You only have a couple more days to make your voice heard, as the Maryland DNR public comment period regarding proposals for the summer and fall striper seasons closes on Wednesday, March 18. Unfortunately, making sense of the three options at hand may be difficult; follow the “Summary and Compliance Guide” on the DNR web site linked to the comment page, and as you scroll down you will first see this synopsis of the three options:

list of options for striper season

But wait – don’t make up your mind too quickly! Scroll down farther and look at this table and you’ll find some critical information that’s left out of the initial listing of the options. (Hint: the missing info is located in the bottom two boxes to the right).

actual options for striper season with all information
The bottom right two boxes for options two and three tell the rest of the story about the potential summer and fall striper fishing regulations.

Note that in the first graphic, a screen shot right from the “Guide,” it doesn’t mention that in options two and three, recreational anglers get one fish per person per day at 19 inches and have almost three weeks less season while charter boat anglers get two fish per person per day.

None of these options are designed to reduce the harvest as compared to one another, options two and three merely shift your fish into the charter fishing take—while you lose a big chunk of the summer/fall striper season to make up for it. Does this seem fair to you? If so, you’ll voice support for option two or three. But if this seems unfair to you, be sure to send in a comment supporting option one.

As a voice in the recreational angling community, we want to make clear that we at FishTalk are 100-percent in favor of option one—we do not want to lose weeks of our fishing season in order to give charter boat anglers double the daily limit. We’re also recommending that in their comments, everyone make clear their desire for the state to invest in some solid science regarding rockfish mortality, instead of paying lip service to “effort to reduce dead discards” while killing no more or less fish—merely redistributing the catch—and basing their numbers on incomplete and/or dated science.

Please send the DNR your comments now!