New rockfish index is at 4.4

THE BALTIMORE EVENING SUN

ANNAPOLIS -- Chesapeake Bay rockfish spawning success more than doubled this year, according to figures released today by the Department of Natural Resources, though the 4.4 index for 1991 fell short of hopes.

Last year's index was 2.1; in 1989, it had skyrocketed to an all-time record of 25.2, which triggered the lifting of the moratorium last year. For continuation of fishing under basic guidelines, policy is for a three-year average of 8 or better. This year's improvement over that of last year held the mean above that, at 8.7.

Maryland's second post-moratorium fall season will start Oct. 9, and a second spring trophy season is scheduled next May.

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