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Regulations Issued for 2021 Chesapeake Bay Striped Bass Fishing

Conservation Measures Include Two-Week Midseason Closure in July

Photo of striped bass in shallow water

Photo courtesy of David Redden

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources announces new regulations for the Chesapeake Bay summer-fall striped bass season. 

The 2021 summer-fall season in most areas of the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries will be open May 16 through July 15, and resume August 1 through Dec. 10. Anglers would be able to keep one striped bass per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate would not be permitted to land or possess striped bass for personal consumption.

During the closure period from July 16 through July 31, anglers will be prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release and charter boats.

The 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass indicated declines, so the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has determined that conservation measures are needed to reduce the amount of striped bass being removed. This includes dead discards, which are fish that die after being caught and returned to the water.  

Maryland has coordinated with the ASMFC to develop regulations in compliance with its coastwide fishery management plan. After a midseason closure was inaugurated during the 2020 season, data collected by the department determined that the water quality and temperatures are more potentially harmful to striped bass during the last two weeks of July than proposed closure dates later in the season.