Angus Phillips's May 25 Sports article about the striped-bass fishery in the Chesapeake Bay did not go far enough. If more abundant large (bigger than 30 inches) and medium-size (20 to 28 inches) rockfish were in the bay, people would come from all over to one of the best sport fisheries in North America.
Commercially caught fish have far less value to the local economy than sport-caught fish. Studies on the West Coast have shown that on a per-pound basis, sport-caught fish are worth 40 to 60 times the value of commercially caught fish. Where are studies for the Chesapeake Bay?
We do not need to repeat our past mistake of over-harvesting the stripped bass. Our management goals should be to see rock fish filling the bay from the Susquehanna Flats to the bay bridge and tunnel. We should demand to see square miles of breaking rock, not just a few acres. Just because they are out there in large numbers does not mean they are there for the taking.
We almost got there, but, as Mr. Phillips points out, we are headed back to the pre-moratorium stage of over-harvesting the goose that is laying our golden eggs.
The writer is past president of the Potomac-Patuxent Chapter of Trout Unlimited.