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2007 Spring Striped Bass Season Regulation Proposed
Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committee Approves 2007 Spring Striped Bass Season
ANNAPOLIS— Management measures for the Maryland spring striped bass season were approved today by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Technical Committee (ASMFC). The regulations to implement the season will be immediately submitted to the Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) Committee of the General Assembly for review and approval.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has worked closely with coastal fisheries management partners and Maryland anglers to implement size limits that best meet its conservation objective of limiting harvest to 30,000 migrant striped bass for the spring season while still providing quality fishing opportunities. The 30,000 target was put into place by ASMFC after Maryland anglers exceeded established spring quotas during the previous two years.
For 2007, from April 21 through May 15 anglers may keep one fish per person per day between 28 inches and 35 inches in total length or one fish 41 inches or greater. Striped bass between 35 inches and 41 inches must be released to the water unharmed. From May 16 through December 15 anglers may keep two fish per person per day between 18 and 28 inches, or one fish between 18 and 28 inches and one fish over 28 inches. Link to the Department website at www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/fishingreport/frmapindex.asp for standard area closures.
“The approval for the 2007 Maryland spring striped bass season is an interim resolution to a complex interstate fishery management issue,” said DNR Secretary John Griffin. “We are pleased to have reached a resolution that will afford Maryland anglers an exciting and productive spring fishery, while meeting the requirements of the interstate plan and positioning the state for more productive fisheries in future years.”
The 2007 management measures will result in an estimated harvest of 114,000 striped bass from April 21 through May 31 sized 28 inches and greater, of which 28,000 would be considered migrant coastal striped bass. Release of any large fish will reduce the harvest of migrant striped bass and reduce the possibility of exceeding the 30,000 fish target.
DNR also reminds anglers that anyone who voluntarily releases a striped bass 40 inches or larger — in keeping with the growing catch and release ethic that is spreading through recreational fishing communities in Maryland and elsewhere — is eligible to receive a Governor’s striped bass conservation certificate. Applications for the citation are available on charter boats, at bait and tackle stores and at www.dnr.maryland.gov/fisheries/recreational/tournament/rockconserawardform.html.
The Department will be conducting an independent striped bass creel survey this spring to supplement the federal Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistics Survey (MRFSS) to better estimate the spring striped bass harvest in Maryland.
Once a striped bass has been taken into possession, the Department strongly encourages that angler to cease fishing for striped bass for that day. As always, it is illegal to cull, or exchange, a striped bass already in possession for another striped bass later caught. Eels may not be used as bait until May 16. If fishing with cut or live bait, fishermen should use non-offset circle hooks.
March 22, 2007
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 446,000 acres of public lands and 18,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov