UPDATE: Virginia has canceled its trophy Striped Bass season effective today.

From Chesapeake Bay Magazine:

“Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) has voted unanimously to enact an emergency closure because of worrisome new research about the striped bass population on the Bay.

And on Tuesday, the commission voted 7-0 to eliminate the spring striped bass trophy season in the Bay from May 1 through June 15, the Coast from May 1 through May 15, and the Virginia tributaries to the Potomac River from April 29 through May 15. Starting May 16 through June 15 fishermen will be able to catch and keep two striped bass from 20 to 28 inches.”

According to the article, “The emergency action comes after recent scientific research showed the rockfish population “has been below the sustainable threshold for the past six years and overfishing has been occurring sine 2010.”

We think this is a strong sign of a seriously declined Striper population and we hope that more states will follow suit in order to protect these important fish many of us love. We will continue to update with more news as the striper season continues.

On April 23rd, the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC), will meet to determine if they should issue an emergency order and cancel this year’s trophy Striped Bass Season.

As Capt. Chris Dollar writes in the Chesapeake Bay Magazine:

“Grave concerns about the apparently depleted striped bass stock has prompted staff of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) to urge for emergency action to eliminate the state’s Spring Trophy-size striper season in the Bay, coastal waters and Potomac River tributaries.”

Virginia has been noticing a clear and harsh decline in Striped Bass harvests from recreational anglers, “from an estimated 368,000 fish in 2010 to less than 52,000 last year.”

The suggested emergency actions are:

  1. Elimination of the May 1 through June 15 season for the Chesapeake Bay trophy-size striped bass recreational fishery.
  2. Elimination of the May 1 through May 15 coastal spring trophy striped bass recreational fishery.
  3. Elimination of the April 20 through May 15 Potomac River tributaries spring striped bass recreational fishery.

We will be seeing more and more East Coast states take similar actions as Striped Bass populations along the East Coast receive more and more commercial and recreational pressure. We here at Fly Lords are strict catch and release anglers, and if you love the striped bass, perhaps you too should let these fish have time to bounce back like we know they have done in the past and will do again!

Source: Chesapeake Bay Magazine.

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