Illegal netting of striped bass prompts proposed change to regulations

Md. lawmakers to change striped bass netting regulations. (Photo: Flickr/nilsrinaldi)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland's Department of Natural Resources plans to present changes to striped bass netting regulations this week to state lawmakers.

The changes were prompted by the discovery last winter of tons of illegally netted striped bass, also known as rockfish.

DNR has been accepting public comment on the proposed changes, including requiring license numbers on nets and requiring license holders to report when they plan to fish. Some have told DNR officials it can be difficult to check in by cell phone because of spotty coverage on the bay. DNR says it is working to give watermen a number of check-in options.

The agency will give its proposal Wednesday to lawmakers.

Department officials hope to have new regulations in effect when the gill net season opens Dec. 1.