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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30
, 2005

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795

DEP ANNOUNCES REOPENING OF POPULAR STRIPED BASS BONUS PROGRAM

(05/30) TRENTON - Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell today announced a plan to administer the Striped Bass Bonus Program (SBBP) for 2005. This year's program rewards past participation while bringing in new participants via a lottery system.

"DEP has developed a unique Striped Bass Bonus Program that protects the striped bass resource, is fair to the anglers who choose to apply for the privilege of taking home a third striped bass, and is mindful of the Department's limited resources," said DEP Commissioner Campbell. "The Program has been extremely popular with New Jersey anglers and it's important that we continue to work cooperatively with the Marine Fisheries Council and other constituent groups to enhance our recreational fishing programs."

Details of the SBBP were developed with the assistance of New Jersey's recreational fishing organizations and the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council.

New Jersey is allocated a commercial harvest quota of striped bass under the Striped Bass Interstate Fisheries Management Plan as administered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Since New Jersey does not allow the netting or sale of striped bass, the quota was transferred to the recreational sector in 1990, resulting in the origin of the SBBP. If New Jersey harvests more than the assigned quota in any calendar year, the following year's quota will be reduced by the amount of over-harvest.

New Jersey is the only state on the east coast that allows recreational anglers the opportunity to keep a third striped bass per day. The current striped bass recreational size limits allow anglers to take one fish at 24" to less than 28" and one fish at 34" or greater. Under the 2005 SBBP, anglers will be able to take a third fish at 28" or greater.

The existing Striped Bass Bonus Program remains free of charge.

The following is an overview of the 2005 program. Complete details about the SBBP and instructions for filing an application can be found at www.njfishandwildlife.com.

  • The striped bass size limit under the SBBP will be 28 inches or greater.

  • The Division of Fish and Wildlife (Division) will allocate 20,000 bonus cards. Limiting the SBBP to 20,000 cards will safely guarantee that the harvest quota will not be exceeded.

  • 25 percent of the cards will be distributed to party and charter boats. Eighty cards will be distributed to each participating party boat with 18 or more passengers, while all other boats will receive 16 cards.

  • 18 percent of the cards will be distributed to individuals that were in the SBBP in 2004 and returned their voluntary log information.

  • 57 percent of the cards will be distributed to anglers via lottery.

  • Individual participants will receive two non-transferable cards, one card good per day. There will be no replacement cards issued after using the two cards. The cards, which should be returned to the Department with the catch details, provide valuable information the Department needs to manage the striped bass resource.

  • The SBBP season will start on or around September 1, 2005.

Applications will be available at www.njfishandwildlife.com, and at most bait and tackle shops that distribute the Marine edition of the Fish & Wildlife Digest. No applications will be mailed out of Division offices. The application deadline is May 31, 2005.

 

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Last Updated: March 31, 2005