Press Release - Good News for Striped Bass (IMHO) [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Press Release - Good News for Striped Bass (IMHO)

08-31-2001, 06:43 AM

The Recreational Fishing Alliance today called for the phase in of mandatory circle hooks for anglers using bait to target striped bass.

"We believe that enough study of this issue has been done that we can now begin to take the next step to implementation. The standards for what constitutes a circle hook and how to implement their use into regulations should be developed as soon as possible. This will not be easy and it will take time and careful consideration," said James Donofrio, Executive Director of the RFA.

Recent studies, such as the one conducted by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, show that using circle hooks instead of standard "J" hooks significantly reduces the release-mortality rate of striped bass.

Michael Doebley, Deputy Director for Legislative Affairs for the RFA, explained some of the details: "The RFA offers to serve as a liaison between recreational anglers and each State's enforcement division. However, as a first course of action, we ask that RFA affiliated and other independent angler's organizations support us on this position. We will ask states designated as producer areas to incorporate the mandatory use of circle hooks for bait fishing into regulations governing spawning areas during the periods when striped bass are present for spawning."

"We realize that not all anglers prefer to use circle hooks," said Captain Jack Ferrara, RFA's New York Chairman, "but there is mounting concern that the striped bass are not reaching their full size and age structure. By beginning to implement the use of circle hooks now, we can significantly reduce release-mortality and help avoid future season and bag restrictions," said Captain Jack.

The Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) is a national 501(c)(4) non-profit political action organization whose mission is to safeguard the rights of salt water anglers, protect marine, boat, and tackle industry jobs, and ensure the long-term sustainability of our nation's marine fisheries.