Striped Bass Scientists Look at Raising Size Limit

An increase in minimum size to 35 inches would have 50% chance at meeting target.

Stephen Christley

A report released today by the Striped Bass Technical Committee (TC) of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) projects that an increase in the minimum size for the coastal striped bass fishery from 28 inches to 35 inches in 2020 would be necessary to have a 50% chance of meeting the fishing mortality target. The projection was made as a first step in determining a management response to the recent striped bass assessment finding that striped bass are overfished and overfishing is occurring.

The TC found that a 17% reduction in fishing mortality from 2017 levels would be necessary to have a 50% chance of achieving the fishing mortality target.  They then developed an example management change to achieve this reduction in total recreational removals (while assuming commercial removals would also be reduced by 17% through other management actions.

They found that while keeping the bag limit at one fish and without changing season lengths, an increase in minimum size limit from 28 inches to 35 inches would achieve a 17.5% reduction. In Chesapeake Bay, the minimum size would have to increase from 19″ to 21″ in Maryland, and from 20″ to 22″ in Virginia.

The Striped Bass Management Board will be discussing this information at their spring meeting in Arlington, Virginia on Tuesday, April 30.


88 on “Striped Bass Scientists Look at Raising Size Limit

  1. Juan Rosales

    Everyone should participate. Begin with at 28 inches for everyone.

    1. Pat Lopath

      the limit, 28, 35, whatever, should be universal. NC to ME. Rec and commercial.

  2. Hap

    Great rule: Massacre them in VA and MD and the hell with any other State!

    1. Mason Dixon

      Hap’s comment hits the nail on the head.
      Hey Striped Bass Technical Committee (TC), what’s the reason behind ignoring the obvious impact of decimating brood stocks in Maryland and Virginia. Seriously…19″ to 21″ in Maryland, and from 20″ to 22″ in Virginia – THAT’s your version of an even playing field , basically ignoring the positive impact of going to a 28″ inch minimum from NC to Maine. TC, your suggestions don’t pass the smell test. whiskey tango foxtrot ?

  3. Vince

    How about 1 fish per angler at least 20″ but under 28″… why encourage taking brood stock…

    1. Ed Dorey

      I agree Vince. It’s not rocket science. Don’t kill the brood stock !!!

    2. Josh

      Exactly. My understanding is that the large fish, 25,35, 45 lb+ are the Egg laying Females?

      Why not do a 2 fish limit, between 20-27”

    3. Devinn

      20” ur crazy, that’s small and makes it so less big fish to catch next season

    4. JoePete

      Great idea Vince . Slot limits brought back the Drum in the Gulf along Louisana and they can work here too.

  4. David Allan

    Catch and release mortality rates are uncertain. However research proves that poor handling and a host of related factors make a huge difference to the survival prospects of the fish which are returned. Unless anglers take responsibility in this area, arguably the fish you kill for the table may be the least damaging aspect of our sport with regards to sustainability. That fish that gets dragged up the beach has a considerably reduced likelihood of survival compared to one caught by an angler wearing waders who never lets the fish touch land. Multiple treble hooks are often another fish killer…

    1. Howard

      Long ago I gave up meat fishing. If there was a catch and release only five year period it would be predictable that the numbers would be vastly improved. We have done it before and it worked very well.
      I agree that all states should have the same regulations. It’s hard to understand why they are not.

  5. Jeff Nashville

    Why let Maryland and Virginia keep smaller fish?If your going to address a problem then everyone should be playing by the same rules. It doesn’t make any sense

    1. Pete

      The chesapeake doesn’t have many adult bass during the summer and fall. Most anglers in that region would never get an occasional fish dinner if the size limit was higher.

    2. Allen Lawrence Jr.

      I agree strongly,make the whole east coast the same size range for a keeper.

  6. Spencer Dufton

    Maybe massachusetts can do this in 2019 rather than wait a year

  7. Redneckangler

    Absolutely not. This will still allow for the killing of big breeders. A slot limit from 28-low30s, like applied to the reds in the SE, would be more effective, along with continued catch and release education to reduce mortality. Besides, the bigger fish suck to eat anyway. I always encourage the couple of guys that want to keep one to make it a small 28-30″ fish.

