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REGULATION UPDATES ON SELECT SPECIES

Several bag limits on key Dream Boat Challenge species have been changed, and some seasons closed, with the arrival of September in New England.
By Toby Lapinski  |  September 10, 2018
REGULATION UPDATES ON SELECT SPECIES
Black sea bass regulations change this month in several New England states. (Photo courtesy of the Black Hawk)

Now that we are into September, and we move one step closer to crowing the 2018 Dream Boat Challenge champion, it’s worth noting that several bag limits on key Challenge species have been modified in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York waters. Keep in mind that you must not only honor the regulations of the state in which you are currently fishing, if you plan or expect to cross multiple state lines then you must abide by the most restrictive regulations in which you intend on entering. As anyone who fishes in Southern New England should already know, we regularly cross over state lines while out on a day’s fishing, and some spots it is even possible to pass through three different states on the same drift! Ignorance to the regulations is not an excuse to violate the laws, so be sure that you are certain of the season, bag limit and minimum length for any species well before you decide to harvest it.

SCUP/PORGY
On board for-hire boats only, the porgy bag limit increases to 45 fish per angler in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York until October 31. Anglers aboard non for-hire, private boats still have the 30 fish per angler bag limit. The minimum length of 9 inches remain constant across all three states and angling methods.

BLACK SEA BASS
Massachusetts anglers do not see an increase in bag limit this month, but the season closes in state waters as of September 12. Until that time the bag limit remains at 5 fish per angler with a minimum length of 15 inches.

In Rhode Island, the bag limit increased to 7 fish per for all anglers both private and for-hire with the minimum length holding at 15 inches. The season closes on 12/31.

In Connecticut, the black sea bass bag limit increased to 7 fish per angler on for-hire boats only. Anglers fishing from shore or aboard private boats continue to fish on a 5 fish bag limit. The season closes on 12/31.

In New York, the bag limit increases for all anglers to 7 fish per angler on both private and for-hire boats. The season closes on 12/31.

BLACKFISH
The season closed in Connecticut as of September 1, and it will reopen on October 10 with a 3 fish bag limit. Keep in mind that the fall bag limit has been decreased from last year, and the season now closes on November 28.

Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island remains open with a 3-fish bag limit until it increases on October 15 to a 5 fish bag limit. Be sure to keep in mind that in both states there is a 10 fish BOAT LIMIT for private boaters regardless of the number of anglers onboard. This does not apply to for-hire vessels.

In New York waters, the season remains closed inside Long Island Sound until October 11 when a 3-fish bag limit is in place until December 9. Outside the Sound in NY Bight waters, the season opens on October 15 with a 4 fish bag limit and it closes on December 22.

As always, be sure to consult your local fisheries managers for up to the minute changes that might be posted.

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