On Thursday, May 18 the Department of Marine Resources (DMR) will be implementing an emergency rulemaking to modify the striped bass slot limit. The new slot limit will be 28-inches to 31-inches.This means that striped bass from 28.0-inches to 31.0-inches may be harvested. This rulemaking is in response to emergency action taken by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to implement a 31-inch maximum size limit in the striped bass recreational fishery where a higher, or no, maximum size limit applies.
Striped Bass Board Meeting Overview
At their May 2 meeting, the Striped Bass Management Board (Board) reviewed catch information which showed a significant increase in recreational removals in 2022 as the 2015 year-class moved into the existing slot limit. This higher level of fishing mortality had a significant impact on striped bass rebuilding, with updated stock projections showing the probability of rebuilding by 2029 drops from 97%, under the lower 2021 fishing mortality rate, to less than 15% if the higher 2022 fishing mortality rate continues each year. Based on this information, the Board took emergency action for the 2023 fishing year to implement a 31-inch maximum size limit in the recreational fishery where a higher, or no, maximize size limit currently applies. This action is intended to provide greater protection to the 2015 year-class as it moves through the recreational fishery.
A press release on the Board meeting can be found HERE.
Maine Emergency Rulemaking
To maintain compliance with the striped bass fishery management plan, DMR will be implementing an emergency rulemaking on Thursday, May 18 to reduce the striped bass maximum size limit to 31-inches. The resulting slot limit for striped bass will be 28-inches to 31-inches. DMR will concurrently conduct our regular rulemaking process on this change in the striped bass slot limit. More information will be shared once the regular rulemaking packet has been published and a public comment period has been established.