It’s hard to find a Chesapeake Bay watershed resident whose eyes don’t light up at the mention of striped bass; though some won’t know what you mean unless you call them by their “proper” Chesapeake name, rockfish.
For many of us, striped bass are a big reason we fell in love with the bay and being on the water in the first place. But whether you love them for their fight, eating, or their critical place as an apex predator in the ecosystem, we can all agree that the bay would be greatly diminished without this iconic fish.
That’s why recent data showing warning signs about the declining health of the striped bass population are extremely worrisome. The most recent scientific stock assessment, released in 2019 by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, found that striped bass are overfished and its coastwide population is well below target levels. In the Chesapeake Bay, not only has there been a lack of legal-size fish, but there has also been below-average spawning act...
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