The 2021 Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) will reopen on May 15; new permits for anglers to be able to retain one striped bass at 24 inches to less than 28 inches can be found online at www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/bonusbas.htm through the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife (Division)
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. Although this program does allow for the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey anglers, the Division encourages catch and release whenever possible so this species can prosper for future generations.
Be advised 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. Required reporting information includes name, permit #, phone number, date of harvest, and fish length.
After the Division receives an initial harvest report, each participant may be issued an additional permit up to the discretion of the Division. Individuals may be eligible for multiple permits throughout the season, upon availability. 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.