    1. John Ioia

      I think you’re correct. A slot limit is the wisest choice. I live on the Hudson but mainly fish Cape Cod. I hate seeing the locals catch and kill big cows. It will be starting soon.

      1. Brian kilgore

        The locals?? How about the packs and hordes of out of staters that flood the canal ( the elite teams) that come here from New York and New Jersey and every other state and kill fish? The entire atmosphere at the canal sucks now.


    Major Problem in the long Island Sound last year was the lack of Blue fish.
    When folks can’t take a short trip out and have a few blues on light tackle they move to targeting the strippers. Hopefully this is not the case this year.

  9. Mohamed nabulsi

    Anything less than 28 inches and over 35 inches should be released

  10. Jeff Swayze

    I couldn’t imagine a less effective regulation, especially when data shows that release mortality exceeds harvest rate. This proposed teg would ultimately harm the striped bass fishery by putting pressure on big, breeding fish. The council should go back to slot limits and allow anglers to keep one fish between 20-28. Anglers also need to limit how many fish they catch and release in an outing. Catch a few fish, keep one for the table, then go.

  11. Dan Cadigan

    No brainer release anything over 34 inches and let the big girls breed.

  12. mark macneill

    Your all wrong . Catch and release. Period . Next 5 years . Catch and release i say

  13. Marty Walton

    How about just a slot limit 28-34, save the big breeders. It’s be better to just do strict catch and release but that could never happen

  14. Jumbo time

    There should be a slot 28 to 34 everywhere except the canal and spawning areas where there should be strict catch and release.

  15. John Kauffman

    These so called scientists have no scientific evidence how many fish are caught/ kept or released. If they can show me scientific evidence that does not include surveys which by the way is not science then I will start listening and believing them.

    1. Spencer Oliver

      I agree with you 100%.. where are most of these surveys done?

  16. Bill

    I’d like to see a coast-wide moratorium for 1 year every 5 years and a recreational tag program where you can get a limited number (say, 4) of tags and once the recreational quota is reached, the coast-wide season becomes closed.

  17. Matt power

    Heres an idea ..if you really want to save the striped bass population…absolutely no commercial fishing for 3 years!..PERIOD!!!

  18. Guy Narragansett

    Here we go, the boo hoo sob story about these poor wittleeeee fishiessssss

    These fish ain’t going extinct and when people describe “the good days” I’m sure it wasn’t exactly back to back 50lbs fish.

    Play by the rules and quit crying

  19. Captain keith

    Stop commercial fishing! Then there would be no black market. Make striped bass a game fish meaning no bait only artificial lures

  20. Billy

    These ‘alleged’ scientists should know that fish over 35″ are the breeding stock. Why take them? There should be slot limits and the regulations should apply to ALL states that fish for striped bass!

  21. Don Fillman

    Agreed , in my opinion more fish returned handled greater mortality rate, if you want to perserve got to lessen the pressure on the fish, close the season for a yr and eat access

  22. Gabe

    DEM needs to make their presence known in high volume areas and enforce the existing regulations with prejudice. I have seen people every season keeping buckets of undersized striped bass. The fines should be enforced without exception and that money should go directly into a fund dedicated to striper stock recovery.

    1. Gabe

      I as well, have seen many “south of the boarder people” take cooler full of undersized stipers. It really grinds my gears. I have alerted the E-Police many time, but I think in Mass they are understaffed. I barely see them anywhere.

  23. Doug

    I agree with a slot limit!! Also how many fish do you need to keep a season? There are other fisheries.

  24. Gary

    Make all states the same 28-35″ fish one per outing. Leave all the big bass to breed. No more commercial fishing of stripers.

  25. Capt. Robert Newberry

    Here we go again with rocket science. Here in Maryland, we figured out this problem several years ago, and took proactive action in reducing our size limit to 19 in and using a circle hook to obtain the proper conservation equivalents. This is worked very well for our fishery here in Maryland, and will continue to work as we move forward in the next several years. To increase the size of the fish to a larger fish is absolutely ridiculous. This would increase the handling and releasing of many smaller fish, thus increasing the mortality or B2 dead discards. The recreational fisherman, which I am associated with by being a charter captain, must step up to the plate and admit that they are the problem and it is not the commercial fisherman, especially in the waters of the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland. All you have to do is look at the charts of the B-2 discards generated by the commercial industry versus the recreational and you will see where the problem lies. By simply increasing the size of the fish has been proven to be ineffective and will without a reason of a doubt increase the mortality level on the striped bass. It’s time to take the politics out of fishery management and use common sense science. Politicizing a natural resource leads to two things, the demise of that resource, and the demise of that industry based upon that resource. It’s happening now through the ASMFC. If you can’t see it now then wake up.

