Governor Andrew Cuomo approved an extension to the New York 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 governor added.
According to New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) Commissioner Joe Martens, the DEC filed the emergency regulation to take effect immediately, "to ensure a seamless and uninterrupted continuation of the state's recreational black sea bass fishing season into 2013."
"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 NYDEC extended the season to coincide with regulations set by the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) 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.
Following a Dec. 13 vote by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, of which Delaware is a member state, the recreational black sea bass season opened in Delaware coastal waters on Jan. 1, 2013. Federal waters, 3 miles and farther from shore, also opened Jan. 1, 2013.
The new season in Delaware and federal waters runs from Tuesday, Jan. 1 to Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, with a daily bag limit of 15 black sea bass. The existing 12.5-inch (excluding caudal fin tendril) minimum-size limit remains in place.
"We are pleased that the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's decision gives Delaware anglers the opportunity to enjoy black sea bass fishing this winter with this new January through February season," said David Saveikis, director, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife.