2016 Maryland Rockfish Regs Released

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Chesapeake Spring Trophy Striper Season

It’s official folks: Bye Bye Slot for Maryland’s Chesapeake Spring Trophy Striper Season, which kicks off April 16 in the Bay. Working with sport fishing groups and the Maryland Charterboat Association, as well as the multi-state Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, the State's Fisheries Service set the daily creel at one 35” Rockfish per angler per day through May 15.

The 2015 size limits were implemented to meet the ASMFC mandate of a 25% reduction in the overall Striper harvest. While the new regs still meet ASMFC conservation requirements, this spring should work out a little better since many fishermen and charter captains said last year's trophy season rules caused more headaches than necessary. Many folks were scratching their heads wondering why a 30” Striper was a keeper but a 37” Striper had to be released. Eliminating the slot limit should also reduce unnecessary handling of undersize Rockfish.

Chesapeake Bay Summer Resident Striper Season Regs

The 2016 rules stay the same as last year: Two Stripers at 20-28”, or one between 20-28” and one greater than 28”. Anglers caught plenty of Rockfish last year that were just under the 20” minimum. Given the strength of the 2011 year class of Rockfish, we should expect an easier time catching a couple of legal stripers for the table.

Coastal Striper Season Regs

Maryland's DNR hasn't made it official yet but they preferred a season from Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2016, with a creel of two Stripers per angler per day 28"-38” or greater than 44” minimum size.
This will make Maryland's coastal regulation consistent with the Delaware creel limits, and help law enforcement make sure everyone is playing by the rules.

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