ECO

New Striped Bass Regulations

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Board decided Wednesday to address the sharply declining numbers of striped bass along the Atlantic seaboard, including the Chesapeake Bay, by requiring an 18 percent harvest reduction relative to 2017 levels.

Approved sub-options included allowing, within established seasons, 1 fish per angler per day between 28 and 35 inches in ocean waters. Public comment on this sub-option had supported, by a more than 4-1 ratio, setting a 1 fish limit with a minimum size of 35 inches. In the Chesapeake Bay, the approved sub-option was limiting anglers to 1 fish per day with a minimum size limit of 18 inches. It passed with by a 12-3 vote.

There was also a question about whether circle hooks should be mandatory when fishing with bait. Max Appelman, striper fishery management plan coordinator for ASMFC, told commissioners there was “little doubt that circle hooks save fish.” Circle hooks reduce fish mortality from “deep hooking” as the fish swallows the bait. Of the 5,003 comments received by the public related to circle hooks, 4,930 were in favor of their mandatory use.

The board approved unanimously the option requiring states to implement regulations requiring use of circle hooks with the intent of reducing striped bass release mortality in recreational fisheries.

The ASMFC board set Nov. 30, 2019 as the due date for draft implementation plans. The board will act on those plans in February 2020 with final regulations in place by April 1, 2020. The circle hook requirements must be in place by January 2021, ostensibly to allow charter outfits and bait and tackle shops to swap out gear and stock assortments.

Fishing New York Waters

pequa1

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Dec 23, 2018
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, it should be obvious
copy and paste from the official decision:

Sustainable and Cooperative Management of Atlantic Coastal Fisheries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT: Tina Berger
October 31, 2019 703.842.0740 ASMFC Atlantic Striped Bass Board Approves Addendum VI New Castle, NH –
The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum reduces all state commercial quotas by 18%, and implements a 1 fish bag limit and a 28”-35” recreational slot limit for ocean fisheries and a 1 fish bag limit and an 18” minimum size limit for Chesapeake Bay recreational fisheries. States may submit alternative regulations through conservation equivalency to achieve an 18% reduction in total removals relative to 2017 levels. Addendum VI was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment, which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Addendum’s measures are designed to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020. Since catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality, the Addendum requires the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. Outreach and education will be a necessary element to garner support and compliance with this important conservation measure. States are required to submit implementation plans by November 30, 2019 for review by the Technical Committee and approval by the Board in February 2020. States must implement mandatory circle hook requirements by January 1, 2021. All other provisions of Addendum VI must be implemented by April 1, 2020. Additionally, in February 2020, the Board will consider a postponed motion to initiate an Amendment to rebuild spawning stock biomass to the target level and address other issues with the management program. Addendum VI will be available on the Commission’s website (www.asmfc.org) on the Atlantic Striped Bass webpage in early November. For more information, please contact Max Appelman, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at mappelman@asmfc.org or 703.842.0740.