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DEC announces new recreational fishing regulations for black sea bass & scup


Mon, May 1st 2023 02:35 pm

Harvest changes maintain compliance with interstate fishery management plans

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Press Release

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced new recreational saltwater fishing regulations that take effect immediately in New York's Marine and Coastal District. These regulatory changes are necessary for New York state to remain in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) by reducing recreational harvest of scup and black sea bass.

Black Sea Bass

New York's recreational black sea bass season opens June 23, and the minimum size limit is 16.5 inches. From June 23 through Aug. 31, recreational anglers may possess three black sea bass per day; and from Sept. 1 until Dec. 31, anglers are allowed six fish per day.

New York state is required to reduce harvest by 10% per a joint decision by the ASMFC and Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC). New York is complying with the new rule by increasing the minimum size limit by one half-inch.


The recreational scup season will be open from May 1 through Dec. 31. The minimum size limit for recreational anglers from shore is 9.5 inches and, for vessel-based anglers, the minimum size is 10.5 inches. Recreational anglers may possess 30 fish per day, and anglers aboard licensed party/charter boats may possess 40 fish from Sept. 1 through Oct. 31.

New York state's changes to the open season and possession limit for for-hire anglers during September and October maintains consistency with the rules in federal waters. Combined with the increase in the minimum size for vessel-based anglers, these changes are expected to reduce harvest of recreational scup in New York waters by 10%, as required by the ASMFC and MAFMC. 

The complete text of the rulemaking is available on DEC's website. DEC is accepting comments on the regulations from May 18 through July 17. Written comments can be sent by mail to Rachel Sysak, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, 123 Kings Park Blvd., Kings Park, NY 11754; or by email to [email protected].

These new rules take effect immediately. New York's failure to implement these restrictions would place the state out of compliance with ASMFC requirements and could result in the closure of New York's scup and black sea bass recreational fisheries. DEC continues to advocate for New York's resources and participates in all levels of marine fisheries management to help ensure abundant and sustainable recreational fishing opportunities.

For current regulations, check DEC's recreational saltwater fishing regulations. Anglers must enroll in the annual, no-fee recreational marine fishing registry before fishing New York's Marine and Coastal District waters, or when fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries for "migratory fish of the sea.” Anglers can enroll for the registry online, by phone (1-866-933-2257, option 2), or by visiting a license issuing agent location.

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