Saltwater Fishing & Boating Newsletter

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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Saltwater Fishing & Boating Newsletter

In This Issue:

  • Draft Ocean Acidification Report for Public Comment
  • Plastic Free July: Be Part of the Solution 
  • Proposed Regulations to Protect Sharks
  • Recreational Striped Bass Fishing Regulations Public Comment Period
  •  New York's Marine Recreational Angler Records Program
  • Upcoming Fishery Meetings 

Draft Ocean Acidification Report for Public Comment

The New York State Ocean Acidification Task Force (OATF) has announced for public review and comment the draft report, Ocean Acidification: Its Causes, Impacts, and Mitigation; A Report to the New York State Legislature (PDF). Ocean acidification (OA) is a major threat to our ocean’s health and an acidifying ocean brings with it threats to marine life and the services that the ocean provides.

In 2016, the New York State Legislature established the OATF to identify the causes and factors contributing to ocean acidification and evaluate ways of addressing the problem by applying the best available science. The members of this OATF are governmental, academic, and private sector stakeholders with the shared goal of protecting our ocean ecosystem from OA.  Recommendations in this draft report are intended to reduce the impact of ocean acidification in the coastal waters of New York, while supporting global and national goals for reducing factors contributing to global carbon emissions, climate change, and ocean acidification.

Submit written comments by mail or email by September 7, 2023. In-person comments can also be provided at a public hearing that will be held July 25, 2023, 1 – 3 pm at 123 Kings Park Blvd. Kings Park, NY 11754. Find more information, including where to send comments, on DEC's website. 

Plastic Free July: Be Part of the Solution 

Plastic Free July Infographic to help encourage small actions to make a big difference

Plastic Free July® is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to reducing single-use plastics – so we can conserve our natural resources, fight climate change, and have healthier lands, waters, and communities. The movement has inspired 100+ million participants in 190 countries to start making small changes that will last a lifetime.

How to participate in Plastic Free July:  

  • Take the Plastic Free July Challenge. Make a commitment to create positive change- identify whether you will cultivate change at home, work, school, or other areas of your community. When you sign up for the challenge you can receive motivating tips throughout July. 
  • Take the Pesky Plastics Quiz. Contribute to data collection across the world about the types of single-use plastics being used.
  • Review tips and ideas about where you can make changes.
  • Get Inspired or inspire others to get involved with plastic waste solutions by creating your own event at work, school, or out in the community.
  • Find a PFJ event near you or post a new event that you are organizing in your community on the PFJ events map.
  • Share a story that will inspire and empower others.
  • Check out resources to learn more about PFJ and help promote PFJ in your community.
  • Go the extra mile. Think of ways to reduce all single-use items in your life by refusing or choosing reuse. 

Planning to take the PFJ challenge? E-mail and tell us how through stories, photos, and videos!  

DEC Proposed New Fishing Regulations to Protect Sharks

DEC proposed changes to recreational fishing regulations to improve the management and protection of sharks by establishing gear restrictions for recreational shore anglers to enhance law enforcement's ability to protect sharks and includes new handling and release methods for anglers to improve shark and angler safety. This rulemaking also seeks to improve shark handling and release practices for all shore- and vessel-based anglers. 

Proposed gear restrictions specific to recreational shore anglers include the prohibition of:

  • baited J-hooks exceeding a width of 7/8 inches and baited circle hooks exceeding 1 1/8 inches in width when measured at the widest inside dimension;
  • the use of metal fishing leaders attached to baited hooks that exceed 12 inches in length;
  • chumming within 600 feet of the shoreline except with mollusks and crustaceans;
  • deploying baited hooks by means other than casting with rod and reel; and
  • the use of artificial lures when taking sharks.

The proposed regulation seeks to further protect shark species that are currently illegal to take or possess and are referred to as "prohibited" shark species for recreational fishing. Visit DEC's website for a complete list of prohibited shark species.

The proposed regulation (PDF) is available for public comment until August 14, 2023. Written comments can be submitted to:

Chris Scott
DEC Division of Marine Resources
123 Kings Park Blvd.
Kings Park, NY 11754

DEC will hold two virtual public hearings on Tuesday, August 1, 2023, at 6 pm and Thursday, August 3, 2023, at 2 pm to accept public comments. For additional information or to register for a public hearing, visit DEC's website.

Recreational Striped Bass Fishing Regulations Comment Period

DEC announced the adoption of new regulations in the State’s marine waters for recreational Atlantic striped bass fishing. The new recreational slot limit of 28-to-31 inches took effect immediately on June 20, 2023, and is set as required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to reduce recreational harvest. The recreational slot limit in the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge remains 18-to-28 inches. Visit DEC's website for a complete list of recreational saltwater fishing regulations.

The proposed regulation (PDF) is available for public comment until September 5, 2023. Written comments can be submitted to:

Caitlin Craig
DEC Division of Marine Resources
123 Kings Park Blvd.
Kings Park, NY 11754

New York's Marine Recreational Angler Records Program

 Matthew Kessinger with 13.45-pound State Record Atlantic bonito

From deep, offshore ocean waters to surfcasting on sandy beaches, New York's marine waters offer exciting world-class saltwater fishing opportunities. The DEC Marine Recreational Angler Records Program recognizes exceptional saltwater fish and blue crab caught in New York, including long-standing state records for the heaviest fish and annual awards for the longest fish of a qualifying species. 

Think you caught record-breaking fish? Review the rules of entry, current records, and qualifying lengths on DEC's website: New York Marine Recreational Angler Records Rules (PDF). To submit your catch information to DEC, use the online entry form!

Be sure to check DEC's Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations for the current limits in effect. For helpful tips and best practices for handling saltwater fish, visit DEC’s website.

Anglers must enroll in the annual no-fee Recreational Marine Fishing Registry before fishing New York's Marine and Coastal District waters or when fishing in the Hudson River and its tributaries for "migratory fish of the sea." Anglers can enroll for the registry online, by phone (1-866-933-2257, option 2), or by visiting a license-issuing agent location.

Upcoming Fishery Meetings

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Meeting
Monday, July 31 – Thursday, August 3, 2023
The Westin Crystal City 1800 Richmond Highway, Arlington, VA 22202

Meeting details are available on ASMFC's website

Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council August Meeting
Tuesday, August 8 – Friday, August 11, 2023
Westin Annapolis, 100 Westgate Circle, Annapolis, MD, 21401

Meeting details are available on MAFMC's website.