Three Opportunities to Learn More & Weigh In on Striped Bass Management 

Tue Sept. 24

Sport Fisheries Advisory Commission Meeting on Striped Bass and Invasive Species
2pm
DNR Tawes Building
580 Taylor Ave. Room C-1
Annapolis, MD 21401

 

Wed Sept. 25

ASMFC/Maryland DNR
Public Meeting for Addendum VI to the Striped Bass Management Plan
6-8PM
Calvary United Methodist Church (Basement Room)
301 Rowe Blvd.
Annapolis, MD 21041

 

Thur Oct. 3

ASMFC/Maryland DNR
Public Meeting for Addendum VI to the Striped Bass Management Plan
6-8pm
American Legion
601 Radiance Drive.
Cambridge, MD

 

The three meetings above are great chances to learn more about the coming striped bass changes, and share your thoughts on the topic.

The 10/3 Eastern Shore meeting which will be a repeat of the 9/25 Annapolis Meeting to allow easier access for Eastern shore residents.

CCA prepared our Angler’s Guide to Addendum IV to explain the current action.

In simple terms, the fishing mortality has been too high, and not enough fish have been born to replace enough of the ones we take.

While there are plenty of ways to over complicate this already complicated process called fisheries management, it’s best to keep it simple and reduce harvest for all who pursue striped bass.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is the coast-wide body that the states from Maine-Florida agree to take part in to manage the many fisheries that migrate up and down the coast.

Each state has 3 representatives which sit at the table and the states put together, along with some federal folks make up a species management board. All 3 of Maryland’s representatives should be at Wednesday’s meeting.

They work to create a fisheries management plan, and update it with addenda or amendments as necessary.

The various fish stocks are assessed by the technical folks using data captured year after year. It is these stock assessments that guide much of the management discussion.

As you probably know, striped bass are now overfished(not enough fish), and overfishing(taking them to quickly) is occurring. Overfishing is what the current action addendum VI aim’s to end.

Regarding Addendum VI, CCA Maryland’s Position is:

  • CCA Maryland supports Option 2 – Equal Percent Reductions for all sectors. All sectors should take equal reductions as a matter of fairness and equity. An equal percentage reduction takes into account the different harvest proportions taken by each sector and equal percentages should be used.
  • CCA Maryland Strongly Opposes Option 3 – This option reflects a reallocation of harvest from recreational fishing to commercial fishing based on estimates of one year’s harvest data. This is NOT the correct way to reallocate catch. No analysis was done or is planned to understand the socio-economic impacts of a reallocation, therefore one should not be done via this addendum.
  • CCA Maryland has long supported reducing fishing mortality to provide for a greater abundance and develop a stock of larger, older fish. Thus, we support options that meet or exceed the 18% minimum reduction as provided for in Addendum VI, and support any proposed action with a higher probability of reducing fishing mortality.
  • CCA Maryland supports conservation equivalency measures that meet or exceed the 18% reduction for all sectors, and are approved by the Technical Committee and SB Board.
  • CCA Maryland supports the mandatory use of circle hooks when using natural bait as a matter of principle. All states should have monitoring programs, and enforcement plans in place so that conservation gains from circle hooks are realized.

The October meeting of the ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board is scheduled for October 30th at 2:45pm EST. At this meeting the board will likely act on Addendum VI and make decisions for the next steps.

One such step in Maryland will be the completion of Conservation Equivalency Plan. This is a plan where the state will submit regulations which are not directly written in Addendum VI, but will match the reduction levels decided by the board. Maryland leaders may choose to develop a plan which DOES NOT equally reduce from both sectors even if the Striped Bass Board selects option 2.

THE CONSERVATION EQUIVALENCY PLAN IS WHEN WE WILL KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSED SEASONS, BAG LIMITS AND SIZE OF FISH THAT ANGLERS CAN CATCH, AND WHAT THE PLAN IS FOR COMMERCIAL FISHING REDUCTIONS.  

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE ANY OF THE MEETINGS, OR EVEN IF YOU CAN, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL WITH YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE MANAGEMENT ACTION TO comments@asmfc.org BY OCTOBER 7TH by 5pm

Please be respectful and share your thoughts related to Addendum VI.

The comments received by ASMFC will be provided to all representatives and published in a meeting materials document.

Please contact David Sikorski, executive director CCA Maryland to discuss this matter and any details of the upcoming meetings.

davidsikorski@ccamd.org 443-621-9186

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