Stripers Forever, the organization dedicated to making striped bass a game fish, recently released its annual membership survey. The numbers, taken from members surveyed from Maine to North Carolina, are not good. [Here'
a link to the full info.]
69% of anglers surveyed felt that striped bass fishing has gotten worse.
51% felt the average size of the fish they caught were smaller.
72% reported catching fewer fish per hour.
These are reports from guys on the front lines. While this is an opinion poll, and the results don’t constitute scientific data, it tells me that Fisheries Management isn't doing such a great job at maintaining a healthy striped bass population. It says on its website that,
“The most recent stock assessment for striped bass was completed in 2009. The update assessment indicated that striped bass are not overfished and overfishing is not occurring.”
Thousands of anglers, who pump many millions of dollars into the regional economy, would beg to differ. I advocate Stripers Forever’s efforts to give the striped bass game fish status, thus exempting it from commercial fishing. Even if you don’t, I’d hope you agree that one of the country’s most important sport fish deserves more protection than is currently provided.