Director’s Message

Fishing Regulations New Jersey Freshwater Fishing

With so much happening around freshwater fishing in New Jersey, it’s hard to capture all the highlights in a single Digest edition. The Division of Fish and Wildlife staff continues to work throughout the state to stock fish, enhance aquatic habitats and improve fishing access. Last year our hatchery staff stocked more than 6.2 million fish in New Jersey’s public waterbodies. Anglers can expect the same opportunities in 2020.

No matter where you live in the Garden State, there are places to fish close to home. Will you fish today for wild brookies or for hatchery-raised, stocked trout? For largemouth bass or muskies? Who will you join you fishing? Are you that person looking for solitude or a respite from work by fishing alone? Will you take the kids? Or are you heading out with friends to see who can catch the biggest keeper? Your opportunities are limited only by the kind of fishing experience you want to have.

People approach fishing in many ways. The smiles on the faces of the storytellers on Angler Stories: Can You Relate? of this Digest are proof that it’s enjoyable no matter how it’s done. Big fish or small fish, adult or child — it’s all about getting outside and having fun!

The pages of this Digest are packed with information to enhance your fishing experience including a guide to help you identify your catch, detailed regulations and stocking information that describe the what, when and where that surround fishing opportunities in New Jersey. To help sort out all this good information, check out the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Freshwater Fisheries FAQ’s Answered. Maybe one of your pressing questions is answered. I’m certain you’ll find the information to be useful.

Increasing participation in fishing is a major priority for the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife and several programs are in place to attract new anglers. Kids under the age of 16 are not required to get a fishing license in New Jersey, so be sure to encourage them to come fishing with you. While making great memories, you’ll also be developing our future sportsmen and sportswomen.

For those over 16-years old who might want to give fishing a try before buying a license, New Jersey offers two Free Fishing Days: June 6 and Oct. 17, 2020. No license is required to fish on these two dates. When it’s time to buy a license, our Buddy License Program offers big discounts for anglers (resident or non-resident) who have not purchased a fishing license since 2010 (see Summary of Fishing Regulations). Finally, our new electronic licensing system allows for easy, online purchasing of fishing licenses and trout stamps. If you have never used our online system to purchase your license, our new system makes it easier than ever so this is the year to give it a try.

Among the many things to do outdoors in New Jersey, fishing has been my longtime favorite. Sharing time with friends afield and sharing the fish tales that come afterward all begin with making that initial decision to get outside. Rain or shine, spring or fall, those fish are out there waiting for you. Now go outside and get ‘em! .

Get on The List!

The Freshwater Fisheries e-mail lists, that is. This free service provides the latest information about Fish and Wildlife events, public hearings and other matters related to our freshwater fishing resources. And we have several other lists so you can maximize your enjoyment of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources.

Sign up today at: NJFishandWildlife.com/lstsub.htm