New York Tightens Striped Bass Rules After Poaching Busts

New York Tightens Striped Bass Rules After Poaching Busts

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Following a string of poaching incidents involving out-of-season striped bass fishing in New York, the state's Department of Environmental Conservation has implemented stricter regulations for the prized game fish. The busts, which occurred between April 6 and 10 on Long Island, saw environmental conservation police officers and investigators apprehend 17 individuals for illegally catching striped bass before the official season began on April 15.

In one incident, a K-9 officer helped locate more than 12 fish hidden in the sand and concealed behind logs and brush piles. Another bust revealed three men attempting to smuggle striped bass inside traffic cones on the Bayville Bridge. In addition to the out-of-season violations, six individuals were also cited for failing to possess the required marine licenses.

The new regulations, which apply to the Hudson River and its tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge, stipulate that striped bass caught in these waters must measure between 23 and 28 inches in length to be legally kept. Anglers are limited to one fish per day and must be registered with the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry. The fishing season for these waters runs from April 1 to Nov. 30.

Long Island's striped bass regulations remain unchanged, with fish caught in marine waters required to measure between 28 and 31 inches to be kept. Anglers are restricted to one fish per day and must also be registered. The fishing season for striped bass in these waters is from April 15 to Dec. 15.

The size limits are designed to protect female fish and ensure the sustainability of the species' population. The Department of Environmental Conservation also maintains monitoring programs for striped bass, including a catch-and-release tagging initiative and a survey of anglers' fishing habits to aid in data analysis.

Striped bass, also known as rockfish, hold significant ecological, recreational, and economic importance in New York and are the official state fish of Maryland.

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