army Corps of Engineers are responsible.
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:33 PM   #47
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Are you sure that the Coast Guard is responsible? I believe the Army Corps of Engineers are responsible.
Yes, I am positive that the CG is responsible for ensuring that the channels the CoE dredge are kept clear of obstacles such as pot buoys and the like. They are also responsible for maintaining the buoys that mark the channels. I'm sure you've seen the USCG buoy tenders at work somewhere, and the buoys stacked on their bases.

CoE has no punitive or enforcement section.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:00 PM   #48
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Are you sure that the Coast Guard is responsible? I believe the Army Corps of Engineers are responsible.
I think the ACOE is responsible for actually clearing debris while the USCG collects the info, transmits the info and marks the obstruction as need be..

Not sure what is considered within their mission scope beyond classic debris.

When I was in, if people called the USCG , we referred then to Fish and Game who control the fishery.

Seems like most laws are state.....havent found any federal regs prohibiting traps in channels.
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Old 06-18-2018, 07:31 PM   #49
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Pots are very thick everywhere in Maine waters. This is not going to change. (As long as there are commercial quantities of lobster. Which is another subject).

As seasonal, recreational boaters with commercial lobstering friends and neighbors, we've learned to adapt. A prop cage makes seasonal boating enjoyable for us.

(A line cutter helps too. But the fisherman don't like those. Supposedly. Quite a few have them on their own boats).
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Old 06-18-2018, 09:54 PM   #50
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I was a West Coast commercial fisherman, but never a pot fisherman. They put their pots where they have had success in the past. If someone does good in the middle of the channel, and word gets out, then the channel will be full of pots unless it's illegal.
I'd suggest getting a copy of the commercial and sport lobster regulations and see what they say as far as blocking the channel. If the buoys are cheap, homemade, not numbered, then they're probably sport fishermen. If they are illegally placed, I'd call the USCG and go from there.

Watch out for lines. Usually pot lines are polypropylene that floats. The line is usually much longer than needed to reach the fishing depth and the rest floats at or near the surface and can be difficult to see. I've got crab pot lines in my wheel a couple times by getting too close to a buoy. Usually at night.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:10 PM   #51
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Shouldn't there be regulations preventing this behavior?
I figure if they disregard the laws of placement, we should disregard the laws of ownership. Take em' and dispose of them....
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:30 AM   #52
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In the UK at the moment there is a campaign going on about this very problem of unmarked fishing gear. If you encounter one of these in the dark, it can be very expensive and life-threatening. The Cruising Association and the RYA in the UK are involved in this campaiign and are asking for all instances of such encounters to be reported. Perhaps in the States you can start a similar action if you have a single source of yachting association?
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Old 06-19-2018, 03:58 AM   #53
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:18 AM   #54
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Wow, great video of the problem! Something must be done about this or even the lobster boats won’t be able to operate.
We have crab traps in Florida but nothing like that.
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Old 06-19-2018, 06:30 AM   #55
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Greetings,
Mr. d. Welcome aboard eh?
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Old 06-19-2018, 07:25 AM   #56
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Your right to navigate does NOT supersede the rights of fishing. In many places there is no law about where fishing gear may be placed. Bad-mouthing the CG and the fishermen based on your own pre-conceived notions does nothing to help the problem.

You need to keep a proper lookout. It's right there in the Nav Rules, both international and inland. People from Maine learn never to take their eyes off the water. In many areas autopilots are useless. You simply have to do your job as lookout and helmsman. Constantly. If you don't enjoy that, I'd suggest taking up another hobby, or staying in waters where you're comfortable.

Note that I'm NOT saying the lobstermen are always right, only that they have a right to earn a living. Yesterday I saw (and managed to avoid) two buoys which were floating just below the surface. And this at a minus 1' tide. Stupid!

Then there are the morons who fish with toggles on the buoy line. They are clearly just blindly following the local tradition without any clue as to why, or even how toggles are supposed to work. Stretching 20-30 feet of line horizontally just below the surface can never be justified.

But even so, I try to enjoy my time on the water, and let those who earn a living out there do their job. I always wave when I pass them at work, and often get a friendly wave back from them. And sometimes, they even use all five fingers.
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Old 06-19-2018, 12:26 PM   #57
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Hi,
I find it interesting that in three pages of comments, the virulent
negative comments about lobster pot density in Maine seem to come from those who don't live here. As one who does, pots are just another challenge, like fog, the tides, the weather and all the other factors we have no control over. There is a system to most pot fields. Here in Casco Bay, fisherman fish multi pot trawls, with a buoy at each end. The trawls are generally laid in a SW/NE orientation, to minimize interference between fisherman. Thus, usually there are 'lanes' within the field that permit easier passage. Keep looking out the window and you can discern the pattern. Toggles are a different story, but they are generally in Penobscot Bay and east. That said, autopilots are pretty useless in waters less than 200', and travel at night inshore is something to avoid. In over 40 years of cruising Maine, we have snagged one pot that required swimming to untangle. That was during a light air sailboat race when the current swept us onto the buoy. As an aside, I would be careful attempting to move or cut a pot. There is almost always a fisherman within visual range, and they have long memories. More than one boat has gone adrift at night under unusual circumstance.

So, come to Maine, enjoy the wonderful cruising and friendly inhabitants, and respect to coast for what it is. Under today's pressures, the lobster fishery may not last forever.

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Old 06-20-2018, 12:15 PM   #58
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I believe that there are laws prohibiting hauling someone else's gear. I would not condone touching someone's gear (even to move it) nor purposely destroying someone's fishing gear. I also can't condone illegally causing damage to someone's boat in retribution. Let's take that nonsense off the table.

I believe that everyone has the right to equally enjoy the waters as well as make a living. I have no problem with lobster pots. We have plenty and we are used to making our way through them.

My only question or comment for discussion is whether they belong inside of a marked channel in between markers.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:08 PM   #59
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My only question or comment for discussion is whether they belong inside of a marked channel in between markers.
They belong wherever the lobsters are. At least around here.

Maybe it's different elsewhere. Has anyone seen a state-wide or federal regulation which prohibits it? There are individual areas with such rules, like in a canal, but I'm curious if any state has written a blanket rule for all channels.
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Old 06-20-2018, 04:17 PM   #60
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"molesting" lobster gear is a serious offence in Maine.


Title 12, §6434: Molesting lobster gear


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