Talk about fast!

The New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council (NJMFC) will be conducting a public meeting Thursday, February 13 starting at 5pm at the Stafford Township Municipal Building, 260 East Bay Avenue, in Manahawkin.

Get there early, as in 4-4:30, unless you’re comfortable standing for the next couple of hours.

The proposed striped bass 2020 options are the headliner, but there will be some heavy discussion regarding the draconian 28.56%  mandated reductions put on bluefish for the 2020 season via the mandate from the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Council (ASMFC: the same body that’s ordered at least an 18%  reduction for the bass) and the Mid-Atlantic Marine Fishery Management Council (MAFMC)

Regarding the bass, it’s going to be one of the following (reduction in parenthesis): one fish at 24 to less than 28-inches (35.9%); one fish at 24 to less than 29-inches (34.9%); one fish at 28 to less than 35-inches (40%); one fish at 28 to less than 34-inches (46%); one fish at a minimum of 35-inches (27%).

Photo by Tom P

The one bass maximum is etched in stone...it’s simply a majority consensus matter as to the choice of restriction. No matter...get to the meeting and voice your opinion, as these will be taken into account.

For bluefish, it’s even more of a mind-blower: a three fish limit for shore-based and private boat anglers, and a five fish max for those on party or charter boats.

This in keeping with the gut-punch 28.56% reduction approved by ASMFC and the MAFMC.

The limits are down from a 15 fish take and includes snappers. Yeah, the 5-7 inch mini choppers that delight youngsters fishing the lagoons and bulkheads.

You read that correctly.

The NJMFC may have some leeway insofar as juggling bag and/or length limits so as to lessen the body shot damage these asinine limits deliver to the bait and tackle shops, boat rental liveries, charter and party boats, and the individual angler.

Again, make it a point to attend and let your voice be heard. Your influence counts, so use it!

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Get involved.

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