Increased Recreational Fishing for Striped Bass


NR-G-15-06E    April 7, 2015

Minister Shea announces increased recreational fishing opportunities for 2015 and 2016 striped bass seasons in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

The Government is acting on Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic salmon recommendations

MONCTON, New Brunswick - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced management measures for the striped bass recreational fishery that will take place in 2015 and in 2016 throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. This area includes the Maritime Provinces adjacent to the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Compared to 2014, seven days to the retention fishery and 31 days to the catch and release fishery for both 2015 and 2016 have been added.

Additionally, a maximum retainable fish size of 65 centimeters has been set to protect the large spawners in the system that produce the largest amount of eggs and offer the greatest contribution to recruitment. A minimum retention size of 50 centimeters has been set to minimize the catch of fish that are not yet mature.

These management measures were recommended to the Minister by her Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon. They are also consistent with the most recent scientific information for this stock, advice from three recreational fishery advisory meetings and online consultations. The two-year plan is in line with the Department’s multi-year planning for fisheries to provide improved stability and predictability for anglers and other stakeholders.

Following each striped bass fishing outing, anglers are encouraged to fill out a survey found here: http://www.glf.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Gulf/FAM/Recreational-Fisheries/Creel-Census. This will help provide valuable information on angling activities for striped bass.

Quick Facts

  • On March 9, Minister Shea launched the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Atlantic Salmon. The mandate of the Committee is to focus on conservation and enforcement measures, predation, strategy to address international, unsustainable fishing, and focused areas for advancing science.
  • The Committee has so far held meetings in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick and will produce a report at the end of the consultation period. However, considering the urgent need to make management decisions for the 2015 angling season, the Minister asked the Chair to produce an interim recommendations.

Management measures for the 2015 and the 2016 recreational striped bass fishery are as follows:

Fishing season
  • The recreational striped bass fishery will take place from May 1 to October 31, 2015.
  • Striped bass can be caught and released throughout the fishing season.
  • From May 11 to 31, from August 1 to 23, from September 24 to 30, and from October 24 to 31, 2015, anglers will be able to retain a maximum of one striped bass per day and prohibited from possessing more than one striped bass at any given time.

Gear restrictions
  • For both the retention and the catch and release fisheries, it is mandatory to use a single non-offset barbless circle hook (when using bait) throughout the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence.
  • This type of hook decreases the chances of mortality when a fish is returned to the water, especially important during catch and release periods.
  • As described in the conservation harvest plan, additional gear restrictions apply in the tidal waters of the Miramichi River.

Striped bass diet study
  • In addition, results of the three-year striped bass diet and tagging study will be completed in 2016. This work is expected to provide a clearer picture of the interactions between striped bass and salmon.
  • Since the start of this study, sampling has been extended from beyond the Miramichi River system. This year, sampling covers different river systems and coastal areas from the southern entire Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Illegal activity

  • Enforcement activities will be carried out to reduce illegal activities. The public is encouraged to help protect this and other species by reporting any illegal activity by calling toll-free1-800-222-8477, or by contacting the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office found in the blue pages of their phone book.

“Our Government understands that recreational fisheries are at the core of Atlantic Canada’s economy and culture. We are pleased to increase significantly the retention and the catch and release fishery for the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence striped bass. We have heard the concerns expressed by stakeholders and remain committed to finding the right balance between increased fishing opportunities, ensuring the sustainability of this species as well as balanced ecosystems.”
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans