Karcher Bill To Simplify Striped Bass Rules Approved

Bill Would Clarify Fishing Regulations to Avoid Confusion

TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would simplify the State’s rules regarding striped bass fishing was approved today by the Assembly, by a vote of 76-2, receiving final legislative approval.

“New Jersey’s reputation for recreational fishing is outstanding, and with this bill, we will be able to preserve our fisheries while removing any confusion so fishermen can follow the intent of the law,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “With the original size limits on striped bass, we were trying to conserve our natural resources, not burden recreational fishermen with needless red tape. This bill simplifies the size standards while protecting our natural resources.”

The bill, S-2450, would amend the State’s current daily catch and possession limits for striped bass fishing. Under current law, the limit is two fish, one between 24 and 28 inches and the other at least 34 inches in length. The amended regulations would change the limit to provide instead that both fish must be at least 28 inches. The bill would also allow for the taking of an additional striped bass under the State Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)’s “bonus fish” program, and would clarify that filleting a fish, or removing the head and tail, would require a special permit to be done at sea.

“The current size standards for striper are open-ended and confusing at best, and fishermen who wish to comply with the law are left jumping through hoops,” said Senator Karcher. “Recreational fishermen are not outlaws looking to plunder the open seas — they’re law-abiding citizens who typically look to follow the laws as they’re set before them. By simplifying the size regulations on striper, we will see greater compliance with the law.”

The bill now heads to the Governor to be signed into law.

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