Save Spawning Striped Bass in Delaware’s Nanicoke River

Important Info, act now!

Stripers Forever members – here is an opportunity to really help the striped bass.  Delaware State Senator Robert Venables, himself a serious striped bass angler, has introduced and passed a bill in the DE state legislature that would prohibit the gillnetting of striped bass in the DE portion of the Nanticoke River from March 1 through June 30. The governor is listening to a legislator motivated by the 6 gillnetters who would be influenced by this closure, and she is threatening to veto the bill!

The new time period would simply mirror the closure that already exists on the Maryland portion of the river.  MD officials have asked for DE to add the month of March to help protect the spawning fish – DE is already closed from 4/1 to 6/30, but spawning fish are showing up in March.
While the quota is a finite 1,600 pounds, there is a known and admitted bycatch of many striped bass smaller than the 28-nch minimum.  The “legal” catch is entirely of large, breeding striped bass.
The fishery is widely known to produce illegal or black market fish that circumvent the quota.

Here is the action that SF urges you to take:

DE residents – phone, e-mail and/or and write Governor Minner’s office and tell her that striped bass need better protection, especially on their spawning grounds, and send a copy to Patrick J. Emory, Director, Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife. Urge them to support and not veto SENATE BILL # 298. Also, contact or copy your local state legislator and ask them to support your views and to use their office to urge Governor Minner to support this legislation.  SF has only a few hundred members in DE.  Send this e-mail to all of your fishing friends and urge them to do as you are doing. All contact information for the Governor and Patrick J. Emory appears at the end of this e-mail along with a sample note.

Non Residents of DE – we urge all of our members to take similar action.   Striped bass belong to no particular state.  All fisheries that enjoy the Chesapeake strain of striped bass have a stake in this issue.

Dear Governor Minner:
I am a resident of (name of your state) and someone who enjoys fishing for striped bass.  I urge you to support Senate Bill #298 which will help protect spawning striped bass.  Gill netting of breeding size fish, the bycatch of smaller fish, and the inevitable resulting black market sales of striped bass are all unacceptable management policies.

(Residents of northern states might add) Striped bass fishing has declined seriously in northern states.  The number of large fish is down significantly and there are very few small fish available.  I feel it is incumbent upon Delaware to do everything reasonable to protect spawning striped bass.  Not only the recreation, but the livelihoods of many guides and businesses are dependant on striped bass and therefore your good stewardship of this resource.

My name

CC Patrick J. Emory Director Delaware Div. Fish and Wildlife

Governor Ruth Ann Minner
Tatnall Building,
William Penn Street, 2nd Floor
Dover, DE 19901
Phone: (302) 744-4101
Fax (302) 739-2775


Patrick J. Emory, Director
Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife

89 Kings Highway
Dover, DE ~19901
Phone: (302) 739-5297 or (302) 739-9910
Fax: (302) 739-6151

Senator Venables has personally witnessed the effects of this gillnetting.  He knows that the interests of a very few (6) individuals are affecting many people up and down the Atlantic Coast.  We applaud his actions. Support him and let’s get this bill passed!


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