Feds to extend striped bass fishery season in southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

The federal government is extending the striped bass fishery season in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence this year.

Officials announced Friday that the retention period will run from April 15 to Oct. 31 – up from 95 days last season.

The bag limit will be one fish per day from April 15 to June 14 and from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31, and two fish per day from June 15 to Aug. 31.

Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc says the increased fishing opportunities are the result of measures introduced in the 1990s to help the long-term recovery of the species and the sustainability of the fishery.

Distinct seasons in inland and tidal waters in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, which includes the Maritime provinces adjacent to the Gulf of St. Lawrence, will be established to prevent the accidental by-catch of other species like Atlantic salmon.

The fishing period in inland waters of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia draining into the Gulf of St. Lawrence and inland waters of P.E.I. will run from May 1 to Sept. 15.

The exception is in inland waters of the Miramichi river system, where the fishing period will run from April 15 to Oct. 15.

And fishing will not be permitted in a portion of the Northwest Miramichi River for three weeks during the spawning period, which takes place from around mid-May to mid-June.

As in the past two years, all fish must be between 50 and 65 centimetres in length in order to protect larger spawners and minimize the catch of fish that are not yet mature.