Massachusetts Proposes Adding Commercial Striper Days

DMF Accepting Public Comment through August 24

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is proposing in-season adjustments to 2020 commercial fishing limits for striped bass.

As of August 7, 2020, commercial striped bass fishermen had caught only 24.4% of the quota of 735,240 pounds. DMF is proposing to add open fishing days to allow for commercial fishermen to have greater access to remaining quota. Beginning on September 1, 2020 Tuesdays and Thursdays will be added to the commercial fishery. This will allow commercial fishing four days per week (Mondays – Thursdays). Then, effective October 2, 2020, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays will be added to the commercial fishery. This will allow commercial fishing seven days per week.

Although DMF cites “consideration of market impacts resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic” for the proposal, DMF made a similar proposal last year based on low landings and projections that the commercial striped bass fishery would not harvest its quota. Written public comment was accepted for a two-week period, and on August 15, the Division’s Director recommended taking no action and stated that extensive public comment played a role in that decision.

The commercial striped bass quota in Massachusetts was reduced by 18% last year after striped bass were declared overfished. It was reduced by 25% in 2015, after the prior year’s harvest of 1,128,337 pounds, in response to a steady decline in abundance.

Instructions for Public Comment

DMF will be accepting public comment on these proposals through 12PM on Monday, August 24, 2020. Please address all written comments to Director Dan McKiernan. All comments are to be submitted to DMF by e-mail ( or by post (251 Causeway Street, Suite 400, Boston, MA 02114).
For more information about the management of marine fisheries in Massachusetts, contact DMF at 617-626-1520 or visit their website at

DMF also proposing adjustments to commercial black sea bass and summer flounder.

Black Sea Bass: DMF is proposing to add open fishing days to the 2020 commercial black sea bass season. Beginning on August 31, 2020 Mondays and Wednesdays will be added to the commercial fishery. This will allow commercial fishing five days per week (Sundays – Thursdays). Then, effective October 2, 2020, Fridays and Saturdays will be added to the commercial fishery. This will allow commercial fishing seven days per week. Additionally, DMF is proposing to increase the daily trip limit for pot fishermen from 400 pounds to 500 pounds effective Sunday, August 30.

Summer Flounder: Beginning on August 23, 2020 DMF is proposing to increase the commercial summer flounder trip limit for trawlers from 400 pounds to 600 pounds. Vessels participating the Period II Summer Flounder Pilot Program will be subsequently allowed to possess and land 1,200 pounds taken over a two-day trip. Then on October 4, 2020 DMF is proposing to increase the commercial summer flounder trip limit to 1,000 pounds and eliminate closed fishing days (Fridays and Saturdays) allowing commercial fishing seven days per week.

According to the press release from DMF, “In-season adjustments to commercial fishing limits for the late summer and fall period is a routine action by DMF. The purpose of proposed actions is to provide active commercial fishermen with additional access to these quota managed fisheries during the fall. This will let these businesses fish around worsening seasonal weather, which typically has a limiting impact on commercial fishing effort. They will also allow for commercial fishermen to have greater access to remaining quotas. As of August 1, 2020 approximately 25% of the state’s 735,240 pound 2020 striped bass quota has been taken, 20% of the state’s 728,565 pound 2020 black sea bass quota has been taken, and 48% of the state’s 786,399 pound 2020 summer flounder quota has been taken.”

The Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission will review and vote on these proposals at the August 20, 2020 business meetings. If approved, in-season adjustments will be announced on August 21, 2020 and will be in effect for the remainder of 2020 or until 100% of the relevant 2020 commercial quotas have been taken.


56 on “Massachusetts Proposes Adding Commercial Striper Days

    1. Roger H

      No flounder around as it is for recreational fishermen why would you increase it for commercial fishermen. Stupid.

  1. Dave Cannistraro

    Isn’t this bad for the fish? If guys aren’t catching enough to meet the quota then there aren’t enough fish to catch or a lack of commercial fishing because of a weak market and low prices due to Covid. If there’s not enough fish to catch why would they open it up so even more fish can be taken out of the ocean. If anything they should reduce the quota given the low market prices and give the fish a break.

