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First Canadian striped bass fishery in 20 years makes a splash

Eel Ground First Nation began fishing commercially in early October

The first Canadian striped bass fishery in 20 years is making a splash in the U.S. and across Canada. Eel Ground First Nation obtained a commercial fishery license this year, marking the first time the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans has allowed the fishery since striped bass were labelled endangered in 1996.

Stripers at market.

Joseph Nagle, purchasing and sales manager at Boston wholesaler John Nagle Co., says the first shipment of 1,800 pounds sold out on the first day.

“It was quite successful in terms of just the initial interest and the quality of the fish,” he said. “It flew out the door, if you will.

“People were just genuinely interested when we mentioned to customers we have striped bass in Canada … most people haven’t heard of that before.”

He said people also enjoyed the story of where the fish came from — the Miramichi River, where they’ve been traditional food for Indigenous people for a long time.

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