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The 2014 New Jersey Freshwater Fishing Guide is now available!
To view the new guide, please download the pdf. Check back in the coming days as we work to put up the new 2014 website.

Below is content from the 2013 guide.

License Information

Brought to you by:

This is not the full law. Consult the Division of Fish and Wildlife for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code
and regulations are the legal authorities.
Regulations in red are new this year. Purple text indicates an important note.

Licenses

  • A valid New Jersey fishing license is required for residents at least 16 years and less than 70 years of age (plus all non-residents 16 years and older) to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey, including privately owned waters.
  • Resident anglers age 70 and over do not require a fishing license. A driver’s license or other acceptable proof of age containing date of birth and physical description will serve as the actual fishing license. Non-residents 70 and over must purchase a license.
  • License must be visibly displayed on outer clothing.
  • License and trout stamp are both valid from date of purchase through Dec. 31.
  • A person must reside in New Jersey for at least six months to obtain a resident fishing license.
  • Farmers and immediate family members who live on the farm do not need a license to fish on their own farm, but must obey all fishing regulations.
  • Anyone convicted of a second fish or wildlife violation in this or another state within a period of five years will have his or her New Jersey sporting licenses revoked for a minimum of two years.

Trout Stamps

A valid fishing license and trout stamp are both required to fish for or possess trout and salmon for all anglers (residents and non-residents) 16 and over, and residents under the age of 70. No trout stamp is required for residents age 70 years and over.

Purchasing a License

Licenses may be purchased by phone at (888) 773-8450, online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com or at license agents such as sporting goods stores plus bait and tackle shops. Visit our website at NJFishandWildlife.com for details, or call (609) 292-2965. The Trenton Fish and Wildlife office is no longer open to the public for license or permit sales.

Replacement — Lost License or Stamp

A license, permit or stamp can be replaced at any license agent or online at Fish and Wildlife’s Internet license sales site, www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com also linked through our regular website at NJFishandWildlife.com or by phone at (888) 773-8450.

Special Licenses

Servicemen and Servicewomen

A person who is on active duty in the armed services of the United States is entitled to fish with a resident license.

National Guard Members

Eligible National Guard personnel are entitled to free licenses, permits, and stamps. Further information can be obtained by writing to: NJ Department of Military/Veteran Affairs, 101 Eggerts Crossing Rd., Lawrenceville, NJ 08648. Or call (609) 530-6866 for 1st Sgt. Turrian.

Disabled Veterans Licenses, Stamps and Permits

Free hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and permits are available for resident disabled veterans.

For the purposes of this program, legislation defines disabled veterans as “…any resident of New Jersey who has been honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active service from any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States and who has been declared by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, or its successor, to have a service-connected disability of any degree…”

New applicant disabled veterans may obtain their hunting and fishing licenses and stamps at the following Fish and Wildlife field offices:

  • Pequest Trout Hatchery/Natural Resource Ed. Ctr, Oxford, Warren Co., (908) 637-4125
  • Central Region Office, Upper Freehold Twp., Monmouth Co., (609) 259-2132
  • Southern Region Office, Sicklerville, Camden Co., (856) 629-0090

Applications for disabled veteran certification and your first disabled veteran license may be made via the mail by sending the application and all required documentation to NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife, Attn: Disabled Veteran Licensing,.MC 501-03, PO Box 420 Trenton, NJ 08625-0420.

All licenses, stamps and permits for which the veteran is eligible will be free of charge. This does not give preferential treatment in any lottery. For questions call (609) 984-6213.

Disabled Veteran Applicants:

  1. Documentation of current benefits for a service-connected disability and proof of honorable discharge (such as a copy of your DD-214, VA card or monthly check stub) must be presented to obtain a free disabled veteran license.
  2. Applicant must provide a hunter education (archery, shotgun or rifle) course certificate applicable to the license for which he or she is applying or a previously issued resident archery or firearm license or rifle permit. Resident licenses from other states issued to hunters prior to establishing residency in New Jersey will be accepted if the license indicates the sporting arm for which it was valid. Non-resident licenses from other states are not acceptable.
  3. To obtain the free disabled veteran deer/turkey permits one must first have a free disabled veteran hunting license.

For the Blind

Residents afflicted with total blindness may obtain a free license from Fish and Wildlife’s Trenton office. Call (609) 292-9530 for an application.

Summary of General Fishing Regulations

The season, size and creel limits for freshwater species apply to all waters of the state, including tidal waters.

  • Fish may be taken only in the manner known as angling with handline or with rod and line, or as otherwise allowed by law.
  • When fishing from the shoreline, no more than three fishing rods, handlines or combination thereof may be used (except on the Delaware River, see Delaware River). For the Delaware River the three rod limit applies both to boat and shoreline anglers (see Delaware River).
  • Only one daily creel of any fish species may be in possession. Additional fish may be caught once the creel is reached if immediately returned to the water unharmed.
  • Separate stringers or buckets must be used for each angler’s catch.
  • Boats may contain only the combined daily creel limit for each legal angler on board.
  • A fishing license does not authorize trespass on private property. Permission first must be obtained from the landowner.

