The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has unveiled the regulations for the summer recreational striped bass fishing season, effective from May 16, 2023. The new rules aim to ensure the future sustainability of the striped bass population by implementing a maximum size limit of 31 inches. This regulation aligns with similar measures being enacted by states along the Atlantic Coast.
To safeguard the striped bass population, the DNR will continue implementing several conservation actions that have been in place for the past two seasons. These measures include a one-fish daily catch limit and a summer closure. The department’s objective is to protect the future of striped bass fishing and promote responsible angling practices.
The summer-fall season for striped bass fishing in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will commence on May 16 and run until July 15. Following this period, there will be a complete closure on targeting striped bass from July 16 through July 31. However, fishing will resume on August 1 and continue until December 10. Anglers are reminded that they may retain one striped bass per person per day, with a minimum length requirement of 19 inches and a maximum length of 31 inches.
In specific locations such as the Susquehanna Flats, Lower Susquehanna River, and North East River, a smaller maximum size limit of 26 inches will be in effect until June 1. This restriction aims to protect the breeding grounds of striped bass and ensure the sustainability of the population.
For fishing in Maryland’s portion of the Atlantic Ocean and its coastal bays, anglers may retain one striped bass per person per day, starting from May 16. The minimum length requirement for striped bass in this area is 28 inches, and the maximum length remains at 31 inches.
It is worth noting that these regulations will not affect the ongoing Maryland Trophy Striped Bass season, which will conclude on May 15. Anglers participating in this season will still be able to enjoy the current rules and restrictions.
The decision to establish a 31-inch maximum size limit for striped bass fishing comes after the Striped Bass Board of Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission implemented an emergency action on May 2, 2023. The measure was adopted to protect the strong 2015 year class of striped bass as they mature into spawning age. While the emergency rule is set to expire on October 28, there is a high likelihood of an extension, and Maryland, Virginia, and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission are already adopting the 31-inch maximum limit for the entire 2023 season.
To gather public input on this critical conservation measure, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has scheduled four virtual public hearings, starting from May 17. Anglers and stakeholders interested in participating in these hearings can find information on registration and other details on the Commission’s website.
For more comprehensive information and complete regulations regarding striped bass fishing in Maryland waters, anglers are encouraged to visit the Department of Natural Resources website. The DNR’s website provides a valuable resource to stay up to date with the latest guidelines and ensure adherence to the conservation measures aimed at preserving the striped bass population for future generations of anglers.
In summary, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources has introduced new regulations for the summer recreational striped bass fishing season, including a maximum size limit of 31 inches. These rules, along with existing conservation actions, aim to protect the future of striped bass fishing in Maryland and promote sustainable angling practices. Anglers are urged to familiarize themselves with the regulations to ensure compliance and contribute to the preservation of this iconic species.