There will be new striped bass fishing regulations in 2020. New rules take effect on April 1, 2020. Until then, the 2019 striped bass regulations remain in place.
Regulation updates are posted on NJ Fish & Wildlife website and sent to Marine Fisheries email list subscribers. https://www.nifishandwildlife.com/lstsub.htm
2020 NJ striped bass fishing regulations
1 fish @ 28″ to less than 38″
Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP)
1 fish @ 24″ to less than 28″ per permit. Open season: May 15 to December 31
SBBP applications accepted beginning April 1, 2020. More info and download application: https://www.nifishandwildlife.com/bonusbas.htm
Why the need for new regulations? The 2018 Benchmark Stock Assessment Results determined that the stock is overfished. Overfishing is occurring. In other words, fishing mortality (F) is too high and female spawning stock biomass (SBB) is too low
HEADS UP: The use of circle hooks will be mandatory in 2021 when using natural bait, Educational outreach in 2020 to make people aware of the 2021 requirement
New Bluefish Regulations in 2020.
Taking affect April 1, 2020. Until then, the 2019 bluefish regulations remain in place.
2020 NJ bluefish fishing regulations.
- Private/Shore – 3 fish bag limit
- For-hire (party/charter boats) – 5 fish bag limit o No season or size limit
Why the changing regulations? Recreational harvest must be constrained to the 2020 recreational harvest limit (RHL). Must achieve a 29% reduction in harvest relative to the 2016-2018 average
How did NJ pick this regulation? The Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council set the 3/5 fish regulation as the coast-wide default measure. NJ submitted a number of Conservation Equivalency (CE) options, most of which were rejected by ASMFC. NJ’s Marine Fisheries Council selected the coast-wide measure as NJ’s measure.
How will these changes affect the stock? Stock assessment shows that the stock is over-fished (SSB* is too low) but the stock is not experiencing over-fishing. The regulatory changes are not explicitly addressing the over-fished stock declaration – the new regulations are just designed to constrain harvest to the 2020 RHL. These regulations are expected to keep fishing mortality in check, but more work is needed to address SSB.
Why aren’t we dealing with the overfished (SSB too low) situation? This is being dealt with through an amendment to the fishery management plan.