CBF Supports Maryland DNR’s Emergency Regulations for Striped Bass

Today, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced new striped bass emergency regulations to help bolster the species’ struggling population. Striped bass are an iconic species in Maryland that support important commercial and recreational fisheries.

However, recent assessments of the striped bass population indicate trouble. This year’s juvenile index was the second lowest on record since 1957. The numbers of spawning fish have been below sustainable levels for several years and are currently under a rebuilding plan at the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). DNR’s proposed actions, if adopted, would take effect before this year’s recreational fishing season and would close Maryland’s trophy striped bass fishery and extend spring closures intended to protect returning fish as they migrate up the Bay to spawning grounds.

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is hopeful that this emergency action by DNR, in conjunction with changes to ASMFC’s striped bass fisheries management plan currently under consideration, will ensure a better future for watermen, anglers, and the striped bass population.

Allison Colden, CBF’s Maryland Executive Director said in a statement:

“We commend DNR for taking proactive action to protect Maryland’s state fish. As the primary spawning grounds for rockfish along the entire East Coast, what Maryland does to protect spawning striped bass has cascading effects for all states that rely on this coastwide stock.  DNR’s emergency actions recognize a need to reduce interactions with spawning fish, which will hopefully help address the alarming trend of continued low juvenile abundance in the Bay.

“While this action is an important step, further changes to protect striped bass, including those currently under consideration at ASMFC, will likely be necessary to help rebuild the population. Addressing high mortality in the hot summer months and reducing fishing mortality from all sectors of the fishery will be critical. Anglers and others interested in the health of the population and current management changes proposed by ASMFC can learn more and take action here.”


Valerie Keefer

Maryland Communications & Media Relations Manager, CBF

[email protected]

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