Concerns about striped bass could impact fishing season

(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)
(Southside Daily file/Courtesy of Pixabay)

Concerns about Virginia’s striped bass population could scuttle the fishing season for larger-sized fish in parts of the state.

Striped bass are also known as rockfish. The season is set to begin later this month.

But there are indications that the population of the fish is declining. That has raised concerns that further catches could have a long-term effect on its ability to survive.

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission is expected to vote April 23 on an “emergency proposal” that recommends canceling the trophy-size rockfish season in the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.

That means anglers could not keep rockfish that measure 36 inches or longer.

Maryland officials have similar concerns, but there are no efforts there to halt the spring season.

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John Mangalonzo (john@localvoicemedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.