Chesapeake Bay Seafood Update from Steve Vilnit
Yellow Perch - As of February 15, 2012 there have been 25,073lbs of fish caught in the upper Chesapeake Bay. This leaves just 13,877lbs on their quota. At this rate, the upper bay fishery could close as early as this weekend. That doesn't mean you won't be able to get your perch fix! There are separate quotas for both the Chester and Patuxent Rivers which have yet to start their harvest. That being said, I do not feel we will make it through the end of the month.
Yellow perch is one of the best tasting fish that we have available to us in the bay. If you can get over the fact that it is small (8-10oz) you will thoroughly enjoy the product. If you are lucky enough to get a fish with roe you will be treated to a flavor that can be compared to some of the best caviars.
One other bit of good news... we could be soon working with Seafood Watch to get this product rated!
Striped Bass/Rockfish - First, for our new comers, striped bass and rockfish are one in the same. There is a small area of the mid-Atlantic that calls it rockfish, but everybody else knows it as striped bass.
The season closed yesterday and will reopen on February 28th & 29th. After the end of the month there is a very small ocean season open until April 28th, but I must stress this is a very small season. Please don't count on them for a fixed menu. The fishery in the bay is shut down to project the spawning fish for most of the spring. The next major season opens on June 6th.
Blue Catfish - Mild weather has the fish all fired up again. We have reports from one fisherman that is catching thousands of pounds of Blue Catfish a day. Remember, this is an invasive species that is out competing our local fish for habitat and food. If you see it on a menu, order it. Once we have wiped it out of our watershed, celebrate!
Fisheries Marketing Director
MD DNR Fisheries Service
580 Taylor Avenue Floor B-2
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410)279-7951 Cell Phone
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