Striped Bass Regulations to Change in 2015

Yesterday, I sat in on the meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Striped Bass Management Board. Representatives from North Carolina to Maine looked at the latest stock assessment and public comment to determine whether or not to change the striped bass regulations.

There was a clear divide between New York/New England and the Chesapeake Bay States. Representatives from the bay states insisted that their fishery was primarily on the smaller male striped bass that do not migrate from the bay, a segment of the population they believed to be healthy, while the coastal states, with the exception of New Jersey and Delaware, wanted to see an immediate reduction in fishing mortality on the Spawing Stock Biomass, that is the larger migratory fish, most of which are female. Options supported by the bay states included a 17% reduction in harvest, or an incremental 7% reduction in harvest over three years. The New England States and New York supported the most conservative option, a 25% reduction effective in 2015. In the end, a compromise was reached to reduce striped bass fishing mortality by 25% in the Coastal States and 20.5% in the Chesapeake Bay, beginning in 2015.

The public comment was overwhelmingly in favor of the 1-year, 25% reduction, and this was repeatedly brought up as representatives from the New England States argued for that option. It was great to see that the comments written in or made at the public meetings were heard, and further proof that fishermen need to make their voices heard when it comes to these issues.

The next big vote for striped bass recreational fishing had to do with the proposed limits. The board voted for 1 fish per day at 28 inches OR a conservation equivalency to a 25% reduction. This means that states have the option to implement limits that differ from 1 fish at 28 inches as long as the ASMFC Technical Committee approves them as achieving a 25% reduction. Some of  those options provided by the ASMFC Technical Committee that meet those requirements include 2 fish per day at 33 inches, or a number of slot limits that allow for 1 smaller keeper and one “trophy.”

While many recreational fishermen were hoping for a more conservative option to pass, such as 1 fish per day at 32 inches, having the 25% reduction starting next year is an overall win for striped bass and striped bass fishermen.

  1. Wicked Smaht

    I’m happy to hear that many fishermen are voicing their opinion.
    Even happier to hear that they are being conservative in their opinion.
    More catch and release means more catching. FISH ON!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • kevin mccutcheon

      I think the biggest rape of these fish is notby recreational fisherman ,but commercial,i was commercial one year,i got à lousy 3 dollars à pound for sushi grade striper on ice regulate prices to à higher amount less fish to caught per day

      Reply
      • Victor Cirino

        Not only that; I was fishing once where there was an abundance of pogies close to shore near Squaw Rock in Quincy; there was a feeding frenzy Bass & Blues mixed in! This was an anglers paradise; we all witnessed a small crew of Pogie fisherman wrap gill net around the mass trapping everything and thus our fishing ended prematurely. Sadly everything was hauled in big, small and that ended our fishing.

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        • ryan

          I believe that we should have even stricter restrictions on the keeper size of stripers. They want to have a 25% increase which is good but why not grow back the population more aggressively? I think that striper education is to tough a task. The most controlled way to increase the population is more restrictions and to have heavier restrictions on the commercial fisherman. They are the ones that scoop up everything on the ocean floor, killing everything in their path. Not the recreational fisherman. This population needs a dramatic increase. I don’t want to wait 10 years to have a big jump in the population like what happened in the 90s

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      • john

        Yeah it is the commercial guys they ruin everything and are always whining that they can’t kill more fish
        This is how I feed my family wah wah wah

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    • JAY

      More catch & release means more dead fish. Half of the ones set free die….where is the conservancy in this?

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      • Victor Cirino

        We need to be sportsman like for the sake of the fishery and the fish. Use friendlier hooks for easy catch and release and handle all fish as if they were new borns. Worst case scenario anyone purchasing a fishing license should watch a video on the proper handling of fish slated for release.

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        • David Price

          I agree with Victor above. Anglers really need to entertain the idea of using hooks that are less prone to damaging the fish. Single hooks for pluga for one and crushing barbs could be another thing we can all do. Many fish do die once released not all of course but too many. The stress of the fight, inadequate handling, fish being dragged on the sand which removes their protective ime, hooks with barbs that make taking hooks out timely. You get the idea. We should all enjoy the sport we just need to make conscious decisions on whether we are going to make changes in the way we fish and to be more conservation mined. With the poor spawning of bass and the fact that too many people are killing bass these days we need to do everything in our power to protect striped bass. This is also not to say a fisherman should never keep a bass, just be responsible and sensible with what you take.

          Reply
          • Chris E.

            your right dave… but im wondering with such a big ocean out there how can they get an accurate knowledge of the fish population when fish are always moving????? i think there’s more fish then people think out there…

          • Ron tumsuden

            Proper training for fisherman to get a license is the way. There are many idiots out there who use bunker snaggers during a blitz in Montauk. They leave behind garbage and rolls of unused line and keep 10-12 fish in the 15″ range. I’m only one person and can’t yell at everyone. A class would teach these morons common sense.

          • john

            Even if their is a limit there is no stopping people from taking whatever they want. I’ve been fishing for years and never been checked once..
            Commercial fisherman are the problem that’s who’s destroying our fishery

      • Robert Pezzolo

        Obviously , a lot depends on how the fish is handled post hookup.Educating fisherman on the proper way to release in different environments or situations might be more beneficial then people think. Catch and release is great if fisherman take the time to do it right

        Reply
        • doug

          I agree with chris. I fly fish for stripers. and release them all. no matter what method people use to enjoy catching stripers. the fish should be handled with dignity and gentleness and returned to the water as quickly as possible . it would be beneficial to all of use who love catching stripers.

