I came across this and thought to share for those that are interested in signing the letter located on ASGA website. I signed it and hope others do the same.
These slot fish are getting hammered and now there is only a 15% chance of the stock being rebuilt. I know from experience the 1 @ 36 was so successful because early on no one caught a bass that size. Nearly all went back which is just the opposite of what I have been seeing. If something doesn't change, the future looks very bleak.
From the ASGA Website
It is clear that some areas experienced excellent striped bass fishing last year. The good fishing was a result of one of the most prolific year classes on record reaching maturity. This translated into over 35 million pounds of striped bass harvested coastwide. ASGA had deep concerns that the slot limit would fully exploit the robust 2015-year class when it was proposed. These concerns are now a reality. The 2015-year class is the last robust recruitment year. While the 2017 and 2018 year classes are average, there are four consecutive years of the lowest recruitment in recent history following. This leaves the stock and those that depend on a healthy striped bass population in a very dangerous place.
This increase in harvest decreased the odds of rebuilding by 83-86%. Unless the ASMFC Striped Bass Board changes course at the May meeting, there is little chance that striped bass rebuild to target biomass levels by 2029. According to recent analysis by striped bass scientists, current rebuilding probabilities are less than 15%. During their latest meeting, Technical Committee staff expressed serious concerns about the ability to rebuild the stock if the Board does not act at the May Meeting.
Amendment 7, which was just approved and implemented in May 2022, clearly states that the stock must be rebuilt within 10 years. This current rebuilding plan has failed. The 2022 MRIP harvest numbers showed that harvest doubled and decreased the probability of rebuilding to 14.6%. This is unacceptable to our community and clearly violates Amendment 7’s rebuilding provisions. Taking a correction now is far better than imposing draconian measures in a few years.
The ASMFC Striped Bass Board needs to initiate Addendum II to implement the necessary changes for the 2024 fishing season.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT.
The American Saltwater Guides Association will be submitting an official letter to the ASMFC Striped Bass Management Board on Tuesday, April 25th. You can read the full letter here. We are asking only that the Striped Bass Management Board follow the rules it established. A new rebuilding plan that has a minimum of a 50% chance of success must be initiated, and those regulations need to be in place by the 2024 season.
If you support managing this fishery for abundance and want to see the Board adhere to their timeline of rebuilding this stock by 2029, complete the following form and sign ASGA’s letter. All sign-ons received before Tuesday, April 25th will be included in the final submission. Any questions can be submitted to email@example.com.
Call to Initiate Addendum II to Amendment 7 for Striped Bass