POSSIBLE CHANGES TO REGULATIONS FOR COWNContributors to this thread:
From: CJ Winand
Based on the feedback that the Secretary of Natural Resources has received to date, the Department is considering prohibiting the use of archery equipment to catch cownose rays from July 1 through December 31. Discussion: Cownose rays are a migratory species that range from Florida to New Jersey and use the Chesapeake Bay as nursery habitat between the months of May and October. Male cownose rays depart the Bay in late June – early July. Therefore, cownose rays present in the Bay after July 1 are predominantly pregnant females and young of the year pups. Cownose rays are a species that matures late (males 6-7 years, females 7-8 years), has a prolonged gestation period of 11 months, and has only 1 pup per year. This combination of traits limits population growth in cownose rays and causes the animal to be sensitive to additional sources of mortality including fishing. Although, cownose ray populations are inherently limited because of their life history, there is not sufficient data to set specific, creel, size or season limits to ensure maintenance of a target fishing rate. In order to protect pregnant females and young of the year pups the Department is considering prohibiting the use of archery equipment to catch cownose rays from July 1 through December 31.
I've never tried to bow hunt them but have lost many an expensive lure while fishing on my kayak and definitely don't have much love for things I can't harvest or eat! LOL I haven't picked up bow fishing even though I have bow hunted for over 30 years but it's still on my bucket list. Thanks for keeping everyone up to speed!