As the beaches are beginning to open and the spring run is about to commence in many areas along north east there are a few changes in the striped bass regulations you should be aware of. Just in case you been hiding under a rock the Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum IV implementation plans and conservation equivalency proposals for all the states and jurisdictions. The propsed plans, which were reviewed and approved by the Technical Committee, contain state specific management options that achieve a 25% reduction in harvest from 2013 levels for the coastal fishery and 20.5% reduction in harvest from 2012 levels for the Chesapeake Bay fishery. Given the wide range of options being considered, the board recommended neighboring states and jurisdictions work together to implement consistent management measures especially on shared bodies of water .
Here is a current breakdown state by state, Maine is still up in the air and Jersey is awaiting legislative approval.
Maine: TBD. Public comment period ends on March 23.
New Hampshire: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
Massachusetts: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
Connecticut: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length with a reduction but continuation of the bonus fish program which allows anglers a single bonus fish per year from 22 inches to less than 28 inches. For information on the Bonus Striped Bass Fishing Program, please visit the CT DEEP website.
Rhode Island: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
New York: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
New Jersey: Awaiting legislative approval for a two fish bag limit of 1 fish from 28 inches to less than 43 inches, and a second fish equal to or greater than 43 inches. New Jersey will also be continuing their Bonus Fish program which will either be 1@28″ minimum or 1@24-28″. Bonus fish permits cost $2 with only one permit allowed per day. For more information on the Bonus Striped Bass Fishing Program, please visit the NJ DEP website.
Pennsylvania: These changes apply only to the Pennsylvania side of the river and estuary; the Delaware River in Pennsylvania, for the purposes of striped bass management, is divided into two sections known as the Estuary and the Delaware River. The new bag limit for striped bass in the Estuary – defined as the Pennsylvania/Delaware state line upstream to the Calhoun Street Bridge – will be reduced to one fish from January 1 through March 31 and from June 1 through December 31. As in the recent past, fish must be at least 28 inches. For the remaining two months, from April 1 through May 31, the slot length limit will be changed to 21 to 25 inches. During this two-month period, the bag limit will remain at two fish per day. In the Delaware River upstream of the Estuary – defined as upstream from the Calhoun Street Bridge – the bag limit for striped bass will be reduced from two fish to one. The river is open year-round with a minimum size of 28 inches.
Delaware: Two striped bass in any combination that measures 28 – 37 inches or greater than 44 inches (excluding the Delaware Bay, River and its tributaries from July 1 through August 31 during which time anglers may only take up to two striped bass from 20 – 25 inches during the ‘summer slot’ season). No harvest shall be permitted from the spawning grounds during the period of April 1 through May 31.
Maryland: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
Maryland – Chesapeake Bay and Tributaries: Anglers may only take or possess one striped bass between 28 inches and 36 inches, or one striped bass larger than 40 inches, between April 18 and May 15. From May 16 to December 15, anglers fishing in these Maryland waters may take two striped bass over 20 inches, but only one of which can be larger that 28 inches. The exception to this regulation is that anglers are allowed only one striped bass 20 and 26 inches in the Susquehanna Flats and the Northeast River between May 16 and May 31
Virginia: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
North Carolina: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
We will update this post when Maine and Jersey’s regulations are finalized.
Good luck to all in the 2015 fishing season!!!