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DEC Seeks Volunteers for Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Program

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is seeking participants for its Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers Program to help biologists understand and maintain a healthy striped bass population. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) requires New York State to provide catch information from its recreational fishery to manage this species. Volunteer anglers play a crucial role in helping DEC satisfy this requirement, and all anglers who fish for striped bass are invited to participate.

As part of the program, DEC provides volunteer anglers with logbooks and instructions to record catch information such as fishing location, gear used, and number of fish caught. Anglers may participate whether fishing by boat or from shore. Anglers may also choose to use DEC’s new online logbook and record catch information on their smartphone or computer. Biologists then analyze the recreational fishery data and summarize it in an annual newsletter, providing insight into the striped bass fishing season. Participating anglers will receive the latest news and information about regulations and annual fish population surveys.

Anglers in marine waters south of the George Washington Bridge can also provide DEC with scale samples from the striped bass they catch. Biologists use the scales to age the striped bass to create length-at-age keys which are incorporated in striped bass population assessments and ultimately help guide fishery management decisions.

Visit DEC’s YouTube channel (leaves DEC website) to learn more about becoming a Striped Bass Cooperative Angler and instructions on how to collect scale samples (leaves DEC website).

Anglers who fish for striped bass north of the George Washington Bridge in the tidal Hudson River should email hudsonangler@dec.ny.gov or visit DEC’s Hudson River Striped Bass website to learn more about the Hudson River Cooperative Anglers Program. In the tidal Hudson River, the recreational slot limit is 18 to 28 inches (not less than 18 inches nor greater than 28 inches) and the season is open April 1 through Nov. 30.

Anglers who fish for striped bass in New York’s marine waters south of the George Washington Bridge should contact the Diadromous Fish Unit at sbcaprogram@dec.ny.gov or visit DEC’s Striped Bass Cooperative Anglers website. In marine waters, the recreational slot limit is 28 – 35 inches (not less than 28 inches nor greater than 35 inches) and the season is open April 15 through Dec. 15.

The recreational striped bass possession limit for all waters in New York State is one fish/angler. DEC encourages anglers to check Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations for the most up-to-date information before going fishing and enroll in the annual no-fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry before going fishing in New York’s Marine and Coastal District waters or when fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries for “migratory fish of the sea,” including striped bass. Anglers can enroll in the registry online or by phone or by visiting a license issuing agent location. To enroll, go to DEC’s website.

2023 Striped Bass Recreational Gaff Prohibition Regulation

On March 22, DEC prohibited the use or attempted use of gaffs when recreationally fishing for Atlantic striped bass. This regulation intends to reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries as required by ASMFC Amendment 7 to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass (PDF) (leaves DEC website). DEC is accepting public comments on the regulation through May 22, 2023. The full text of the regulation can be found at DEC’s website. Comments on the gaffing regulation should be sent to caitlin.craig@dec.ny.gov or by mail to: Caitlin Craig, Division of Marine Resources, 123 Kings Park Blvd., Kings Park, NY 11754.

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