Striped Bass - 2012
Albemarle Sound Management Area (ASMA) and Roanoke River Management Area (RRMA) stock (A/R stock)
Stock Status –Viable – Based on the results of the 2010 stock assessment (data through 2008) Albemarle/Roanoke (A/R) striped bass are not experiencing overfishing and are producing a sustainable harvest. Fishing mortality (F) estimates on ages 4-6 in 2008 were 0.10, well below the target F of 0.25. Estimates of recruitment (age-1 abundance) have averaged 370,000 fish for 2004-2008. The juvenile abundance index, which is a measure of annual spawning success, was 15.1 in 2011, nearly double the long-term series average of 8.5. The age structure of the stock continues to expand, with an overall increase in abundance of age 9+ fish in the population. Total stock abundance peaked in 2007 and declined slightly in 2008 to 1.9 million fish.
Average Commercial Landings and Value 2002–2011 – ASMA – 191,768 lbs. /$354,614 (quota managed)
2011 Commercial Landings and Value – ASMA – 136,266 lbs. /$378,577 (quota managed)
Average Recreational Landings 2002–2011 – ASMA – 49,784 lbs. (quota managed)
RRMA – 74,251 lbs. (quota managed)
2011 Recreational Landings – ASMA – 42,536 lbs. (quota managed)
RRMA – 71,561 lbs. (quota managed)
Average Number of Award Citations* (35 lbs. /45 inches^) 2002–2011*– 344 (122 releases), 2011*–357 (40 releases)
Status of Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) – Amendment I to the N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass FMP was approved to go to public comment by the MFC in September of 2011. The plan is tentatively planned for final adoption at the November 2012 MFC meeting. There were no major changes to the current commercial and recreational striped bass management measures.
Research and Data Needs – Release mortality estimates for various gears, and age–1 abundance estimates. The previous research need of an updated maturation schedule for the A/R stock was completed in 2012.
Current Regulations –ASMA Commercial: 18 inches TL minimum size limit and daily landing limit set by proclamation. Annual commercial quota set at 275,000 lbs. ASMA Recreational: 18 inches total length (TL) minimum size limit in coastal, joint and inland waters, 3 fish daily creel limit. RRMA Recreational: 18 inches TL minimum size limit and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches in Roanoke River. Two fish daily creel limit and only 1 fish in daily creel may be greater than 27 inches TL recreational. RRMA is closed to commercial harvest.
Harvest Season – ASMA Recreational: Spring (January 1 – April 30); Fall (October 1 – December 31). ASMA Commercial: Spring (January 1 – April 30); Fall (October 1 – November 30). RRMA: March 1 – April 30
Size and Age at Maturity – Males: 12 – 18 inches/2 – 3 years; Females: 18 – 24 inches/3 – 6 years
Historical and Current Maximum Age – 29 years/17 years
Juvenile Abundance Index 2002–2011 – 8.5, 2011 – 15.1
Habits and Habitats – Striped bass are anadromous, spending the majority of their adult life stage in the waters of the near–shore ocean and estuaries, migrating to fresh water to spawn in the spring. Striped bass require flowing, fresh water habitats in order to spawn successfully, allowing the eggs to remain suspended until they hatch, and to transport larvae to the nursery areas. Spawning takes place during late April until early June. North Carolina is host to several different stocks of striped bass. One is the Atlantic migratory stock that often over–winters off the Outer Banks. These striped bass originate principally from the Chesapeake Bay, Delaware and Hudson river systems. They remain in their natal systems from two to three years then begin migrating along the Atlantic coast, northward in the summer and southward during the winter. The Albemarle Sound–Roanoke River area supports the largest spawning population in North Carolina. Other populations are found in the Tar/Pamlico, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers, and are considered estuarine (non-anadromous).
*Includes ASMA, CSMA, and the Atlantic Ocean
^Citation release length requirement increased from 35 inches to 45 inches in 2008
For more information, email Charlton Godwin at Charlton.Godwin@ncdenr.gov or call 800-338–7805 or 252-264–3911.
|N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632