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Excerpts from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Commonly known as a striper, rockfish or just "rock", the striped bass is a member of the temperate bass family, which includes white perch and white bass. The rockfish (Morone saxatilis) was named the official fish of the State of Maryland in 1965. Originally called Roccus saxatilis, scientists corrected the genus designation in the late 1960s. The rockfish is considered to be the most valuable fish in Maryland waters.
Striped bass can be caught using a number of baits including: clams, peeler crab, eels, anchovies, bloodworms, nightcrawlers, chicken livers, menhaden, herring, shad, and sandworms. Trolling for bass is excellent sport, and is practiced a good deal by amateurs. The tackle employed is a strong hand line, and artificial bait is used with good success. This consists of silver plated spoons, or bits of mother pearl worked into a proper shape and other ingenious contrivances to be had at fishing-tackle supply stores.
Commercial Chesapeake Bay fishermen harvest striped bass with a variety of gear including pound nets, haul seines, gill nets and hook and line. During the 1998-99 season, drift gill nets and commercial hook and line were assigned 75% of the quota (1,761,000 pounds), and pound nets and haul seines were given 25% (587,850 pounds). Maryland coastal commercial fishermen harvest striped bass using otter trawls and drift gill nets.
It is quite abundant in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. There, it frequently grows over four feet in length and weighs over 50 pounds. Despite threats, the striped bass stocks continue gradually to increase in the Bay. Because the Bay remains the main spawning and nursery area for 70 percent to 90 percent of the Atlantic stock, restoration efforts remain critically important to the future of the striped bass in the Chesapeake Bay.
In 1994, the Maryland General Assembly passed a law limiting the number of individuals who can commercially harvest striped bass in tidal waters. Due to increasing fishing effort for striped bass, commercial striped bass authorizations were limited to 1231 individuals. This figure represents the number of individuals that participated in the 1993-1994 commercial striped bass season. Individuals who did not participate, but wish to commercially harvest striped bass, must apply to a waiting list. When an authorization becomes available, it is issued to the first person on the list.
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