Photo by Charlie Russell

NORFOLK, Va. (AP)- People will have to catch fewer rockfish in waters along the East Coast next year.

Fishing regulators have mandated an 18% reduction for recreational fishing. The new harvest cap will likely impact commercial fishing.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Striped Bass Management Board adopted the changes on Thursday. It follows a stock assessment that shows striped bass are being overfished.

States from North Carolina to Maine will submit plans for achieving the reduction goals. States such as Virginia have already taken steps on their own to better protect the species.  The current limit for recreational anglers is one per day between 20 and 36 inches.  It is not known right now if Virginia recreational striped bass fishermen will have any further restrictions in 2020.

Maryland fisherman were allowed to catch rockfish all summer and into the fall in 2019.

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