Hudson River Striped Bass Recreational Fishing Season Starts – New Regulations in Place

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Hudson RiverNet
News from the Hudson River Estuary Program

Striped Bass Fishing Season Starts in the Hudson River

Little girl on a boat holding a striped bassStriped bass recreational fishing has begun in the Hudson River and tributaries. These fish spend most of their time in coastal waters but return to the fresh water of the Hudson each spring to spawn. Stripers commonly reach lengths of more than three feet and weights exceeding 30 pounds. For people who fish the Hudson for sport, the striper is a favorite catch.

Striped bass are cooperatively managed along the Atlantic coast by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (AFSMC). To reduce harvest, end overfishing, and reduce fishing mortality, ASMFC initiated and approved new regulations for recreational and commercial fishing for Atlantic striped bass. These regulations take effect immediately.

The new regulations for the Hudson River and its tributaries are:

  • Slot size limit: 18"- 28" total length
  • No fish smaller than 18" or greater than 28" may be kept
  • Season date: April 1 - November 30
  • Daily possession limit of one fish/angler

States along the east coast are strongly recommending the use of non-offset circle hooks for 2020. These hooks will become mandatory for the 2021 striped bass fishing season. Catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality and circle hooks work effectively to reduce release mortality in the recreational striped bass fisheries.

Make sure to enroll in the annual no-fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry before going fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries or when in New York's Marine and Coastal District waters when fishing for "migratory fish of the sea" (e.g. striped bass). Anglers can enroll for the registry online or by phone or by visiting a license issuing agent location.

Fishing rod between two people demonstrating 6 feet of distanceWhen fishing, DEC recommends avoiding busy waters and following the guidelines on DEC's website about fishing responsibly in New York State. If an angler arrives at a parking lot and there are several cars, consider going to another parking lot. If another angler is fishing upstream, fish downstream of the other angler or consider fishing another day. Do not share a car with people not in your household while traveling to fishing or boating sites. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another. Get outside safely and practice social distancing to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19. Read about responsible recreation on DEC's webpage NY's Outdoors are Open #RecreateLocal.

Note: The recreational striped bass season begins April 15 in marine waters. For information about marine district regulations, visit Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations.

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