Limited spring rockfish season backed OUTDOORS


ANNAPOLIS -- The Striped Bass Advisory Board gave its recommendations for a limited spring striped bass fishery to the Department of Natural Resources last night.

Before the board voted on its recommendations, William P. Jensen, head of fisheries for the DNR's Tidewater Administration, laid out the preferred parameters of the spring fishery.

The board's recommendations were variations on that theme.

The DNR proposed a two-week trophy season to start May 13 with a size minimum of 36 inches and a limit of one fish per season per person.

Fishing during that season would be limited to the main stem of the Chesapeake Bay south of the Bay Bridge.

The advisory board voted to support the restriction on fishing above the bridge and the one fish per person per season, but asked that a longer season and different size limits be considered.

At one point, the board voted 8-2 in favor of the DNR proposal as it stood except for further consideration of a smaller size limit.

A call for an across-the-board reduction of size limit to 28 inches did not pass.

The proposal that seemed to attract the interest of parties on the board recommended two spring seasons, one a two-week session starting as early as May 1 with a 45-inch minimum size. The second session would be two weeks to follow with a smaller size limit.

Under this plan, dates were not recommended by the board.

The recommendations of the board, which represents commercial and recreational fishing interests, will not be binding.

The purpose of the advisory board has been to determine what form of fishery might best serve the interests of individual sportfishermen, charter-boat captains and clients, commercial fishermen and bait and tackle dealers.

The regulations for a spring season will be finalized by Department of Natural Resources staff members, who have said they will refer to the advisory board recommendation whenever applicable.

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