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Old 01-23-2015, 01:41 AM
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zakrobinson zakrobinson is offline
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Location: Portsmouth, NH
Posts: 93
Default A Call To Arms: Maine Striped Bass regulation changes for 2015

A Call To Arms: Maine Striped Bass regulation changes for 2015

As many of you know, Maine is subject to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council mandated reduction in fish kill for the Atlantic Striped Bass in 2015. This mandate is on the heels of a steady decline of female breeding age fish since 2005, and a steep decline since 2011. The ASMFC describes the population condition as "Not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.", but the lag time in data does not show current condition of the stock (which is likely overfished). The trouble at this point lies in how few mature female fish exist to breed and propagate the species. At the most recent assessment our mature female stripers were hovering near the threshold that ASMFC has determined to be the minimum point of sustainability.

Maine is now faced with a choice of how to proceed. In the meeting on Jan, 5th a show of hands determined that more than half of the people attending supported a modified slot limit that would allow killing stripers before they reached breeding age. It was noted that many of these people were also charter captains who are concerned that they will lose customers if they are not able to keep a fish to eat. The modified slot limit is a poor choice for stripers because stripers reach breeding maturity around 28" and killing fish before they breed reduces genetic data from the gene pool which weakens the species. Its also a poor choice because it will target the 2011 year class fish (one of the only decent recruitment years since 2003) that we are relying so heavily on to rebuild the population.

At the end of this month, Maine Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher will put forth two options that we will be able to comment on and direct the outcome of. It's very important that everyone let commissioner Keliher know that you support 1 fish at 28" for the sake of the fish and our fishery. Lets let these fish breed before we allow them to be killed.

It's important to tell Commissioner Keliher that you:

-Utilize the Maine striper fishery

-Care about quality sustainable fisheries

-Support making law enforcement easier (specifically if you fish the Piscataqua)

Contact info for Patrick Keliher:
Phone- 207-624-6553

Links to pertinent reading:
Charles Witek blog post - ASMFC "Bait and Switch"
Press Herald Article- post Jan. 5th meeting
2013 Striped Bass Stock Assessment -ASMFC
ASMFC Striped Bass Page
Maine DMR "Number of fish caught" chart
Southwick Assoc.- The Economics of Recreational and
Commercial Striped Bass Fishing
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:01 AM
s2ary s2ary is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,413

Thanks Zak,

I'm glad you posted this.

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