Notice to Recreational Anglers

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Gulf Region

Striped Bass Recreational Fishery in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence in 2020

Moncton, New Brunswick – June 1, 2020 - Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) today approved the management measures for striped bass recreational fishing in the waters adjacent to the Maritime Provinces in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence for 2020.

To help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and to protect themselves, anglers must keep a distance of at least 2 meters from one another, as directed by the Government of Canada and provincial governments. For more information on COVID-19, consult the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website.

Fishing hours and Seasons

Fishing hours

Angling activities can begin two (2) hours before sunrise and must end no later than two (2) hours after sunset of each day.

Tidal waters
Provinces Season
Prince Edward Island May 1st to October 31st
Nova Scotia* May 1st to October 31st
New Brunswick* April 25th to October 31st
Inland waters
Provinces Season
Prince Edward Island May 1st to September 15th
Nova Scotia* May 1st to September 15th
New Brunswick* April 25th to September 15th (except Miramichi River system, from May 1st to October 15th)

*Waters draining in the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Daily bag and total possession limit

Anglers can retain a maximum of three (3) striped bass per day during the fishing season, and cannot have in their possession more than three (3) striped bass at any given time from April 25th to October 31st.

Legal sizes for retention

The size window for the retained striped bass is a minimum length of 50 cm to 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 (i.e., total length).

Authorized gear

The use of single barbless hooks is mandatory when using lures, bait and fly fishing in tidal waters. Anglers are allowed to fish in tidal waters with a maximum of five (5) lines and six (6) single barbless hooks per line. And in inland water, anglers are allowed to fish with a maximum of one (1) line and three (3) single barbless hooks.

It is still recommended to use barbless non-offset circle hooks when using bait since this type of hook can reduce fish mortality upon the live release of the fish.

Protection during the spawning period in the Northwest Miramichi:

There is a 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 approximate area of 6.5 kilometers in 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 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)

The map below 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:

Mathieu Vienneau
A/Regional Senior Fisheries Management Officer
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Moncton, New Brunswick
506-875-5283