Maryland's Striped Bass Advisory Board met Monday evening in Annapolis to review briefly a decision by the Department of Natural Resources on the spring striped bass season and begin work on the regulation for the fall season.
The DNR has decided to go with a 17-day spring striped bass season beginning May 11 and ending May 27.
Anglers will be permitted one striped bass, or rockfish, 36 inches or larger (per person) during the 17-day season. All striped bass fishing must be below the Bay Bridge.
The draft regulation still requires Atlantic State Marine Fishery Commission and Administrative Executive Legislative Review Committee approval.
A DNR representative said he does not anticipate problems receiving this approval because the proposal was within the commission's guidelines. He also said that the spring season harvest will have no impact on the allocation for the fall season.
The board reviewed a suggestion for using only barbless hooks, special rubber landing nets and not permitting gaffs on boats fishing for rockfish.
The board decided it was better to push a strong education program for anglers, instructing them how to properly handle striped bass, thus reducing mortality from hook andreleasing undersize striped bass.
The board then launched into the fall fishery. Two non-board members offered unsolicited proposals for the fall fishery.
One, by Capt. James R. Gray, of Ridge, dealt with the charter boat season. The other, presented by Shepard W. McKenney, was an adaptation of the New Brunswick regulations for Atlanticsalmon that would cover both recreational and charter boat fishermen.
The hearings for the rockfish-gamefish bills being backed by theMaryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association are Monday and Tuesday. I plan to discuss each of the bills in detail Sunday. Next FridayI plan to look at what we might expect this fall.
I'm certain youremember what happened in the fall. If you have any ideas on improving the fall rockfish season, send them to me at 400 Riverside, Pasadena 21122.
Members of the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association will march on the State House on Monday evening in support of the rockfish-gamefish bills.
Executive Director Rich Novatneysays they will meet in the Naval Academy Stadium parking lot at 6:30p.m. and will parade down Rowe Boulevard at 7.
Novatney asks all fishermen who support the bills to join in this demonstration.
*Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in the Anne Arundel County Sun.