          Reply
    • Victor Cirino

      I am 100% on board! It is a privilege to literally go 15mins down the road and find World Class fishing! If we don’t continuously apply restrictions the fishing pressure will not let stocks re-bound and Cow Bass will be a distant memory.

      Reply
    • Jim Nelson

      Who is enforcing/policing the commercial fishing boats on the water. Some guys use their gill nets to ‘surround-wrap’ their catch before the net is aboard which is prohibited. Why doesn’t the DEC at least increase their presence on the water during the striped bass migration. Commercial fisherman like to say their livelhood is threatened. Perhaps is you (or your father or your grandfather) did not are employing sustainable practices to insure your livelhood and now feel threatened by regulation you brought on you should reinvent yourself and evolve, just like the people that made 8 Track Players did, or the people that made fax machines, or pay telephones or steam locomotives.

      Reply
  2. Rhody Rodder

    Honest fishermen need to openly give a major ration of crap to those who keep too many fish and undersized fish. Something tells me that those who bother to get a license and read this site are not the guilty parties. Keep at it Honest Anglers, we’re in the majority!!!

    Reply
    • john

      Yeah there are alot of honest fisherman like me who follow the rules. .but the problem is their are more un honest ones.
      The bass spawn in rivers and can be easily poached without any body knowing at night.
      Besides that the major problem is that commercial fisherman are destroying everything.

      Reply
      • skyboss

        I agree when are these dumb #$## going to realize it is not the sport Fisher causing the problem it’s the mindless commercial Fisher taking thousands of Pound’s of fish daily effecting the environment but guess what. Where is the gov.state getting more income from. That is what wrong the gov / state don’t give a hoot about you. You kid or family’s love for the out doors they care about the income. ONLY !!!!

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      • blondee

        How can commercial fisherman be the problem?? First, they are limited in how much they can catch. Second, they MUST tag all fish. Third, they only have the 3 mile line. Fourth, they have quotas per permit. The season is very short.

        Reply
  3. Michael C Shipton

    There may be some unintended consequences here if they go with the bigger size. For example, consider that most anglers will fish until they get a keeper bass, something for the table. Further, lets assume that said angler has to catch 10 fish to cull one keeper. With a stated mortality rate of close to ten percent, that angler is assumed to have killed two fish, not one. The bigger the minimum size, the longr anglers will fish to take a keeper. JMO. Here is a good article on it. http://www.onthewater.com/stripers-future/

    Reply
    • shawn

      That’s a good theory…but how many fishermen are going to spend that much time on the water just to get that keeper. most folks put in avg of 5-6 hrs until they wrap up and go home.

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      • G fish

        25% decrease in fish mortality .. sounds a little vague … not much mentioned directly related to Commercial fishing…. and who is going to enforce these new regs..? There are less than 100 EPA in the state.

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        • ryan

          Im happy that theyre taking action but it needs to be more serious than 25%

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      • skyboss

        Catch nothing or catch 5 or 6 small striper that you going to kill two of them anyway and you gotta throw on back makes a lot of sense or not government involve it has ruined 80% of all hunting or fishing because of tax dollars bunch of crooks

        Reply
    • Bryan Fantony

      Most of the fishermen I know are happy just catching fish and keepers/trophies are just a bonus and usually released anyway. Like Shawn said we put in our few hours, have a little fun and hope the fish grow just that much bigger for next time.

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    • John N. Costa

      Michael, where is your proof on the mortality rate that fisherman incur? Use mandatory circle hooks instead of J Hooks and you won’t have that problem. As a state weigh master, I have weighed fish for guys and the fish were released immediately. The mortality may be more from people taking shorts and we all know that happens. Until we get more EPs on the payroll to help the guys who have areas the size of Rhode Island, maybe it’s time we police our own. Because if we don’t speak out, we are just as guilty as the perpetrators!

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    • kevin mccutcheon

      Good point, So true how many get ingérer trying to catch à keeper,but how about when guys injure or kill schoolie bass that should be outlawed!!

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    • john

      Yeah that’s true for the fisherman who suck which is about 90% of them.
      The best eating size for bass is 18 to 28 evert hinges else tastes like shit and should be let go

      Reply
  4. Carl Johansen

    This reduction is a long time coming. We as recreational fishermen need to understand that the stocks have gone down in many areas where we fish and implementing a One Fish at what ever length at or over 28 inches will be good thing for the future of this resource. The enforcement of whatever is implemented must also be enforced by the Environmental Police in a more prudent approach then what is in place presently.

    Understanding that the support of all of the regulations imposed for the recreational and commercial taking is paramount to the survival of Striped Bass stocks that inhabit our local waters along the New England Coast line . We as recreational fishermen must be the eyes and ears of our Environmental Police and report all abusers of what ever new regulations are implemented , whether they be the catchers or the buyers, to the proper regulators to get action that will have long time futuristic benefits for all.

    Reply
    • john

      Yeah great idea kill the big breeders who put out the most eggs and let the little guys go. brilliant

      Reply
    • skyboss

      What is wrong with you you act like the sport fisherman have declined the quality of fast it’s not a sport fisherman it’s a commercial fisherman they are the ones paying all the taxes and making more money for the government if you can’t see that you need to go back to sleep the hook and line fishermen did not cause this problem if the government’s lust for money and a commercial fisherman just created these problems wake up

      Reply
  5. Jeremy

    As a commercial fishermen I’m so happy to see the recreational guys take a hit. There were two many charter boats . Taking 6 people out every day and pulling 16 fish out of the water . Every day .

    Reply
    • John N. Costa

      Jeremy,
      Fuzzy math this morning? I think you mean 12 fish, and by the way you don’t catch stripers everyday on charters. Sometimes you get hit by bluefish before the rigs get to the bottom.

