DEC Announces Changes to 2018 Tautog, Summer Flounder, and Scup Fishing Regulations


New Amendment to Tautog Fishery Management Plan

A new Amendment to the Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Tautog was adopted in October 2017 by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). This amendment was adopted in response to the 2016 tautog stock assessment update. This update showed that the Long Island Sound and New York Bight tautog populations are overfished, and overfishing is occurring. The amendment applies more restrictive fishing rules for both recreational and commercial fishers specific to each area.

DEC has adopted rules consistent with this new amendment that will help maintain the long term sustainability of the tautog fishery, while remaining in compliance with the ASMFC.

Effective April 1, 2018 in New York State, the commercial and recreational tautog fisheries will be split into two management regions with separate seasons and possession limits:

Long Island Sound Management Region: includes all marine and coastal district waters lying east of the Throgs Neck Bridge and west of a line that runs from Orient Pt, NY to Watch Hill, RI.

NY Bight Management Region: includes all marine and coastal district waters lying outside of the Long Island Sound Management Region.

Commercial Tautog Season Changes:

  • Long Island Sound Management Region (Marine and coastal district waters lying east of the Throgs Neck Bridge and west of a line that runs from Orient Pt, NY to Watch Hill, RI): May 7 – July 31 and September 1 – November 23
  • NY Bight Management Region (Marine and coastal district waters lying outside of the Long Island Sound Region): April 16 – Jan 25
  • There is no change to the commercial possession limit or minimum size, which is 15 inches total length and 25 fish per vessel (except, 10 fish per vessel when fishing lobster pot gear and more than six lobsters are in possession).

Recreational Tautog Season and Possession Limit Changes:

  • Long Island Sound Management Region (Marine and coastal district waters lying east of the Throgs Neck Bridge and west of a line that runs from Orient Pt, NY to Watch Hill, RI): April 1 – 30 (2 fish) and October 11 – December 9 (3 fish)
  • NY Bight Management Region (Marine and coastal district waters lying outside of the Long Island Sound Region) April 1 – 30 (2 fish) and October 15 – December 22 (4 fish)
  • There is no change to the recreational minimum size, which is 16 inches total length.

Less Restrictive Recreational Scup and Summer Flounder Rules

DEC has liberalized rules for recreational summer flounder and scup fishing for 2018. This relaxing of the rules is in response to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission and Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council increasing the recreational harvest limits for scup and summer flounder.

New York’s 2018 recreational summer flounder and scup fisheries will have the following changes:

  • Scup: 9 inch minimum size limit. No change to possession limits or seasons
  • Summer Flounder: Open Season is May 4 – September 30 with 4 fish possession limit. No change to the minimum size limit.

Marine recreational anglers 16 years or older are reminded that they must register each year in New York’s free Recreational Marine Fishing Registry online or by calling 1-866-933-2257.

For more information on Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations, visit DEC’s website.

Though the weather turned out better than expected, there were no reports when this was written. Both the Ocean Explorer and the Big Mohawk from Belmar may be fishing for blackfish on Sunday. The weather looks much better Monday through Wednesday.

Bob Matthews, at Fisherman’s Den in Belmar Marina, says both the Belmar and Atlantic Highlands stores are now open. With continuing cold water, the winter flounder bite off the docks at Belmar has been slow — just as has the offshore fishing been.

Grumpy’s Tackle in Seaside Park continues to get reports of small stripers from the bay on worms and small lures, but nothing from the surf so far. Betty & Nick’s video showed clear, whitewater surf that should be producing bass by now .


 

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