The Department of Natural Resources' fall striped bass (rockfish) seasons for recreational and charter-boat fishermen were approved by the General Assembly's Administrative Executive Legislative Review Committee yesterday.
Both seasons will open Oct. 1 in Maryland waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The recreational season will close Nov. 7 and the charter-boat season will close Nov. 21.
Recreational fishermen will be allowed one rockfish per day, and charter-boat customers will be allowed two. Rockfish must be at least 18 inches in length, with no maximum this year.
In Maryland's zone of the Atlantic and coastal tidal waters, the season for recreational and charter-boat fishermen will run through Nov. 30. DNR's proposal called for a July 15 opening, and coastal fishermen may begin fishing immediately.
Season lengths and creel limits are set according to projections of how long it will take each segment of the fishery to catch its share of the quota. Maryland's total catch this year is 2.3 million pounds, an increase of several hundred thousand pounds over last year.
The non-commercial season breakdowns are as follows:
CHESAPEAKE BAY AND TRIBUTARIES
Total recreational catch -- 977,500 pounds.
Total charter-boat catch -- 345,000 pounds.
Size limits -- Minimum length of 18 inches, no maximum.
Creel limits -- One per day for recreational fishermen, two per day for charter-boat customers.
Recreational season -- 38 days, Oct. 1-Nov. 7.
Charter-boat season -- 52 days, Oct. 1-Nov. 21.
Recreational and charter-boat season -- July 15-Nov. 30.
Size limits -- minimum of 28 inches, no maximum.
1'Creel limit -- One per person per day.