Face lift for one fisheries group, not the other
Let's say you have a 15-member state board, all but three members are white men and terms are expiring for six members. What do you do?
Reappoint the men!
The fact is there will be no new faces this summer on the Sport Fish Advisory Commission, despite the fact that the group has but one black, one Hispanic and one woman serving. Let's hear it for diversity and fresh ideas!
On the other hand, the 15-member Tidal Fish Advisory Commission is likely to see a 50-percent turnover. Why? To get more diversity.
Because of foot-dragging in the appointments office of the governor, this guy and the last one, the staggered term limits of SFAC members got unstaggered. Then the General Assembly, at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, voted last year to add three members to the board that advises Secretary John Griffin on recreational fishing issues.
To get things back on track, DNR is retaining all SFAC members whose terms were set to expire next month until June 30, 2015: Larry Coburn, representing the tackle shop industry; Roger Trageser of the Maryland Bass Federation; Herb Smith, representing central and western Maryland interests; Val Lynch, representing coastal fisheries; Ray Morgan, western Maryland representative; and Brandon White, webmaster for Tidalfish.com.
Those men were appointed in 2009, halfway through a four-year term, because the appointments office was too busy deciding other political payoffs and who would carry the nuclear football for Martin O'Malley.
Six other men (Ahhh, men. How would we fill commissions without them?) will stay on SFAC until June 30, 2013: Bill Goldsborough, Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Dave Sikorski, Coastal Conservation Association Maryland; James Wommack, Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association; Ed O'Brien, Maryland Charter Boat Association; Jim Gracie, Mid-Atlantic Trout Unlimited; and Bill Windley, MSSA.
Like, how do you get appointed to this thing if you don't belong to the leadership of some club or group? Are there no regular anglers available?
Three members appointed this year will serve until June 30, 2015: Greg Jetton, Maryland Charter Boat Association; Dave Smith, MSSA; and (believe it or not) Carol Stevenson, Chesapeake Women's Angler's Association.
I have nothing against these guys. Some of them are really terrific. But really, what has SFAC done for recreational anglers lately?
The two fastest growing segments of the recreational fishing community are women and Hispanics. Local tackle shop owners say if they didn't have new Hispanic customers they wouldn't have squat.
So where's the love and recognition?
On the other hand, the TFAC--the group that advises Griffin on things commercial--will look a lot different. Six members will be replaced at the end of their two-year term on June 30: Jack Brooks, seafood processor; Russell Dukes, waterman; Andrea Jacquette, seafood retailer; Greg Price, waterman; and John Van Alstine, waterman and aquaculture representative.
Six other members will have their terms extended until June 30, 2013: Larry Simns, president of the Maryland Watermen's Association; Brian Keehn, Maryland Charter Boat Association; Richard Young, crabber; James Gross, waterman; Bill Goldsborough, CBF; Mike Benjamin, waterman; Stephen Gordon, coastal bays aquaculture guy.
Three members appointed this year will serve until June 30, 2013: Gibby Dean, president of the Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fisherman's Association; Moochie Gilmer, waterman; and Billy Rice, waterman.
The new TFAC is expected to include members from Harford, Talbot, Charles, Caroline, Somerset and Wicomico counties--jurisdictions not represented now.
The SFAC and TFAC will meet jointly at 6 p.m., at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Same old, same old.