Management Board took emergency action last week in response to increased mortality rates
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Management Board yesterday exercised a seldom-used emergency action intended to reduce fishing mortality in striped bass populations, with the goal of more effectively rebuilding stocks to target levels by 2029. The emergency action will implement a 31-inch maximum size limit across the entire recreational fishery, including the Chesapeake Bay and along the East Coast. Individual states are tasked with implementing the change by July 2.
The Board also initiated Addendum II to the Fishery Management Plan, which will consider more thorough management changes for 2024 using a formal public input process. The minimum size limit, bag limit, seasons, and gear restrictions for striped bass remain unchanged under the emergency action.
“The TRCP appreciates the Board taking action to increase the possibility of rebuilding the coastwide striper stock by 2029,” said Whit Fosburgh, president and CEO of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership. “Active management to decrease fishing mortality, along with full consideration of the need for a healthy forage fish base and mitigation of impacts from interactions with invasive species, are all crucial elements of any plan to improve the chances of long-term stability of striped bass stocks.”
The commission’s Massachusetts delegation led the push for emergency action after population projections showed there are significant headwinds to rebuilding striped bass stocks, particularly stemming from four consecutive years of poor juvenile survival rates in the Chesapeake Bay and an increase in fishing mortality in 2022.
“The Board has signaled they are prepared to act conservatively on striped bass to ensure rebuilding,” said Mike Waine, Atlantic fisheries policy director for the American Sportfishing Association. “Hopefully taking emergency action now will pay dividends later, so we can avoid the further use of short-term changes in regulations, and instead focus on longstanding and predictable management measures to provide stability to the most important and valuable fishery in the mid-Atlantic and New England regions.”
Striped bass are extremely important to coastal communities along the Atlantic and the entire fishing economy, estimated to generate $7.8 billion annually.
The sportfishing industry values long-term fishery sustainability while allowing for reasonable recreational fishing opportunities. Sportfishing and conservation organizations continue to encourage state agencies and the ASMFC to work with industry leaders on educating the public to ensure a mid-year management change in 2023 will have the intended conservation benefits across the entire recreational fishery.
“Controlling coastwide fishing mortality is the key to rebuilding striped bass abundance to levels the public expects and deserves,” said David Sikorski, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association Maryland and Maryland’s legislative appointee to the Striped Bass Management Board. “It is also important to recognize, however, that striper recruitment issues related to successive poor spawns, coupled with an expanding blue catfish population in the Chesapeake Bay will continue to complicate the longer-term trajectory of this iconic fishery.”
“No doubt there are a lot of factors at play that drive striped bass abundance over time, but fishing mortality is the only thing we can address directly in the striped bass management plan,” said Chris Horton, senior director of fisheries policy for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “While the increase in recreational removals in 2022 could actually be a good sign, based on recent stock assessments and the current status of the stock given the information we have available today, it is not surprising the ASMFC is erring on the side of caution and reducing mortality without reducing access to the fishery.”
Click here to read the ASMFC’s statement about the emergency action and initiation of Addendum II.
Click here to learn more about striped bass management in the Atlantic.
Photo by @woozyfishing
11 Responses to “TRCP Statement on Supreme Court Weakening Clean Water Act Protections”
What did we expect from this court? For all the good wetlands do this court could care less.
The Clean Water Act was passed under President Nixon 50 years ago and has been a godsend for many people, waterfowl, fish, amphibians and the earth. Prairie potholes, tundra wetlands and vernal ponds can be examples of individual water sanctuaries and nurseries. This is a terrible decision by this Supreme Court. We must work to reverse it immediately.
This Supreme Court is a disaster!! They have no regard for our environment; our lands; animals; wild and domestic!! What integrity which they possessed, is GONE!!
I think the Supreme Court ruled correctly, and does a great job a protecting the institution of the court. In this instance, the EPA is a group of unelected beaurucrats who have no legal authority to author laws. We need to go lobby our elected representatives if we want change. That’s why I join TRCP.
I believe in the necessity of preserving our wetlands. However; I also believe in private property rights. Obviously I am in a bit of a quandary. WOTUS needs to be much more clearly defined than it currently is. Far too much room for interpretation which can always be an iffy thing. I have seen farmers and ranchers kept from doing needed projects because of something as ridiculous as a drainage ditch. I’m open for discussion as this is an extremely difficult topic.
The Supreme Court ruled on existing laws. The EPA cannot pass laws, That must be done in Congress. For too long, we’ve seen out of control, leftist activists flaunt our laws and operate by edict. That so U.K. This ruling was based on the EPA’s “determination” that wetlands somehow fits in as “navigable waters”. That’s complete BS as well as being an illegal act. That’s what the high court ruled on. Congress needs to act on our behalf to protect our precious wetlands, creeks, streams, rivers, etc. C-O-N-G-R-E-S-S needs to pass legislation; not bureaucrats making legislation illegally. You won’t find a bigger advocate of habitat than me. Go to YouTube and search “RMEF The Letter”. There are wetlands across the country that need protecting. Congress needs to act. Let’s put our pressure there…
We must remember the role our various branches of government play. The Supreme Court interprets current law. They do not make laws. Although I personally feel we should advance protection, it is not the Supreme Courts position to take an opinion stance. If we want to advance protections, we must advocate our lawmakers who are the ones we elect to make these decisions. The Supreme ruled correctly and did thier job well. We must now go lobby our representatives, which is why I support TRCP in the first place.
As an avid wing shooter and conservationist, I’m all in on protecting our waters. However, how do we write our laws to better protect wildlife and the property owner. That is to avoid the ridiculous decision by some government bureaucrat. I’m sure there’s opportunity for Congress to better define what it means and to have better “balance” in our decisions. The Supreme Court doesn’t make the laws, Congress does.
5-4 ruling. Not much surprise that Alito, Roberts, Thomas, Gorsuch, & Barrett wou
ld approve. This SCOTUS is tilted and lacks neutral objectivity. We can expect more negative rulings for the environment and conservation.
I am a proponent of the environment and clean water, but you overlooked the main tenant of this SCOTUS ruling in Sackett v EPA in that the EPA violated the Administrative Procedures Act with their over-reach of an executive agency. It goes back to high school civics class and the separation of powers in the three branches of our government. Oh wait, do they even teach civics in schools anymore?
The supreme court is not so supreme