Del. Anglers Prep for New Striped Bass Regulations - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Del. Anglers Prep for New Striped Bass Regulations

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LEWES, Del.- New regulations that went into effect Monday require Delaware anglers to conform to new requirements when it comes to catching and keeping striped bass.

In order to be in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's requirement to have a 25 percent reduction in striped bass harvests, recreational anglers can now only keep two striped bass per day and they must be 29- to 37-inches-long or 44 inches or larger. This means those that are 38 to 43 inches have to be released.

Striped bass, or rockfish, is very popular on Delmarva. Lewes Fish Houseowner Chuck Donohue said his business sells more than 1,000 pounds of it a week.

"Rockfish is probably the biggest staple you can buy around here," he said. "You can't keep ahold of it, you can't keep it in."

Joe Morris owns Lewes Harbor Marina Bait and Tackle and is a fisherman himself.

"Certain times of the year there are a lot of fish within that size range here, so anglers will have to throw a few fish back, no doubt about that," Morris said.

But according to officials with the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, this new regulation does not just fulfill the required reduction. They said that in the long run it will also benefit the anglers.

"I think it is important to protect that size class of fish because they're obviously important to the future of the fishery," Morris explained. "So I think that most of the fishermen are willing to sacrifice a little bit to ensure that we have them down the road."

But for Donohue, he is still a little worried.

"If they keep on changing the regulations I think rockfish, which is really expensive now, is going to get more expensive," he said.

In Maryland, where striped bass is the state fish, anglers also must conform to the new regulations, but in their case, they can now only catch one rockfish per day instead of a certain size fish.

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