On January 6, 2021, DEC released a proposed regulation for public review and comment that would require the use of circle hooks when recreational fishing for Atlantic striped bass. This proposed regulation would reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries as required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) Addendum VI to Amendment 6 (PDF) to address the finding that the striped bass resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing.
DEC is accepting public comments on the proposal through Mar. 8, 2021. You can find the full text of the proposed regulation on DEC’s website. Send comments on the proposed circle hook regulation to [email protected] or mail to: Division of Marine Resources, 205 N. Belle Mead Rd. Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733.
Catch-and-release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality in the recreational striped bass fishery, and circle hooks work effectively to increase survival. ASMFC met on February 3, 2021 to discuss the implementation of the circle hook provision due to the complicated nature of the public response received so far. In the near future, ASMFC will generate guidance on bait definitions and the methods of fishing that should require circle hooks. DEC will take into consideration the updated ASMFC guidance and public comment gathered in response to the proposed rule to establish a final regulation for the 2021 fishing season.