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NJ’S STRIPED BASS BONUS REOPENS

Individual anglers and those on some party boats in New Jersey are allowed one striped bass between 24 inches and less than 28 inches, if they possess a Striped Bass Bonus Program permit.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  September 4, 2018
NJ’S STRIPED BASS BONUS REOPENS
Nick Honachefsky with a back bay shortie. From September 1 through December 31, New Jersey anglers who possess the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) tag may harvest one "slot" striper from 24 inches to less than 28 inches.

New Jersey’s Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) is officially open as of September 1. Anglers who possess the SBBP permit may use their issued tag to harvest one striper from 24 inches in length to less than 28 inches. Bonus harvest reporting is mandatory and must be reported within 24 hours of harvest via online or by calling 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. A limited number of permits is issued to ensure the 2018 quota is not exceeded.

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 2018, any overage would be subtracted from the 2019 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.

The Party/Charter Boat (PCBT) facet of the SBBP also reopened on September 1. Data collected from this program has proved invaluable for managing striped bass. Qualified PCBTs will be issued a limited number of permits allowing customers to keep one Bonus Fish and only one permit may be issued to a customer per day. PCBTs are required to submit mandatory daily logbooks of their striped bass catch and will also be required to provide mandatory weekly reports of striped bass bonus harvest in order to ensure the quota is not exceeded.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife 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. Because of the reporting required for the SBBP including daily catch logs, the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife receives valuable data regarding the striped bass fishery.

Applications for the 2018 SBBP are currently available through October 31, 2018. Applications postmarked after the deadline will not be processed. All 2017 permit holders must reapply to receive a 2018 permit. The number of permits issued will be limited at the Division's discretion based on harvest reports and other factors to ensure the 2018 quota is not exceeded.

New Jersey recreational striped bass regulations stand at one fish 28 inches to less than 43 inches, and one fish 43 inches or greater. With a bonus permit issued by the state of New Jersey, anglers can keep one fish 24 inches to less than 28 inches from September 1 through December 31, 2018. Please note the order of fish harvested does not matter (Bonus fish can be the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd fish).

To apply, download the SBBP Application and Child Support Certification Form and submit to the Division with a self-addressed stamped #10 envelope by October 31, 2018. All applications will be processed in order of receipt and applications postmarked after the deadline will not be processed.

Return completed form with a self-addressed stamped #10 envelope to the Division. All applicants must complete the Child Support Certification each year. See the NJ Child Support Certification Requirement Information page for details.

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

Visit www.njfishandwildlife.com/bonusbas.htm

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