Scientists Urge Va. to Cancel Spring Trophy Striper Season

Photo: Capt. Chris D. Dollar/CD Outdoors

Virginia’s spring trophy rockfish season is going to be canceled, if state commissioners heed their own staff’s advice.

Grave concerns about the apparently depleted striped bass stock has prompted staff of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) to urge for emergency action to eliminate the state’s Spring Trophy-size striper season in the Bay, coastal waters and Potomac River tributaries.

A meeting is scheduled for April 23, and, if the Commission follows the advice of its professional biologists, the new rules could be implemented on April 29 and a public hearing would be requested for May 28.

This past winter, a coast-wide stock assessment revealed that the Atlantic rockfish population is in trouble. The number of rockfish Virginia’s sport anglers have taken in the past decade has declined significantly, from an estimated 368,000 fish in 2010 to less than 52,000 last year.

Proposed Emergency Amendments: 

  1. Elimination of the May 1 through June 15 season for the Chesapeake Bay trophy-size striped bass recreational fishery.

  2. Elimination of the May 1 through May 15 coastal spring trophy striped bass recreational fishery.

  3. Elimination of the April 20 through May 15 Potomac River tributaries spring striped bass recreational fishery.

-Capt. Chris Dollar