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DelMarVA Delaware, Maryland, Virginias, the Delaware River and Bay, Chesapeake Bay area. Regional discussion & reports.


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Old 03-19-2007, 11:00 PM
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Default Marylands Trophy Season April 21

Maryland's striper fishermen should know late Tuesday what their regulations will be in the trophy season that opens April 21.
The Department of Natural Resource's fisheries chief Howard King says a lengthy conference call with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission is expected at 1:30 p.m. that day to review the state's two proposals; the word will be out immediately thereafter.
The final DNR proposal is actually two. Between April 21 and May 15, a slot limit in which fish of 28 and 37 inches could be kept, also fish of 43 inches and over - and if that doesn't work an alternative proposal that would allow us to keep fish of from 28 to 36 inches, also stripers of 43 inches or better. A mere inch can make an appreciable difference in the state's keepable catch because there should be many fish in the mid 30-inch class.

As for what the recent cold weather can mean for the availability of migrant stripers once the fishing starts, charterboat skippers were pretty much in agreement that it certainly won't hurt - it slowed down the migration pattern appreciably, which means better chances for the peak of the migration to coincide with the season's opening days.
Had the balmy winter continued, it was figured the fish would have made their spawning run early,
Keep in mind that this year the season opens a week later than last year when the quots was exceeded by close to 30,000 fish.
Blame that on the calendar not a planned cutback on catching and keeping.
Maryland's plan for years has been opening the season on the third Saturday of April, which last year came on April 15 as the peak of the spawning run arrived. This year, the third Saturday falls on April 21 - so if the migration peak comes the same time as in '06, we will miss out big time on some catching.
Everything depends on weather between now and mid April. The warmer the weather is, the earlier the fish will head to the spawning grounds. .
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Marylands Trophy Season April 21

C. Boyd Pfeiffer

BALTIMORE - It is not quite chiseled in concrete, but the regulations for Chesapeake Bay spring trophy striper season were set late Thursday morning at one fish per angler per day, between 28 and 35 inches — or one fish 41 inches or over.


The concrete-chiseling part comes when Department of Natural Resources fisheries service director Howard King sends the proposal for final approval to the legislature’s Administrative Executive Legislative Review Committee. Only then will it be final, but the chances of it being nixed now are along the lines of catching a world-record striper on a trout-weight fly rod. It ain’t happening.
There are a couple more biggies in the regulations. The season starts on April 21, not April 15 as listed in the Maryland 2007 Fishing Guide that you are looking at right now and got with your license. That’s a cut-back of one week — less time, by about 25 percent, to get the big fish of the year, maybe. Let your buddies know about this opener change before a Natural Resources Police officer does it for you.
The other important part is the modified slot limit that stipulates the catch at one fish per angler per day. The big “OR” in the equation is not two fish, but one fish between 28 and 35 inches, OR one fish over 41 inches. The reason, according to King, is to protect the huge 1996 year class of stripers, which are fueling the Chesapeake striper fishing.
According to King, most of those 1996 stripers are 37-39 inches. The 28- to 35-inch slot, or one fish over 41 inches, allows wiggle room to protect these fish, including the big guys who ate their Wheaties or the runts of the litter.
The change is a big one from last year, designed to keep catches within the 30,000 allotment allowed by the striper-governing Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, to whom King must answer. Last year, we had a limit of one fish over 33 inches; in 2005, a limit of one fish over 28 inches. Last year, we were only allowed to catch 41,000 fish, but caught 66,000. Uh-oh.
On May 16 through May 31, the regulations will change to two rockfish per day, 18-28 inches, or one striper in that slot range and one over 28 inches.
Fishing is allowed downstream of a line from the south corner of Hart-Miller Island Dike to Route 21 at Tolchester, excluding bays, creeks, sounds, tributaries and rivers.
On June 1 through Dec. 15, the catch limit is the same (two from 18-28 inches, or one that size and one over 28 inches) throughout the whole bay.
Just watch that April 21 opener and no culling of dead fish in the 28- to 35-inch range just to catch a 41-plus striper.
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