Two years ago, fisheries authorities threw the brakes on catching cobia, a popular game fish and a favorite of recreational fishermen from Florida to Maryland.

Suddenly, anglers could catch fewer fish – and sometimes none at all.

But the reasons for the new rules, it turned out, were flawed.

Now some congressmen hope to enact a new law changing the way saltwater fish stocks are managed. With better use of data, they say, will come better decisions.

“It’s a fairly archaic system,” said Rob Wittman, R-Va., one of the bill’s sponsors. “And there’s a lot of consternation about the lack of good data being used to make decisions that affect watermen.”