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STRIPED BASS REGULATIONS BY STATE

State-by-state breakdown of the current recreational striped bass regulations.
By Toby Lapinski
Tags: inshore
STRIPED BASS REGULATIONS BY STATE
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has mandated a 25-percent reduction in mortality on striped bass for 2015 by member states.

At the Winter meeting of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in Virginia, management issues pertaining to such key species as striped bass, black sea bass and fluke were addressed.

The Commission’s Atlantic Striped Bass Management Board approved Addendum IV implementation plans and conservation equivalency proposals for all the states and jurisdictions. The implementation 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 water bodies. This recommendation was also supported by the Commission’s Law Enforcement Committee. Additionally, the Board reminded states there is greater certainty in the percent reductions of simple management measures (i.e., changes in bag or size limits) relative to more complex measures (e.g., slot/trophy fish and mode specific options).

The Board also tasked the Technical Committee with expanding the exploration of stock specific reference points to include the other producer areas, such as the Delaware Bay and the Hudson River stocks, in addition to the Chesapeake Bay. The Board will review progress on the stock specific reference points at its Spring Meeting in May.

States and jurisdictions must have final measures for implementing Addendum IV in place by the beginning of their 2015 fishing seasons. As if this moment, the following is the current list if official 2015 regulations pertaining to the recreational harvest of striped bass.

Maine: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length
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: Hudson River north of George Washington River: 18 - 28 inches or greater than 40 inches, April 1 - November 30
Marine waters south of George Washington Bridge: 1 fish daily bag limit with a 28-inch minimum length, April 15 - December 15
New Jersey: 1 fish from 28 inches to less than 43 inches, and a second fish equal to or greater than 43 inches. New Jersey has suspended the Striped Bass Bonus Program until September 1, 2015, when the size limit will change to 1 fish from 24 to less than 28 inches. 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 site at NJ DEP
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

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