ASMFC has been holding hearings this month on the future of east coast striped bass management. If you were unable to attend a hearing, as I was, they will accept email comments until tomorrow, September 30. Here’s what I sent them.
Section 2.5.1 and Section 2.5.2 – I am in favor Option B. We should be referencing the best available, most recent science (as set out in the 2013 Benchmark Assessment) when determining courses of action.
Section 2.6 – Option A. Clearly, a problem exists, and it needs to be addressed immediately.
Section 3.0 – Option B. Further, I am strongly opposed to any option that stretches out harvest reductions over three years.
Size and bag limits – I am in favor of Option B3 (a one-fish bag limit and a 32” size limit on the coast) and Option B15 (hard quota) in the Chesapeake.
I am an active (averaging 20-30 outings per year) catch-and-release striped bass angler; my method is fly fishing from the shore. Since 2010 I have experienced a steady decline in striped bass numbers. In some cases the fall has been precipitous.
I’d like to use Block Island as a test example. We vacation there every year, and I fish all week. In the years leading up to 2011, I was catching between fifty and ninety striped bass over the course of seven nights. In 2011, I caught nine. In 2012, I caught five. On the 2012 trip, I went three consecutive nights without a striper; the last time that happened was before I ever started fly fishing for striped bass. Yep. There’s a problem, folks. So, things were better for Block Island anglers this year, especially if you had a boat. Better is, of course, relative. I was horrified by the wanton, wasteful, wholesale slaughter of so many striped bass in their prime breeding years by both charter and private boats.
Striped bass are a precious, finite resource. Please enact regulations that will better protect these magnificent fish and the waters they live in.
Comments should be sent to mwaine at asmfc dot org, subject line Draft Addendum IV.
A little help, here?