by Timothy B. Wheeler,
Bay Journal News Service
NEWCASTLE, NH—Acting to stem declines in the striped bass population, East Coast fishery managers have ordered an 18% harvest reduction for the coming year. How that will be done in the Chesapeake Bay remains to be seen.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s striped bass management board on Wednesday, October 30, agreed to the reduction after an extended debate over how to respond to a scientific assessment earlier this year that found the commercially and recreationally valuable species has been overfished for some time.
The board ordered an 18% cut in commercial harvest quotas in all East Coast states. It also called for comparable recreational catch restrictions. In coastal waters, anglers would be limited to just one fish per day 28-35 inches in length, while in the Bay it would be just one fish per day at least 18 inches long. Anglers are allowed to keep two fish a day now in Maryland; Virginia has already reduced its limit from two to one.
Because the assessment found that…