AFTER MANY public hearings and hours of testimony, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) finalized its striped bass regulations for the upcoming recreational, charter and commercial seasons. Saltwater fishing for striped bass during the period of Oct. 5 through Feb. 28 will be allowed under the following regulations:
RECREATIONAL -- Season: Oct. 5 to Nov. 9. Size limit: 18 to 36 inches total length. Creel limit: Two fish per day. License: Chesapeake Bay License required for anglers aged 16 to 65. No license required for active military personnel with leave orders.
CHARTER -- Season: Oct. 5 to Nov. 9. Size limit: 18 to 36 inches total length. Creel limit: Five fish per day. License: Tidal fish guide license and special Chesapeake Bay charter boat license.
COMMERCIAL -- Season: Nov. 12 to Dec. 7. Type of gear: All except gill net. Size limit: 18 to 36 inches total length. License: Minimum fee $250 -- must register catch daily.
COMMERCIAL GILL NET -- Season: Jan. 2 to Jan. 31. Type of gear: Maximum 400 yards gill net, 5- to 7-inch mesh, no weekend fishing. Size limit: 18 to 36 inches. License: $250 minimum -- must register catch daily.
COMMERCIAL -- Season: Jan. 2 to Jan. 31. Gear: Gill net and otter or beam trawl. Size limit: 28-inch minimum. License: Minimum $250.
RECREATIONAL AND CHARTER -- Season: Oct. 5 to Nov. 9. Size limit: 28-inch minimum, no maximum. Creel limit: One fish per day. License: No recreational license required for individual anglers.
OTHER RESTRICTIONS -- No gaffs allowed in boat fishing for striped bass. No possession of striped bass on the water between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. Commercial catches must be checked in daily; daily logs must be kept and weekly reports filed. Charter boats must keep daily logs and report their catch weekly. Seasons may be closed prior to the published ending date if catch limits are exceeded. Catch limits are: Commercial, 318,750 pounds; recreational, 318,750 pounds; charter, 112,500 pounds.
NONTIDAL (FRESHWATER) WATERS
LIBERTY RESERVOIR -- Season: June 16 through Feb. 28. Size limit: 18-inch minimum. Creel limit: Four fish per day only one of which may be over 24 inches.
CONOWINGO RESERVOIR -- Season: Open. Size limit: 15-inch minimum, no maximum. Creel limit: Two fish per day.
VARIOUS -- Piney Run; Triadelphia; Rocky Gorge; Loch Raven; Prettyboy; Bradford and Wheatly lakes. Season: Open. Size limit: 18-inch minimum, no maximum. Creel limit: One fish per day.