    1. Andrew Schneller

      I agree with your assessment that it is low due to less fish as well as low prices because demand is down. It makes no sense to increase fishing days. Should write to them and express this opinion

    2. Joseph Masi

      Why do they have to catch the quota? Covid-19 has provided a unique opportunity for the fish stocks to not be overharvested for one season. The lack of fishing pressure will help all fish species

    3. Cape

      Ah common sense. Your in the great common wealth of MA. Throw that logical idea s a way you trouble maker you.

    4. Kyle

      The price is high. Not covid..imo two years too late on the slot limit implication. Was too easy for people to catch cows with all the bait around. Another thought, they shit down the canal to comm, what percent of past quotas were taken from there…hmmmm

  2. Andy

    DMF needs to spend more time chasing leads on and patrolling for poaching. I agree, with the markets as low as they are, increasing the days for commercial isn’t doing anything for the fishery… I would love for my kids to be able to enjoy what I’ve had the opportunity to have in my lifetime with regards to saltwater fishing, yet I fear they will not have the same opportunities with what we’re seeing these days due to over fishing.

    1. Joe

      “Quota” ? Meanwhile NYS and surrounding states are regulating Bunker harvesting to help increase Stripers. No logical reason to rape the oceans even more than already have.

  3. Tom

    Sounds backwards!!!
    The commercial fishing is gonna endanger the Strippers by overfishing 7 days a week, and closer to beach is crazy!!!
    The demand is down but you want to increase commercial catch!! Doesn’t make sense!!!

  4. Richard

    If they do approve this, every bass fisherman should get a commercial striper licence. Then you can get 15 fish instead of 1 a day. Politicians at their best, DUH

  5. LI

    Here in NY if you take 600 lbs of summer flounder you can kiss your boat, house, kids college fund and your own ass Goodbye!! Are we great again yet? But how do you monitor recreational fishing? 🤔 I got it… you don’t. Because one head boat catches more bass in one day then one commercial fisherman is allowed in one entire season.

  6. Geo GiveUp

    I’ve fished LI Sound for 60+ years south shore and have never seen fishing this bad. On top of it all we see Connecticut boats coming over here so how bad is it on your side ? Authorities have screwed up the fishery so bad and at 70 yrs of age, I say screw it, do what you like. At this point you can’t worsen the situation. We’ve got millions of short fluke and stripers that will never grow up. I have a size limit of 19″ but can go to the fish market and buy 14″ fish. The large breeders are being exterminated but don’t try and tell tell these young whipper snappers what to do. You have to hook 50 shorts and maybe just maybe you’ll get a 19″ keeper. What’s the mortality % of those 50 thrown back. Do what you like, my son and grandchildren have left the Island and I’m next. Wipe em all out.

    1. Pete

      I’ve been fishing every day since late june and all I’ve caught was schoolies. 25″ was the biggest and I’ve only killed one out of 30 or 40 fish.

    2. Joe

      Agreed. Clams are the same way. I was at a restaurant, ordered baked clams and some came the size of a quarter. Wtf

  7. The Truth

    This is the so stupid. The quota isn’t reached because of overfishing. So let’s add days to catch more fish to reduce the stock even more. And next year the same thing will happen. It’s really not that hard to figure out and you certainly don’t need a degree to do so. It’s all money driven. Plus you take all the big breeders out of the equation. I wish people would start using their heads about things.

  8. Joe Gomes

    I just wrote a comment to the commission and I urge you all to do the same. If they haven’t reached the quota it IS likely that the reason is fewer fish to catch. We, the fisherman of the USA fought and contributed our hard earned money to bring back the striped bass from overfishing and near extinction and now the MONEY wants to takes us back??? Have we learned NOTHING? Are we trying g to back to the fifties and rose the resources we’ve fought to conserve? NO,NO,NO!
    Change the slot limit, DON’T increase the season length or the daily take. Do the Right Thing.

  9. Mike R

    I don’t believe any science is backing up this proposal. We have a population in decline and have been afforded an opportunity albeit unfortunate to give this species a season of reduced pressure.

  10. Mark HACKU

    No fish to harvest, lack of fish in the sea.
    Catch all the fish in the pond can’t catch anymore. No matter how long you stay.
    Need to restock.

  11. Jerry Williamson

    Overfishing has destroyed fishing for everyone!!! I would like to see 1 day a week of no fishing at all,save the fish day!!!

