Taking Striper Conservation Into Our Own Hands

I’m new to the coastal striper fishing game-having caught my first one on the fly this past spring. I do hope Massachusetts and other states take actions to protect the east coast stock. I fear if not, the Striped Bass will go the way of the Atlantic Salmon in North America.

The Fly Line

2013-06-16 09.15.45When Massachusetts asks for tighter restrictions on harvesting striped bass, you know something’s going on.

The Bay State is a center of commercial and recreational striper fishing. Despite growing concern over the health of the striped bass population, calls to end commercial harvest and curtail the recreational catch have for years been ignored in Boston.

But now, given recent data showing poor spawning success and dwindling recreational catches, even Massachusetts thinks we should ease the pressure on stripers. Paul Diodati, the state’s fisheries director, proposed cutting the recreational daily bag limit along the entire East Coast in half, from two fish to one, and reducing the commercial catch by 38 percent.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission voted no, as it always does. But Diodati’s acknowledgement that stripers are in peril seems like a turning point in efforts to protect stripers from a population crash like the one in the…

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