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Changes Affect Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, and Bluefish We're very excited to be the first to hear about and post this news in the industry today! New York State Department of ...

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Changes Affect Summer Flounder, Scup, Black Sea Bass, Striped Bass, and Bluefish

We're very excited to be the first to hear about and post this news in the industry today!

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Acting Commissioner Denise M. Sheehan today announced that DEC has adopted emergency marine recreational fishing regulations for 2005-06 affecting summer flounder, scup, black sea bass, striped bass, and bluefish.

"Saltwater fishing brings enjoyment to countless anglers and contributes significantly to our economy," Commissioner Sheehan said. "These regulations will continue to protect our important marine fishery, while providing more opportunities for a great catch. I am pleased that we are able to adopt these changes in time for the opening of the striped bass season on April 15, 2005."

DEC adopted these changes by emergency rule to provide timely relief to New York's marine anglers and fishing businesses. The changes of season, size, and catch limits for fluke, scup and sea bass are a reflection of stable or increasing quotas for these species, coupled with the reduction in harvest resulting from the more restrictive regulations implemented in 2004 that were necessary to bring New York State into compliance with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission
(ASMFC) requirements.

The bluefish and striped bass season changes are a reflection of amendments to the Interstate Fishery Management Plan that were adopted by ASMFC. Adoption and announcement of the 2005-06 regulations by DEC is supported by the Marine Resources Advisory Council and many in the recreational fishing industry.

Effective April 8, 2005, emergency regulations implement the following changes:

Summer Flounder - Minimum size limit: 17.5" Total Length
Possession Limit: 5
Open Season: April 29 through October 31

Scup - Minimum size limit: 10.5" Total Length
Possession Limit: 25
Open Season: July 1 through October 31...
Except that passengers fishing aboard licensed Party/Charter boats may each possess up to 60 scup during the period of September 1 through October 31.

Black Sea Bass -Minimum size limit (unchanged): 12" Total Length
Possession limit (unchanged): 25
Open Season: January 1 through November 30

Striped Bass -Possession Limit: 1 fish between 28" and 40" Total Length and 1 fish greater than 40" Total Length:
Except that passengers fishing aboard Party/Charter boats possessing a striped bass permit may possess 2 fish with a minimum length of 28" Total Length.
Open season (unchanged): April 15 through December 15

Bluefish -Possession Limit:15 fish, no more than 10 of which may be less than 12 inches in Total Length.
Open season (unchanged): All year

All other marine recreational fishing regulations remain unchanged by this emergency regulation. Updates to the marine fishing regulations will soon be posted at on the DEC's website.

In addition to the emergency regulations announced and effective today, proposed final regulations will be published on April 27, 2005, in the New York State Register. Public comment on the proposed final regulations will be accepted for 45 days after publication in the Register until June 10, 2005. All comments should be in written form and sent to Byron Young, NYSDEC, 205 N. Belle Mead Rd, Suite 1, E. Setauket, NY 11733.

The National Marine Fisheries Service's Marine Recreational Fishing Statistics Survey estimated that over a half-million anglers made more than 4.6 million fishing trips in New York's marine waters in 2004. The most popular species in New York marine anglers' catch are striped bass, bluefish, fluke and porgy, with estimated 2004 catches of 1.7 million, 3.2 million, 3.4 million, and 3.9 million fish caught, respectively. A 2001 study by the New York Sea Grant Institute estimated that New York's marine recreational fishing industry annually contributes a total of over $1.3 billion to the State's economy and supports 21,000 jobs.