Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Delaware shifts recreational black sea bass season
four days earlier to May 15
DOVER (May 6, 2015) – DNREC Secretary David Small has signed an Emergency Order changing the opening day of recreational black sea bass season to May 15 rather than the previously established May 19 date, thereby keeping Delaware’s tidal finfish regulations consistent with revised federal recreational black sea bass season regulations published March 25. Delaware’s normal regulatory process takes four months, so the Emergency Order kept Delaware consistent with federal regulations.
A black sea bass management region extending from Delaware through North Carolina is recognized by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s summer flounder, scup, and black sea bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan. Other states in this management region have already stated their intent to open their seasons on May 15, 2015.
Without this change, Delaware anglers would be prevented from fishing the crucial first four days, including the critical opening weekend, of the federal black sea bass season – causing an economic hardship and endangering fishing resource businesses, such as charter boats, bait shops and tackle dealers that depend on this fishery.
The Secretary’s Emergency Order changes Delaware regulations from a black sea bass season closure period of Jan. 1 through midnight May 18 to a closure period of Jan. 1 through midnight May 14, allowing Delaware’s season to open on May 15. The fall recreational black sea bass season closure dates of Sept. 19 through Oct. 17 remain unchanged, but may require adjustments if further changes are made to the federal regulations. The Order remains in effect for 90 days. The Order can be found on the DNREC website.
For more information on black sea bass season, call DNREC’s Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.
Vol. 45, No. 136