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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.

Summary of General Fishing Regulations

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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 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 any species other than yellow perch and white perch. This does not apply to fish taken through the ice.
  • Snag any species of fish in Swartswood Lake and its tributaries, including Neldon Brook, plus Monksville Reservoir and its tributaries, including the Wanaque River.

Bow and Arrow Fishing

Any species of fish, except brook, brown, lake or rainbow trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon, largemouth or smallmouth bass, striped bass or any of its hybrids, pickerel, northern pike, walleye, muskellunge or any of its hybrids, may be taken at any time by use of a bow and arrow with line attached by the holder 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.

Carp and suckers may be taken with net under the ice. Suckers may be taken through the ice by means of hooks, no more than three, directly attached to a rigid handle between December 1 and March 1.

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

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.

 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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