  26. Dante

    Larger bass have greater fecundity. You morons. Let the big ones go. Allow one bass between 24″ and 28″ release the rest. Fecundity: look it up scientists.

  27. Tony G

    Yea, scientists? Wtf.
    What percentage of poachers have the “scientists” figured that would keep only 35” fish?
    Getting pretty fed up with all this human meddling.

  28. Joe G

    1 fish per day 22”-26” all States. 5 registered tags for cows. Captains and tackle shops can sell tags. 1 tagged fish per day. Commercial needs to be better regulated to prevent catch and sell on off days. Take what you need.

    1. RK

      This type of system works like a charm for speckled seatrout in FL. No reason it won’t work for stripers.

  29. Gregg Rennie

    When are the “scientists” going to figure out that when you only keep the big ones you’re removing the brood stock. The little ones are the males that aren’t as important. NJ did the same thing with Fluke, they increased the minimum size and guaranteed that only females were keepers.

  30. Shawn StLaurent

    Every state should be the same size limit across the board!! If the stripers migrate from south to north then why should the lower states have a smaller limit than the north? The southern states do more damage to the migration than the north because they have a longer striper season than us up here in the north.

  31. Fermín valencia

    The scientists don’t understand the problem is the commercial fishing killing all sizes all species no the guy who catch one fish per day .DA

  32. Justin Freeman

    One needs to look at the rest of the world to gain insite on this age old topic. One needs to figure out the size of your breeding fish, those are the ones to be released to insure the future of the fish species, its worked in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and parts of Europe, to name a few. No recreational fisherman will deplete a fish species.

  33. Matt

    You know you can practice your own guidelines as long as the meet or exceed the regulations. Don’t rely on gov for the answer

  34. John

    Have a tag system give fisherman a number of tag for the year.let say 5 for a example a fishing person has to choose do I take this fish because it only 28 inch or do I want a bigger fish with my tag.if a person fishes tournament they get added tag and expires after tournament it will also rise money for tournament and striper recording for fish taking.Make bigger fines and license remove if not tag.

  35. John I

    I think you’re correct. A slot limit is the wisest choice. I live on the Hudson but mainly fish Cape Cod. I hate seeing the locals catch and kill big cows. It will be starting soon.

  36. Walshski

    Slot sz makes best sense during these epic times of big brutes being caught and kept ,or not knowing proper way to land and release,lets all do our share.We owe it to the stripers for shown us the best of times.

  37. Riichard Barron

    When the striper bio mass became desperate back around the early 1970s the size limit was 1 fish, 36 inches or larger. Much earlier than that limit, the history of striped bass and all of the gill netting that decimated the fish since it was such a main food source for the early settlers and folks coming to North America to live, etc.made it a necessity. In Boston the first public school was apparently built by revenues from the sale of striped bass, so they are part of our national history and must be protected. The PCBs and contaminants that polluted so many of heir waterways and habitats seem to have been addressed because the bio mass roared back after the 1970s and schools of striped bass grew into huge numbers and the species was healthy again, so I am told. There has only really been one initiative to address bait or herring after a moratorium on them made catching and keeping river herring a crime and even possession became a crime. All the while pogies were netted and taken out of Quincy Bay and other places leaving no place for the stripers to flourish anymore. Cohasset harbor and Cunningham’s Bridge in Cohasset only 10 years ago used to be full of pogies and thousands of stripers from time to time chasing them but I never see them anymore. My point is the real problem is nature is out of balance and all of the management recommendations and slot limits and salt water licensing and stricter more punitive fines and enforcement seems to indicate the real problem is us. I won’t lie about it. Twenty years ago I fished day and night for stripers, bluefish, flatties, tataug, cod, hake, haddock, polluck, and we ate everything we kept, including sharks. I hate to catch and release fish that are of edible size because they taste so good, especially when you have a gourmet cook as a son who also loves fishing and eating the fish. I never thought I’d say this but, what is the point of catch and release anyway?? Is the thrill worth killing the fish to take pictures and a video? We humans are a tough species to often understand. The commercial fishermen blame the recreational fisherman, and the recreational fishermen blame the commercial fishermen for over fishing. Fly fishing mystifies the whole process and endears the fly fishing experience into a spiritual event?? Really? Great wooden plugs that are machine made or hand made cost $20.00+. Live eels are wicked expensive because of shortages. Families with less money to feed more children hit a school of shorties and try to keep a bunch of them to have an adequate amount of food and get caught, arrested, and prosecuted, while the fish are donated to eat somewhere. We are here. God and/or our parents put us here.. We have to make the best of it. If you were on a deserted island size limit, catch limit, slot size, etc wouldn’t matter anymore. I guess we are spoiled and have been given too much and if we don’t manage it we won’t have it for much longer. On the other hand the fresh water hybrid striped bass are thriving so there you go. I watched a show on National Geographic which advocated why we should change our thinking and eat bugs and it would be healthy for us and good for the planet. Whoever decides these things, I hope they make some good laws that really make a lot of and consider everyone’s input, but that’s not likely to happen anytime soon from the looks of things and ongoing investigations in Congress. Thanks for sharing!

