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Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Season Opens April 16

Spring Limit is One Fish Daily, 35 Inches or Larger

Young man holding a trophy rockish

Photo Credit Sean Russell

The spring season for the state fish, striped bass, kicks off on April 16 in Maryland’s portion of the Chesapeake Bay. Spring recreational fishing opportunities for striped bass, locally known as rockfish, will run from April 16 through May 15, with a catch limit of one fish per person, per day, 35 inches or larger.

“For Maryland anglers, the spring trophy rockfish season is more than just a new opportunity to fish,” Maryland Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Service Director Dave Blazer said. “The season signals the beginning of spring and the return of milder temperatures, fresh seafood, and the chance to spend time with family and friends out on the water.”

Regulations for the bay and its tidal tributaries combined summer/fall season, running May 16 through Dec. 20, will remain the same as 2015. Anglers can keep two fish per day 20 inches or longer with only one being over 28 inches. (Size is measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail.)

The current Atlantic Ocean and Maryland’s coastal bays striped bass limit is one fish per day with a minimum length of 28 inches. The department is considering changes for the 2016 coastal season, available for review and comment on its website.

Maryland reservoirs such as Liberty, Piney Run, Triadelphia, Conowingo, Broadford Lake, and Rocky Gorge are also open to fishing for striped bass year-round with an 18-inch minimum size, two fish per day possession limit, with only one of the two fish being longer than 30 inches.

For more information on Maryland fishing opportunities, seasons, regulations and catch limits, please click here.

  • Todd Hitchcock

    I guess 2015’s spawning success was just so good you all decided to scrap the slot program huh? The number of fish released in that 36-40″ slot was an extremely positive factor for maintaining the mature, migratory stock. Way to scrap it after a year. UNREAL

    • Neal M

      The slot was terrible! Good riddance! They raised the limit from 28-35″, resonable. Way to go DNR!

      • Mike

        Catch and release only please.

  • dude

    In my opinion the spring season size limit should be 28-35 inches. The larger size fish carry the most eggs and should be left alone

  • Earl

    Catch all large rockfish!! Then maybe the crabbing will improve. As rockfish eat crabs when they soften.

  • D G

    Why complain about the rules? You deal with them or not. If you don’t like the rules then don’t fish for them. Show up at the meetings and let you opinion be heard. Stop blaming the crab population on the rockfish, skate and croakers. Blame the crabbers that take the female crabs by the boat load.

    The slot size was a horrible idea. Open striped season May 1st and the striped bass population will be solved.