Fishing enthusiasts on the Northumberland Strait are reeling in a catch that's been off-limits for decades.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced last month a recreational fishery for striped bass.

A striped bass fishery has been open on the Bay of Fundy for years but conservation efforts have kept bass anglers out of the Northumberland Strait.

Kevin Case, the manager at Better Buy Sports in Moncton, said reopening the striped bass fishery — even temporarily — has meant a lot of excitement at his store.

"They are a big fish so they do tend to eat [juvenile salmon], smaller salmon that the Miramichi looks at for their economy. So now that they are in abundance they're opening up, it's a fun sport fish to fish for. Well it's big and they put on a good fight. Good to eat, too," he said.

The fishery began last week and will continue until May 15. The fishery is open from Campbellton and down the eastern coast of New Brunswick and into the Northumberland Strait to the tip of Cape Breton.

Anglers are allowed to keep one striped bass per day, and their catch must measure 55-65 centimetres from nose to tail.

The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence striped bass population was designated threatened in 2004, then re-examined and designated as endangered in November 2012 under the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada.

According to COSEWIC’s website, the fish has only one known spawning location and is susceptible to threats from habitat destruction, poaching and bycatch in commercial fisheries.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of the story incorrectly identified the population of striped bass involved in the fishery. The Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence striped bass population was affected by the recreational fishery announcement.
    Sep 12, 2013 5:07 AM AT