Maryland continues to address one of the most pressing problems facing the Chesapeake Bay’s striped bass population: the significant volume of “dead discards” in the recreational fishery, this is where striped bass are caught and released, but do not survive when they are returned to the water.
As a reminder, non-offset circle hooks are required to be used in the Chesapeake Bay and its tidal tributaries, regardless of targeted species, from May 15 through December 15 when live-lining, chumming, or chunking. Live-lining is the use of any live fish, such as a minnow, bluegill, or spot, as bait on a hook. Chumming or chunking is placing fish, parts of fish, or other natural or manmade attractants in the water, not attached to a hook, in order to attract fish to a particular area. When using cut bait, crabs, worms, or other types of bait, a non-offset circle hook or a J hook must be used.
The department further encourages all anglers to do their part by implementing voluntary conservation measures, including handling fish more carefully and reducing the number of fish they catch and release. The department has several recommendations and resources, including new videos, available online for easy reference.
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