DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife reminds anglers that the new recreational striped bass regulation will take effect May 11. The revised regulation brings Delaware into compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan, which now requires a 25-percent reduction in both the recreational and commercial striped bass harvests in 2015. The new regulation reduces recreational harvest through changes in size limits, but maintains Delaware’s current seasons and possession limits.
“This regulation maximizes opportunities for all of Delaware’s recreational anglers to catch striped bass, the favorite fish for many anglers, while also achieving the mandated reduction in Delaware’s recreational harvest,” said Division of Fish & Wildlife Director David Saveikis.
Under the new regulation, a recreational angler is allowed possession of two striped bass per day (in any combination) from 28 to 37 inches or 44 inches or greater, with the season open year-round for all state waters except those covered by the summer slot season or spawning closures. The popular striped bass summer slot season (July 1-Aug. 31 in Delaware Bay, Delaware River and their tidal tributaries) remains in place, but with a reduced slot size of 20 to 25 inches. The summer slot season daily possession limit is two fish.
The spawning season closure remains in effect from April 1 through May 31, with no striped bass to be kept from the Nanticoke River or its tributaries, the Delaware River and its tributaries north of and including the south jetty of the C&D Canal, or the C&D Canal and its tributaries. Striped bass caught in these areas during spawning season must be immediately released back into the waters.
The commercial striped bass quota for 2015 has automatically been reduced by the required 25 percent in accordance with established regulation procedure.
The notice of an expected regulation change was included in the print version of the 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide, but it did not contain the updated information; the online version of the guide will be updated to include the new size limits at 2015 Delaware Fishing Guide.
For more information on striped bass regulations, call the Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914 or visit www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Fisheries.