Striped Bass Anglers May See Slot Limit in 2020

In late October, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Addendum reduces all state commercial quotas by 18%, and implements a one-fish bag limit and a 28”-35” recreational slot limit for ocean fisheries and a one-fish bag limit and an 18” minimum size limit for Chesapeake Bay recreational fisheries. Individual states that harvest striped bass may submit alternative regulations through conservation equivalency to achieve an 18% reduction in total removals relative to 2017 levels.

Addendum VI was initiated in response to the 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment, which indicates the resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing. The Addendum’s measures are designed to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020.

Since it has been shown that catch-and-release contributes significantly to overall fishing mortality, the Addendum also requires the mandatory use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. However, implementation of this rule will not go into effect until 2021, to allow time for education and outreach.