With less than two weeks before the opening of striped bass season on April 1, Hudson River anglers are likely getting gear and boats ready, chomping at the bit to get out on the water.
They are also waiting with baited breath for finalized striped bass regulation changes expected for the river. While DEC has not formally announced the 2020 changes for Hudson River striper regulations, here is what we do know.
The plan DEC submitted to the Atlantic Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) in early March which allows for alternative strategies to achieve the required 18 percent reduction in striper mortality, has been approved.
The approved plan includes a key change for the 2020 Hudson River striper season. It eliminates the option to keep one “trophy” fish over 40-inches in length. The plan allows river anglers to keep one striped bass measuring between 18 and 28 inches.
The elimination of keeping a “trophy fish” of over 40 inches extends into NY’s Marine District (Hudson River and NY Bight below the George Washington Bridge), but their slot limit allows anglers to take one striper between 28 and 35 inches. That larger slot limit also applies to the Delaware River.
Rationale for only allowing the take of smaller, 18 to 28-inch stripers in the Hudson River during the spawning run is protection of egg-laden females during the spawn. Most smaller stripers measuring 18 to 28 inches that are caught in the river will likely be males.
There has also been talk of an earlier closure of the striper season on the Hudson River. Currently, striper season on the Hudson opens on April 1 and closes November 30.
In the Marine District, the season opens on April 15th and closes December 15.
Shortening the latter half of the season may be used as a conservation equivalent to assist NY comply with its mandatory 18 percent reduction in striper mortality. The stated goal is to stop the decline and grow the currently low stock of striper bio mass.
Elimination of the ability to keep one striper over 40 inches is not likely to be popular with all striper fishermen. The river slot limit of one fish measuring between 18 and 28 inches may be a source of consternation for those who fish the Hudson River since coastwide regulations below the George Washington Bridge and beyond can keep one 28 to 35-inch striper.
NY’s commercial striped bass fishermen can land a total of 640,718 pounds and can keep stripers between 26 and 38 inches.
As for circle hooks, they will not be required to be used when bait fishing for stripers in 2020. That rule is tentatively scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2021, so “J” hooks are ok to use during the impending 2020 Hudson River seasons.
While finalized regulations containing these requirements are expected to be enacted before the season opens on April 1st, we will have to just wait and see. It depends on a number of factors, not the least of which are ongoing staffing issues related to the corona virus crisis.
We won’t know with absolute certainty the specifics of the final regulations until they are formally approved.
I’m expecting some definitive word from DEC before the April 1st opener and will keep you informed of any updates or changes.
Happy Hunting, Fishing and Trapping until next time.
CANCELLATIONS OF PLANNED EVENTS DUE TO THE CORONA VIRUS:
POSTPONED: Greene County Chapter Ducks Unlimited Annual Dinner/Auction scheduled for March 21st has been postponed (Future date to be determined)
Jeff Holiday of the Greene County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited announced the Annual Dinner/Auction scheduled for March 21 at Anthony’s Banquet Hall will not take place on Saturday, Marsh 21. He advised a rescheduled date for the event has not yet been selected.
CANCELLED: March 21 Pistol Permit Class at Shooter’s Sports
Joe Nastke advised the pistol permit class scheduled for March 21st has been cancelled. Future classes will be announced at a later date. You can contact the store for further information at 518-758-1488.
CANCELLED: March 23d Pistol Permit Class at Craryville Rod & Gun Club
The Craryville Rod & Gun Club has cancelled its Pistol Permit Class scheduled for March 23.
CANCELLED: March 28 Hunter Safety Class at Catskill Mountain Fish & Game
The Catskill Mountain Fish & Game Club Hunter Safety Class that had been scheduled for March 28 is Cancelled.
CANCELLED: Volunteer Participation in Annual Trout Stocking
DEC has cancelled participation of ALL volunteers who assist with annual trout stocking. Scheduled trout stocking will still take place by DEC staff only without the assistance of volunteers.
Remember to report poaching violations by calling 1-844-DEC-ECOS.
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