The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Striped Bass Are in Trouble Again. Can an Emergency Measure Save Them?

To understand the emergency catch limits being rushed into place for recreational anglers who chase striped bass — by far the most popular saltwater fish in the Northeast and the centerpiece of a multibillion-dollar industry — you have to understand “the slot” and how the “class of 2015″ is swimming right into it.

The slot refers to the size range of fish an angler is allowed to keep. In Massachusetts, where an estimated quarter-million anglers chase “stripers” each year, the slot has been 28 to 35 inches since 2020.

As a management practice, the restrictions allow for the harvest of wild food — licensed anglers can keep one slot fish per day — while protecting the larger fish, which are the most important breeders, requiring they be released back into the ocean to replenish the population.

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