DFO Minister Keith Ashfield announced today the re-opening of a limited, recreational Striped bass fishery this season. A retention fishery will be open from May 1 to May 15, 2013, where anglers will be able to catch and retain a maximum of one Striped bass per day and will be prohibited from possessing more than one Striped bass at any given time. A catch and release fishery will follow.
The MSA is very concerned with the increased number of striped bass in the system over the last few years. The Northwest Miramichi is the spawning ground for the bass and they are in the river at the same time as Atlantic salmon smolts are migrating downriver.
The full press release is below:
Re-Opening of a Limited Recreational Striped Bass Fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence this Season
April 26, 2013
Moncton, New Brunswick – The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today the re-opening of a limited recreational Striped bass fishery throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2013.
“I am pleased to announce the re-opening of a limited, recreational Striped bass fishery this season,” stated Minister Ashfield. “We remain committed to the conservation of Striped bass and to the long-term recovery of this species and I have asked that officials continue to review, with increased scrutiny, how the fishery is being conducted to ensure the conservation objectives for Striped bass are being met.”
The decision to establish this limited fishery is based on extensive consultations with all stakeholders in March and April 2013, and in consideration of the most recent scientific information. As more information is collected, we will better understand the stock reaction in order to help ensure long-term sustainability and allow the Department to better manage this fishery going forward.
The Aboriginal food, social and ceremonial fishery will be re-instated with the same allocations that existed prior to the closure in 2000.
A limited recreational retention fishery will be open from May 1 to May 15, 2013, where anglers will be able to catch and retain a maximum of one Striped bass per day and will be prohibited from possessing more than one Striped bass at any given time. A catch and release fishery will follow. Following a review of the data collected during the limited recreational retention fishery, there may be an additional retention period from August 2 to August 11 with the possibility of an extension beyond August 11. In the Miramichi area, additional gear restrictions will be implemented starting in 2013 to achieve an adequate level of protection during staging and spawning activities.
The Striped bass commercial fishery, which has been closed since 1996 for conservation purposes, will remain closed.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is investing $100,000 in the next fiscal year in scientific research to better understand Striped bass and their role within the ecosystem. In addition, the Department will work with various user groups to increase catch monitoring and reporting.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands that the presence of law-abiding anglers on a river has a positive impact on conservation and the decision to re-open recreational fisheries illustrates this. The Department encourages interested parties to report any illegal activity by calling the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or contact 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477).