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Striped Bass

person holding a striped bass

Striped bass (Morone saxatilis) is an ecologically, recreationally, and economically important species of migratory fish that is found in the Hudson River. Adults spend most of their time in coastal waters and return to the fresh water of the Hudson River each spring to spawn before returning back to the Atlantic Ocean. The Hudson River acts as a nursery for the newly hatched young of year bass and in early fall they begin moving out of the estuary into near shore coastal areas.

Do you fish for striped bass? Join the Hudson River Cooperative Angler Program. New Survey 123 Online Logbook Available

Current Fishery

Management

Striped bass are cooperatively managed along the Atlantic coast by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). Along with other states, New York has required regulatory measures that include monitoring programs, recreational and commercial minimum size limits, recreational creel limits, and commercial quotas to manage and evaluate the condition of the striped bass stock. In 2015, New York was required to reduce harvest due to a decline in the coastal spawning stock and therefore implemented a slot limit (18"- 28" total length) in the Hudson River to protect most female fish. Recently, the 2018 ASMFC striped bass benchmark stock assessment indicated coast-wide populations of striped bass were overfished and experiencing overfishing. To reduce mortality, Addendum VI to Amendment 6 (PDF, leaves DEC website) of the Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass requires the use of circle hooks when fishing with bait for striped bass. Catch and release practices contribute significantly to overall fishing mortality and circle hooks work effectively to reduce release mortality.

people pulling a haul seine

Long-term Monitoring Programs

Spawning Stock Survey

Since 1985, a 500 foot haul seine and an electrofishing boat are used from April through June to catch spawning striped bass. Length, weight, and sex information is recorded and scale samples for aging are collected from the fish before being tagged and returned to the river.

Beach Seine Survey

Beginning in 1979, a 200 foot seine is used from July through November to catch young of year striped bass. The fish are counted and measured and average catch rates are calculated. See a graph of annual catch rates of young of year striped bass.

Hudson River Striped Bass Cooperative Angler Program

people processing fish from a floating net pen

Do you fish for striped bass in the Hudson River? Join the Hudson River Striped Bass Cooperative Angler Program to have an active role in the conservation and management of striped bass. By providing information about your fishing trips and the fish you catch, we can better understand and manage this fishery.

New York State is required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (leaves DEC website) to provide catch information from our recreational fishery. We satisfy this requirement with the help of volunteer recreational anglers.

How it works

You can use the logbook we provide or you can record your trips on your smartphone or computer using DEC's online logbook (see below). The logbooks include detailed instructions on the information you need to collect, such as the date of your fishing trip and the type of bait you used.

cover of a Cooperative Angler logbook

Record this information about your fishing trips and return your logbook at the end of the season. If you are using the online logbook, you can submit your fishing data after each trip. At the end of the year, the recreational fishery data is analyzed and sent to you in a newsletter, giving you an inside look into the striped bass fishing season. Participants also receive the latest news regarding regulation changes and information about our annual Hudson River fish population surveys.

Cooperative Angler Online Logbook

DEC has developed a Hudson River Cooperative Angler online logbook for participating anglers to electronically log fishing trips using the Survey123 App from either a smartphone or computer. The survey is designed to be efficient and user-friendly. To learn more, download the online logbook instructions for installation and completion.

Contact Information

If you would like to participate in the Hudson River Cooperative Angler Program, please contact jessica.best@dec.ny.gov (845) 256-3009.

Note: If you primarily fish for striped bass in New York waters south of the George Washington Bridge, the DEC has a separate Striped Bass Cooperative Angler Program.

Additional Research

In 2016, NYSDEC staff acoustically tagged 100 striped bass in collaboration with researchers at the University of Maryland's Chesapeake Biological Laboratory to better understand migration patterns and mortality rates. Acoustic tags give off a signal that can be picked up by mobile tracking units on boats as well as stationary receivers located throughout the Hudson River and along the Atlantic coast. Results from this study determined two spawning groups exist in the Hudson River with each group utilizing a distinct section of the river at different times during the spring spawning run. These two groups likely experience different fishing pressure based on their arrival and departure from the Hudson River.

Fish Consumption Advisory

Please visit the Department of Health's website for fish consumption advisories (leaves DEC website) from the Hudson River and other waters of New York.


More about Striped Bass:

  • Striped Bass in the Hudson River - View graphs depicting length distribution and recreational slot limit for striped bass in the Hudson River and the striped bass young of year index of abundance
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  • For help with PDFs on this page, please call 845-256-3009.
  • Contact for this Page
  • NYSDEC
    Hudson River Fisheries Unit
    21 South Putt Corners Road
    New Paltz, NY 12561
    845-256-3009
    Send us an email
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  • Page applies to Hudson River region