  12. Steven Osgood SR

    I have fished for years
    In hull,hingham Weymouth I have not caught a flounder striper Cod haddock or any fish in the last 2 years. Over fishing has taken a toll on inner harbor fishing.
    Not like when I was with my grandfather.

  13. Keith

    Yep and they wonder why there gone how about a moratorium I fish every day and have caught 4 keepes in nh pathetic ban the sale and watch them come back fast

  14. Notpatlibitz

    This is dumb. We don’t have a enough fish so we Open up days catch more fish. Luke Burns gets in the fishes b hole and he needs to moisturize his hands. What are we even taking about. We need to protect the fish. Eat more beef cause cows are indigenously and protected in India.

  15. John P Ruggiero

    Change this lock, not the days. I haven’t got a striper in 3 years. This is ridiculous. Use your brains.! That’s if you have any…

  16. Phyllis henry

    P Henry
    I’v out fishing many a day. The fish aren’t out there. That must mean they are being over fished or taken before they get to maturity.

  17. michael

    just because you cant catch them doesn’t mean they aren’t here. 😉

  18. Pete

    I fish in Southern Maine, but we have the same issues here that you guys are talking about down your way. Haven’t seen big fish up here the last several years. Most fish this year up to 25″ (but I will say are fat and healthy). They just need a chance to grow. Makes no sense to increase quotas based on low catch and poor market. Isnt that just common sense? On a similar note I havent seen a bluefish up here in years. My son is 16 and never seen one, let alone had a chance to catch one.

  19. Ty McPherson

    This is absurd policy making. The quota isn’t being hit because the species is being over fished! If anything they need more protection.

  20. Cape

    Close commercial bass season. Period. Turn strippers in to a sport fish. Take and take does not work. Hurry up to catch the last one. Experts science Does not reply . common sense. Its about money folks. Period. Money … Show me the Money.

  21. Van Vanderbeck

    No. No. No. 1,000 times no! Give them a decade to recover. Them you can decimate their numbers again. I’ll be dead by then so I won’t care.

  22. Brock Landers

    Commercial striper is getting 1.50-2.25 a pound this year. Less striper is being caught because there’s less fishermen fishing. Get off the soapbox and get out on the water and you can see it yourselves. Much much less. I want the population to survive into the future and Covid May ultimately help that, but to say we are at 25% of a quota just recently lowered because of last year/year before coming in low is insane. If commercial was still getting $5 a pound the quota would be around where it was last year.
    Opening up commercial a couple more days allows those few fisherman actually doing it now for 1.50/2$ a pound to still come in at 50-60% of quota. Pay some bills maybe. Sounds harsh versus the “leave the bass completely alone” message but I’d wager it’s the people who need the money doing it rather than those doing it for a side gig. We will still catch much much less fish and help the fishery come back.

    1. Kyle

      Bass have hit $6 lb in the market last few weeks. Was low for only a little while early July. Not covid. Can we get the percent of the quota that the cape cod canal has been responsible for comm striped bass in recent years?

      1. Kyle

        I’m guessing Dmf thinks it’s a lot and thinks there’s a bunch of bass still to be caught..

  23. M.T. FISHBOX & SON

    The big shots in the DMF must be getting big bucks from somewhere to even consider extending the commercial catch days. We need an investigation. Poor commercial catches means large striped bass have been raped to excess. The meatheads in charge havent a clue. As stated above, MONEY TALkS !!!

  24. M.T. FISHBOX & SON

    The big shots in the DMF must be getting big bucks from somewhere to even consider extending the commercial catch days. We need an investigation. Poor commercial catches means large striped bass have been raped to excess. The meatheads in charge havent a clue. As stated above, MONEY TALkS !!!!

  25. Andy

    Well some rotten politician is probably getting his pocket greased by the commercial gang. So ridiculous.

  26. Eric Summers

    What an incredible mistake! Stripers are declining and we will wipe them out, again. We need to cut back whenever possible to allow recovery. Do we want to look out an empty ocean with a nonexistent recreational fishery?

  27. Eric Summers

    One more comment: We need to make our comments to DMF not just on this site. We may agree, but they need to hear from us our views are invisible to them. Please do this before August 24. Look again at the article for the email address to sent to.

