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A 12 Year History of NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

New Jersey's recreational fisheries are managed by NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife  as regulated  the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council, which makes recommendations via its Scientific and Statistical Committees (SSC) to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Management Council, which is overseen by the National Marine Fisheries Service, which is part of NOAA and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Fishermen in New Jersey first felt the brunt of NJ Saltwater Regulations for the first time in 1993 when Fluke was first managed at the Federal Level.

Since that time we have seen many twists and turns in regulations and the science that goes along with fisheries management.

Here we take a look at the last 12 years of NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations and provide some emphasis on the most hi-impact changes from the previous year.  We begin our review of the last 12 years of changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations with 2004 and working forward to 2016.

 

2004 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Fluke has a 1 week reduction in season length.  

Striped Bass Regulations remain unchanged year on year.   

The NJ Striped Bass Regulations in 2004 were not in compliance with the Federal Striped Bass Management Program as such NJ was forced to change the NJ Striped Bass Regulations by emergency measures in September 2004.  Read more about that here.

 

 

2005 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Sea Bass regulations show good news with no closed season adopted.

Striped Bass regulations changed to protect fish in the 28 - 34 inch range.

Over, under, over strategy of great discourse with the recreational Striped Bass fishermen.

2005 NJ Fishing Regulations

 

 

 

 

 

2006 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Winter Founder Fishing faces sledge hammer reduction.

10 fish  per person at 12 inches

Striped Bass  Regulations change to 2 fish per person over 28 inches.

 

 

2007 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Fluke Regulations add an increase of a half inch in size and a loss of around 1 month of fishing time.

 NJ Fishing Regulations

 

 

 

2008 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Fluke fishing regulations disaster.  Minimum size set to 18 inches.  

 

 

 

2009 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

NJ Fluke Regulations insanity prevails 6 fish at 18 inches.  

This cut seems insane to the general public as 18 inch Fluke are very difficult to come by for the typical bay or surf fishermen.

Seabass size limit up half inch to 12.5.  Signficant scuttlebutt in the governing bodies

 

 

2010 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

2010 is a disaster for NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Recreation Fishing for Weakfish is completely destroyed by a 1 fish limit  

Weakfish become a 'by-catch 'only 

Winter Flounder Fishing as a recreational target takes a great hit as regulations now limit to 2 fish per person.

Other bad news

Seabass now has a closed season and

Shark Regulations changed to reduced from 2 fish to 1 per vessel.

NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations 2010

 

 

2011 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Seabass further under seige with season closures and more rhetoric

 NJ Fishing Regulations 2011

 

 

 

 

2012 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

NJ Blackfish Regulations changed to increase minimum size from 14 inches to 15 inches.

Season shortened as well

NJ Seabass Regulations cuts season into 3 segments.

Fluke size cut to 17.5 inches but limit also cut from 8 to 5

NJ Regulations 2012 Saltwater

 

 

 

2013 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Sea Bass Regulations become daunting

Better keep your reg card with you or have a great memory  

Split seasons and limits based on season

Fluke Regulations decide 171/2-inch fish and a five-fish bag limit

This option was chosen from a possible choice of six options available

Other options included a longer season, a bag limit of eight fish and an increase in size to 18 inches 

Best option chosen for mixed constituency.

NJ Fishing Regulations 2013

 

 

 

 

2014 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Fluke size limit back to 18 inches

Winter flounder season expanded

Striped Bass require equivalency to a 25% reduction

Sea Bass management defies explanation with yet another 'plan'

 NJ Saltwater Regulations 2014

 

 

 

  

2015 Most Impactful Changes in NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Sea Bass harvest must be cut by 32.8% in 2015 as per NOAA Fisheries

Almost 3 months of closed season

Crushing affect on NJ For Hire fishing boats

NJ Saltwater Fishing Regulations 2015