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NYDEC is requesting public input on proposed black sea bass regulations for 2016.
By John Maniscalco, NYDEC  |  February 22, 2016
Recreational anglers are facing tighter regulations for black sea bass this season.

Black sea bass recreational harvest has exceeded 2015 limits in the northern region. New York (along with all states from Massachusetts to New Jersey) is required to develop more restrictive rules governing recreational black sea bass fishing in order to restrain harvest to the 2016 limits. The required reduction is estimated by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to be 23.2%. Preliminary MRIP Wave 6 data became fully available on February 18, 2016.

The purpose of this memo is to provide interested and involved constituents with some idea of what the required reduction could look like in terms of regulatory adjustments so that they can consider the matter and provide the Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) with feedback.

Compliance with the minimum size limit in 2015 was poor and changes to the minimum size will not be considered for 2016. All of the options below include a 14-inch minimum size. Black sea bass regulations in 2015 were: 14-inch size limit; 8 fish bag from July 15-Oct. 31 and a 10 fish bag from Nov. 1-Dec. 31.


1 3 July 16-Dec.31

2 3/10 July 17-Oct 31/Nov 1-Dec 31

3 4 July 22-Dec. 31

4 4 July 21-Dec. 15

5 4 July 15-Oct. 17

6 4/10 July 23-Oct 31/Nov 1-Dec 31

7 5/10 July 16-Sept 21 and Oct 22-Oct 31/Nov 1-Dec 31

8 5/10 July 28-Oct. 31/Nov. 1-Dec. 31

9 2/8/10 July 12-Aug 31/Sept 1-Oct 31/Nov 1-Dec 31

As was done last year, interested parties can request additional options by email (john.maniscalco@dec.ny.gov) or phone (631-444-0437). All constructive and productive suggestions will be considered to the best of my ability and the limitations of the data. The goal is to generate a list of options that meet the required 23.2% reduction by March 1, 2016 that can be used by both NY’s Marine Resource Advisory Council (MRAC) and the BMR. MRAC is next scheduled to meet on Tuesday March 8th at 6:30PM (tentatively at Stony Brook University SoMAS).

***For additional consideration, a regional option is currently being considered by Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York. Would the NY Public support the following 2016 regional measure? 14.0” minimum size, 3 fish from July 23-August 31 and 5 fish from Sept. 1-Dec. 31

Options are subject to change and approval by the NYSDEC and various bodies of the ASMFC.


1. All data used and shown here is from MRIP website queries and downloads www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov

2. Reduction value from season loss is not additive with reduction value from decreased possession limit. Simply adding up bag limit changes and days lost will have you close, but over-estimate the actual reduction by ~2-3%.

3. Possession limit in November and December (Wave 6) of 2015 was 10 fish. An analysis of the catch record (MRIP data) indicates there is no additional value to reducing the possession limit during this Wave to more than 7 fish.