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Old 04-01-2007, 10:15 AM
wkempton wkempton is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 5
Angry New Herring Bait Regs

The New regs concerning the purchase and land transport of live herring will ruin the striped bass season on the Hudson River for most anglers. I've copied the regs below from the Hudson River Fisherman's Association web site. In short, you can't buy live herring from your local baitshop and drive it to the river. They think you might stop along the way and use it in a pond somewhere to catch brookies and spread disease. Who the hell uses blueback herring anywhere but in the Hudson in march and April? And where else do the baitshops get it but in the Hudson. Clearly this is a regulation written by Cornell desk types who have never fished a day in their lives.


How the new Fish Health Regulations affect angling on the Hudson River
Gregory Kozlowski: New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Fisheries Outreach Coordinator
Emergency regulations impacting fish movement and the use of baitfish have
been implemented in New York in response to an emerging disease threat, viral
hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS). Historically, VHS caused widespread fish
mortalities in European aquaculture facilities and localized fish mortalities in
Pacific Herring along the North American West Coast. In recognition of its
potential for profound socioeconomic consequences, VHS is one of nine reportable
diseases to the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE). VHS became a
concern in New York due to outbreaks in the Great Lakes. The earliest confirmed
VHS report in the Great Lakes was a frozen Lake St. Clair muskellunge taken
in 2003 that had been retested after VHS was first documented in the
Lakes during 2005. VHS has caused fish mortalities in Lake Huron and Lake St.
Clair, and in New York waters including Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, the St.
Lawrence River and Conesus Lake. Popular angling fish species involved in the fish
mortalities were muskellunge, smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, walleye,
yellow perch, bluegill and pumpkinseed. The Animal Health Inspection Service
(APHIS) lists 37 species of fish across 13 families that are susceptible to VHS,
including all herring species and several popular baitfish species. It is
unusual for a fish disease to affect so many fish species across such a variety
of families. The greatest risk pathway for the spread of VHS was identified
as fish movement, including stocking and the use of baitfish. Given this
information, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
had to respond to the VHS threat.
Emergency Regulations: Take 1: With the growing evidence of the threat VHS
posed to the fisheries resources in New York, the DEC filed emergency
fishing regulations on November 21, 2006. Those regulations strictly controlled the
movement of fish. The significant impact to Hudson River anglers was that
the emergency regulations did not allow the use of herring caught in the Hudson
Rivers tributaries to be used in the main stem of the Hudson. Additionally,
the regulations required that all commercially sold bait fish had to be
certified as “disease free” of six fish diseases, including herring. At the same
time the emergency regulations were filed, the same regulations were
proposed as part of a normal rule making that involved a comment period. Anglers
commented that the herring in the tributaries were the same herring that were in
the main stem of the Hudson and therefore posed no threat if used as bait in
the Hudson River. Commercial bait dealers commented that they could not hold
herring long enough to get the disease testing (takes 3 to 5 weeks) and
that the striper run would be over by the time the herring were certified as
disease free.
Emergency Regulations: Take 2: The DEC reviewed the comments submitted in
response to the proposed fish health regulations and filed revised emergency
regulations effective March 9, 2007. The revised emergency regulations were a
compromise between issues raised during the comment period and the disease
risk of moving fish from one body of water to another. The following revised
emergency fish health regulations impact the Hudson River:
• Personally harvested bait fish, live or dead, can only be used on the same
water body from which they were caught;
• Commercially harvested bait fish, live or dead, can only be possessed,
sold, and offered for sale on the same body of water from which it was caught
unless first certified as disease free;
• The Hudson River downstream from the Federal Dam at Troy to the Battery
at the southern tip of Manhattan Island and all tributaries to the first
barrier impassable by fish is considered one water body. Locks and dams are
considered impassable barriers;
• All bait fish, live or dead, that are not certified as disease free cannot
be transported overland by a motorized vehicle;
• Fish taken for consumption may be transported overland but may not be
brought back to the water and used as bait;
• Bait fish collected in the Marine District may be used as bait in the
Hudson provided that the fish were not transported overland;
• Bait fish that is certified disease free may be transported overland and
used as bait provided that the angler has a copy of the sale receipt that
states the baitfish are certified disease free and has the name of the vendor,
date sold, species of fish sold, and quantity of fish sold. A receipt is valid
for seven days from the date of sale.
* Note that not all details of the revised emergency regulations are listed.
For a complete list of the emergency regulations, visit
What do these regulations mean for Hudson River anglers?
The “message” that the revised emergency regulations sends is that there
can be serious negative impacts of moving fish from one body of water to
another. That is why the DEC is restricting the use of uncertified baitfish to the
water from which they were caught. The good news for Hudson River anglers is
that herring caught in the tributaries of the Hudson will be able to be used
as bait in the main stem of the Hudson. However, you cannot put herring, live
or frozen, in your car to transport them overland from Hudson River
tributaries or bait stores to the Hudson. This will change the way anglers buy and
collect bait fish. Since you cannot put your baitfish in your car, you will
have to purchase your baitfish on the water or within walking distance of the
water. If you collect your own herring, you will have to collect them either
within walking distance or boating distance from where you plan to fish. You
will still be able to bring herring home for pickling, but you will not be able
to bring them back to the water as baitfish once they are transported away
from the Hudson.
Why can’t uncertified baitfish be transported overland by car? Enforcement!
If uncertified baitfish were allowed to be transported in a car, then the
regulations would be unenforceable. After all, bait fish don’t come with the
label “raised in the Hudson River,” so it would be impossible to tell where
the baitfish came from. More importantly, people would be tempted to bring
baitfish from one body of water to another. That is the risk the regulations
avoid by not allowing uncertified baitfish to be placed in a car. The regulations
allow a person to collect baitfish and use them on the same body of water.
If you “need” to transport baitfish overland, then buy certified disease free
bait fish and keep your receipt. The choice is yours.
Revised for now: The changes made in the revised emergency regulations were
different enough that they warranted a second public comment period.
Therefore, the DEC proposed a new set of regulations that are the same as the
revised emergency regulations. Comments will be taken through April 27, 2007. For
more information on VHS and how to submit public comments, please visit
_www.dec.ny.gov_ ( and type VHS in the search engine.
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