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Has the striped bass stock crashed?

Another dismal season at the Striper Coast and the premature dissemination of stock assessment data has pessimists warning of an Armageddon. But is it too soon?

By Jim Hutchinson, Jr. for The Fisherman

The latest news in the social media world is that striped bass has been deemed overfished with overfishing occurring.

So, is the end near? Is this the striper Armageddon that many had warned about? Or could it all just be more of that “fake news” we hear all about?

Schoolies below… Photo: Derr

As with everything in the sociopolitical world today, the truth can probably be found somewhere in the middle.

While preliminary numbers are still well above those dark and gloomy days in the 1980’s when there were less than 20 million pounds of spawning class stripers in the coastal population, early indicators do show we may be facing new management decisions on striped bass in the very near future. But preliminary is the key word here, meaning it’s probably too soon to react to sensationalism from either side just yet.

At least until February!

Work is currently underway on a comprehensive benchmark stock assessment of Atlantic Coastal striped bass. From November 27-30 at a formal peer review conducted at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s 66th Stock Assessment Workshop (SAW/SARC), the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Atlantic Striped Bass Assessment Team presented their latest assessment findings to an independent peer review panel.

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