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Striped Bass Management Hearings Scheduled In September

August 20, 2014

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) has scheduled three hearings to gather public comment on Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's (ASMFC) Draft Addendum IV to Amendment 6 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass. The Division strongly encourages the public to attend these meetings in order to assist managers in the management of this precious resource. In addition, the Division urges striped bass anglers who fish the Delaware River, and are unable to make any of the New Jersey hearings, to attend the hearing hosted by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. The information for the New Jersey and Pennsylvania hearings is listed below.

The Draft Addendum proposes new fishing mortality (F) reference points, as recommended by the 2013 benchmark stock assessment, and associated management measures to reduce F to a level at or below the proposed target within one or three years. It responds to results of the 2013 Atlantic striped bass benchmark assessment indicating F in 2012 was above the proposed F target, and female spawning stock biomass (SSB) has been steadily declining below the target since 2006. This means even though the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring, SSB is approaching its overfished threshold and stock projections show SSB will likely fall below the threshold in the coming years. In addition, a similar decline has been observed in total harvest. In response to these factors, the Draft Addendum proposes management options to reduce fishing mortality to the target level.

The Draft Addendum includes a suite of management options to reduce recreational and commercial harvest along the coast and in the Chesapeake Bay under three reduction timeframes. The timeframes include (1) reducing F to its target in one year with a 25% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015 (2) reducing F to its target within three years with a 17% reduction in 2013 harvest in 2015, and (3) reducing F to its target within three years with a 7% sequential reduction in harvest for three consecutive years starting in 2015. Specific options to be considered include bag, size, slot and trophy size limits for the recreational fishery and quota reductions for the commercial fishery.

Given the Albemarle Sound/Roanoke River (A/R) stock of striped bass contributes minimally to the coastwide complex when compared to the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware, and Hudson stocks, Draft Addendum IV proposes it be managed by the State of North Carolina using stock-specific biological reference points. These stock-specific reference points, which have been approved by the Board, would result in a separate quota that is set to maintain F for the A/R stock at its target level. The Board tasked the Technical Committee with the continued development of Chesapeake Bay-specific reference points for future use.

The Draft Addendum is available in PDF format on the ASMFC website at and can also be found on the ASMFC homepage ( under Public Input. Anglers and other interested groups are encouraged to provide input on the Draft Addendum either by attending state public hearings or providing written comment.

Public comment will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. (EST) on September 30, 2014 and should be forwarded to Mike Waine, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, 1050 N. Highland St, Suite A-N, Arlington, VA 22201; 703-842-0741 (FAX) or at (Subject line: Draft Addendum IV). For more information, please contact Mike Waine, at or 703-842-0740.

Below are dates, times, and locations of the scheduled hearings:

NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife
September 4, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Galloway Twp. Branch of the Atlantic Co. Library
306 East Jimmie Leeds Road
Galloway, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020
* Will immediately follow the NJ Marine Fisheries Council meeting

September 9, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Ridgefield Park Elks Lodge #1506
Corner of Spruce Avenue and Cedar Street
Ridgefield Park, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020

September 15, 2014; 7-9 p.m.
Toms River Town Hall
L. M. Hirshblond Room
33 Washington Street
Toms River, New Jersey
Contact: Russ Allen at 609-748-2020

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
September 17, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.
Silver Lake Nature Center (
1306 Bath Road
Bristol, Pennsylvania
Contact: Eric Levis at 717-705-7806

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Last Updated: August 20, 2014