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Watermen ask for easing of striped bass quota

EASTON — Watermen and lawmakers on the Eastern Shore are asking state natural resources officials to ease tougher striped bass harvest regulations.

The harvest quota was cut 5 percent after illegal nets were found last year with tons of striped bass. The president of the Chesapeake Bay Commercial Fisherman’s Association and state lawmakers sent the letter last month to Natural Resources Secretary John Griffin asking him to restore the full catch quota.

Tom O’Connell, the director of the DNR fisheries service, told The Star Democrat of Easton that the new quota will remain in place this year, but could change in the future based on industry behavior.

Association president Gibby Dean says watermen support stiffer penalties for violators, but don’t want to pay for the actions of a few.

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