Don’t make striped bass a game fish. That was the message delivered last week by a group of Vineyard commercial bass fishermen who traveled to the state house in Boston to object to legislation that would do just that. The fishermen, most of them members of the Dukes County/Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Association, spoke out with one voice against House Bill 796.

More than 100 fishermen attended the hearing hosted by the Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture on Jan. 14.

Tristan Israel, a Tisbury selectman and recreational fishing enthusiast, also attended the hearing. Mr. Israel said he is concerned about preserving the small local fishing community, including a fleet of fishermen who depend on the income from selling striped bass, also benefitting restaurants and local markets.

Mr. Israel said he was pleased to see many young local fishermen make the trip to Boston to speak.

“It was wonderful to watch and I think a positive experience for them to participate in the process,” Mr. Israel said. Nine of the 13 fishermen testifed.

Chilmark selectman Warren Doty also went to oppose the bill. Mr. Doty is co-chairman of the county fishermen’s association.

“This group of Island fishermen testified that there is already a good science-based plan for the regulation of the harvest of striped bass, and our fishery is already managed with an exact quota. When the quota is reached the commercial fishery is closed. Fishing is restricted to a short, six-week season with the fishing open only four days a week. This management plan is in place and it is working,” he said.

Mr. Doty said making striped bass a game fish is not a conservation measure but an allocation measure. Recreational fishermen land a huge portion of the striped bass caught in the state.

The fishermen who attended included former Vineyard state legislator Greg Mayhew, his brother Jonathan, Wes Brighton, Gus Leaf, Todd Mayhew and his cousin Mat Mayhew, Brian Curry, Nick Warburton, Alex Freedman, Lev Wlodyka and Jeremy Scheffer.

As part of their visit, the Vineyard delegation was given a tour of the house chamber by Cape and Islands Rep. Timothy Madden. Mr. Madden and State Sen. Robert O’Leary both sit on the natural resources committee and were reportedly pleased to see their constituents attend the hearing.

Also, at a meeting last week on the Vineyard prior to the state house hearing, the fishermen’s association discussed pending rule changes in the management of horseshoe crabs.

The state Division of Marine Fisheries held a hearing this week in Brewster on tightening up horseshoe crab fishing restrictions.

William (Billy) Alwardt, a conch fisherman from Oak Bluffs, told his colleagues that the proposed restrictions would shut down the fishermen’s efforts to harvest local horseshoe crabs. Horseshoe crabs are an essential bait for conch fishermen.

Mr. Alwardt said the time of the hearing in Brewster — 6 p.m. — meant that Island fishermen attending the meeting would be unable to catch the last ferry back to the Vineyard.

The proposed regulation calls for a seven-day closure in May during the lunar cycle to be sure that at least some horseshoe crabs spawn during the spring. Also proposed is a minimum size of 7.1 inches for male crabs, and 8.7 inches for females. Only females measuring from 8.7 to 10.25 inches would be lawful to harvest.

And revisiting a piece of old business, Mr. Alwardt said he and other fishermen want to see the Massachusetts state lobster hatchery in Oak Bluffs started again. The building and its seawater pumps have sat dormant for years. Mr. Alwardt said the lobster fishery in area waters is in trouble and could benefit significantly with the help of a working hatchery.

Mr. Doty agreed, noting again the success of the Penobscot East Resource Center lobster hatchery in Maine. The idea to revamp the dormant hatchery came up after Robin Alden, executive director of the Maine hatchery, came to the Vineyard to speak.