MOREHEAD CITY – Starting Jan. 1, the slot limit, or size range, to harvest recreationally-caught striped bass in state ocean waters became fish more than 28 inches but less than 35 inches as an effort to reduce overfishing.

Fishermen are allowed to keep one striped bass per day that does not exceed 35 inches according to the regulation, Proclamation FF-54-2019.

The latest coastwide stock assessment determined that ocean migratory Atlantic striped bass are overfished and overfishing is taking place.

Required by the recently adopted Addendum VI to Amendment 6 to the Atlantic Striped Bass Interstate Fishery Management Plan, the slot limit has been designed to end overfishing and bring fishing mortality to the target level in 2020 by reducing total coastwide striped bass removals by 18%.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s action also requires a coastwide commercial quota reduction of 18%. For additional information, see the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission news release.

The recreational regulations for striped bass in internal coastal waters remain unchanged.

For more information, contact Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Charlton Godwin at 252-264-3911 or charlton.godwin@ncdenr.gov.