Whether to make striped bass only a game fish will again be brought before state legislators. The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture will host a public hearing on at least three bills that concern the future of striped bass in the state. The hearing will be held Feb. 28 at 11 a.m. at the state house.
The committee held hearings on this almost a year ago without conclusive result. Among the three new proposals before the committee, one calls for game fish status; another calls for having the state Department of Environmental Protection Office evaluate the long-term safety of eating striped bass caught in these waters; and a third asks the state to look at the economic value of striped bass as a recreational fish.
State representative Tim Madden, who sits on the committee, said in considering the material being presented at the hearing the committee will consult with the state Division of Marine Fisheries. The bills will move forward or be recommended for further study. If they are looked on favorably they will be considered on the senate side. It is not likely anything will change for the upcoming fishing season.