Longtime fishing writer and editor Tim Coleman paints a scary picture of the East Coast striped bass fishery in a recent opinion piece on Projo.com. Equating surf fishermen to “the canary in the coalmine”, Coleman interviews several veteran shore anglers in southern New England and learns that their catches of striped bass have declined dramatically in the last 5 years.
Even more troubling, the anglers note an alarming dearth of smaller fish inshore. Coleman’s article reflects similar findings in a poll conducted by Stripers Forever, as well as government data showing a 65% drop in the East Coast recreational striped bass catch since 2005.
Here’s an excerpt from the Coleman article on Projo.com:
The Rhode Island state fish is the mighty, beautiful striped bass. Sometimes weighing over 60 pounds when caught, the striper is a prize to many Rhode Islanders. For some, it’s one of the main reasons they choose to live and work in the state.
Back in the 1970s, lack of sufficient management led to a drastic decrease in our striper population. The decline was so great that eventually conservation measures were implemented that brought the fish back to levels of abundance starting in the late 1990s into this decade.
However, many New Englanders once again are voicing concern over our striper stocks. These are people who fish from the shore. Their willingness to step forward is similar to that of shore anglers in the mid-1970s who voiced worries about the decline of the cod stocks, a decline that continues today.
Read the full article:
BoatingLocal: Striped Bass Catch Numbers Drop in 2010
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