TEN WAYS TO HELP SAVE A MILLION BASS
Read these recommendations and then take the SAMB Pledge Below.
Keep Fish in the Water
If possible, keep a fish in the water throughout the release process.
Using a dehooking device and either circle or in-line hooks will make the process easier for you and safer for the fish. Additionally, do not allow the fish to flop around in the rocks or on the deck.
Use Circle Hooks
Non-offset circle hooks prevent deep-hooking fish, which is the #1 cause of catch and release mortality.
This is required by law for all natural bait fishing!
Gut Hooked? Snip it!
Cut the line as close to the hook eye as poosible.
Using circle hooks will prevent gut hooking in the first place.
Swap Out Treble Hooks
Swap out your treble hooks for in-line singles, and clamp down barbs on all hooks. Single, barbless hooks cause the least injury to striped bass and increase survival odds.
Not sure what size in-line single hooks to buy? See our associated chart for more information.
Minimize Fight Time
Bring fish in quickly to prevent exhaustion beyond recovery. This is crucial during the summer months when water temperatures are high and hold less oxygen.
Using the right tackle and line strength for the size of fish you're targeting will help you bring the fish in safely and quickly.
Have the Camera Ready, and Limit Photos
If taking photos of your fish, have the camera ready before taking the fish out of the water. Consider taking just one fish photo per trip, or even leaving the camera at home.
When holding a fish out of the water, hold the fish horizontally at the lip and support its belly and tail. Holding a fish vertically out of the water can damage its mouth and internal organs.
Additionally, don’t allow the fish to contact any dry surfaces (including dry hands).
Revive Properly When Necessary
If a striper can't swim away on its own, hold the fish headfirst into the current to ensure that water is moving through its gills. In still water, move the fish gently back and forth to simulate flow, or slowly put your boat in gear while holding the fish in the water. Never let a fish contact dry or sandy surfaces, as this can damage their gills and their protective outer coating.
If a fish can swim away on its own, let it go with as little contact as possible.
Take Extra Care for Spawning Fish
Spawning stripers are producing the next generation. Take extra care with catch and release.
Spawning fish are boiling on the surface in shallow water, and there's often milt in the water.
This is especially important in the Hudson River.
Keep Air and Water Temperatures in Mind
Fish are most vulnerable in warm water and low salinity environments
Keeping fish in the water during the warm summer months during release will help survival.
Consider What You Need
One legal fish can feed up to four people. If keeping a fish, consider how much fish you need to keep so that nothing goes to waste.
Click here for further information on fileting and making the most of a kept fish.
I have read the above rules and recommendations and pledge to follow the above best practices, and to pass along my knowledge to others in order to help revive our striped bass stocks.
All State's Regulations
All marine waters from April 15 through December 15
1 fish between 28 and 35 inches
Circle hooks are required by law for bait fishing as of 1/1/2021
Hudson River and tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge: from April 1 through November 30, 1 fish between 18 and 28 inches.
1 fish between 28 and 38 inches
The Striped Bass Bonus Program open season is May 15 to December 31 Allowing one additional fish 24 inches to less than 28 inches.
Hudson River and tributaries north of the George Washington Bridge: from April 1 through November 30, registered anglers may keep one fish measuring between 18 and 28 inches.