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.
- Freshwater Fishing Regulations (Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge)
- Recreational Saltwater Fishing Regulations (Hudson River south of the George Washington Bridge)
- Freshwater Fishing Regulations (Delaware River and West Branch Delaware River)
- Commercial fishing - At this time, the Hudson River and waters near New York City are closed to commercial fishing for striped bass
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) 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.
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
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 to provide catch information from our recreational fishery. We satisfy this requirement with the help of volunteer recreational anglers.
How it works
Record your fishing trip information in a physical logbook that we provide (pictured on left) or you can record your trips on your smartphone or computer using DEC's online logbook (PDF; see below). The logbook includes detailed instructions on the information you need to collect, such as the date of your fishing trip, fishing location, and the type of bait used.
At the end of the fishing season, anglers return their logbooks. If you are using the online logbook, you can submit your fishing data after each trip. When all logbooks are returned, the recreational fishery data are analyzed and sent to anglers in a newsletter, providing an inside look into the striped bass fishing season among all participating anglers. Participants also receive the latest news regarding regulation changes and information about our annual Hudson River fish population surveys.
Cooperative Angler Online Logbook and Physical 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 (PDF) with a link to the Survey 123 App.
If you would prefer to record your fishing trip information in a physical logbook, please contact [email protected] or (845) 256-3009 and we will mail you a water resistant logbook.
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.
In 2016, DEC 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.
Striped Bass Length Distribution and Recreational Slot Limit in the Hudson River
Length distribution and recreational slot limit (outlined in light blue) for striped bass in the Hudson River. The slot limit was implemented to protect most spawning Hudson River females. Learn additional tips about catch and release (PDF) fishing in New York waters.
Young of Year Striped Bass Abundance
DEC young of year abundance index (geometric mean number of striped bass per haul, weeks 29-45) for striped bass collected in the Hudson River.
Fish Consumption Advisory
Please visit the Department of Health's website for fish consumption advisories from the Hudson River and other waters of New York.