New regulations for harvesting of Atlantic striped bass in place

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State environmental officials enacted new regulations to help prevent illegal harvesting of Atlantic striped bass.

Recreational anglers are required to clip the right pectoral fin of striped bass 34 inches or larger at the time of harvest. Fish with a missing right pectoral fin cannot be sold or purchased commercially.

The new law helps prevent stockpiling, which occurs when bass are harvested on days closed to commercial fishing and offered for sale on an open day. The rules also curb fish being illegally transported and sold in neighboring states.

Block Island Sound is a particularly well-known hot-spot for large stripers that draws anglers from across the region.

Atlantic striped bass is an important sport fish in Rhode Island, revered by recreational anglers for its size and challenge. While it is not over-fished, there has been decreased spawning.

In 2013, to reduce the mortality rate, harvest levels were reduced by 25 percent and the bag limit was lowered to one striper per fisherman.

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