  38. William Courcy

    Completely agree to not keeping anything over 35 let the breeders go.

    Slotting the 28 to 35 makes most sense to me.

    Ban the Commercial taking of this precious species and that will take the strain off the breed. Also encourage restaurants to take Stripper off the menu, as well as fish mongers on Cape Cod. Where the is no Cod anymore.

  39. KRB

    Catch and release the cows over 38”. Take a pic and let them live to reproduce. They are not great to eat and they are beautiful fish. We need to preserve this species to provide for future anglers.

  40. Pat Lopath

    I love the idea of a larger limit, but everywhere, NC to ME. But there are other problems mortality problems out there that have to be addressed some how… I don’t have an answer, but you guys might have some thoughts….here’s the story:
    I was in the Housy last night next to a kid who was obvious new to the game. He casted his 3 treble plug into the water 4 ft in front of him about 10 times. At one point he landed a 24inch fish and just had to measure it to see if it was 28 so he could keep it. By the time this nubie got the fish off the hook and walked 50 yrds up river to his buddy with the tape measure it find out that the fish was under, it had to be 20 min. It was dark, so I didn’t have to see the dead fish float by me when he “let it go”. And that was one of the faster fish that he unhooked. It’s these idiots we need to clamp down on. A 35in limit will certainly help. No mistaking a 24 in fish for a 35 in fish. But how about single hooks only, 2 max per plug, maybe barbless?. And how about actual enforcement…. this time of year there are about 3 spots in CT where you can catch bass. and all on predictable tides. Where are the game wardens? If I was fish and game, I’d plant my ass on Milford point and check licenses and assuming we could get hook and barb limits, every lure and fly in every bag. I’ve been fishing for 43 years in CT. I’ve seen one game warden once, in my boat off Truman Beach about 15 years ago making sure I wasn’t taking Porgies early during Apr Winters season.

  41. Brian

    We are a recreational boat and follow the regs-but we also do our best to do more to protect the fisheries. If you are catching the bass then you should educate yourself, understand the species, and catch and release correctly. Most of the lawmakers have never fished-you know better. Keep what you need and release the remainder healthy. I think we would all like to be catching bass with the grandkids.

  42. Bill Biswanger

    One size fits all. Its fair and it would work. Not 19 inches for the south and 35 inch for the north. Should be 35 inches for all and circle hooks only.

  43. FishmanCC

    It’s simple – 1. Circle hooks required for all bait fishing 2. Why are plugs still be sold with two and three trebles on them? Two hooks max no trebles. 3. NE, NY, NJ, = 1 fish under 26, 1 over 40

  44. Shawn T St Laurent

    It should be one size for all the states on the east coast. It should be 28 inches for us shore fisherman and mid 30s for anyone fishing from boats. The most damage i think is done by people who just dont want to follow the rules or dont buy a license to fish. If someone is caught with illegal fish they should be banned from fishing for at least 2 years take all the gear and boat and vechile and a hefty fine $100,000 or more. Thats my honest opinion. Also alot more environmental police presence 24/7. I see people take a fish and then throw it away or let it float down river when they get a bigger one. I was checked several times last year the big ditch fishing overnight. Way to go keep and up the good work on patrolling at night at the big ditch. There should be a person at every gate or parking area checking people and there car on the way out to see if people are taking legal fish and only taking one home

