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Shellfish & Crab Information

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Jersey Saltwater Fishing

Shellfish License Information

A shellfish license (formerly called clamming license) is required for harvesting all species of benthic mollusks (except conchs, addressed in the commercial marine fisheries regulations), including, but not limited to, hard and soft clams, surf clams, oysters, bay scallops and mussels. Other specific commercial shellfish licenses exist such as surf clam dredge, Delaware Bay oyster dredge boat and Delaware Bay licenses to harvest in Areas 1, 2 and 3.

Anyone engaged in any shellfish harvesting activity with someone holding a commercial shellfish license must also possess their own commercial shellfish license.

For shellfishing regulations, see Mollusks & Crustaceans. Prior to harvesting any shellfish, you must consult the Shellfish Growing Water Classification Charts published by DEP’s Bureau of Marine Water Monitoring, available at shellfish license agents, state shellfish offices, online at https://www.nj.gov/dep/bmw/nssphome.html#charts or call Marine Water Monitoring at (609) 748-2000. Purchase shellfish licenses online at www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com.

Shellfish License Fees

  • Resident recreational shellfish: $10
    Harvest limit: 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of catch prohibited.
  • Non-resident recreational shellfish: $20
    Harvest limit: 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of catch prohibited. License valid only during June, July, August and September.
  • Juvenile recreational shellfish: $2
    For persons under 14 years of age. Subject to same restrictions as resident or nonresident adult recreational license holders.
  • Resident commercial shellfish: $50
    Unlimited harvest. Shellfish may be sold only to certified dealers.
  • Non-resident Commercial Shellfish: $250
    Unlimited harvest. Shellfish may be sold only to certified dealers.
  • Resident senior citizen recreational shellfish license: FREE lifetime license ($2 application fee). NJ residents age 62 years or older. Harvest limit: 150 shellfish (in aggregate) per day. Sale of shellfish prohibited.
  • Disabled veterans: Fish and Wildlife-certified disabled veterans are eligible for free shellfish license at any shellfish license agent location. To become certified, call (609) 984-6213.

Crab Pot License Information

Recreational Crab Pot/Trot Line Licenses and Non-Commercial Crab Dredge Licenses are available for purchase online at: www.NJ.WildlifeLicense.com
or at any Fish and Wildlife-certified license agent including those license agents listed below. For the most current list of Fish and Wildlife-certified license agents, go to NJFishandWildlife.com/agentlst.htm.

  • Recreational crab pot/trot line license: $2
    Harvest limit: one bushel per day. Refer to the shellfish regulations on Mollusks & Crustaceans for all recreational crabbing regulations.
  • Non-commercial crab dredge license: $15
    Harvest limit: one bushel per day during the crab dredge season. See Mollusks & Crustaceans for recreational crab regulations.

Terrapin Excluders and Biodegradable Panels Are Required on Chesapeake-Style Crab Pots

NOTE: It is illegal to catch or take diamondback terrapins in New Jersey. Users of non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots note: all pots set in any body of water less than 150-feet wide at mean low tide or in any manmade lagoon MUST include diamondback terrapin excluder devices. Non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots set in any body of water MUST include biodegradable panels.

These crab pot modifications will help reduce the unintentional drowning of terrapins allowing these and other species to escape in the event that pots are lost or abandoned. Terrapin excluder devices must be no larger than 2-inch high by 6-inch wide and securely ­fastened inside each funnel entrance. Biodegradable panels must measure at least 6½-inch wide by 5-inch high and be located in the upper section of the crab pot. The panel must be constructed of, or fastened to the pot with, wood lath, ­cotton, hemp, sisal or jute twine not greater than 3⁄16″ diameter, or non-stainless steel, uncoated ferrous metal not greater than 3⁄32″ diameter. The door or a side of the pot may serve as the biodegradable panel ONLY if it is fastened to the pot with any of the material specified above. Crabbers should note: ALL non-­collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots MUST be licensed and marked with the gear ­identification number of the owner. For crab pot license information and ­regulations, see Mollusks & Crustaceans.

Chesapeake-Style Crab Pot

 

Shellfish and Non-Commercial
Crab Pot License Agents

Current listing now available online at https://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/agentlst.htm.

Note: All license agents statewide can now sell all license and permit privileges.