Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the state has extended the season for recreational black sea bass fishing, originally scheduled to close on December 31, 2012. Fishing has been extended for 59 days by emergency regulation and will remain open through February 28, 2013.
"Effective immediately, anglers can enjoy black sea bass into the new year," Governor Cuomo said. "Whether you are taking advantage of fishing on a charter boat or venturing on your own through the waters off of Long Island, the beginning of the winter months will be more welcome for those of us who enjoy our great natural resources and this recreational activity."
"The Department of Environmental Conservation filed the emergency regulation which takes effect immediately, to ensure a seamless and uninterrupted continuation of the state's recreational black sea bass fishing season into 2013," New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said.
"New York fishermen have won another big victory thanks to Governor Cuomo's decisive action to extend the recreational fishing season for black sea bass," said Senator Lee M. Zeldin. "Our fishing community, especially our charter fishing boats and bait and tackle shops, were devastated by the effects of Super Storm Sandy. With the extension of the black sea bass season, some of their economic losses caused by mother nature can now start to be recouped."
The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation extended the season to coincide with regulations set by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The entities voted in December to open recreational harvest of black sea bass in federal waters in January and February, which hasn't happened since 2009.
For all recreational anglers fishing for black sea bass, the minimum size limit has been reduced to 12.5 inches, and the possession limit will remain at 15 fish.
The season, minimum size and possession limits are identical to the recreational black sea bass regulations in place in federal waters as well as in some neighboring states. Anglers fishing in state waters other than New York are advised to check local fishing regulations.
Recreational black sea bass regulations will likely change again in New York prior to the start of the fishing season in the Spring/Summer of 2013. Anglers are advised to check DEC's website (http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7894.html) regularly to stay abreast of any changes made to marine recreational fishing regulations.
DEC reminds marine anglers to enroll in New York's free recreational marine fishing registry (more information here: http://www.dec.ny.gov/permits/54950.html) before fishing. Those registered in 2012 must re-register at the start of 2013.
For additional information about the regulations, contact DEC Marine Resources Division at 631-444-0435.