Rockfish Regulations Get Final Approval


Bay, Atlantic Limits, Fishing Seasons Are Set

August 04, 1991|By Capt. Bob Spore

Earlier this week, the Administrative, Executive Legislative Review Committee approved the 1991 fall striped bass regulations.

The review committee is an oversight group with many roles. One is to approve all emergency regulations. The fall 1991 striped bass, or rockfish,rules became emergency regulations because they were not completed in time to make their way through the maze of bureaucratic red tape before the season opened.

The official regulations will be printed within 10 days, but thisis what they will say:

The quotas for this fall will be 456,747 pounds (up from 318,750 pounds last fall) for recreational fishermen, the same number for commercial fishermen, and 161,206 pounds for charter boats (up from 112,500 pounds).

The recreational season runs Oct. 9 to 26, and permits and tags will be required. A person must immediately tag a legal fish, and anglers are permitted two fish for theseason.

Assuming the entire recreational allocation is not caught, a supplemental season will open not later than Nov. 9 and end when the quota is predicted to be achieved. No tags will be required, and the daily creel limit is two striped bass per person per day.

The Atlantic recreational season will open and close the same dates; anglers may catch one striped bass per person per day. Supplemental season dates will be the same as in the Chesapeake Bay, and anglers may catch one striped bass per person per day.

The charter boat season runs from Oct. 9 through Nov. 11. Captains will be issued tags, and they immediately must tag a legal fish. No transfers of permits or tagswill be permitted. Anglers will be permitted two striped bass per person per day, and a charter captain may make no more than two trips daily to fish for striped bass. Captain and crew are not permitted to take fish during a charter.

The Atlantic charter season will open and close the same dates, and anglers are permitted one fish per day.

The commercial striped bass fishing season runs Sept. 2 to 30 forpound nets and haul seines, Dec. 2 to 31 for hook and line, and Jan.2 to Feb. 28 for the drift gill net. No commercial harvest is permitted on weekends. Commercial fishermen cannot be an agent for another person until the fisherman has caught his allocation.

All fish must be tagged and checked at designated check-in stations. Fyke nets, hoop nets and fish pots are prohibited. Fishermen will be notified within 10 days of the season regarding their individual season and dailyallocation.

The Atlantic drift gill net and trawls season extendsfrom Dec. 2 to 31. No commercial harvest is permitted on weekends, and the overall Atlantic commercial harvest is set at 25,000 pounds.

Below are a few general requirements worth mentioning:

* No gaffs are permitted. Landing must be done by hand or dip net only.

* No possession of striped bass is permitted while fishing or while on the water between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

* No striped bass fishing tournaments or prizes for striped bass will be permitted.

* All stripedbass must be landed whole.

* A person must be licensed according to law in addition to any striped bass permits or tags required.

*Commercial and charter licensees may declare for only one fishery. Many commercial fishermen are licensed to run charters. They must choose whether to run charters or fish commercially, they are not permitted to do both.

* Rockfish size limits are 18 to 36 inches in the Chesapeake Bay and 28 inches or greater in the Atlantic.

* Reporting and monitoring requirements remain the same as in 1990.

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.

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