NJ’s Bonus Striper Program Unaffected By ASMFC Decision - The Fisherman

NJ’s Bonus Striper Program Unaffected By ASMFC Decision

Effective May 15, the New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife’s (Division) Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) is up and running again for 2023 offering tag holders one fish from 24 inches to less than 28 inches.  Applications for individuals and party/charter boats are currently being accepted through October 31.

New Jersey is allocated a 215,912-pound commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), but since the state 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.

On May 2, 2023, the ASMFC voted to reduce the upper end of the coastwide slot limit on striped bass to 31 inches, but because this action was only directed at the recreational fishing quota it does not affect New Jersey’s SBBP which is exclusively commercial quota unused due to gamefish protection on striped bass in the Garden State.

According to the New Jersey Bureau of Marine Fisheries there were 11,021 bonus permits issued to saltwater anglers in New Jersey in 2022, another 155 to for-hire vessels.  BMF data shows that in 2022 there were 839 fish tagged and harvested by individuals and 4,403 fish from for-hire boats, a grand total of 5,242 SBBP striped bass accounting for 33,642 pounds (well short of the total 215,912-pound allowable quota).

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.

Visit the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) webpage for application instructions and additional information regarding the 2023 SBBP.

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