  45. Dan C

    I would agree with a slot limit of 1 fish daily from 28 to 34 inches for recreational fishing.
    I also think that if this was the new rule that every salt water license should include at least 1 annual trophy tag for the fisherman who caught the fish of his or her life time and wanted the real fish mounted or did not survive the fight. This tag could also have valid legal dates to begin and end after the spring migration and before the fall migration to ensure most breeders by safely. There are many good valid points here and hopefully the Striped Bass Technical Committee read these comments for consideration.

  46. Chris

    I am another proponent of the slot limit. Its worked for other species. 24″- 32″, and should be based on the entire fishery, not just regional. I also think the commercial sector should have to fish a slot limit as well. Greater enforcement is a plus. I also agree with the circle hook mandate, and would support eliminating trebles as well.

  47. Steve Anderson

    I think a 1 per day 25” to 30” recreational slot limit would be workable. Commercial bass fishing is probably a bigger problem. No netting, in-line circle hooks and bag limit adjustments are needed.

  48. Jeff

    If the goal is to restore the striped bass fishery I believe two things need to happen to allow fishing but prevent a complete closure of the fishery.

    1. Phase 1, protect the large females so that these provisions won’t need to be in place very long.
    a. I would do that by making a 1 fish per day slot 20” to but not over 28”, coast wide.
    b. A complete closure of the fishery between January 1 and April 1.
    c. Maybe a catch and release season April 1 to June 1.

    2. Phase 2, establish a sustainable SPAWNING BIOMASS. It is my opinion that the goals and targets that governed the striper fishery since the moratorium are totally off focus. If we protect the SPAWNING BIOMASS rather than the fishery, won’t the fishery will always remain healthy? I say this because if the ASMFC had made small adjustments 10 years ago we wouldn’t be on the verge of a second collapse of the fishery. What ASMFC has hailed as their greatest accomplishment should now be considered their greatest fisheries mismanagement. Honestly I believe that the ASMFC is the problem. I believe that their leadership should be removed. Next man up mentality! These are the folks that announced a major decline in the SPAWNING BIOMASS and one month then make a recommendation that the EEZ be opened up to fishing for more of the SPAWNING BIOMASS. No 18 inch stripers are swimming out there!

  49. Tony

    We all love to fish that’s why we’re on this website. That being said I don’t want to make a fish extinct so I can’t fish anymore. Possible to find nowadays let’s not do this to the striped bass population. Catch and release will cause mortality rates to rise reducing populations it’s simple as that rip open a fish’s mouth and then try to make it feed so you can catch it later stupid idea. I would love to spend all day fishing if I were to keep the first two fish no matter what they are or tality rates would drop unbelievably because they’re not coming in the boat at all. And all the people fishing with rods and reels do the same it would reduce mortality rates unfortunately nobody knows the true story of what the actual mortar mortality rate is when a fish is hooked and brought aboard and then released. Circle hooks help this process of releasing relatively unharmed fish so they can feed and swim again. So how about first two fish and no catch and release after boarding to fish. This would make for a short day but score when you have commercial guys pulling in anything off the bottom no matter what size and what species they keep it all I never seen a commercial boat throw a popular fish overboard yes still throw a sea robin Maybe or a and unedible specie but if I catch it and want to keep it they’ll keep it all. Two fish packet in go home

  50. Tony

    Catch-and-release causes deaths of fish because they can’t feed anymore. If you’re out there and you have caught a fish packet in go home stop killing off future catches because you want to sit there and look for the big one or the small one. If you want to try what we’re doing to them stick a hook in your mouth rip your tongue out rip your cheek wide open and then go try to eat dinner. I love fishing I don’t want to kill the breed in which I want to catch. Two fish come aboard no further fishing go home it could make for a short day but that’s life. Commercial guys are the ones absolutely killing everything they need to make a living they scooped everything off the bottom and we’re talkin about a guy with a hook a single hook. There are things the single hook guys can do and I believe the mortality rate a fish that come up with what we think.

