DEC Proposes Circle Hook Requirement for 2021 Recreational Striped Bass Fishing Season

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DEC Proposes Circle Hook Requirement for 2021 Recreational Striped Bass Fishing Season

Comments Accepted until Mar. 8, on Proposed Regulation for Circle Hooks to Help Improve Striped Bass Survival

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today released a new proposed regulation for public review and comment that would require the use of circle hooks when recreational fishing for Atlantic striped bass. This proposed regulation would reduce release mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries as required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Catch-and-release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality in recreational striped bass fisheries and circle hooks work effectively to increase survival. DEC is accepting public comments on the proposal through Mar. 8, 2021.

"From Montauk Point to the Hudson River, New York's waters provide critical habitat for striped bass of all ages and offer some of the best striped bass fishing along the East Coast," Commissioner Basil Seggos said. "Circle hooks improve the survival of fish that are returned to the water, and this requirement further supports conservation efforts that ensure we're protecting this highly sought-after sportfish for future generations of anglers to enjoy."

The Atlantic coast-wide harvest of striped bass is managed by ASMFC. To address the finding that the striped bass resource is overfished and experiencing overfishing, ASMFC initiated and approved Addendum VI to Amendment 6 of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan (FMP) for Atlantic Striped Bass to reduce harvest, end overfishing, and bring fishing mortality to the target level.

New York State adopted recreational slot size limits regulation changes in 2020 that reflect ASMFC's Addendum measures and are in accordance with the FMP. In marine waters the recreational slot size is 28-35 inches total length and in the Hudson River the slot size is 18-28 inches total length; the possession limit is one fish per angler.

The open seasons and size limits for striped bass in all New York waters have not changed for 2021. Recreational striped bass seasons start April 1 in the Hudson River and tributaries and April 15 in marine waters. New York State worked cooperatively with other members of ASMFC to adopt consistent slot limit regulations and comparable season dates.

The proposed regulation includes all New York State waters where recreational fishing for Atlantic striped bass occurs, including coastal waters of Long Island and New York City, the Delaware River, and the Hudson River to the Federal Dam in Troy, New York. The fw.marine or by mail to: Division of Marine Resources, 205 N. Belle Mead Rd. Suite 1, East Setauket, NY 11733. The public comment period closes on March 8, 2021. After reviewing public comments, DEC will be adopting and publishing a final regulation.

DEC encourages anglers to check DEC's Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations for the most up-to-date information before going fishing. Make sure to also enroll in the annual no-fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry before going fishing in New York's Marine and Coastal District waters or when fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries for "migratory fish of the sea" (which includes striped bass.) Anglers can enroll in the registry online or by phone or by visiting a license issuing agent location. To enroll, go to DEC's website.

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Basil Seggos, Commissioner

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