LET'S GIVE THESE STRIPED BASS A BREAK!
OCTOBER 29, 2014 ASMFC STRIPED BASS HARVEST CUTS, NEWS RELEASE
"The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in a News Release said in part: " coastal states will implement a 25% harvest reduction from 2013 levels. Chesapeake Bay states/jurisdictions will implement a 20.5% harvest reduction from 2012 levels since their fisheries were reduced by 14% in 2013 based on their management program. All states/jurisdictions will promulgate regulations prior to the start of their 2015 fisheries."
What will this mean for 2015 Maryland striped bass recreational anglers? - While the exact details are still being worked out, right now the 20.5% reduction equates to the following changes - 1 fish bag limit for coastal waters, minium size 28" (was 2 fish 28" min) - 1 fish bag limit for the Chesapeake Bay trophy season minimum size 36" (was 1 fish 28" min) - 2 fish bag limit for May 15 - Dec 15 minimum size 20" (was 2 fish 18" min). No comment at this time if there will be the slot limit for the one of the 2 fish during the May 15 - Dec 15 season.
MAY 16, 2014 ASMFC STRIPED BASS HARVEST NEWS RELEASE
"The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in a News Release said in part: "The Atlantic striped bass stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring under the proposed reference points. While the stock has declined, it remains at levels similar to 1995 when the stock was declared recovered. The revised Draft Addendum will continue to focus on the same management measures that are currently used to regulate the coastal and Chesapeake Bay striped bass fisheries – recreational bag and size limits, and adjustments to the commercial quotas."
The News release also said the the revised addendum will be considered by the board for approval of "public comment" in August with the final approval slated for October 2014. http://www.asmfc.org/uploads/file/53766f04pr15StripedBassDraftAddIVupdate.pdf
MAY 12, 2014 ASMFC STRIPED BASS HARVEST ADJUSTMENTS
The Baltimore Sun announced on May 12, 2014 that Striped Bass (Rockfish) commercial harvest cuts of one third are being proposed for the Atlantic Coast and Chesapeake Bay. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission stated that studies conducted 6 months ago suggest that the species is in danger of slipping "to unsustainable levels soon, if no action is taken." While Robert T. Brown Sr., president of the Maryland Watermen's Association contends that "there's no shortage of fish." Tony Friedrich of the Coastal Conversation Association of Maryland stated that, "I don't know anyone who doesn't think the stock is in trouble." Regardless of opposing views, it seems that some sort of cuts are in order and likely for 2015.... stay tuned!
What can recreational anglers do RIGHT NOW? The CCAMD has suggested for this season adopting a self imposed limit "My Limit is ONE" this is an excellent way for anglers show their support for our future Striped Bass population! Another way that recreational anglers can voluntarily show their support for the future of the species is to release all Rockfish over 36" as these are likely to be among next year's spawning females. Also If the Maryland "Trophy Season" somehow escapes the proposed cuts next year, consider a self imposed ban on killing these large post-spawn fish during the "Trophy Season" which will hopefully allow them to return next year to spawn.