In July, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced that the agency had formally adopted new recreational and commercial fishing rules for blackfish (tautog).
The rules have been in place since May 5, 2012. These changes were necessary in order for the state to comply with interstate management measures to assist in rebuilding blackfish populations. The changes are a revision of regulations that were originally put in place on December 30, 2011.
The following is a summary of the new regs:
The season has been shortened by 115 days and now runs from October 5 to December 14. In addition, the minimum size limit has been increased by 2 inches to 16 inches total length. The possession limit of four fish per day remains unchanged.
The minimum size limit has been increased by 1 inch to 15 inches total length. The season and trip limits for the commercial harvest of blackfish will not change in 2012.
As a member of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), New York is required to develop recreational and commercial fishing limits that prevent New York State fishers from harvesting more blackfish than the population can sustain.
The ASMFC mandated that most of its member states, including New York, significantly reduce their harvest of blackfish because the population was at a low level.
source: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation