Maryland Announces Recreational (Private and Charter) Striped Bass Regulations for 2022

Announcement Regarding the Maryland 2022 Recreational Striped Bass Fishing Regulations

(January 24, 2022) … The Maryland Department of Natural Resources today announced the following regulations for the 2022 recreational striped bass fishery (private and charter) in the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay. The 2022 regulations are unchanged from 2021 and are generally described below. 

Spring Trophy Season:
April 1 through April 30: Anglers will be prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release.
May 1 through May 15: Anglers may catch one striped bass per day, with a minimum size of 35 inches, in the Chesapeake Bay from Brewerton Channel to the Virginia state line.

*Summer-Fall Season:

May 16 through July 15, and resume August 1 through Dec. 10: Anglers would be able to keep one striped bass per person, per day, with a minimum size of 19 inches. During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate would not be permitted to land or possess striped bass for personal consumption.

During the closure period from July 16 through July 31, anglers will be prohibited from targeting striped bass, which includes catch-and-release and charter boats.


*For the summer-fall charter fishery, the captain or the mate may not keep a striped bass during a charter trip. Charter captains may also participate in a voluntary pilot program. Participating captains will be required to use the FACTS electronic reporting system and will be allowed to keep two (2) fish per person per day. Only one of those two fish may be greater than 28 inches.

For additional details related to fishing for striped bass in Maryland – including the Chesapeake Bay, Susquehanna River, Atlantic Ocean, Coastal Bays, and their tributaries – please visit the DNR regulations guide.

The 2018 benchmark stock assessment for striped bass indicated declines, so the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) has determined that conservation measures are still needed to reduce the amount of striped bass being removed. This includes dead discards, which are fish that die after being caught and returned to the water. Maryland continues to coordinate with the ASMFC on the development of regulations and management actions in compliance with its coastwide fishery management plan. While no additional changes are anticipated for the 2022 season, changes will likely be proposed by ASMFC for the 2023 season.

Striped Bass Advisory System Helps Anglers Protect Species


Striped Bass Maryland
12. General Restrictions.

A. A person may not use a gaff or similar device to remove striped bass from the water. A person who catches striped bass shall remove it from the water only by hand or dip net.

B. Possession of Striped Bass.

(1) For purposes of this section, “cull” means that after a person has a striped bass in possession, the person discards or exchanges that striped bass to possess another striped bass.

(2) During a recreational striped bass season:

(a) Between 12 a.m. midnight and 5 a.m., a person may not possess striped bass while fishing on the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; and

(b) An individual may not cull striped bass.

C. Filleting Striped Bass.

(1) Except as provided in §C(2) of this regulation, a person may only land striped bass dockside as a whole fish.
(2) A licensed charter boat captain or mate may fillet striped bass taken on a vessel displaying a current commercial charter boat decal under the following conditions:
(a) A striped bass carcass may not be mutilated to the extent that the total length or species of fish cannot be determined;
(b) All striped bass carcasses:
(i) Shall be retained, unmixed with any other material, in a separate container readily available for inspection until the vessel has docked and all passengers from that trip have left the vessel and the dock area; and
(ii) Are included in the possession limit; and
(c) All striped bass carcasses from any previous trip shall be disposed of before any person begins to fish on a subsequent trip.
D. Except in ponds, lakes, reservoirs, or impoundments or as authorized by the Secretary, a person may not:
(1) Conduct a fishing tournament or contest; or


(2) Offer or give a reward or incentive to a recreational or fishing guide led angler for catching striped bass.

E. In addition to the requirements of this chapter, a person who fishes for striped bass shall be licensed in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-701 or 4-745, Annotated Code of Maryland.

F. Mycobacteriosis Tagging Study.

(1) A person licensed by the Department to fish in Maryland waters may catch and possess all striped bass captured with an attached fluorescent green tag that shows the toll-free number 866-845-3379 and either VIMS Gloucester Pt. VA or MD DNR Oxford, provided that person possessing the tagged striped bass immediately:

(a) Places the striped bass on ice or in a cool shaded area;

(b) Calls the toll-free number on the green tag; and

(c) Provides the striped bass to a representative of the Department of Natural Resources.

(2) Striped bass tagged with the specified fluorescent green tag may be caught using legal fishing gear and possessed:

(a) In excess of the daily catch limit;

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(b) Outside of the striped bass season;

(c) Above or below the size limits; and

(d) In those areas and times in which capture and possession are otherwise prohibited.

G. Restrictions for Charter Boats.

(1) During a chartered fishing trip, the captain or mate may not land or possess striped bass for personal consumption.

(2) A fishing guide licensee may not make more than two charter trips daily to fish for striped bass.

H. Season Limitations.

(1) In order to implement the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Striped Bass, the Secretary may modify or close a season or catch limit, set a monthly catch limit, modify a size limit, or require specific vessel trip information by issuing a public notice on the Fisheries Service website that shall state its effective hour and date at least 48 hours in advance of the effective hour and date.

(2) The Secretary shall make a reasonable effort to disseminate a public notice issued under this section through various other media so that an affected person has reasonable opportunity to be informed.

(3) A violation of the restrictions set by the Secretary in accordance with §H of this regulation is a violation of this regulation.

I. Seasonal Restrictions.

(1) Except as provided in §I(2) of this regulation, a person may not catch, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, or attempt to catch striped bass or striped bass hybrids in the striped bass spawning rivers and areas listed in Regulation .03B of this chapter during the period March 1 through March 31.

(2) During the period March 1 through March 31, inclusive, a person authorized in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-745, Annotated Code of Maryland, to recreationally angle for finfish may hook striped bass and shall immediately release the striped bass unharmed to the water from which the striped bass was taken in the following areas:

(a) Susquehanna Flats, upstream of a line from a point at or near Sandy Point, defined by Lat. 39°26.96′ N and Long. 76°03.63′ W; then running in an easterly direction to a point at or near Turkey Point, defined by Lat. 39°27.13′ N and Long. 76°00.70′ W and the Susquehanna River downstream from a line connecting a point at or near the Susquehanna State Park boat ramp in Lapidum, defined by Lat. 39°35.86′ N and Long. 76°07.67′ W; then running in a northeasterly direction to a point at or near Twin Rocks, defined by Lat. 39°36.17′ N and Long. 76°07.56′ W; then running in a northeasterly direction to a point at or near Tomes Wharf in Port Deposit, defined by Lat. 39°36.23′ N and Long. 76°06.99′ W;

(b) Northeast River; and

(c) The area of the Chester River on the north side of Kent Narrows and bounded on the southern side by the southernmost edge of the old Route 50 bridge and, on the northern side, by a line beginning at a point (east tip of Ferry Point) defined by Lat. 38°58.820’N and Long. 76°14.627’W; then running approximately 92° True to a point (northwest tip of Long Point) defined by Lat. 38°58.798’N and Long. 76°13.825’W.

(3) During the period April 1 through April 30, a person may not catch, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, or attempt to catch striped bass or striped bass hybrids in the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries.

(4) During the period May 1 through May 31, except as provided in Regulations .08 and .09 of this chapter and §I(5) of this regulation, a person may not catch, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, or attempt to catch striped bass or striped bass hybrids in the striped bass spawning rivers and areas listed in Regulation .03B of this chapter.

(5) During the period May 1 through May 31, a person authorized in accordance with Natural Resources Article, §4-745, Annotated Code of Maryland, to recreationally angle for finfish may hook striped bass and shall immediately release the striped bass unharmed to the water from which the striped bass was taken in that area of the Chester River on the north side of Kent Narrows and bounded on the southern side by the southernmost edge of the old Route 50 bridge and, on the northern side, by a line beginning at a point (east tip of Ferry Point) defined by Lat. 38°58.820’N and Long. 76°14.627’W; then running approximately 92° True to a point (northwest tip of Long Point) defined by Lat. 38°58.798’N and Long. 76°13.825’W.

(6) During the period August 16, 2020 through August 31, 2020, a person may not catch, harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, or attempt to catch striped bass or striped bass hybrids in the Chesapeake Bay or its tidal tributaries.

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