Public Hearing Scheduled
on Proposed Striped Bass Changes
HARRISBURG, Pa. (Sept. 8) – Anglers who fish for striped bass in the Delaware River and estuary are encouraged to attend a public meeting on September 17 in Bristol, Bucks County, to provide comments on a draft amendment to the interstate fishery management plan for Atlantic striped bass.
The amendment has been proposed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), of which the PFBC is a member.
“Numerous anglers up and down the coast have expressed concerns with declining catch rates of striped bass,” said Leroy Young, PFBC Director of the Bureau of Fisheries. “It is likely that any ASMFC action on the Striped Bass Addendum will have impacts on Pennsylvania’s regulations for striped bass in the Delaware River and estuary, as well as the ocean and back-bay fisheries in New Jersey and Delaware. This meeting is an opportunity for anglers to become educated on this issue and provide comments to both ASMFC and PFBC representatives.”
The PFBC will host a meeting:
September 17, 2014, at 6 p.m.
Silver Lake Nature Center (http://www.silverlakenaturecenter.org/
1306 Bath Road
The draft addendum proposes new fishing mortality reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce these numbers to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years. It responds to results of the 2013 Atlantic striped bass benchmark assessment indicating in 2012 that these numbers were above the proposed target and that female spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been steadily declining below the target since 2006. This means even though the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, SSB is approaching its overfished threshold and stock projections show SSB will likely fall below the threshold in the coming years. In addition, a similar decline has been observed in total harvest.
In response to these factors, the draft addendum proposes management options to reduce fishing mortality to the target level.
The draft addendum is available on the ASMFC website at: http://www.asmfc.org/files/PublicInput/StripedBassDraftAddendumIV_PublicComment.pdf.
Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment.
Public comment will be accepted until 5 p.m. (EST) on Sept. 30, 2014, and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703.842.0741 (FAX) or at [email protected]
(Subject line: Draft Addendum IV).