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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 Senate by a vote of 38-0.

“New Jersey benefits from having a thriving recreational fishing industry, which lures fishermen from all over the tri-state area to our waters for a good catch,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “As such, we have to be careful that we don’t deplete our natural resources, which is why we have size limits on stripers in the first place, to ensure that we aren’t taking fish that are necessary for the continued viability of our State’s fisheries. However, rather than breeding more fish, recent regulations have only bred confusion among fishermen, and this legislation is intended to clarify the intent of conservation without bogging sports fishermen down in the red tape of the law.”

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.

“Through this legislation, we can make sure that environmental conservation and a healthy tourism industry can go hand in hand,” said Senator Karcher. “Typically, sports fishermen are some of our best conservationists, because they understand what massive depletion of our fisheries means for the future of New Jersey. Under this bill, we’re making it easier for them to conform to the letter of the law, and I am confident that most of our State’s fishermen will act in good faith to follow these new standards.”

The bill now heads to the Assembly for concurrence before going to the Governor to be signed into law.

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