ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 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.

“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 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.

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.