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New Jersey

Freshwater Fishing

Freshwater Fishing

Fishing License Boundary Lines

A fishing license is required to fish the fresh waters of the state. Locations listed below mark the change from salt water (license not required) to fresh water.
A fishing license is required at—and upstream of—these locations. Snapping turtles may only be taken from fresh waters of the state.

Atlantic County

Absecon Creek—Dam at Lower Atlantic City Reservoir

Great Egg Harbor River—Power lines at confluence of Gravelly Run

Middle River—None–all saline water

Mullica River—Line between Seventh Ave., Sweetwater, and ramp at Crowleys Landing

Nacote Creek—Port Republic dam

Patcong Creek—Bargaintown Lake dam

South River—Power lines immediately below Rt. 50

Tuckahoe River—First northerly tributary downstream of Rt. 49 bridge (McNeals Branch)

Bergen County

Hackensack River—Cedar Lane Bridge between Hackensack and Teaneck

Hudson River—None–all saline water

Passaic River—Required whole length

Burlington County

Assiscunk Creek—Required whole length

Bass River State—Fir Bridge on Stage Rd. in Bass River State Forest

Batsto River—Required whole length

Blacks Creek—Required whole length

Crosswicks Creek—Required whole length

Delaware River—Required whole length

Mullica River—Line between Seventh Ave.,
Sweetwater, and ramp at Crowleys Landing

Pennsauken Creek—Required whole length

Pompeston Creek—Required whole length

Rancocas Creek—Required whole length

Swedes Run—Required whole length

Wading River—Charcoal Landing, Chips Folly Campground

Camden County

License required on Delaware River and all other waters

Cape May County

Bidwells Creek—None–all saline water

Cedar Swamp Creek—None–all saline water

Dennis Creek—None–all saline water

East Creek—100 ft. below East Creek Lake dam, Eldora

Tuckahoe River—First northerly tributary downstream of lower Rt. 49 bridge (McNeals Br.)

West Creek—100 feet below West Creek Lake dam (Pickle Factory Pond)

Cumberland County

Andrews Creek—None–all saline water

Back Creek—None–all saline water

Cedar Creek—100 ft. downstream of Cedar Lake dam

Cohansey River—Rt. 49 bridge at Bridgeton

Dividing Creek—Rt. 555 bridge

Fishing Creek—None–all saline water

Fortescue Cr./Branch of Oranoken Cr.—None–
all saline water

Manumuskin Creek—Required whole length

Maurice River—Mouth of Manumuskin Creek near Port Elizabeth

Menantico Creek—Required whole length

Mill Creek—Tributary of Cohansey—Rt. 553 bridge, Fairton

Muskee Creek—S. side of bridge on Weathersby Rd.

Nantuxent Creek (Pages Run)—Rt. 553 north of
Frames Corner

Oranoken Creek—Whitecar Mill, North of Beaver dam

Oyster Creek—None–all saline water

Riggins Ditch—Rt. 47 bridge

Sow and Pigs Branch Nantuxent—None–all saline water

Stow Creek—Buckhorn Rd. bridge, Jericho

Straight Creek—None–all saline water

West Creek—100 ft. below West Creek Lake dam (Pickle Factory Pond)

Essex County

Passaic River—Erie Railroad bridge between Newark (at Verona Ave.) and Kearny

Peddie Ditch—None–all saline water

Gloucester County

Big Timber Creek—Required whole length

Delaware River—Commodore Barry bridge at Bridgeport

Mantua Creek—Required whole length

Oldmans Creek—Rt. 295 bridge

Raccoon Creek—Required whole length

Woodbury Creek—Required whole length

Hudson County

Hackensack River—None–all saline water

Hudson River—None–all saline water

Passaic River—Railroad bridge between Newark
(at Verona Ave.) and Kearny

Hunterdon County

License required on Delaware River and all other waters

Mercer County

License required on Delaware River and all other waters

Middlesex County

Cheesequake Creek—Dam at Cheesequake Lake, Cheesequake State Park

Lawrence Brook—N.J. Turnpike bridge, East Brunswick

Raritan River—Landing Lane bridge, New Brunswick

South River—Rt. 527 bridge (New Brunswick
Old Bridge Tpk.)

Woodbridge River—N.J. Turnpike bridge

Monmouth County

Black Creek—Spillway at Ocean Rd.

Branchport Creek—Mouth of Turtle Mill Brook

Deal Lake—Top of dam

Hockhockson (Pine) Brook—Garden State Parkway northbound bridge

Little Silver Creek—Little Silver Creek Brook

Manasquan River—Bennetts bridge, Manasquan Wildlife Management Area

Matawan Creek—Lefferts Lake dam

Oceanport Creek—Mouth of Husky Brook

Parkers Creek—Mouth of Parkers Creek Brook

Shark River—Remsen Mills Rd.

Swimming River—Swimming River Rd. bridge

Wreck Pond Creek—Rt. 71 bridge

Morris County

License required on all waters

Ocean County

Beaver Dam Creek—Rt. 88 bridge

Cedar Creek—Rt. 9 bridge

Cedar Run—Rt. 9 bridge

Dinner Point Creek—None–all saline water

Double Creek—None–all saline water

Forked River—All branches Rt. 9

Gunning River—None–all saline water

Jakes Branch—Above Atlantic City Blvd.

