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The Striped Bass Bonus Program

 
The 2020 Striped Bass Bonus Program is open until December 31, 2020.

Permits issued for 2019 are not valid in 2020.

Applications for the 2020 SBBP are no longer available.
The application deadline was October 31, 2020. Applications submitted after the deadline will not be processed.

Updated and new information about the SBBP is posted on this webpage and sent to Marine Fisheries e-mail list subscribers and media outlets when available.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for processing due to the high volume of applications submitted near the October 31 deadline.

Reporting of all harvested bonus fish is mandatory.

Effective May 15, 2020, the SBBP regulations are as follows:

  • One fish per permit 24" to less than 28"
  • May 15, 2020 - December 31, 2020
Please note that the order of fish harvested does not matter.

Bonus harvest reporting is mandatory and fish must be reported within 24 hours of harvest online or by calling 609-748-2074.

PROGRAM BACKGROUND

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 netting or sale of striped bass, this quota was transferred to the recreational fishing sector resulting in the origin of the SBBP.

The current allocation from ASMFC is 215,912 pounds to be distributed between individual anglers and party/charter boats. Should NJ overshoot this quota in 2020, any overage would be subtracted from the 2021 quota. Although this program does allow for the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey anglers, the Division encourages catch and release whenever possible so this species can prosper for future generations.

The Division of Fish and Wildlife initiated the program in 1990 to allow the harvest of an additional striped bass for New Jersey recreational anglers. Although the program has been modified throughout the years, the main goal of the SBBP is to allow anglers to participate in the management process while enjoying their favorite recreational pastime. It is a popular program and provides valuable data for assessing stock status and fishing trends, making it an integral part of New Jersey's striped bass management.

Angler with legal size bonus striped bass
Deckhand Erik Olsen fillets Bonus fish on the F/V Queen Mary
Click to enlarge

REGULATIONS

Effective April 1, 2020, New Jersey recreational striped bass regulations in all state waters are as follows:

  • One fish 28" to less than 38"

With a bonus permit, anglers can keep one fish 24 inches to less than 28 inches from May 15 through December 31, 2020. Reporting bonus harvest within 24 hours is mandatory. Please note the order of fish harvested does not matter (Bonus fish can be the 1st or 2nd fish). Visit the Marine section of the Regulations page to check current Federal and State possession and season regulations for striped bass fishing in your area.

SBBP participants can receive immediate notification of regulation updates, emergency closures, special notices, etc., by subscribing to the free NJ Marine Fishing E-mail List. For details and to subscribe, visit the E-mail List Subscription page.

APPLICATION AND MANDATORY REPORTING INFORMATION

New Application Instructions for 2020

Applications for the 2020 SBBP are no longer available.

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

TWO MANDATORY REPORTING REQUIREMENTS FOR INDIVIDUAL ANGLERS

Please watch the instructional video to see what's new for the 2020 program.
SBBP Reporting Instructions Video

1) Individual Angler Harvest Reporting

If a Bonus fish is harvested, the SBBP Permit must be securely attached to fish through the mouth and gill immediately upon capture and prior to transportation. Harvest reporting is mandatory within 24 hours of harvest and must be reported online or by leaving a message at 609-748-2074. Required reporting information includes name, permit #, phone number, date of harvest, and fish length.

After the Division receives an initial harvest report, each participant may be issued an additional permit up to the discretion of the Division. Due to the extended season, individuals may be eligible for multiple permits throughout the season.

Detailed information on procedures for reporting are below and will be provided with each Bonus Permit issued.

Submit a Harvest Report
SBBP Angler Reporting Instructions (pdf, 145kb)

2) Individual Angler Striped Bass Fishing Log

Complete the daily log included in the envelope with the permit and mail or submit online by January 15, 2021 even if you did not fish.

Detailed information on procedures for completing and submitting fishing logs will be provided with each Bonus Permit issued.

SBBP Reporting Instructions (pdf, 145kb)
SBBP Fishing Log (pdf, 65kb)
NOTE: PDF can be completed (and saved on some browsers and Acrobat Reader) before printing. Log can be printed on both sides and mailed.

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

PARTY/CHARTER BOATS

Applications are no longer being accepted for 2020.

The Party/Charter Boat (PCBT) facet of the SBBP reopened on May 15, 2020. Data collected from this program has proved invaluable for managing striped bass. Qualified PCBTs will be issued a limited number of permits allowing customers to keep one Bonus Fish from 24" to less than 28". Only one permit may be issued to a customer per day.

New Simplified Party/Charter Boat Reporting Requirements for 2020

PCBTs will no longer be required to submit both weekly harvest reports and daily trip logbooks. These two forms have been combined to one form now called a Trip Report. PCBTs will be required to submit mandatory Trip Reports of each trip's striped bass catch and bonus harvest every Monday to ensure the quota is not exceeded. Complete instructions are below and will be provided with permits.
SBBP Party/Charter Boat Reporting Instructions (pdf, 175kb)

Please view the instructional video for more information on the changes to the 2020 program.
SBBP Party/Charter Reporting Instructions Video

If you require additional information concerning this program or any other striped bass issue, please contact the Division's Nacote Creek office at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

PLEASE NOTE

Division of Fish and Wildlife staff are now responsible for conducting field interviews for the Access-Point Angler Intercept Survey (pdf, 600kb). As a participant of the Striped Bass Bonus Program, your cooperation with Division staff is expected and appreciated. Please be aware that Division staff may request a short interview upon arrival at the dock, ramp, or marina.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

arrow Striped Bass Party Boat and Tournament Sampling Summary
arrow Striped Bass Sampling on the F/V Queen Mary
arrow Striped Bass Tagging Program/Reporting (Am. Littoral Society)
arrow Rewards for Striped Bass Tags
arrow Striped Bass Temperature Study Tagging Project Information (pdf, 12kb)
arrow Saltwater Fishing Information
arrow Saltwater Fishing Regulations

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Department of Environmental Protection
P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: November 1, 2020