      Reply
      • Marc Evanier

        I’m sure what he means is the captain and first mate are giving them their limits

        Reply
        • Jade

          That means it will cost $125 per bass instead of $62.50 per fish for that it’s cheaper to go to the fish market .there will be lots of boats for sale .is bad enough with all the regulations .fuel cost off the roof ,bait ,by the time u done two flounder 100 bucks smh .good luck to all the fishermen out there.

          Reply
          • skyboss

            Agreed it’s almost not worth messing with it anymore government intervention taxes screw a commercial fisherman and running anyway slime balls

      • john

        I catch more stripes from shore than most boats catch in a day.
        But anyway it’s the jersey jerks and the new yorker that ruin evert hinges freezing city scum

        Reply
    • john

      Ha ha you can’t be serious take a look at the commercial bluefin tuna fisherman in Italy it’s on utube you tell me who’s doing more damage

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    • skyboss

      Oh so you can go out and pull out 3000 10000 – 20000 pounds of all fish you don’t care what it is oh yeah pay the taxes you’re the problem new commercial guys need to go

      Reply
  6. David laporte jr

    Yea thats right one fish per day why be greedy the population of fish determines how many we take lets slow down the taking an the population will grow im so excited that this law is happening

    Reply
    • Ruckusbro

      We would not have to go to one fish a day, all they have to do is stop the Commercial fisherman from Poaching!!!!

      Reply
      • blondee

        Commercial fishermen are not the poachers. If they get anywhere near the “imaginary Line” [3 mile] the US Coast Guard is there with their ships and helicopters.

        Reply
    • skyboss

      You must be asleep its not not the hook and line guys its commercial guys taken all of our fish you need to wake up tagged 90% of the people out there fishing for bass don’t know what they’re doing so they can’t hurt anybody

      Reply
  7. Ippi

    Many of us anglers believe that many Stripers, Blues and other Species other than herring are getting caught up + (DIE) in the nets of the big Herring + Poagy Ships when they come inside the 3 MILE LIMIT of Salem + Lynn Harbor. Who ARE THEY PAYING OFF to come inside the LIMIT!!! There were many stripers in Salem Harbor a couple weeks ago then the herring boat came in and took EVERYTHING, now NO MORE STRIPERS LEFT BECAUSE THEY ARE DEAD!!!

    Reply
    • ryan

      The same situation occurred off the coast of Rockport a couple of weeks ago. There was a hot tuna bite and lots of recreational anglers were enjoying the action when the herring boats dragged right through the area. The tuna dissappeared. There were a lot of angry people out there to say the least. The herring boats and anglers were throwing rocks and sinkers at each other. I think these herring boats are very opportunistic and dont seem to care about much else. It also sounds like there arent any consequences for their actions.

      Reply
    • skyboss

      Exactly I hope some of the game on in fishery people read that the government what state tax dollars most commercial fishing boats and until everybody understands that they’re going to keep screwing the hook in line sinker guy

      Reply
  8. Randy Benedict

    From a Long Island surf castors point of view.. I fish all the spring/ summer/ fall , and I am lucky to catch 1 or 2 keepers a year off the surf! Not boat with a fish finder

    Reply
  9. Kevin Smith

    Will this limit apply to everyone. Some here on the Cape are allowed to take smaller fish. Those same people are still allowed to take herring during the runs in the Spring. These rules should apply to all citizens.

    Reply
    • John N. Costa

      Kevin,
      You must be referring to Native Americans! Let’s do not open that can of worms! Leave well enough alone and keep a wide berth from that subject. You may not like the results. On the other hand let’s crack down on the illegals and others who do not bother buy a rec license and take a lot of short fish fish because they don’t care about our laws.

      Reply
  10. kevin mace

    Not a fan of this. There is not enough food to support the stripers we have in LIS now, this may help overall but I think it will make the striper population in LIS even more sparse. Our flounder and lobster populations are decimated, why add more of one of their biggest predators. I am all for conservation but why just the stripers?

    Reply
    • Bill

      So you’re saying, since you (the collective of LIS fishermen) overfished your flounder, lobster, stripers and bait fish, the rest of the Atlantic coast should continue overfishing stripers because they eat juvenile flounder and lobsters? Flounder limits were just changed in NY/NJ/CT specifically because their numbers are way down. I can’t speak to lobsters in LIS, but an increasing water temperature increases the mortality of lobsters. It is also linked to shell disease, however, I don’t know if you have that down there. As far as management goes, though, it seems the biggest complaint you have is that there isn’t enough bait in the area. And the only thing totally that wipes bait out of an area is humans. Sounds like it’s time to get involved more closely with your State fishery management organization.

      Reply
    • Josiah

      I think the lobster issue has more to do with coastal warming than anything else. Lobster can’t breed in warm water.

      Reply
    • skyboss

      Have you tried to buy striper per pound why do you think this commercial guys go after the stripers the circle of menhaden then they get stripers in their nets and they make all kinds of money not rocket science

      Reply
  11. Louis Desanti

    I believe we should have a one year no kill policy the fishing in the western long island sound had been horrible for a couple of years now of go up to a one fish 36 inch law they need a break over fished

    Reply
    • kevin mace

      there were in the sound when there was food for them, IMO the problem is there are too many of them and they have eaten everything in the sound. There were in thick during the alewife run and then they were thick at the edges of the sound the rest of the summer.

      Reply
    • mike

      your right but I would go one step better no commercial fishing for 2 years. crabbing also we all need to pitch in and help.there are NO BAIT FISH…..