  28. Gary C. Phillips

    Why is it that some States allow minnows to be kept (eg 19″ bass) while here in MA the minimum is set at 28″? How is the stock ever going to rebound with the intense pressure, the keeping of undersized fish, etc… going to happen? Policy needs to be consistent throughout the waterway traversed by the bass. Set the size limit for a keeper to 32″ and release the minnows!

  29. Kyle

    Let me get this rite
    So we are going to implement a slot limit for recreational anglers.
    And we are going to allow commercial fisherman to catch more bigger fish that are more likely to lay eggs.

  30. Richard

    Smh 🤦‍♀️. Maybe they don’t have that many big fish around to catch ! Why don’t you people make the commercial guys take a few years off so the bass don’t get as bad as the cod stocks .

  31. ProperReleaseGuy

    The low fish caught is more a result of bad weather and bad fishing days on the pre determined monday and wednesday. 50% of those days throughout the season will be poor fishing days in general ( bad weather no moon cycle no bait ect) . The facts obtained by the division of marine fisheries clearly shows its the recreational fisherman killing the vast majority of the stripers. Period. Look at the data please before accusing the commercial fisherman( who do not catch fish hence only 25% of quota ) of killing all the fish. I think the professionals who study these fish for a living every day for 30+ years know better than 95% of ppl commenting including myself.

  32. Gene H Weiner

    I have never seen striper fishing so poor. I first fished for them in MA when I was 14 years old in 1950 In those days I always caught and kept a 30-40″ striper. This year I have been only able to catch and release shorts. Back in the day I used to go fish for summer flounder in Quincy Bay and always caught a dozen or so in less than an hour with a spreader and sea worms on the bottom of 20-30 feet of water. Last year I only caught 2 “keepers”. We used to go out, catch and bring home a few cod every week. Now you cab hardly find them and then only keep one of you are north of the Cape. The area has been over-fished by the commercial guys. We should reduce their fishing. Let the market price rise to what we sport fishermen pay per pound. Let the fish stocks recover!

    1. Vince

      What you’re not accounting is global warming. Striped bass have adjusted to their new environment. Fishing is strong imo. I catch 40 pounders on the regular so I’m not complaining. This isn’t your daddy’s striped bass fishing pattern anymore. Adjust to change or be left soaking your lures/bait.

      1. Robert S Moss

        Try fishin some where else the numbers are down because not a lot of guys are fishin when there was a bite in the past there would be 200 boats hence quota filled quick now there is 15 boats on the bite mostly at night most of you don’t have a clue how to find you own fish not chase boats there are a hand full of us been doin this for 30 years that year after year knock the crap out of un by putting in the effort put some time in learn tides water temp peak flows you will catch fish if not you will blame everyone but yourself this is our quota it’s minimal compared to what recreational take get to work if you want to catch fish if not keep bitchin

  33. Ron D’Angelis

    Shut the fishery down if there aren’t enough big fish to fill the quota. All concerned about the future of the striper fishery needs to chime in and e-mail Director Dan McKiernan at

    1. Vince

      Lots of big fish out there. Stop fabricating the facts because your a bad fisherman.

  34. Lee

    They eliminated bass rom the vineyard derby.Lowered the size of bass that can be kept by rec fishermen. Because the geniuses said they were endangered and all of a sudden they are going to let commercial guys catch more. I’m glad for the commercial guys, but one day these nitwits say we’re running out of bass and next day they allow more fish to be taken. The real problem with bass numbers and lobsters and othe popular species is all the seals that are killing off all the fish and lobster stocks. The geniuses that keep pushing to protect the sharks and seals don’t tell the public that the 100,000 or so seals on the cape each eat their weight in lobster ,bass and othe game fis per day. Each seal weighs about 200lbs x 100,000,that equals TWENTY MILLION pounds of fish and lobsters PER DAY.Also the 100’s of white sharks at about 1000lbs each eattheir weight per day and they are killing people. Kill them back to where they were 50 years ago and watch the fish stocks go thru the roof.But the rich tree huggers won’t let that happen. They blame people who fish a few months a year on the decline and then they sat the commercial guys can take more. These college clown don’t know whether to sh–t or wind their watches

  35. Trevor Crane

    It’s adding one day for now but a lot of those Monday’s Wednesday’s were crap weather plenty of fish to be caught idk what u guys are doing wrong if u are only getting 25” fish

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