“After further consultations with anglers, charter boat captains, legislators and watermen, we believe the revised regulations strike the right balance between conservation and recreation,”Maryland Department of Natural ResourcesSecretary Mark Beltonsaid. “By lowering the minimum size of striped bass with additional conservation requirements, we will reduce striped bass mortality in the bay, and increase recreational fishing opportunities and success. These regulations are a win-win for the species and sport.”

The proposal seeks to reduce the minimum size of striped bass from 20 to 19 inches with corresponding changes to gear and season, including the requirements that non-offset (inline) circle hooks be used when chumming and live-lining, and circle hooks or “J” hooks (of any gap width or size) when fishing with bait such as crabs, fish and worms.

All changes apply fromMay 16 through Dec. 15, 2018andMay 16 through Dec. 15, 2019.Applying the rules only for 2018 and 2019 will allow the department to determine if the new conservation actions are preventing fish mortality in the bay as intended.

PleasevisitourChanges to Fishing Regulationspageand click onHOOKS, BAIT, STRIPED BASSMay 16 through December 15for detailed information.