The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board (Board) is scheduled to meet via webinar to discuss the definition of “bait”, to further clarify circle hook requirements for striped bass and how to handle bycatch.

The Board will meet via webinar on March 16, 2021 from 1 – 3 PM. The Board will consider recommendations from the Circle Hook Ad Hoc Committee regarding a definition of bait and method of fishing that would require the use of circle hooks, as well as consider how to handle incidental catch. Addendum VI mandates the use of circle hooks when fishing with bait to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries. The Commission recognized outreach and education would be necessary to garner industry support and provide the bait and tackle industry time to meet increased demand for circle hooks. Therefore, the implementation of the circle hook requirement was delayed a year. In October 2020, the Board approved state circle hook implementation plans with the caveat that no exemptions to the requirement would be permitted. Since then, the Commission and several states have received questions and comments from the public about differing interpretations of the circle hook requirement. Based on the guidance of the Ad Hoc Committee, the Board will consider changes to the circle hook regulations for state implementation.

Meeting materials will be available online no later than March 10.

Webinar Instructions
To register for the webinar go to, Webinar ID# 671-975-587. The webinar will begin 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting so that people can troubleshoot any connectivity or audio issues they may encounter. If you are having issues with the webinar (connecting to or audio related issues), please contact Chris Jacobs at 703.842.0790.

If you are joining the webinar but will not be using VoIP, you can may also call in at 914.614.3221 (a pin will be provided to you after joining the webinar); see webinar instructions for details on how to receive the pin. For those who will not be joining the webinar but would like to listen in to the audio portion only, you can do so by dialing 914.614.3221 (access code: 187-843-855)

Public Comment

  • Submitting Comments Prior to the Meeting
    Public comment may be provided in advance of the meeting by sending comments to [email protected] no later than March 14 (Subject line: ASB Board). These will be distributed to the Board on March 15.
  • Providing Comments at the Meeting
    For issues that are not on the agenda, the Board Chair will provide an opportunity to the public to bring matters of concern to the board’s attention at the start of the meeting. The Board Chair will ask members of the public to raise their hands to let the Chair know they would like to speak. Depending upon the number of commenters, the Board Chair will decide how to allocate the available time on the agenda (typically 10 minutes) to the number of people who want to speak. For topics that are on the agenda, the Board Chair will provide limited opportunity for comment, taking into account the time allotted on the agenda for the topic. The Chair has the flexibility in deciding how to allocate comment opportunities; this could include hearing one comment in favor and one in opposition until the chair is satisfied further comment will not provide additional insight to the Board.

For more information, please contact Emilie Franke, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at [email protected] or 703.842.0740.