      Reply
  12. Tim

    I always thought a one fish limit any size made sense. expecially when I hook a fish badly and it’s a bleeder. I don’t need a 28″ or 33″ fish to eat. lower the limit to one fish 22″ or larger.

    Reply
    • Deepen-n-Debt

      I agree with Tim 100 %. As we all know the bigger fish are the breeders to begin with. Making the limit 32 or 33″ is absolutely ridiculous ! At that point your only taking the potential breeders! Also I agree with Jeremy with them charter boat . They need to be watched a little more as well . I have been on the water in Cape Cod Bay for roughly 30 years and time and time again I see all fish being gaffed . Later in the day you see floating fish sometimes due to an inexperienced deck hand. Why do they have to be gaffed? Ya I get it ….the net is a bit more bulky but it would help. Every little bit helps. We on our boat bought a net 2 years ago and the fish that are not kept are never harmed . So what’s gonna happen to commercial striper fishing ? I am also a commercial striper guy and nothing is said about that. Just wondering

      Reply
    • Bryan Fantony

      I think that’s why slot limits are good. In my experience(even with circle hooks) you are more likely to get a bleeder when catching schoolies so you may as well be able to keep a fish you are not sure that will live. Maine is 20″-26″ and 40″ or over and I have caught a lot more between 26″ and 40″ that have to be released so at least up there it seems to work.

      Reply
    • JAY

      Makes sense for you guys that live on or near the coast. Living 2 hours away and keeping 1 fish just isn’t worth the trouble. I agree on the size limit. Throwing away undersize fish that will die is such a waste.

      Reply
    • Sam

      I agree with Tim to lowering the size limit & one fish like in NY. I have only caught one keeper in 2 years & I fish a lot. If the size limit was 22″ I would have taken home 6 stripers a year, that is reasonable I think.

      Reply
      • john

        Even if the population grew you would still have a problem it’s called pollution
        Fish need clean waters to be healthy

        Reply
      • skyboss

        A shoe commercial. How many stripers he’s taken under and over the limit better tell you something

        Reply
  13. Joe GaNun

    The Chessy fishery may seem healthy but all of those undersize fish that would otherwise migrate in a few years ( 1/2 are females ) never will. The bay is 75%+/- of the fishery coastwide and the math is what it is. Fix it and fix the stocks. As for 10% of the rec caught bass perishing post release, that’s flawed science ( voodoo to quote a famous author ). it may apply to bait fisherman who often deep hook a fish ( circle hooks shod be mandatory-no exceptions including commercial ) but it does not apply to lure caught fish and especially if you consider season long catches. To say 1 in 10 is a keeper is also bs…1 in 50 ? maybe, when you look at the April 1 to Dec 1 timeframe accross the different regions. ASMFC you failed the resource once again. To allow the “local science” loophole is absolutely irresponsible. How about once just getting on with it and make everything black and white ?

    Reply
    • Len R

      Joe
      There’s no science to support your 50/50 ratio in the Chesapeake Bay. However, ask any recreational or commercial fisherman and they will tell you that, once the Spring Spawn is over, the vast majority of female fish leave the fishery and head up the coast. What remains are the males and those juvenile females who have not reached spawning maturity (20% of the population at best). Often it’s the undersized females that are released which means that 90% of them survive (based on the 10% mortality). For those who aren’t aware, the CB took a voluntary 14% reduction already. That’s the reasoning behind the 20.5% this year. Where I think we all can agree is in regard to the impacts that commercial fishing for Herring, Menhaden, and other food resources has on the population. When there’s no food, or less food, there are fewer fish to be caught. This adds to the stress put on the SSB and can contribute to a down year in reproduction. In the end, the decision by the ASMFC is a good one for the Bass, a 1 fish per day limit is also sound conservation (slot fish create more release mortality). If you want to know more about what’s going on down here in the nursery, you can read all about it on the Maryland DNR website and other research sites that are supported by CB fishermen.

      Reply
  14. Vince

    I’m surprised there’s little discussion about an upper limit. If the large fish produce more eggs, wouldn’t sound management try to protect them? Why not a slot limit of, say, 28″-38″ (I’m making up numbers).

    Reply
    • James Hamilton

      I agree, need a slot limit again. Fishing has been terrible in RI from the surf the last few years. At least we have something for 2015. Tight Lines

      Reply
  15. Ryan

    Happy to see we got something done! Me I would be all for 1 @ 36 along with a larger reduction in the commercial fishery… However I am not a biologist hopefully this will be a answer for a stronger population… However I would also really like to see them Crack down on the poachers as well!

    Reply
  16. Bill

    This whole thing boggles my mind. It should be simple. Scientific and statistical data can be altered to suit whatever works, however, most fish only study liberal arts or the trades, so they don’t understand all that. In my mind, there are only two options. Either one fish at any size or two fish at any size. Although, if the data supported it, it could also be no fish or more than two fish. However, the decrease in the population suggests that two fish is too many. While the size of the fish matters from the number of eggs laid, the statistical distribution of the age groups of fish mean that most of the breeders will be first or second time breeders. If you take the small fish with a slot limit, it doesn’t grow up to become a big fish. If you take the big fish, the small fish is there to become a future big fish. The one exception is the minimum size. They must be allowed to breed at least to replacement levels based on fish mortality and age distribution and a few other factors. All this said, it’s a done deal and it will be good to see a reduction in catch which results in an increase in fish available to catch. Now, if we could just improve the bait and water quality issues in the Chessapeake, stripers might have a chance.

