The American Way

[Comment – In the post, ‘Resource first, then profits’ we reported on the regulation of the commercial Striped Bass fishery in the State of Massuchusetts. We now detail below the restrictions that apply to recreational anglers in that State.]

The season is all year, but in reality very few striped bass are caught outside April – November, as most will have migrated south after November (and begun to return late April).

There is a minimum landing size of 28 inches (71 cm – approx 11 lbs) which represents a seven or eight year old fish. Research in the 1970’s suggests, that most females reach maturity at five years of age. [‘Fecundity of spawners – Striped Bass’ by Nick Karas]

There is a strictly enforced bag limit of 2 fish. [NB – This was until recently only 1 fish and a number of sport fishing organisations have suggested it should never have been increased].

To summarise: Minimum landing size 71 cm and 2 fish bag limit.

Additional information

Striped Bass must be kept whole, with head, tail and body intact – no mutilation permitted (other than evisceration). To prohibit the practice of high-grading, recreational fishermen may not retain legal-sized striped bass and release said fish in favor of another larger legal-sized striped bass captured subsequently. It shall be unlawful to keep striped bass alive in the water by attaching a line or chain to the fish, or placing the fish in a live well, or holding car. Striped bass are measured from the tip of the snout or jaw (mouth closed) to the farthest extremity of the tail.