Emergency secretary's order reduces striped bass harvest

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Shawn M. Garvin has issued an emergency secretary’s order reducing amount of the striped bass that can be harvested.

The emergency regulations bring Delaware into compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s required 18% reduction in fishing mortality.

The emergency secretary's order was issued because there was insufficient time for Delaware to adopt regulations through the standard process prior to ASMFC’s required implementation date. However, the standard process will still be initiated in order to obtain public input for regulations that will eventually replace the interim emergency regulations.

The secretary's order reduces Delaware's 2020 commercial striped bass quota to 142,474 pounds. All other commercial fishing restrictions remain unchanged. The order also limits recreational striped bass fishing to one fish per day. The striped bass "slot limit" size is 28 to 35 inches, except for July 1 through Aug. 31, when the slot limit size is 20 to 25 inches in the Delaware Bay, Delaware River and their tributaries.

The recreational striped bass fishery remains open all year, except that retaining striped bass from April 1 through May 31 continues to be prohibited on their spawning grounds in the Delaware River, Nanticoke River, C&D Canal and their tributaries. Anglers fishing these spawning grounds during this period are required to use a non-offset circle hook with a gap greater than 3/8-inches when using natural baits. 

Recreational striped bass possession and size limits have been updated in the online 2020 Fishing Guide, which can be checked for current and updated fishing regulations. 

For more information about striped bass fishing regulations, call the DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.