    Reply
    • Robert Otto

      I’ve fished the Merrimack and Mass and NH, coast for a lot of years. I’ve never caught as many big fish as I did when the limit was 1 36 inch fish per day. As the length limit dropped, so did the # of bigger fish. This year fishing live mackerel our biggest was 31 inches in the Merrimack. There were days I got no hits at all. This would be unheard of fishing live bait just a few years ago. Even schoolies were scarce in the Merrimack this year. Bring back the 36″ 1 fish limit.

      Reply
      • john

        Yeah the fish can’t make it up their being slaughtered at the mouth
        I can catch hundreds at the Charles you can walk across them there so thick

        Reply
  17. Stephen dedisto

    Maine has a great slot program that I think works very well an keeps most of the big female bass alone to spawn for years to come .One fish a day at one size and the second fish is a much bigger fish that are hard to find in the same place or same day.This is just my opinion but it seems there are more fish in the 22 to26 inch range than there are in the 27 to 39 inches I like a number of slot sizes it just might be best for everyone that fishes for this great fish.

    Reply
  18. Carl Johansen

    Randy , the answer is No to your question
    MBBA 509 [life member]
    Perhaps we may have met on P Town or Nauset

    Reply
  19. George Griffin

    Fish numbers are definitely down. Need one fish limit for recreational, and need to cut back on the commercial limit also. The EP’s need to crack down on ” THE ICE GUYS”. The commercial striper fisherman fishing all week long, icing their catch on non commercial days, and selling them on legal days. We need to conserve these beautiful fish, so we can enjoy catching them another day.

    Reply
    • William H Kichline Jr

      I am 81. Fished the upper Chesapeake for many years, through the great years of the tasty “pan rock” era. (The larger the fish, the poorer the taste.)
      The bait fish netters of the lower Chesapeake have basically destroyed most of the Stripper fishing in the bay. This in turn has caused the Stripers to change their eating habits to other means of surviving. Years ago when one gutted rockfish and examined the stomach contents it contained baitfish. Now their are small crabs and the shellfish. I as assuming this is the case all along the Atlantic Coast. As long as people believe the “Fish Oil” health myth the slaughter of the bait fish will continue.
      Bill K

      Reply
  20. mark

    Im truly excited over the news . Ive been chanting save the stripers all summer . I wish they did away with dragging nets. It kills all types of fish . I wish fish finders where illegal . It would be nice to just go back to old time fishing ( line and pole and reel ). God bless for creating such a beautiful looking fish . Stripers rule

    Reply
    • john

      Yeah let’s go back to the old days and fill the beds of our trucks up and take pictures lol

      Reply
  21. Marc Evanier

    One of the biggest issues that needs to be addressed is the live bait guys who can’t hook a fish without a treble or a J hook!…most of those fish are gut hooked and many don’t make it. This is a good start but what good is a reduction in limits when fish are being released to die? While it may be hard to regulate, circle hooks have been proven to improve a healthy release by more than 50 percent with bait fishing.

    Reply
  22. A.G.

    I think besides strictly following regulations, as anglers we also have the responsibility of only keeping what we can use. Just because you can keep, doesn’t mean you should. I love eating fish, but I do not enjoy seeing people keep two 30lbs+ bass, where half the meat will end up in the garbage with freezer burn anyway.

    Reply
  23. david

    who are you people?everyone i know does not catch a lot of stripe bass. we believe the commercial guys do the most harm, not the local fisherman.have the tree huggers and dolphin lovers finally brainwashed you guys into believing their propaganda?what i understood was tree huggers and dolphin lovers want to do away with fishing completely and they file these petty bogus lawsuits which cause all these severe restrictions on the local fisherman. i dont know anyone who thinks you like you guys do.

    Reply
    • Bill

      Based on numbers, commercial striped bass is one of the smaller parts of the total catch of fish. Recreational (I would guess mostly charter) takes the biggest share. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of boats going out every day with a full load of anglers taking 2 fish per person plus 2 for the captain and 2 for the mate from mid-May to mid-October. Then there is the by-catch and the poachers… Of course, this regulation addresses neither of those. There is also the natural mortality which is increased with a reduction of available food, which also isn’t addressed in these regulations. However, the commercial fleet will also see a corresponding reduction in catch limits so your argument is moot.

      Reply
      • Mike C

        Bill – first off, what are you smoking? And second, where can I get some? 😉 haha.
        But, seriously, all joking aside… The recreational angler is NOT the problem. The commercial fishers of 1) stripers, 2) menhaden, 3) herring, along with pollution, human population growth and improper handling of catch all contribute to the problem of the declining resource.
        Some viable solutions have been proposed on this forum, and I applaud many of them. As a recreational angler from shore as well as vessel, with an adoration for the beloved striped species, I see a few solutions that can be readily implemented which would help.
        1) all anglers who “snag” bunker should be forced to replaced the treble hook with a circle hook before dropping the bunker back to the bottom.
        2) an increase in EPA and bay-Connie patrols inside the federal line
        3) a catch and release/proper handling class (or even just a pamphlet manual) should be administered to all rec license applicants. This will allow our youth to continue good practice.
        4) a massive increase in fines on poachers and shorty-keepers. This would prove a MASSIVE deterrent, IF patrols increased, like I mentioned.
        5) an empirical study should be conducted to determine the ratio of female growth levels. For instance: most males are usually shorter in length by lifespan than females (a known fact). If the limit in NY (where I reside) was made to be 25″-38″ at 1 fish per vessel, it would reduce culling, and also force all that catch females above the 38″ mark to release them. (The most important breeders).
        6) The EEZ was put in place for a reason!! No state should be pushing for a bill that even allows for exceptions to EEZ restrictions (IM TALKING TO YOU RHODE ISLAND), and Congress should squash all proposals.
        7) fishermen need to raise their children with even stronger ethical codes than the ones we were given.
        8) an increase in fines for all that pollute on the water
        My thoughts…

