The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission will meet next week at the Weston Alexandria (VA) between May 8 & 11. The most contentious meetings for the week will be Striped Bass & Menhaden but the agenda includes the appeal of the summer flounder decision, Atlantic herring and more. The final agenda can be found here:
Atlantic striped bass (Morone saxatilis) are an estuarine species that can be found from Florida to Canada, although the stocks that the Commission manages range from Maine to North Carolina. A long-lived species (at least up to 30 years of age), striped bass typically spend the majority of their adult life in coastal estuaries or the ocean, migrating north and south seasonally and ascending to rivers to spawn in the spring.
Mature females (age six and older) produce large quantities of eggs. In fact, striped bass egg production increases 200,000 eggs per 1kg increase in weight of female. Larger fish also have larger eggs, giving the larva a head start on growth and development. This process increases throughout the life of the breeding aged females. The larger and older the fish, the more fertile eggs and each egg is far larger than one produced from a smaller female.
Striped bass stocks are measured by biological reference points in relation to the SSB (Spawning Stock Biomass/ Sexually Mature Females). The population has been in steady decline since the peak SSB between 2002 and 2004. Currently, striped bass SSB is sitting precariously close to the threshold. If the SSB population falls below the threshold, management action would be mandatory.
Learn more about striped bass on Fissues
When measured in pounds, more Atlantic striped bass are harvested by US recreational anglers than any other recreational target species. Volume of catch, however, does not accurately represent how important striped bass are to not only recreational anglers, but also to the US economy. Striped bass are sleek, powerful, gorgeous animals. The body is mostly