  51. Peter Anderson

    I have lived and grew up on town neck rd. On the canal! I am 66 yrs old and a commercial meat striper sea bass and scup fisherman ! What i have seen in the last 5 yrs on the canal is ludicrous!!! Social media and I immigration is coming 2 a head on acc and I personally carry a aluminum bat with me on the bike or not.Wen someone tries 2 mug me on a comm day wrong !!!! Have lobsteredon canal now 27 yrs I have been poacher mpre last year

  52. David Mcneil

    Honestly, I hope this breed goes extinct so everyone shuts up

  53. Jackson Read

    Migratory game birds are regulated by the feds. The states may make STRICTER limits but that’s it. The only way to get a consistent plan for management is to have the feds do it rather than have it degenerate into a pissing contest among the various state bureaucracies. I know people will object to this on states rights etc but it doesn’t matter. All the people wanting consistent size limits and regs should want 1 point of control.

  54. Scott

    Creel limits, coupled with slot mentioned throughout this blog are good first steps. I would also recommend restricting the number of lines per person to one especially during trophy seasons. Lastly, restrict bait hooks to one single hooks vice treble hooks or multiple single hooks. I also support universal and consistent rules throughout the various jurisdictions.

  55. allan s

    I’m a scientist and a long time Cape fisherman and can appreciate both sides of the issue.
    Aside from the back and forth, how would any regulation be enforced. Whether circle hooks, no live bait , slot limits, poachers, night warriors, etc. Are we relying on the honor system ? Hasn’t occurred to me to have to protect my legal shore catch with a baseball bat.

  56. Louis LARUSSO

    What makes makes Maryland and Virginia. So special with those tiny fish limits everybody should have the same 28 inches. Or Maybe we should try the same is redfish nothing smaller than 21 nothing larger than 28 inches .

  57. beeps

    i been at this for 40 years open to close to open seasons form 16/inch to 38 inch its all about the money it became big business for all for state to government to tackle shops to on line 2 fish at 28 inch was nuts it made more money for ever one that make money from it now to 36 inch this will hurt all business that makes a livening from it too the fishermen who fish for stripers to throws that love to fish keep fishing it will come around again release all keep whats legal go to all regulation hearing clubs send your layers take a stand that your rights keep fighting but keep fishing

  58. Michael

    I agree with slot limit. It has helped the redfish population in the South. There should also be a law on handling cows, very much like Florida’s law for big tarpon. On the other hand, poachers and commercial fishermen are big problems. Very often I see foreigners fill coolers up with small stripers as they fish with bait and most likely no license. I fish often but hardly ever see game wardens in CT. CT is very low on game wardens and most of them hang around at one spot instead of hopping around to find the poachers. I’ve seen many spots get pressured harder than others by poachers, but hardly ever see the game warden. Commercial fishermen get so many different species caught in nets and also keep many cows. I’d have to blame Congress on that one due to the commercial fishermen being part of the economy, which Congress prefers not to put pressure on.

  59. Howiemetro

    I agree with Gabe. Enforce the current regulations and go after the people who are keeping everything they catch . I see it every year up and down the Hudson River.

  60. Stan Svec

    It is a good start. Raising the limit to 35 and 1 fish will bring us back to the mid 90’s by 2022…..that’s quality fishing. I am less concerned about the Chesapeake Bay situational limit than I am with the swarms of seals afflicting our Northeast shores, and the effect they are having on fish mortality. What are the experts saying? Will we soon be like the Pacific Northwest? I have already had seals take fish off my line.

  61. anthony lombardo

    The canal needs to be made catch and release only. You have 75% of the migrating fish passing through it. Enforcement is hard but it would be a lot easier if it was as cut and dry, if you see someone with a fish its breaking the law. 28″ is easy to come by in the canal and on certain days schools of thousands of 30lbers are decimated. If you want to keep a fish, keep one when you cacth a keeper off a beach, which is 1000x harder to do than in the canal.

  62. john holmes

    How about shutting it down for a few years? If this effects your pocket book, do like others have had to do, find another effin job..

  63. JonJon

    It would make more sense to make striper fishing illegal during the spawning season and open it after all the “cows” have laid their eggs. There are so many pictures of people foolishly holding up big stripers full of eggs that most likely didn’t live to spawn. Close the spawning season would be the most effective and would only delay the fishing by a month or so.

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