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New Jersey

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

Division of Fish & Wildlife

State of New Jersey

Philip D. Murphy, Governor

Sheila Y. Oliver, Lieutenant Governor

Department of Environmental Protection

Shawn M. LaTourette, Commissioner

New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife

Dave Golden, Assistant Commissioner

Ginger Kopkash, Assistant Director

Lisa Barno, Assistant Director

Joe Cimino, Administrator, Marine Fisheries

Shawn Crouse, Chief, Freshwater Fisheries

Russ Babb, Chief, Shellfisheries

Jeff Brust, Chief, Marine Fisheries

Jason Hearon, Chief, Lands Management

John Heilferty, Chief, Endangered and Nongame Species

Al Ivany, Chief, Information and Education

Frank Panico, Chief, Law Enforcement

Kim Springer, Chief, Business Administration

Carole Stanko, Chief, Wildlife Management

Linda DiPiano, Editor

NJDEP Fish & Wildlife is a professional, environmental organization dedicated to the protection, management and wise use of the state’s fish and wildlife resources.

The Digest is available at license agents and NJ Fish & Wildlife offices. Information may be reprinted with permission. Subscriptions are not available.

This Digest is designed and produced by J.F. Griffin Publishing, LLC;
Partial funding for the Digest is provided by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.

Cover photo © Photographer Jonathan Carlucci. Brad Duckworth fishing for Rainbow Trout in the Pequest River.

New Jersey Fish and Game Council

Frank Virgilio, Chair

Phillip Brodhecker

Jim DeStephano

Ed Kertz

Dr. Rick Lathrop

Robert Pollock

Robert Puskas

Loren Robinson

Ken Whildin

Where to Write Us

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Fish & Wildlife
MC 501-03 • P.O. Box 420 • Trenton, NJ 08625-0420 •

New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife

Our Mission

To protect and manage the state’s fish and wildlife to maximize their long-term ­biological, recreational and economic value for all New Jerseyans.

Our Goals

• - To maintain New Jersey’s rich variety of fish and wildlife species at stable, healthy levels and to protect and enhance the many habitats on which they depend.

• - To educate New Jerseyans on the values and needs of our fish and wildlife and to foster a positive human/wildlife co-existence.

• - To maximize the recreational and commercial use of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife for both present and future generations.

NJDEP Fish & Wildlife 2023 Calendar of Events

  • Fisheries Forum
    February 25; see Public Meetings for more details.
  • Trout Meeting
    March 4; see Public Meetings for more details.
  • Opening Day of Trout Season
    April 8; see General Trout Information for more details.
  • FREE Fishing Days
    June 3, Oct. 21; see Free Fishing Days for more details.
  • Fall Trout Stocking
    begins Oct. 10
  • Winter Trout Stocking
    November 20 and 21

Due to significant increase in participation during previous virtual meetings, the Fisheries Forum and Trout Meeting will be held virtually in 2023. For updates, visit our website as meeting dates approach.

“Hook a Winner” Program

NJ Fish & Wildlife will be jaw-tagging more than 1,000 rainbow trout for release into New Jersey waters. These tagged trout will be stocked preseason to be available for opening day fishing. For more information visit If you are a lucky angler who lands one of these fish, send your name, address, fish tag number (do not send the actual tag) and location of catch to:

Pequest Trout Hatchery
605 Pequest Road, Oxford, NJ 07863
Attn: Hook a Winner Program

In recognition of your catch, a certificate and award patch will be mailed.

Get on The List!

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

Sign up today at:

Instructors Needed!

Become an instructor with NJ Fish &
Wildlife’s Hunter Education Program.

Our Hunter Education Unit wants New Jersey’s best ­sportsmen and sportswomen to become ­instructors at locations where students take the live-fire range session after first having completed the online portion. A minimum of six weekend days each year are required.

Email [email protected]

Include your name, address and email address to receive an application.

Or visit our website:

Striped Bass Circle Hook Requirement

To reduce Striped Bass release mortality, non-offset (inline) circle hooks must be used when fishing for Striped Bass with bait in all waters. Bait is defined as any marine or aquatic organism live or dead, whole or parts thereof. This restriction shall not apply to an artificial lure with bait attached. A circle hook is a non-offset hook where the point is pointed perpendicularly back towards the shank. Non-offset means that the point and barb are in the same plane as the shank. Striped Bass caught using an unapproved take method must be immediately returned to the water.

circle hooks

Law Enforcement Offices

  • Northern Region — 908-735-8240
    (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties)
  • Central Region — 609-259-2120
    (Burlington, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Ocean counties)
  • Southern Region — 856-629-0555
    (Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties)
  • Marine Region — 609-748-2050
    (coastal and bay areas)

Harmful Algal Bloom – Status Check

Stay up to date on the status of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs) in New Jersey waters with the NJDEP Algal Bloom Sampling Status site. The easy, interactive dashboard provides current sampling results, waterbody locations and important advisory information at your fingertips. Also included are links to important HAB-related resources and a place to report a suspected HAB.

Information is updated daily at noon. Stay informed about the presence of potentially harmful algal blooms to protect you and your pets.

Visit for more information.

Sedge Island Programs — Summer 2023

Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center is offering a variety of programs in the summer of 2023 for students, adults and families. Come connect with the beauty of Barnegat Bay while learning about salt marsh ecology through fishing, clamming, and discovering what's edible in the bay!

Visit for details, date and cost or contact Karen Byrne at [email protected].

Attention:Saltwater Anglers

Register. You make a difference!
It’s free, easy and required.

Before heading out to catch your favorite marine fish this year, be sure to join the hundreds of thousands of anglers who have already registered with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program (NJSRRP). Freshwater anglers fishing in tidal freshwater are also required to register with the NJSRRP.

For more information on the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program and to register, visit

After registering, become part of the fishery management process!

Submit fishing reports after each saltwater trip to the NJ Volunteer Angler Survey. Your fishing reports can help improve saltwater fishing opportunities in New Jersey.

Submit online reports at

State Police Marine Law Enforcement Stations

Bivalve - 856-785-1330

North Wildwood - 609-522-0393

Atlantic City - 609-441-3586

Burlington - 609-387-1221

Ocean - 609-296-5807

Point Pleasant - 732-899-5050

Monmouth Station - 732-842-5171

Lake Hopatcong - 973-663-3400

Newark Bay - 973-578-8173