Notice to Recreational Anglers

Fisheries and Oceans Canada,
Gulf Region

Striped Bass Recreational Fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2019

Moncton, New Brunswick – April 16, 2019 - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) today approved the plan for striped bass recreational fishing in the waters adjacent to the Maritime provinces in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2019.

Seasons and fishing hours

During the open season, angling activities can begin two hours before sunrise and must end two hours after sunset.

In tidal waters of the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence, the season will take place from April 15 to October 31;

For Inland waters:

In New Brunswick inland waters draining in the Gulf of St. Lawrence*, the season will be from May 1 to September 15 (*inland waters of the Miramichi River system: from April 15 to October 15).

In Nova Scotia inland waters draining in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the season will be from May 1 to September 15.

In Prince Edward Island inland waters draining in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the season will be from April 15 to September 15.

Daily bag and total possession limit

Anglers will be able to retain a maximum of three (3) striped bass per day during the fishing season and will be prohibited from possessing more than three (3) striped bass at any given time from April 15 to October 31.

Legal sizes for retention

The size window for the retention fishery is a minimal length of 50 cm and a maximum length of 65 cm. The length is measured in a straight line from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail (total length).

Authorized gear

The use of non-offset barbless circle hook(s) is mandatory when bait is used while fishing for striped bass in tidal waters.

For the tidal waters of the Miramichi River system: only one line can be used, with only one hook attached, and this hook must be barbless. Circle hook rule also applies when bait is used.

Protection during the spawning period in the Northwest Miramichi:

Closure of the Northwest Miramichi River spawning ground to all angling during the spawning period. The Department will issue a variation order closing all angling for a duration of five (5) days in an about 6.5 km area of the Northwest Miramichi River below the Red Bank Bridge once concentrations of striped bass are observed spawning. A closure notice will be posted on the DFO Gulf Region Recreational fisheries Internet page when the closure becomes effective.

Legend: The map below shows a close-up view of the Northwest Miramichi River in the Red Bank to Cassilis area. The Red Bank-Sunny Corner bridge is visible on the lower left side of the map, and on the right side, the downstream boundary of the angling closure is indicated with a black line drawn between two points located about 6.5 km downriver from the bridge, in front of Williamstown road. The zone that will be closed is marked in red. Coordinates of the two points defining the line are: 46°57’26.265"N/ -65°45'18.871"N (north shore); and 46°57'2.992"N/ -65°45'4.531"W (south shore) (NAD 83)

Map shows a close up view of the Northwest Miramichi River in the Red Bank to Cassilis area

The Northwest Miramichi River estuary is the only confirmed successful spawning ground for striped bass in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. The closure of all angling in the area and during the time when the striped bass are most concentrated and actively spawning aims at ensuring the best success of spawning activities and the continuous health of the striped bass stock in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. With the exception of the area described above, the recreational fishery will remain open throughout the Miramichi River system during the striped bass spawning period. A closure notice will be posted on the DFO Gulf Region Recreational fisheries Internet page when the closure becomes effective.

Anyone wishing to report suspicious fishing activity anonymously is asked to contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

For more information on this fishery, please contact:

Frédéric Butruille
Regional Senior Fisheries Management Officer
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick
506-851-7358