Call them striped bass, stripers, rockfish, or whatever you like, one thing is for sure: the way these fish are managed is confusing to say the least. So the Coastal Conservation Association of Maryland (CCAMD) has stepped up to the plate to help us anglers understand just what's going on and created an Angler's Guide to Amendment 7.
Since rockfish migrate up and down the coast and are an important sportfish to many states, the fish are managed on a multi-state, cooperative basis. But as each state has different needs and priorities, each also has its own set of management regulations. As one might expect, this often leads to finger-pointing and confusion among recreational anglers - lots of finger-pointing and confusion. This online guide (also available for download in a PDF form) provides a background on striper management and the situation we currently find ourselves in, and breaks down the topics Amendment 7 addresses into 10 easy to understand categories. At the end of each category, the CCA's recommendations regarding that particular issue are listed out. Other important information such as links to informational documents, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting schedule, and links for you to provide public comment, are listed throughout.
For any recreational angler who gives a darn about the state of the fishery yet has a difficult time wrapping their head around exactly what action(s) should be taken, and by whom, this guide will go a long way in making critical information much easier to digest. Plus, it's short, direct, and concise. Sit down at the computer or download the PDF, and after 10 to 15 minutes of reading you'll have a much better understanding of the situation as well as what CCA recommends we do about it.
If you're sick and tired of being confused by terms like Biological Reference Point, SSB, and Conservation Equivalency; you want to be able to formulate well-reasoned opinions regarding striped bass management; and you want to know how to share those opinions with the fishery managers, take a look at the new CCA Guide to Amendment 7. Few of us would say we're happy with the current state of the fishery and how it's managed, and educating ourselves with resources like this one is the best way to change things.