It Is Unlawful To:

  • Fish within 100 feet (or as posted) of any fish ladder entrance or exit from March 1 through June 30.
  • Spear fish in fresh waters. See exception for Delaware River.
  • Possess a fishing device with more than nine hooks in total, or more than three treble hooks, except for the Delaware River.
  • Use set lines.
  • Use cast nets in freshwater lakes or trout stocked waters. See Baitfish Regulations for other exclusions.
  • Foul hook or snag any species of fish. This does not apply to fish taken through the ice.

Bow and Arrow Fishing

Carp, including bighead, common, grass and silver—as well as, eels, flathead catfish, both American and gizzard shad, snakeheads and suckers—may be taken at any time by use of a bow and arrow (with a line attached to the arrow) when in possession of a valid fishing license. See regulations for the Delaware River and Greenwood Lake. Crossbows are NOT permitted for fishing.

Emergency Closures

It is illegal to fish or attempt to catch or kill fish by any manner or means in any waters for which the Director of the Division of Fish and Wildlife, upon approval by the Fish and Game Council, issues an emergency closure notice. Such notification is effective and/or rescinded immediately upon public notification. Emergency closures shall be based upon imminent threat to the well-being of the fishery resources, and/or its users, and may include any exceptions to the total ban of fishing that the Director deems practical.

Ice Fishing

No more than five devices may be used for taking fish when ice is present. The devices that may be used are:

  1. Ice supported tip-ups or lines with one single pointed hook attached, or one burr of three hooks that measure not more than ½-inch from point to shaft;
  2. An artificial jigging lure with not more than one burr of three hooks that measure not more than ½-inch from point to point;
  3. An artificial jigging lure with not more than three single hooks measuring not more than ½-inch from point to shaft;
  4. An artificial jigging lure with a combination of the hook limitations described in 2 and 3 above.

Natural bait may be used on the hooks of the artificial jigging lures. All devices that are not hand-held must bear the name and address of the user and cannot be left unattended.

See separate regulations for trout-stocked waters and Greenwood Lake.

Potentially Dangerous Fish

The possession or release of live, potentially dangerous fish is prohibited. These species include Asian swamp eel, bighead, grass (diploid) and silver carp, brook stickleback, green sunfish, flathead catfish, oriental weatherfish, snakehead and warmouth. Anglers MUST destroy these species if encountered while fishing and are directed to submit specimen(s) or photos to a Fish and Wildlife Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries biologist for verification. To reach a biologist, call (908) 236-2118 for north Jersey or (856) 629-4950 for south Jersey. These non-native species are likely to cause environmental harm to the state’s fisheries resources by outcompeting preferred game fish species.

Sale of Fish

It is illegal to sell any freshwater fish species except under commercial permits as prescribed in the Fish and Game Code. Artificially-propagated trout, if properly tagged, may be sold for food purposes.

Stocking Fish

A permit is required to stock fish or fish eggs into any waters of the state, public or private,
at any time.
An application may be obtained
by contacting the Lebanon Field Office at
(908) 236-2118. It is ILLEGAL to stock carp or koi into any such waters.

Tagging Fish

No person may tag or mark and then release a fish without first obtaining a fish stocking permit or by special permit issued by Fish and Wildlife. Contact the Lebanon Field Office at
(908) 236-2118 for application information.

Waste of Fish

Fish of any species which are purposely killed become part of the angler’s daily limit and must be removed from the waters from which they were taken, then either used or otherwise
disposed of properly.

2014 License Fees and Information

Licenses and fishing-related permits are valid from date of purchase to Dec. 31 of each year.

Licenses

Resident Fishing
Ages 16–64 yrs. $22.50

Senior Resident Fishing
Ages 65–69 yrs. $12.50
70 & over Free

Resident Trout Stamp
Ages 16–69 yrs. $10.50

Non-resident Fishing
Age 16 yrs. and older $34

Non-resident Trout Stamp $20

Non-resident 2-Day Vacation Fishing $9

Non-resident 7-Day Vacation Fishing $19.50

All-Around Sportsman (includes resident fishing, firearm hunting and bow/arrow hunting licenses) $72.25

Permits

Available online or through license agents:
Boat Ramp Permit $15

Available through the Lebanon Field Office (908) 236-2118:

Water Lowering, Fish Stocking,
Baitfish Collecting, Fish Tagging $2

Turtle & Frog Collecting $2

Scientific Collecting $22

Water Supply Reservoirs Open To Fishing By Permit Only

Permits must be obtained from the specific reservoir owner listed below.
A valid fishing license is also required.

Waterbody

County

Type of Fishing

Fee

Permit Source

Newark-Pequannock
Watershed Reservoirs

Echo Lake

Passaic

Boat & Shoreline

Yes

Newark Watershed reservoir permits
available in person only at these locations:

City of Newark
223 Echo Lake Road, Newfoundland, NJ 07435
(973) 697-1724

Newark City Hall
920 Broad St., Newark 07102
(973) 733-8008

Clinton Reservoir

Oak Ridge Reservoir

Morris

Canistear Reservoir

Sussex

Oradell Reservoir

Bergen

Shoreline only

Yes

United Water Company
200 Old Hook Road, Harrington Park, NJ 07640
(201) 767-9300 x3208

Woodcliff Lake

Lake Tappan Reservoir
Lake Deforest

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com