The State of Pennsylvania and the State of Delaware are setting proprosals for slot limits and claim that 90% of the slot fish are bulls. During and after the spawn the larger fish are the breeding females. It would make sense to keep the females alive and released whenever practicle.
If I may - I'll bore you with the details of both proposals and public comment info..
Pennsylvania is set for April and May and Delaware is July and August.
The Commission coordinated this proposal with the State of Delaware, which took the lead in data analysis and reporting. The two states have made similar slot and creel limit proposals that will apply to different months of the year. Delaware’s proposal will target male striped bass in summerand fall that have emigrated from the spawning grounds and taken up residency in Delaware.
ASMFC’s Striped Bass Management Board approved both proposals on October 20, 2008.
The state of Pennsylvania
Public comments accepted through January 20, 2009
Comments also may be submitted electronically by completing the form at
In 1997, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) declared that the
Delaware River stock of striped bass had been restored to historical population levels based on high juvenile recruitment, high spawning stock biomass and low fishing mortality. Despite beingPennsylvania’s tagging data supported this observation of low harvest, particularly from
Pennsylvania. Of the 2,872 striped bass that were tagged in the Delaware Estuary spawning grounds between Pennsylvania and New Jersey from 1995 through 2007, only 34 tags were returned from Pennsylvania’s waters. Observations by the Commission’s Waterways Conservation Officers and biologists have been that the vast majority of striped bass caught in the Commonwealth are yearlings, two-year olds, and some three-year olds caught in late spring and summer as by-catch in other fisheries and as a targeted catch and release fishery in the tidal and non-tidal river.
restored, management of the fishery within the Basin states remained conservative with high size limits (28 inches), low creel limits (2 fish per day) and spawning ground closures to harvest. In this Commonwealth, this meant that the season downstream from Calhoun Street Bridge closed on April 1, just as the adult striped bass population was building, and reopened on June 1, just as the bulk of the adult striped bass population had emigrated from the Commonwealth. This Commonwealth’s anglers were given little opportunity to harvest striped bass, and striped bass angling when fish were most abundant was discouraged by the season closure.
Delaware River and Estuary striped bass harvest has been low. During the 2002 four state creel census, only 582 striped bass were harvested in the stretch that extended from the Delaware River Memorial Bridge near Wilmington, Delaware upstream to the river’s branches in New York.
Male striped bass are abundant during April and May on the spawning grounds and about
90% are shorter than the 28 inch length limit. Furthermore, very few sub-legal female striped bass are present on the spawning grounds. The Commonwealth’s anglers desire an opportunity to take advantage of this restored striped bass population and the potentially excellent fishing that it could provide. Past regulatory and habitat protection efforts by the Commission have largely benefited coastal anglers and anglers outside of the Commonwealth.
The Commission therefore proposes that an April and May fishery be established in the
seasonally closed portions of the Delaware River and Estuary that is designed to specifically target mature male striped bass. The Commission further proposes that this fishery be regulated with a 20 inch to 26 inch slot limit from which two fish per day can be harvested during April and May. There will be a 28 inch length limit and two fish per day creel limit in all other months of the year, and there will be no closed season. Regulations for the remainder of the river will remain unchanged.
CHAPTER 61. SEASONS, SIZES AND CREEL LIMITS
§61.2. Delaware River and River Estuary.
* * *
(d) The following seasons, sizes and creel limits apply to the Delaware River, West Branch
Delaware River and to Delaware River tributaries, from the mouths of the tributaries upstream to
the limit of the tidal influence and the Lehigh River from its mouth upstream to the first dam in
STRIPED BASS and HYBRID STRIPED BASS
From Pennsylvania line upstream to Calhoun Street Bridge:
March 1 until March 31, and June 1 until December 31. 2 fish at 28 inches
January 1 until March 31 and June 1 until December 31 2 fish at 28 inches
April 1 through May 31 2 fish between 20 to 26 inches
From Calhoun Street Bridge upstream: open year-round 2 fish at 28 inches
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The State of Delaware Proposals based on the same science
Delaware’s current regulation requires a minimum size limit of 28 inches for striped bass caught by recreational anglers in all Delaware tidal waters.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife received approval from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to establish a special two-month slot limit season during the summer or early fall for tidal Delaware Estuary waterways. The Division established July and August as the special season for striped bass.
The proposed amendment allows recreational anglers in tidal Delaware Estuary waters only – the Delaware Bay, Delaware River and their tidal tributaries – to land two striped bass per day that are between 20 and 26 inches in total length during the July-August special season. During this two-month period, anglers in these areas are required to release any striped bass that are below or above the 20 to 26-inch slot limit.
The proposed amendment does not apply to striped bass caught in Delaware’s Atlantic coastal waters, the Inland Bays and their tributaries, or any waters located in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Both the proposed amendments can be found on the state’s web site, or inspected weekdays, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at DNREC’s Division of Fish and Wildlife offices, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover.
Statements and testimony can be presented either orally or in writing at the public hearing or submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m., Jan. 31 by e-mail to [email protected] or by mail: Lisa Vest, Hearing Officer, Office of the Secretary, DNREC, 89 Kings Hwy., Dover, DE 19901.
Striped bass season is closed April 1 – May 31 on spawning grounds which
include the Nanticoke River, C&D Canal, Delaware River north of the C&D Canal
including the south jetty of the Canal. No harvest, catch and release only; note