Things are happening quickly when it comes to the Garden State’s 2020 recreational striped bass fishery. There are five options being considered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission which meets February 4th, and then kicks back its decision to the New Jersey Marine Fisheries.

The latter will conduct a meeting in mid-to-late February to make a decision regarding the mandated 18% reduction in the harvest of stripers. Public input is not only welcome, but it’s also encouraged.

Photo by Tom P

The meeting date will be posted here as soon as it’s announced.

With the bay/tidal river striper season opening 31 days from now, it’s indeed time to get on the stick!

The common denominator is that it will be a one bass bag limit.

The following are the choices for 2020; the reduction percentage in parenthesis.

Option 1: One fish at 24 to less than 28-inches (35.9%).
Option 2: One fish at 24 to less than 29-inches (34.9%).
Option 3: One fish at 28 to less than 35-inches (40%).
Option 4: One fish at 28 to less than 34-inches (46%).
Option 5: One fish at a minimum of 35-inches (27%).

Why such a high reduction percentage rate? Simple: anglers are conservationists that want to see the resource recover as quickly as possible. There are myriad reasons, and speculations, why the striped bass population is in trouble. And...there is a strong contingent of individual anglers and charter captains who maintain that the resource is doing fine.

No matter which area you draw your rod, the fact of the matter is that what some consider Draconian measures are coming. So it is.

More on this in a couple of weeks.

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