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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - STRIPED BASS - ASMA & RRMA

Marine Fisheries

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Striped Bass

Albemarle Sound Management Area (ASMA) and Roanoke River Management Area (RRMA) stock (A/R stock)
 

Stock Status – Viable – The N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass Fisheries Management Plan is currently under review. A new statistical catch at age model, the Age Structured Assessment Program (ASAP 2) was used to determine the status of the stock. Currently the A/R stock is not experiencing overfishing. Fishing mortality on age 4–6 striped bass has declined steadily since 2004. Juvenile abundance indices continue to fluctuate around the average observed since the stocks were declared recovered in 1997. The age structure of the stock continues to expand, with an overall increase in abundance of age 9+ fish in the population. Estimated abundance of age 4–6 striped bass in the stock increased steadily until 1999, remained steady through 2003, declined slightly through 2006, and has risen steadily since. This decrease in age 4–6 abundance in the stock has also been reflected in overall landings. Landings peaked in 2005, declined through 2008, and increased through 2010.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2001–2010 – ASMA – 200,172 lbs. /$344,093 (quota managed)

2010 Commercial Landings and Value – ASMA – 199,892 lbs. /$479,648 (quota managed)

Average Recreational Landings 2001–2010ASMA – 56,656 lbs. (quota managed)
 RRMA – 78,375 lbs. (quota managed)

 

2010 Recreational LandingsASMA – 11,470 lbs. (quota managed)
 MA – 72,037 lbs. (quota managed)

 

 


 


Average Number of Award Citations* (35 lbs../45 inches^) 2001–2010*
– 345 (146 releases), 2010*–166 (63 releases)

Status of Fisheries Management Plan (FMP) – An amended N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass FMP was adopted in May 2004 by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to address the striped bass fisheries in all internal coastal waters of the state. The N.C. Estuarine Striped Bass FMP is currently being reviewed. Advisory committees are holding meetings for the A/R and Central Southern stocks. The draft FMP is scheduled to go before the MFC at their August 2011 meeting for approval to go out for public comment.

Research and Data Needs – Update maturation schedule, release mortality estimates for various gears, and age–1 abundance estimates.

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 2001–2010 – 7.3, 2010 – 8.9

Habits and Habitats – Striped bass are anadromous, spending the majority of their adult life stage in the high salinity 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 Neuse, Tar/Pamlico, and Cape Fear rivers.

*Includes ASMA, CSMA, and the Atlantic Ocean
^Citation release length requirement increased from 35 inches to 45 inches in 2008

For more information, contact Charlton Godwin at Charlton.Godwin@ncdenr.gov or 1-800-338–7805 or (252) 264–3911.
 

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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