From Stripers Forever, via email dispatch:
Stripers Forever members – with the exception of pockets of large stripers it certainly appears from all reports that the population coast wide continues to shrink. What is worse is that there is little chance of a large scale turnaround in the near future since small stripers are almost non existant. Even if Chesapeake Bay produced a strong year class this year it would be four years before it would do much to help the coastal fishery – and producing a strong year class this year is anything but a foregone conclusion. On top of this bad news we continue to receive increasingly frequent reports of myco even in larger striped bass. One member sent us photos of some good fish taken at night in the Chesapeake very recently. All of the 7 or 8 fish that they caught had obvious lesions on their skin and one had a golf ball sized tumor in its mouth.
It is against this backdrop that the commercial fishing cheerleaders on the ASMFC are trying to push through yet another commercial increase. It was the 40% commercial increase 8 years ago that motivated us to form Stripers Forever. Public hearings are going on right now, and the ASMFC is accepting written testimony. This link to our website http://www.stripersforever.org/Info/Stripers_BBoard/I01498E3B will give you a list of the hearings, and a copy of the full Stripers Forever testimony to the ASMFC is attached for your review. We hope that even if you can’t make a hearing that you will read our testimony and write your own letter to the ASMFC in protest to the idea of raising the commercial quota on striped bass.”