Fall rockfish season starts Wednesday

OUTDOOR NOTES

October 06, 1991|By Peter Baker

On Wednesday at 5 a.m., the fall seasons for recreational and charterboat rockfish fishermen open in Maryland waters of Chesapeake Bay, with a minimum size of 18 inches and a maximum of 36 inches.

This year, the recreational season is expected to have two parts, with the first session running through Oct. 26 and a creel limit of two fish per person over that period.

If the allowable harvest of 456,747 pounds has not been caught by Oct. 26, then the season will be extended with a creel limit of two fish per day per person until the quota has been reached. That second season could not be started later than Nov. 9.

Recreational fishermen must have at least one rockfish permit in their possession before setting out. Fish must be tagged immediately upon capture.

Permits are provided at no cost to recreational fisherman at tackle shops and DNR offices around the state. Permits will not be required if the season is extended, although all applicable fishing licenses are required in both seasons.

The charterboat season will run from Oct. 9 through Nov. 11 with a creel limit of two per day with the same size limitations. The charterboat harvest will be limited to 161,000 pounds with no provision for extension of the season.

Charterboat skippers are responsible for the tagging of catches made from their boats.

In the Maryland waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the dates for the recreational season are the same as for the Chesapeake Bay, but the size will be a minimum of 28 inches and the creel limit is one.

If the Department of Natural Resources determines that the harvest has been reached in either fishery before the scheduled closure of the fishery, it has the power to shut down fishing within 48 hours.

within 48 hours.

Last fall, with a creel limit of two per person per day for recreational fishermen and five per day per person on charterboats, both seasons were closed early.

* Just a reminder -- This year for the first time, Maryland hunters are required to use nontoxic steel shot in all counties when hunting waterfowl or coots. It is illegal this year to possess lead shot when hunting waterfowl.

Lead shot has been phased out since 1987 because waterfowl would ingest spent lead pellets and develop lead poisoning. Predatory birds that feed on waterfowl also were susceptible to lead poisoning from eating lead embedded in the flesh of dead or crippled waterfowl.

Information on the best nontoxic steel shot loads for waterfowl may be obtained by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Migratory Bird Program, Department of Natural Resources, P.O. Box 68, Wye Mills, MD. 21679.

* A drawing will be held on Oct. 25 at the Millington Wildlife Management Area to determine who will hunt opening day and the first Saturday of Canada goose season at the Millington and Earleville WMAs and the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal lands.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. Oct. 23. Applicants need not be present to be selected.

* The Pride of Baltimore II recently beat the Malcolm Miller in a handicap race from the Isle of Wight to Weymouth Harbor on the south coast of England. The Pride's elapsed time over the 71-mile course was 9 hours, 36 minutes.

7/8

Striper facts

Recreational fall season Chesapeake Bay

Dates: Oct. 9-Oct. 26, with possible extension of season after Oct. 27.

Creel limit: Two fish per person per season through Oct. 26. If the season is extended, 2 fish per person per day.

Size limits: 18-inch minimum, 36-inch maximum.

Fishing hours: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., with no striped bass allowed to be possessed while fishing or on the water between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Permits: In addition to regular licenses, all anglers fishing for striped bass must have at least 1 rockfish permit in his/her possession. Captured fish of legal size must be tagged immediately. Permits are not transferable. Permits will not be required in an extended season.

Note: In Maryland waters of the Atlantic Ocean, the size is a minimum of 28 inches, the creel limit is 1 per person per season. In an extended season, the creel limit would be 1 per person per day.

Charterboat fall season Chesapeake Bay Dates: Oct. 9-Nov. 11, with no extended season possible.

Creel limit: Two fish per person per day.

Size limits: 18-inch minimum, 36-inch maximum.

Fishing hours: 5 a.m. to 8 p.m., with no striped bass allowed to be possessed while fishing or on the water between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Permits: Charter skippers are responsible for tagging fish and supplying permits.

General regulations Bait: Live bait is permitted.

Gaffs: The use of gaffs to land fish is prohibited.

Charter trips: Charter skippers may not make more than 2 trips per day.

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