SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries is making an emergency change to recreational regulations on the size limit for keeping striped bass in Massachusetts due to an issue of overfishing.
Effective Friday, the new recreational size will be 28 inches to less than 31 inches and anglers will still only be able to keep one fish per day. The previous limit was 28 inches to less than 35 inches. However, officials found that in 2022 the recreational harvest of striped bass nearly doubled.
These changes will help maintain the rebuilding goals of striped bass, especially the 2015 class that are currently the size of the previous keeping regulations. The fish are long-lived and can reproduce more than 20 times over their life span. The last four years have been some of the lowest survival rates of newborn striped bass since 2005. It’s important for the 2015 class to grow and increase the number of fish able to reproduce.
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission also voted to create new rules that could bring more changes to striped bass fishing in 2024. They will be considering the recreational and commercial size limits in the ocean and Chesapeake Bay.