NJ’s Bonus Striper Program Has Returned For 2022 - The Fisherman

NJ’s Bonus Striper Program Has Returned For 2022

Effective May 15, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife’s (Division) Striped Bass Bonus Program is up and running for 2022 offering tag holders one fish from 24 inches to less than 28 inches.  The striped bass bonus is only available to those in possession of the state-issued Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) tag; as a reminder, bonus harvest reporting is mandatory and must be reported within 24 hours of harvest, and the state also requires tag holders to keep a daily catch log.

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.  SBBP harvest must be reported online or by leaving a message at 609-748-2074. Reporting harvest online allows the Division to issue an additional permit, if requested, in the shortest amount of time. Required reporting information includes name, permit #, phone number, date of harvest, and fish length.

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.

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 2022, any overage would be subtracted from the 2023 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.

New Jersey initiated the program in 1990 to allow the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey recreational anglers. Although the program has been modified throughout the years, the main goal of the SBBP is to allow anglers to participate in the management process while enjoying their favorite recreational pastime.

It is a popular program and provides valuable data for assessing stock status and fishing trends, making it an integral part of New Jersey’s striped bass management.  For details go to nj.gov/dep/fgw/bonusbas.htm