New 2018 Black Sea Bass Regulations Released

Upon the direction of the Commission’s Interstate Fisheries Management Program (ISFMP) Policy Board, the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Management Board approved revised 2018 recreational measures for the Northern Region states of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York (see Table 1). Further, the Board initiated new management action for the 2019 black sea bass recreational fishery and tasked the Plan Development Team to develop a white paper to consider the impacts of changes in black sea bass abundance and distribution to the
management of commercial and recreational fisheries.

This action is taken in response to a Northern Region state appeal of the approved 2018 recreational measures under Addendum XXX. The appeal argued the Board’s action under Addendum XXX incorrectly applied technical data and was inconsistent with the Summer Flounder, Scup and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan. After reviewing the appeal, Commission Leadership agreed there was adequate justification to bring portions of the appeal forward to the ISFMP Policy Board.

During the ISFMP Policy Board’s deliberations regarding consideration of the appeal, a potential management program for the 2018 black sea bass recreational fishery was presented to replace the allocations specified in Addendum XXX. The revised management program was developed to meet the needs of the Northern Region without impacting the remaining states, while still constraining harvest to the 2018 recreational harvest limit of 3.66 million pounds.

State Minimum Size Possession Limit Open Season
ME 13″ 10 fish May 19–Sep 21; Oct 18–Dec 31
NH 13″ 10 Jan 1–Dec 31
MA 15″ 5 fish May 19–Sep 12
RI 15″ 3 fish Jun 24–Aug 31
RI 15″ 7 fish Sep 1–Dec 31
CT, Private/Shore 15″ 5 fish May 19–Dec 31
CT, Authorized Party/Charter 15″ 5 fish May 19–Aug 31
CT, Authorized Party/Charter 15″ 7 fish Sep 1–Dec 31
NY 15″ 3 fish Jun 23–Aug 31
NY 15″ 7 fish Sep 1–Dec 31
NJ 12.5″ 10 fish May 15–Jun 22
NJ 12.5″ 2 fish Jul 1–Aug 31
NJ 12.5″ 10 fish Oct 8–Oct 31
NJ 13″ 15 fish Nov 1–Dec 31

For more information, please contact Caitlin Starks, Fishery Management Plan Coordinator, at or 703.842.0740.

11 on “New 2018 Black Sea Bass Regulations Released

  1. Kevin Simms

    When catch short seabass they died after.being throw back what sense

    1. tim

      English translation: When I catch black seabass they die after I release them. What is the sense?

  2. gburg61

    This is nothing but a fine collecting operation….the big difference in state regulations exposes it

  3. Fishwish

    5 fish limit is wrong . There are so many sea bass in cape cod waters
    You can not bottom fish for anything else 10 fish makes more sense

  4. Chad Tighe

    I’m perfectly fine with these regulations. Some are even on the high side. No reason to keep 15 fish.

  5. jason

    this should be across the board same limits for 1 state to be less than others is unfair to sport fishing. ct 15in 5 while ny is 12.5 7 so ny can come to ct waters catch fish go home catch more we on other hand can only catch 5 in ny waters because returning hoe our limit is only 5 when ny ct waters connect at 6 mile point

    1. Bobm

      I see ny @15 , nj at 12.5. I don’t see your math … catch what you eat, release for next generation

  6. Jo faria

    Who comes up with these rules for these people need to be fired

  7. Karl

    Why doe Mass shut down on Sept 12 when all the other states increase their limits to almost double until the end of year?

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