I continue to work hard behind the scenes fighting to restore fish and their habitat on the Chesapeake Bay. Currently, I need your help regarding striped bass management in Virginia. The latest ASMFC stock assessment has found that striped bass are over-fished and over-fishing is occurring coastwide.
We are very fortunate that our current VA Secretary of Natural Resources, Matt Strickler, understands fisheries issues and is making conservation of our marine resources a priority. In response to the stock assessment findings, Virginia Marine Resource Commission (VMRC) is proposing emergency measures of one fish and maximum size limit for this fall’s recreational season to protect large breeding female fish. In addition, a maximum gill net mesh size and reduction in quota is proposed for the commercial fishery. All states are mandated to take action next year, but Virginia is taking a proactive stance which should be applauded.
It is critical that VMRC hears from stakeholders like you in support of conservation. Please email Commissioner Steve Bowman in support of the above proactive emergency measures and future measures that have a high probability of ending over-fishing and rebuilding the stock as soon as possible. As I like to say, we cannot just take from the resource without giving something back, so please take the time to send the email and visit the American Saltwater Guides Association website to learn more.