August 19, 2012

DEC announces changes to blackfish fishing regulations

ALBANY — New recreational and commercial fishing rules for blackfish (tautog) have been formally adopted, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has announced.

These rules have been in place since May 5, 2012. These changes are necessary to comply with interstate management measures to assist in rebuilding blackfish populations. These changes are a revision of regulations that were originally put in place Dec. 30, 2011.

The recreational season has been shortened by 115 days and now runs from Oct. 5 to Dec. 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 commercial 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.

For more information about the Interstate Fishery Management Program, visit the website of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission at and the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council at

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