New Jersey’s Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) officially reopened as of May 15 allowing permitted anglers to retain one striped bass at 24 inches to less than 28 inches. To register for the SBBP go to www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/bonusbas.htm through the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (Division)
Anglers should remember that the reporting of all harvested bonus fish is mandatory. If a bonus fish is harvested, the SBBP Permit must be securely attached to fish through the mouth and gill immediately upon capture and prior to transportation. Harvest reporting is mandatory within 24 hours of harvest and must be reported online or by leaving a message at 609-748-2074.
New Jersey is allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey does not allow netting or sale of striped bass, this quota was transferred to the recreational fishing sector resulting in the origin of the SBBP beginning in 1990.
The current allocation from ASMFC is 215,912 pounds to be distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. Should New Jersey overshoot this quota in 2021, any overage would be subtracted from the 2022 quota. According to the Division’s 2020 tallies, a total of 5,189 tagged fish – 33,524 pounds – was harvested by tagholders last year, just 15.5% of the total that 215,912-pound quota.
After the Division receives an initial harvest report, an SBBP participant may be issued an additional permit up to the discretion of the Division. Detailed information on procedures for reporting will be provided with each SBBP permit issued by the state.
For more information on the program or any other striped bass issue, contact the Division’s Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or firstname.lastname@example.org.