Recently, Capt. Wayne Johnson and I went to a seminar at the Islamorada Fishing Club...in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. The Club was started 60 years ago and has had as members such famous fishers as Stu Apt, Ted Williams, and Jimmy Albright, at least one of whose names should be familiar to you.
The seminar was a fairly technical presentation by two Ph.D.s on the life cycle of bonefish and tarpon—two of the fish that bring fishermen from all over the world to the Florida Keys. They explained, for example, that there are about 300,000 bonefish in the Keys and that the people who come to fish for them spend in excess of $1 billion a year while chasing them. This means that over the lifetime of a single bonefish—about 20 years—it [each fish] generates about $70,000 in income for the hotels, restaurants, guides, shops, bars, etc. here. Bloody amazing…and certainly a reason to be concerned about maintaining the success of that fishery...in addition to the environmental and biodiversity concerns.
It would be very interesting to learn what the equivalent value of a striped bass is to the fishing industry and its supporting services here in Connecticut…New England.
The commercial value of a striped bass is one of the reasons why, on Shoo-Fly Charters, we do not keep stripers—we return every one of them to the water.