The Maryland Department of Natural Resourcesis moving forward with emergency regulationsthat will reduce the minimum size of striped bass for charter boat and recreational anglers in the summer and fall fishery in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries from 20 to 19 inches.
This action comes after the state’s proposal was approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in February 2018.
“Following a series of robust conversations and discussions with anglers, charter boat captains, conservationists and other stakeholders, the department believes that moving to a 19-inch rockfish, with corresponding conservation actions and efforts, will reduce striped bass mortality in the bay and provide additional recreational opportunities for anglers,” Maryland Natural Resources Secretary Mark Belton said. “The change will benefit anglers and charter boat captains, and – most importantly – the species, which we are committed to conserving and protecting.”I thought this was basically a done deal when the ASMFC approved their application.
The emergency regulations have been submitted to the Maryland General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review, which has jurisdiction over regulatory changes. The department anticipates approval before the start of the summer fishing season.