After having been closed for 13 years, a recreational fishery for Striped Bass with provisions for two retention periods was opened in 2013 in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. DFO Gulf Ecosystems and Fisheries Management branch requested a compilation of the recreational fishery information and an update on the size of the spawning stock and information on biological characteristics for southern Gulf Striped Bass for 2013.
This report is the result of the Science Response Process of February 3, 2014. This report provides an examination of the recreational fishery information collected by Conservation and Protection staff during the two Striped Bass retention periods (May 1 to 15 and August 2 to 11) in 2013. It also provides an update of the current biological characteristics and spawner abundance estimates in the Northwest Miramichi estuary in 2013.
The estimated number of harvested Striped Bass in the Miramichi River during the May retention season was in the order of 900 to 2,400 fish (depending upon the method of raising the effort information from interviewed anglers), while 20,000 to 29,000 bass were estimated to have been caught and released. During the August retention period, approximately 250 Striped Bass were estimated to have been harvested throughout the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence (excluding waters adjacent to Québec), while 1,600 to 2,900 Striped Bass were estimated to have been caught and released. The catches of Striped Bass during both retention periods were considered to be underestimated. The limitations of the angler information are discussed.
The estimated spawner abundance in the Northwest Miramichi in 2013 was 255,000 fish (median value, 5th to 95th percentile range of 66,680 to 864,000) and sufficient to meet the population’s recovery objective for the third consecutive time since 1993. As the abundance of Striped Bass has increased, those with fork lengths greater than 60 cm and older than five years of age have also increased in abundance but these fish remain a small proportion of the spawning population.
This Science Response report results from the Science Response Process of February 3, 2014 on the Update on status of Striped Bass from the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence to 2013. To read the full report click DFO Report on Bass Angling 2013.