HARRISBURG, Pa – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) today announced changes to Striped Bass fishing regulations within the Delaware Estuary, Delaware River, and West Branch Delaware River.
Harvest and delayed mortality of caught and released Striped Bass have reduced the coastal population below levels needed to sustain high-quality recreational angling experiences. Due to the negative impact on the fishery, harvest and terminal tackle restrictions are needed to help rebuild the coastal stock.
In accordance with a fisheries management plan adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s (ASMFC) Striped Bass Management Board intended to reduce fishing mortality by 18%, the PFBC will change minimum size requirements and slot limits for harvesting Striped Bass in the Delaware Estuary, Delaware River, and West Branch Delaware River, and enact a mandatory circle hook requirement for anglers using bait while fishing for all species within the Delaware Estuary. These changes are effective beginning April 1, 2020.
These regulation changes, tackle and registration requirements do not apply to inland populations of Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass. Please see the 2020 Pennsylvania Fishing Summary Book for minimum size and creel limits for inland waters.
Minimum Size Limits for Harvesting Striped Bass (coastal)
Under the new minimum size limits, anglers will be permitted to harvest one Striped Bass per day that measures at least 28 inches but less than 35 inches in the Delaware Estuary (from the Pennsylvania line upstream to Calhoun Street Bridge) during the periods January 1 through March 31 and June 1 through December 31. During the period from April 1 through May 31, anglers may harvest two Striped Bass daily that measure at least 21 inches but less than 24 inches. In the Delaware River (from the Calhoun Street Bridge upstream) anglers will be permitted to harvest one Striped