BRIELLE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The sport of saltwater fishing has taken a dip in the Garden State. Boat operators blame a tough economy and rising fuel costs, along with catch limits imposed by the state.

Joe Bogan Sr., the owner of a fishing excursion company, told CBS 2’s Christine Sloan that this summer has been particularly discouraging.

“June and July were tough, there was a lot of people missing. I think the economy is holding people back,” he said.

Bogan said high prices have contributed to the industry’s woes.

“With the fuel price and bait prices up, it does cost more,” he said.

According to the Star-Ledger, a national survey found that people are taking fewer fishing excursions and the industry may be losing serious ground in New Jersey.

Catch limit laws imposed by the state may also be hurting the industry, fishermen told CBS 2. Anglers can only keep five flounder per day.

“My first nine trips this year I had over 500 throw-back fish,” Dale Issacs said.

And in New York, where laws are even more strict, fishermen can only keep two per day.

Boat operators said that if limits change again many of them could go out of business.

Have you been out fishing this year in New York or New Jersey? Let us know in our comments section below…

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