        Last week, While fishing from the beach for stripers, I witnessed a strong patrol of DEC and Bay Connies. Lights everywhere. Not more than an hour later did two farm bags full of oysters wash up in front of me. 1) knowing I live on the sandy southern shore of LI, 2) knowing the oysters would have perished right then and there, I decided to haul the bags and make massive food donations where possible, rather than watch the oysters go to waste. They would have surely perished on our sandy beaches. Im positive that the bags only washed ashore because some low life poacher decided to cut bags from a farm buoy. He got scared on his way back into the channels when witnessing all of the Connies patrolling the waters. He tossed the bags overboard for fear of being caught with no concern for the damage he had done. I was disgusted at what I’d witnessed, but I could not allow the plethora of food to go to waste. I will be taking all collected shells from eaten oysters and toss them back into low lying waters of north shore, Oyster Bay so that natural oyster populations have a chance to acquire the decaying calcium carbonate from the old shells and grow bigger.
        I’m not claiming to be a some sort of aquatic saint lol… But if everyone took a more ethical stance on the waters that they fish, I think this word would be a better place.

        I want my kids to enjoy fishing the same way I do!

        Reply
  24. Dave B

    I agree with George G. A recreational fish taken on Monday, one on Tuesday, and one on Wednesday and kept on ice should not magically turn into commercial fish on Thursday. Plus if I understand the law, you can only be in possession of one fish, one fish per day. If you have 3 fish on ice, then you are in possession of 3 fish, thus breaking the law. The commercial guys should only be allowed to sell the fish they catch on assigned catch days. The Enviornmental Police shoulde be immediately notified about any “Ice Guys” stacking fish on ice. As far as I’m concerned thats POACHING.

    Reply
  25. Grant

    The real issue is how seafood is sold and how much is wasted because it was not sold.
    Try to find any information on the seafood waste that supermarkets have. Fish and seafood should be sold at fish markets only, that way the fishmonger will know how much fish to order for the day. Also, New England fisheries supply supermarkets all over the USA including California which has it’s own fishery. The waste is enormous and it is never addressed.

    Reply
  26. Ruckusbro

    One of the big problems is commercial fisherman Poaching, it’s time to turn them in.

    Reply
  27. john mc donnell

    the real problem is the commercial regulations I have seen commercial boats returning to port measuring their catch and throwing the dead undersized fish overboard to keep from being fined therefore forcing them to catch more just to make a living If they would be limited to weight there would be less dead by-catch. also non English speaking party boaters keeping EVERYHING not understanding the regulations That seems to be a problem with enforcement Most boats have the policy of informing not enforcing Too bad

    Reply
  28. Bill

    Going down to one 28 inch fish inch fish in Massachusetts stinks. I went out several times and caught limits and more each time realeasing fish. The commercial numbers at close to 1 million pounds is just to damn high make it 700,000 pounds. Now make North and south Carolina on up 28 inches not freaking 10 inches and unlimited numbers. The fisheries council has botched this from the start. Another thing in Mass higher more EPO’s along the Merrimack River poaching is HUGE with the asian population taking 8 inch bass. There just are not enought epo’s to go around. We need one good smart law for every state and one poundadge.

    Reply
  29. Lars Henriksen

    Hey guys

    Im from Denmark and see many similarities to the problems we face here in Denmark with our national recreational fish the sea run brown trout, also spawns in fresh water and live and grow in the sea(marine areas). In Denmark our biologists suggested back in the 90s that we make a size limits on the fish we bring home. We have a size limit the other way around from u. They have to have a size that they spawn a least once in their life time. So we have minimum size where u seem to have max size if i understand correctly. I have been one of the main guys in denmark(recreational)marine/river restoration for years, when we(government biologists, commercial and recreational fishers make new rules and regulations). The biologists persists that it make the most sense that we keep the minimum size, so we get most fish spawning at least once in their lives. Makes sense, but we have seen that the average size of the fish have gone down over the last decades. The biologists of course don’t do anything without proof, so we have suggested that they find out if recreational fishermen over a long period keep all the the trophy fish that we take out the gen pool of really big fish. I hope that they will find proof of that as we have observed in real life and then we will suggest a both minimum size so they spawn at least once and then a maximum size like u, so we can preserve the big fish gen pool. And then a 1 or 2 fish a day policy, depending on stock, ect. So only middle range fish can be a keeper. thoughts from denmark.
    ps I’m coming to cape cod next year in sep to fish stripers for the first time in my life, and would like to have a meeting or a day on the beach with local guys from the f.ex the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Striped Bass Management Board, so we can exchange ideas and thoughts on fish preservation. Spawning areas, regulations, commercial vs recreational fishing, the decrease of bait fish stocks, climate change and so forth.

    pps pardon my french(english). not my native tongue.

    Lars Henriksen
    2nd chairman in the danish recreational fish stock preservation organization.

    Reply
  30. Tommy Corey

    More guys need to make better judgement and accurate decision on the length and size of striped bass before breaking out the gaff. anon permanent solution on the reduction of the limit to one fish might be a good
    idea for one maybe two seasons

    Reply
  31. Mark

    I’m all for the reduction as a measure to protect the fishery. But as a MA and RI boat fisherman, I believe it has to come from a mufti-faceted approach. The recreational reduction approach is a small part I believe. Trawlers gathering millions of tons of “everything” including Striper prey has a huge impact, as does the charter/head boat industry.

