Chris Dollar: Virginia decision illustrates pressure on striper fishery –

The warning lights have been flashing for several seasons, far too many some would argue. And now, at the risk of torturing this metaphor even more, smoke is billowing from the engine box.

Clearly the striper fishery is overheating from intensive pressure. Which explains the unanimous (7-0) vote by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to enact an emergency closure for its recreational striped bass trophy season.

That season was set to open May 1 in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay, along its coast and in the Potomac. And while it doesn’t yield as many rock as the fall season does, the urgency of the action is illustrative of just how dire the situation is that confronts those charged with managing stripers.

Overall, the science is about as clear as it can get at the moment — not perfect but clear: Stripers are in deep trouble. The stock has been below the sustainable threshold for the past six years and over-fishing has been occurring for nearly a decade. Pressure from all sides has arguably been more intense than at any other time in the history of this iconic gamefish.

June 8: Kids Fishing Derby 2019, hosted by the Pasadena Sportfishing Group and Lake Shore-Severna Park Rotary Club for children with special needs. Downs Park Fernwood Pavilion from 7:30 a.m. to Noon. Open to the first 75 applicants. Deadline to register is May 30th. Ages 4 to 16 with parent or chaperone 21 years of age or older.

Chris Dollar writes about the outdoors for Capital Gazette. Email news, photos and calendar listings to:


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