Attention: Striped Bass
Striped Bass Need Our Help
As many of you may know, the Atlantic striped bass population is in trouble. This is something many anglers have known for some time, but in 2019, we were officially informed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) that the striped bass are overfished, and that overfishing is occurring. In plain terms, this means that the numbers of breeding females are lower than sustainable thresholds, and we are continuing to remove/kill more bass from our waters at a faster rate than they can reproduce. It's difficult to say exactly when, but at the current rate, it is safe to say that without change we could see the end of Atlantic striped bass.
We are in a critical moment and now is our opportunity to react, based on the information we know to be true, and change the course for striped bass. And while a swift and strong conservation strategy is the obvious choice, and one that, in theory, could be relatively simple to implement, many conservation efforts are met with unfortunate opposition. However, we are currently in a very critical and hopeful period for striped bass. The ASMFC has recently released its Draft Amendment 7 document for public comment. This amendment includes options for managing striped bass that could vastly improve our current management plan and help change the course for striped bass.
Draft Amendment 7
The public comment period for Draft Amendment 7 has now ended. Thank you to all who submitted their comments. Below is a brief overview of the document. The document itself is long and complicated, however, there are really only 4 major issues that need our attention:
4.1 - Management Triggers
4.2.2 Measures to Address Recreational Release Mortality
4.4 Rebuilding Plan
4.6.2 Management Program Equivalency (AKA Conservation Equivalency or CE)
Fortunately, the folks over at the American Saltwater Guides Association have made it incredibly easy to digest these 4 main issues and have produced blogs, podcasts, and infographics outlining the positions needed to be taken to help save these fish. All of these resources can be found on their Striped Bass Action Alert page, and are also linked below.
ASGA’s Positions on Striped Bass Amendment 7: A Comprehensive Guide
Understanding Amendment 7 Series: Recreational Release Mortality
Have Your Voice Heard
The public comment period for Draft Amendment 7 has now ended. Please check back soon for any updates or calls to action. Thank you to all that submitted.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about striped bass and how you can help! Striped bass are our passion. They are the reason we founded Old Maine Outfitters. We need to work together to ensure future generations will be able to share this same passion.