    Most recreational people I know go out, and catch “maybe” a couple fish-maybe. I feel the decline is due to the commercial (trawlers, charters/heads), and the huge disruption of their natural prey available by raping the sea of everything in the food chain. Why do I still see nets being dragged up Narragansett bay and the Sakonnet area? There certainly are not alot of pogys around anymore. If its going to be a serious effort a lot of areas have to be included, as well as strict enforcement.

    Again, multiple things have to change simultaneously if we are to succeed.

    Reply
  32. alan

    I think all the fisherman should use the circle hooks less likely to damage the striper I have great luck.

    Reply
  33. peter

    I think we should limit the fish that bear and raccoons are also allowed to catch. After all if man has decided he is more powerful than that which god has created then we should take control of all gods creatures and not limit ourselves to just homo sapiens. we should liscense and regulate all things and not just trust that god made all creatures but of course never counted on the power of mans govt. being so much more than his power. Do any of you really believe that a few men catching some fish with a pole could change the balance of nature itself? are you so guilt ridden that you believe that? huge boats with nets are commercial ventures and should be regulated by simply not purchasing the product of indescriminate fisherman as well as some regulation but lisencing everyday fisherman??? is just crazy

    Reply
  34. Capt D Williams

    Leave the rec angler out of this mess we don’t drag freakin nets and count our stack of money each day leave it to wealthy operations to kill what God has created for mankind. so load your boats with kids to max out the capacity and and get paid while you fish for keeping your neighbors children

    Reply
    • john

      Yeah just for that I’m keeping as many schools as possible and no one will stop me .
      Yummy so delicious whole fried Stri per with spicy sauce .getting hungry can’t wait till april.for recipes email me

      Reply
  35. mark

    guys…guys…isn’t obvious? there are just TOO MANY FRICKIN” PEOPLE! Fewer people – less fishing pressure = more bass. Fewer people – less polution = more bass.

    Do everything a favor and choose a method of birth control that works for you! Some less informed person’s grand kids will thank you for it. Tight Lines!

    Reply
  36. Wayne Tanguay

    In Maine, we are having public meetings about what the purposed new striped bass regulations will be. There is a meeting tonight(3/11/15) at 6:00PM at Cabellas in Scarborough. It looks like Maine is looking for a 25% reduction in the taking of striped bass. My feeling is that Maine is not the problem. Commercial harvesting and pollution of the breeding grounds are the main culprits. I thought I understood that most of the striped bass spawning took place in the Chesapeake Bay. Stripers are river spawners and need clear, clean water with reasonable current to effectively spawn. The commercial striper fisherman in the Chesapeake use pound nets, haul seines, and drift, anchor and stake gillnets to decimate the population and the addition of acidity and contaminants in the rivers have limited the areas where stripers can spawn. Granted there have been several fishing moratoriums in Virginia and Maryland, but I feel the main problem for the fishery is that too many of the older fish are being taken. Statistics prove that stripers can live to the age of 30 years, yet many of the larger ones are being taken. That has actually reduced the life span of striped bass by one half(15 years old). Too many large breeders being taken. I do not know all the state size requirements for stripers, but I do know that Massachusetts only has a 28″ minimum with no maximum length, Rhode Island allows floating traps year round and there is no limit of keeping fish 26″ or above.
    The problem isn’t in Maine, it’s on the eastern seaboard. The commercial taking of what Maine considers a recreational fish isn’t helping matters. I feel that then recreational fishery industry should only allow 1 fish per person per day and that the fish should be between 20 and 26″. The taking of a trophy fish, (over 40″) should be no more than 1 fish per boat(not per person) per day. Commercial striper fishermen should also be restricted in what they are allowed to take. Also, the larger striped bass tournaments would be allowed only if a substantial portion of the money earned went towards rejuvenation of the spawning areas. Commercial licenses should be increased with a portion going towards improvement of the spawning grounds.
    Maine has enacted the use of circle hooks for stripers, but it’s not enforced. The mortality of fish gut hooked on “J” hooks is getting worse.
    As a charter boat captain, I encourage all my customers to catch and release as many stripers as possible. We also show the customers how to resuscitate to fish after all the pictures have been taken and the fish is to be released. Little things like that mean a lot to the customer and to the industry.

    Unless there is a concentrated effort from all the states on the eastern seaboard, I fear that the striped bass fishery will be decimated so low that it will not be able to recover. Just take a look at the Cod fishery. The once staple fish of New England is now pretty hard to find.

    Reply
  37. Smokinjo

    Hey how about something different, maybe

    we can learn from others. The larger Stripers are mostly females capable of releasing millions of eggs yearly, males usually stay under the legal size. So we kill the breeders and release the non breeders.
    Now look what happens when the state gets invololved with deer hunting, you know, kill the males and save the breeders. On a trip to Montauk you will always see more roadkill deer than take -home Stripers at the beach. Right now the deer population is out of control and can only be controlled by a large doe harvest.
    In our managed trout fisheries you have to go barbless and no treble hooks . Now that reduces the catch a little I suppose but it will make you learn how to play the fish properly and keep it from bleeding. You know that a bleeding fish will die, not right now but soon. When surf fishing I remove trebles and only use a single barbless on plugs and tins. On eels I use only circles—they work.
    One more thing–Boga Grip– Want to kill a big cow later but not now ? Well just grab her by the jaw with the grip and make sure the the rest of googs on the beach have a good look at your prize while you shout out the weight to the nearest quarter pound. Take your time ,pictures and high fives all around. These tools are for use on bluefish and toothy things , don’t ever hang a striper by it’s jaw like this . Look up Striper Boga Death etc.

