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The New Jersey Division of Fish and Widlife has officially released details regarding the new 2019 'slot striper' bonus program beginning September 1.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  August 5, 2019
For more information:
The Fisherman Magazine
Beginning on September 1, Striped Bass Bonus Program tag holders in New Jersey will be able to harvest a 'slot striper' from 24 inches to less than 28 inches in length.

Applications for New Jersey’s 2019 Striped Bass Bonus Program are now available through the Division of Fish and Wildlife website at (Google “New Jersey Striped Bass Bonus Program”). Application deadline is October 31.

The bonus comes from the unused commercial quota and allows a permit holder to harvest one striped bass from 24 inches to less than 28 inches from September 1 through December 31.

According to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, a total of 5,018 individuals and 142 party/charter boats were enrolled in the program in 2018. Based on tag returns to the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, the total bonus harvest last year was 6,786 pounds based on 1,101 fish kept. That represents just 3.1% of the entire 215,912-pound quota that would’ve otherwise gone to the commercial sector. That 3.1% bonus harvest amounted to 1,609 pounds of striped bass from individual anglers, and 5,274 pounds from the party/charter boats that participated.

Reporting of all harvested bonus fish is mandatory and must be reported within 24 hours of harvest via online or by calling 609-748-2074. It should be noted that of the 5,018 individuals issued a bonus tag and logbook for record-keeping in 2018, only 1,704 logbooks were returned; out of 142 participating party/charter boats, just 94 logbooks were submitted back to the Division for analysis. This information on catch and effort is critical from a management perspective, and will help significantly in future efforts to conserve striped bass.

All 2018 permit holders must reapply to receive a 2019 permit. The number of permits issued will be limited at the Division's discretion based on harvest reports and other factors to ensure the 2019 quota is not exceeded.

Contact the Division's Nacote Creek office for more information at 609-748-2020 or sbbp@dep.nj.gov.

Striped Bass Bonus Program website.