Photo by Nils Rinaldi
Recreational and commercial anglers in the Atlantic from North Carolina to Maine are looking at an 18 percent harvest reduction for striped bass for 2020.
Striped bass are one of the most popular fish on the Atlantic coast, and it was determined in 2018 they were overfished and experiencing overfishing. Despite this recent decline in population, the Atlantic striped bass fishery is a success story for management measures. Stocks have been brought back from the brink of collapse since the 1980s, and the 18 percent reduction in striped bass removals has been deemed necessary to rebuild the stock, which has suffered from poor reproduction years as well as release mortality.
Leeway is being provided to the states on how to achieve the 18 percent goal. However, mandatory use of non-offset circle hooks for bait fishing will be implemented by 2021 to reduce catch-and-release mortality.