Better environment reflected in numbers


While the record-high juvenile index for striped bass (rockfish) caused quite a stir Friday, there also was good news about white perch, yellow perch, blueback herring and hickory shad, all of which benefited from good environmental conditions in Maryland waters this spring and summer.

The preliminary figures for this year's white perch index indicate a strong resurgence. The 1993 index is 100.4, far exceeding the previous record high of 60.5 in 1970.

The yellow perch index is 1.8, also a record, but only slightly above the 1970 reading of 1.6.

The blueback herring index was 73.5, exceeded only in 1969 an1970.

While no figures were available for hickory shad, William P. Jensen, head of the Department of Natural Resource Tidewater Fisheries Administration, said that "hickory shad have been unbelievable in the upper bay. Old-timers say they have seen these numbers in the bay only in the '50s and '60s."

Jensen said the largest increase in yellow perch and herring occurred in the upper bay.

But where some species have flourished this year, bluefish have continued to decline in Maryland waters and along the coast.

Jensen said that bluefish management plans are being reviewed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and tighter regulations might result.

Some organizations have determined that the bluefish population is off by 25 to 30 percent over the past few years.

Potomac rockfish season

The Potomac River Fisheries Commission rockfish season will run Oct. 1-19 and Nov. 5-14, with a one-fish per day creel limit and the size limit of 18 to 36 inches. A free PRFC rockfish permit will be required if fishing from a boat. Shoreline fishermen do not need the permit.

Season set for Va. rockfish

The Virginia recreational and charter boat season for rockfish will run from Oct. 28 to Dec. 19 on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. The daily limit will be two fish per person.

Yellow perch season is topic

The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on proposed regulations for a commercial yellow perch season on the Patuxent River at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Department of Agriculture, Harry S. Truman Parkway in Annapolis.

Meetings for fall tournament

The skippers' meetings for the Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association Fall Tournament on Saturday for bluefish, summer flounder and sea trout will be held at 6 p.m. at the following locations:

* Tuesday -- Shore Sportsman, Route 50, two miles east of Easton.

* Wednesday -- Commodore Hall, on Belair Road in Essex.

* Thursday -- Solomons Volunteer Fire Hall, Solomons.

Copyright © 2021, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad