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State Size & Possession Limits

2016 New Jersey Recreational Fishing Seasons, Minimum Size and Possession Limits

Regulations remain in effect until changed. For the most current regulations, go to NJFishandWildlife.com or call the marine fish “listen-only” information line at (609) 292-2083. Regulations in red are new this year.

Species

Open Season

Minimum Length

Harvest & Possession Limit (per person unless noted)

American Eela

No Closed Season

9″

25

Black Drum

No Closed Season

16″

3

Black Sea Bass

May 23–June 19

12.5″

10

July 1–Aug. 31

12.5″

2

Oct. 22–Dec. 31

13″

15

Bluefish (Snapper)

No Closed Season

None

15

Cod

No Closed Season

21″

No Limit

Haddock

No Closed Season

21″

No Limit

Pollock

No Closed Season

19″

No Limit

Red Drum

No Closed Season

18″

1 not greater than 27″

River Herring

No Open Season

None

0

Scup (Porgy)

Jan. 1–Feb. 28
July 1–Dec. 31

9″

50

Shad

Delaware River & tributaries

No Closed Season

None

6 (maximum of 3 American shad)

All Other Marine Waters

No Closed Season

None

6 (no American shad may be harvested or possessed)

Sharkb, c,

Aggregate large coastal group

Jan. 1–May 14 and
July 16–Dec. 31

54″ fork length

One Shark (of any species, except prohibited species) per vessel per trip; plus one Atlantic sharpnose shark per person per trip (no minimum size); plus one bonnethead shark per person per trip (no minimum size).

Hammerhead group

78″ fork length

Non-blacknose small coastal group
Blacknose group

No Closed Season

None

Pelagic group

No Closed Season

54″ fork length

Smooth Dogfish

No Closed Season

None

No Limit

Spanish Mackerel

No Closed Season

14″

10

Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass

Delaware River & tributaries**
(Calhoun St. bridge to Salem River & tributaries)

March 1–March 31
and June 1–Dec. 31

one @ 28″ to < 43″ and one 43″

2

Delaware River & tributaries**
(upstream of Calhoun St. bridge)

March 1–Dec. 31

Atlantic Oceand (0–3 nautical miles from shore­)

No Closed Season

Rivers, bay and estuaries

March 1–Dec. 31

3–200 nautical miles (federal waters)

Prohibited

­–

0

Summer Flounder (Fluke)

Delaware Bay and tributariesf

May 21–Sept. 25

17″

4

All water except as above

May 21–Sept. 25

18″

5

Tautog (Blackfish)

Jan. 1–Feb. 28

15″

4

April 1–April 30

15″

4

July 17–Nov. 15

15″

1

Nov. 16–Dec. 31

15″

6

Weakfish

No Closed Season

13″

1

Winter Flounder

March 1–Dec. 31

12″

2

Note: No species of fish with a minimum size limit listed above may be filleted or cleaned at sea. Party boats licensed to carry 15 or more passengers may apply for a permit to fillet the above species. See Summer Flounder, Finfish.

Blue Crab

peeler or shedder

No Closed Seasone

3″

1 bushel

soft

No Closed Seasone

3½”

hard

No Closed Seasone

4½”

Lobster (carapace length)

See closed seasons on page 20

33⁄8″

6

Hard Clam (license required)

No Closed Season

1½”

150 clams

­­a Except 50 fish harvest/possession limit for party/charter boat employees.

b Not including dogfish; see description on Finfish under Sharks.

c See  Prohibited Species.

d Atlantic Ocean greater than three miles from shore: harvest and possession prohibited.

e Unless using non-collapsible, Chesapeake-style crab pots, trot lines or crab dredges. See Shellfish & Crab Information.

f Applies to Delaware Bay and tributaries, west of COLREGS line delineating Delaware Bay from Atlantic Ocean but does not include waters of Cape May Canal east of Cape May Ferry Terminal. Transport of summer flounder caught in Delaware Bay, greater than or equal to 17 in. but less than 18 in., may occur in waters east of Cape May Ferry Terminal to George Redding Br. (Rt. 47) located at entrance of Wildwood provided all fishing gear aboard the vessel is stowed with rigs removed; vessel may not stop to fish for any species.

* Excluding tail filaments.

** See Closed Seasons for specifics of springtime non-offset circle hook requirements.

† See Federal Recreational Regulations.

‡ Non-resident license valid only June – Sept. See water classification chart information.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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