Fall rockfish season will open Sept. 24

August 14, 1994|By Peter Baker | Peter Baker,Sun Staff Writer

The fall rockfish season for recreational fishermen and charterboat customers will open Sept. 24 and is expected to run at least until Nov. 14, the Department of Natural Resources said last week.

The closing date of the season has not been determined, said Pete Jensen, director of Tidewater Fisheries, because the state hopes to get an expanded season from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission.

The ASMFC sets guidelines for rockfish (striped bass) and other coastal species in states from North Carolina to Maine.

The ASMFC board membership has rejected a request for VVTC day season, even though the group's technical committee approved the proposal.

Jensen said the proposal for a longer season will be resubmitted at an ASMFC meeting Aug. 23. Jensen said the longer season is based on studies that show kill rates in Maryland, Virginia and Potomac River waters that are less than half those permitted under the ASMFC framework.

"Based on those numbers, we think we should be entitled to more fish, a longer season," Jensen said. "We are hopeful that we will get it."

Aside from the uncertain closing date, the limits for the fall season are basically the same as in previous years -- 18-inch minimum with no maximum, fishing hours from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily limits of one for fishermen in private boats or bank fishermen and two for charterboat customers.

Applicable fishing licenses and striped bass permits will be required. Striped bass permits purchased for the spring season will be good for the fall season, too.

Potomac fall rockfish

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission, which controls that body of water from the Washington line to its confluence with the Chesapeake Bay, has set the parameters for its fall striped bass season.

The recreational season will run from Sept. 30 through Oct. 23 and Nov. 4 through Nov. 15, with a daily creel limit of one fish and an 18-inch minimum size.

The charterboat season will run from Oct. 1 through Nov. 6 unless a cap of 22,860 pounds is reached earlier. The creel limit is two per paying customer per day, with an 18-inch minimum length.

There is no maximum-length restriction in either season. A PRFC permit will be required.

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