Unfortunately, it's getting to be the new norm. For the third consecutive year, the Chesapeake Bay has produced fewer striped bass babies than what is normal.
Three years of a nursery being half full, or less.
Could it be the weather--massive winter snowstorms followed by runoff? Or water temperature? Could fishing pressure be to blame? Or is myco beginning to take its toll on the adult population and the breeding stock is just vanishing as a result?
We don't know. That's just scary.
And that's the reason why when it meets next month, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission should kill the plan to increase the coastwide commercial harvest--or any harvest, for that matter--until after the 2012 stock assessment.