    Reply
  38. Leo Klebanov

    Such sport fish as Striped Bass should be prohibited for commercial fishing.
    Striped bass pouching mafia in Cape Cod canal area should be stopped. I see them caching tens of fishes per person on live herring (which is prohibited) every May and October runs. Nobody cares!
    As a result thousands of recreational fishermen like me will suffer, and everybody want to present the problem caused by them (us). Winter flounder is good example: It was over-fished commercially, and now go get one- I didn’t see them for years.
    Very soon it will be nothing to fish for, if regulators remain corrupt and continue blaming recreational fishermen.

    Reply
  39. cringle

    ignorance is bliss ! I don’t know whats worse the goverments arrogance to think they can really impact fish pops with regs or the whinning recreational fishers in ability to take responsibility for the cumulative effects of their own actions on the environment. until we all pass up the seafood counter at are grocery store, start living browner lawns ,and stop burning and pouring fossil fuels and chemicals every where,nothing is going to change! nothing! so get used to catching smaller fish and, less fish .until then if you really want to make a difference shut your mouths hang up your rods and mother nature will take care of the rest..

    Reply
  40. cringle

    a govt moratorium on all fishing is in your future sports sports sports games fishing cars you name it stop minimizing your own impacts on the environment it does not matter if you kill your fish by purchasing at a store or kill it with a J hook or with some chemical you put on your base ball field or lawns stop your crying and clean up your own house!

    Reply
  41. bido

    As a NJ angler I am embarrassed and ashamed that NJ will allow 3 breeding female bass to be killed this year (using the bonus tag program). Shame on the NJ ASMFC representatives. The entire East Coast recognized the striped bass population is not healthy, yet NJ continues to push to kill as many stripers as possible.

    Reply
    • John

      This is part of the problem if the bass migrate which they do what is the sense of a small limit one place and almost none in another. If you fish long island sound what is the difference in the size of the fish you catch- the only difference is where you bring the fish to shore, that decides if the fish is legal which makes NO sense at all. This is our educated goverment at work. The law should be on the fish not on the location.

      Reply
  42. Freddy Sanchez

    Once a year my buddies and I drive to Montauk, pay out the schnoz to get on a boat and try to catch some Striped Bass. Out of the 5 years we’ve been doing it, only once have we had a great year in which we hit the limit (all of them monsters except for one that we kept because it was the first of the day and was a keeper and who knew if we’d catch more?) and if I’m not mistaken, aren’t the charter boats the ones that fish commercially the rest of the time, or am I mistaken?

    Let me catch my share and do what you have to do so that my friends and I can each have 1 $350 dollar barbeque a summer. Don’t overfish.

    And I am confused on one thing, does this mean that when we charter the boat this year that we can only keep one? If so, screw that, I’m NOT paying 350 for 1 fish.

    Reply
  43. joe blow

    because the rec guys dont organize the commercial scumbags keep winning.rec guys get screwed the comm guys get the biomass.they are again beach seining on long island and commercial gillnetting.these commercial scumbags dont care and i dont care about there family horsecrap lines they shoot out everytime there get confronted about doing this .commercial guys need to go or the striper will be right back to where they where in the late 70s ,early 80s.no matter what any clowns says that runs the fisheries meeting its the commercial scumbags killing everything with nets and they need to go.they did it to blackfish,fluke,cod,stripers and the huge schools out pollock that used to migrate thru block island in the spring.its not hook and line fishing or retarded fish and release mortality,those are all smoke screens-its bottom trawling and gillnetting,that kills everything,gamefish and bycatch-the same for dragging.the bycatch dead from dragging is mind boggling ,just watch the reruns of the tv show that showed the draggers working at the north east edge of georges plugging nets with redfish that they couldnt keep anyway and raising them to the boat from 850 ft of water-all dead and dumped over board and the captain chuckling about it.the boat should be taken and the crew and captain arrested and there asses thrown in jail and prosecuted.all these problems are like anything else the u.s government is involved with there expert clown show called noaa.in norway where they still have strong huge schools of fish,the fisheries counsel is private and there is nabsolutely no outside government interference and the whole program is controlled by biologists.there are only a few seasons that commercial asswipes can function and they have to fish multi spieces and on a calender and a toughly enforced biomass.this is the way things need to be done alomg with control points for unloading or arrests are made.all the bullshot fantasies and the partyboats and rec fisherman are the problem answer need to stop,if the rec guys expects to catch a fish in the years to come,they need to organize like the nra to shutdown the scumbag commercial fisherman from operating-all they care about is money-its got nothing to do with survival of the fish.that goes for noaa also-they are 3 star clowns with there peckers in there hands.the clowns making decisions at these councils all have friends and families that are commercial fisherman and i could care less if they starve.to many other jobs have been swept away by the internet and there no reason these clowns at noaa should care about them,just healthy fish populations.all fishing should go back to hook and line fishing-the fish pops would raise and the bottom would have a chance to recover.hopefully commercial asswipes are reading this and exploding-too fing bad.

    Reply
  44. John

    Commercial fisherman should add ALL fish brought in for a total quota of fish taken ,it would be cost wise for them making less trips out and the fish wouldn’t be put back dead which is just a waste. This is the great state of connecticuts fault not the commercial guys. The second thing that is bad for the fish is fish finders they make it easy for people to locate the fish instead of putting in their time learning how and enjoying how to fish they are not fishermen the fish are being over fished by this system that is why there were thousands of fish around years ago and people actually ended up catching more fish. Except for the idiots that caught all they could and thru them away when no one on shore wanted them.

    Reply

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