New York Department of Environmental Conservation Police have made enforcement of the state’s striped bass regulations a priority due to numerous complaints of abuse related to the fishery. Among the many complaints are anglers keeping multiple fish over the limit, individuals throwing back smaller, dead fish in order to keep a bigger fish, recreational anglers selling striped bass to diners and restaurants, and boats fishing in the EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) beyond the three mile limit. Striped bass may not be targeted beyond three miles anywhere along the Atlantic Coast. Many of these abuses concern large, female stripers that are particularly vulnerable when feeding on large schools of menhaden (bunker) along the South Shore, and when settled into the rips off Long Island’s East End.

New York’s striped regulations were changed for 2015 in response to an ASFMC decision to reduce striped bass mortality by 25 percent. A one fish bag limit now includes all anglers whether they fish from a private, party or charter boat, or from shore. The minimum size is 28 inches.

The stepped up enforcement effort includes the use of unmarked boats to patrol the fishing grounds, land based patrols monitoring ports of entry, marinas and weigh stations, and partnering with other law enforcement agencies. Major Timothy Huss noted that the public’s help can be a major factor in controlling these abuses. If you witness someone breaking the law, avoid confronting the person or persons, but note their boat registration number or license plate number and report it to DEC. You may remain anonymous if you wish. If you want to file a report, call law enforcement at 631-444-0250 or the 24/7 line at 877-457-5680.