New Jersey Reopens Bonus Striped Bass Program

The Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) closed on May 1, 2015 and will reopen September 1, 2015.

Striped bass, rock fish, fall run, spring run, migratory atlantic fish,
Striped bass or Rock fish

Detailed information about new SBBP procedures, including permits and reporting will be provided through various outlets including this webpage as soon as they become available. All current permit holders received notice that the old 2015 permits are no longer valid and will automatically receive a new permit prior to September 1, 2015. Those permits will be issued first before processing new applications. The number of permits issues will be limited, based on the Division’s discretion, to ensure the 2015 quota is not exceeded.

On September 1, 2015, the new SBBP regulations will be:

  • One fish 24″ to less than 28″

Please note that the order of fish harvested does not matter.

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New Jersey recreational striped bass regulations in all state waters are as follows:

  • One fish 28″ to less than 43″ AND one fish 43″ or greater

Party/Charter Boat Facet of the SBBP Reinstated For 2015
The Party/Charter Boat (PCBT) facet of the SBBP will resume on September 1, 2015. Data collected from this program has proved invaluable for managing striped bass. Qualified PCBTs will be issued a limited number of permits allowing customers to keep one Bonus Fish from 24″ to less than 28″. Only one permit may be issued to a customer per day.

PCBTs will be required to submit daily logbooks of their striped bass catch and will also be required to provide weekly reports of striped bass bonus harvest in order to ensure the quota is not exceeded. To apply, download the application and submit to the Division with a copy of a Captain’s license.
Party/Charter Boat Bonus Program Application (pdf, 70kb)

PROGRAM BACKGROUNDNew Jersey is allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by theAtlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey does not allow netting or sale of striped bass, this quota was transferred to the recreational fishing sector resulting in the origin of the SBBP.

The current allocation from ASMFC is 215,912 pounds to be distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. Should NJ overshoot this quota in 2015, any overage would be subtracted from the 2016 quota. Although this program does allow for the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey anglers, the Division encourages catch and release whenever possible so this species can prosper for future generations.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife initiated the program in 1990 to allow the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey recreational anglers. Although the program has been modified throughout the years, the main goal of the SBBP is to allow anglers to participate in the management process while enjoying their favorite recreational pastime. It is a popular program and provides valuable data for assessing stock status and fishing trends, making it an integral part of New Jersey’s striped bass management.

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