Jeffreys Creek—Ocean Gate Rd. to Ocean Gate

Kettle Creek—Rt. 549 bridge

Lake of the Lilies—Entire lake

Long Swamp Creek—Washington St. bridge, Toms River

Manahawkin Creek—Dams for Manahawkin WMA impoundments bayside

Metedeconk River—Rt. 70 bridge, Laurelton

Mill Creek—Mouth of Creek at lagoons in Beach Haven West

Mill Creek—Pine Beach–Ocean Gate Road

Oyster Creek—Rt. 9 bridge

Parkers Run—None–all saline water

Potters Creek—None–all saline water

Stouts Creek—None–all saline water

Stouts Creek S. Br.—Bayside East Parkway

Toms River—Garden State Parkway, northbound bridge

Tuckerton Creek—Dam at Rt. 9 bridge

Waretown Creek—Rt. 9 bridge

West Creek—Rt. 9 bridge

Passaic County

License required on all waters

Salem County

Alloway Creek—Rt. 540 bridge at Alloway

Black Ditch—None–all saline water

Delaware River—None–all saline water

Fishing Creek—None–all saline water

Hope Creek—None–all saline water

Mad Horse Creek—None–all saline water

Mill Creek—None–all saline water

Oldmans Creek—Rt. 295 southbound bridge

Salem River—Dupont dam near Cedar Crest Manor

Salem Canal—Dam at Deepwater

Stow Creek—Buckhorn Rd. bridge, Jericho

Straight Ditch—None–all saline water

Somerset County

License required on all waters

Sussex County

License required on Delaware River and all other waters

Union County

Elizabeth River—West Grand St., Elizabeth

Great Ditch—None–all saline water

Morses Creek—Old Morses Mill Rd.

Oyster Creek—None–all saline water

Peddie Ditch—None–all saline water

Piles Creek—None–all saline water

Rahway River—Lawrence St. (Rt. 514), Rahway

Warren County

License required on Delaware River and all other waters

Important Footnotes

  1. Absence of a river, creek, brook or other waterway from this list does not make it exempt from requiring a license to fish the fresh waters.
  2. Names of waters conform to those given on the United States Geological Survey 7.5 Minute Topographic Series Maps.

Regulations for use of wildlife management areas (WMAs) are established by NJDEP Fish & Wildlife with penalties of not less than $50 nor more than $1,500. A second violation of any WMA regulation will result in a five-year loss of all sporting licenses and privileges.

Information on these regulations and permit applications may be obtained by writing to NJDEP Fish & Wildlife, MC501-03, P.O. Box 420, Trenton, NJ 08625-0420.

NJ Fish & Wildlife may revoke any permit or other authorization issued for violation or due cause.

The following are prohibited: camping, swimming, picnicking, airsoft or paintball gunning, geocaching, dumping, cutting or damaging vegetation, removing timber or firewood, alcoholic beverages and fires.

Restricted Hours

Wildlife Management Areas are closed from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. unless engaged in lawful hunting, fishing or trapping activities.

Special permission may be granted for NJ Fish & Wildlife approved activities.

Motor Vehicles

No person shall operate an unregistered vehicle on roads under the control of NJ Fish & Wildlife. All motor vehicles are restricted to established public roads and parking areas.

The use of dog sleds and dog carts, off-road vehicles, ATVs, trailbikes or snowmobiles is prohibited on all Wildlife Management Areas unless authorized by NJ Fish & Wildlife. E-bikes are allowed up to 750 watts. For mountain bike and paddleboard regulations, visit

Target Practice

Only archery, shotgun, muzzleloading shotgun, muzzleloading rifle, air gun (.177 and .22) and modern rifle ≤ .30 caliber rifle shooting is allowed in designated hunter training ranges according to posted regulations at the training area. Other target practice is allowed only with permission from NJ Fish & Wildlife. For range information, visit our website: See Hunter Training Areas,

Field Trials

Permits for use of wildlife management areas for running of field trials may be granted by NJ Fish & Wildlife. Apply for a permit by calling 609-259-2132.

Dog Training and Exercising

Dogs may be exercised or trained on any WMA from Sept. 1 to April 30. All dogs must be properly licensed. Select WMAs with designated dog training areas also permit dogs to be exercised or trained from May 1 to Aug. 31. For more information, see the New Jersey Hunting and Trapping Digest or call 609-984-0547.

Outboard Motors

Only electric motors are allowed on freshwater lakes and ponds managed by NJ Fish & Wildlife with the exception of Union Lake, where outboard motors not exceeding 10 hp. may be used. On Prospertown Lake, only manually operated boats and canoes are allowed.

Horseback Riding

Horseback riding is allowed on designated WMAs only by permit from NJ Fish & Wildlife. Apply online at Horseback riding permits should be displayed on outer clothing while riding, not covered by a pack or other equipment. For more information on horseback riding permits, call 609-259-2132.

Fishing Tournament

Any club or organization that would like to use a New Jersey Wildlife Management Area for fishing tournaments must apply for and secure a permit from NJ Fish & Wildlife. No fee is required. Applications will be accepted in January at NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Central Region Office, One Eldridge Rd., Robbinsville, NJ 08691 at 609-223-6076.

Boat Ramp Maintenance Permit

Any vehicle used to transport or launch a vessel or water conveyance on the following WMAs must have affixed to the lower corne­r of the driver’s side rear window a boat ramp maintenance permit, or a photocopy of a valid hunting, fishing or trapping license. Be sure your Conservation ID number is clearly displayed; all other personal information may be blacked out for reasons of privacy.

The boat ramp maintenance permit fee is $15, available from a license agent or at NJ Fish & Wildlife’s Internet sales site,

Residents 70 years and older are not required to obtain a boat ramp maintenance permit and need no license, but must affix to their window proof of age, such as a former license displaying your date of birth.

WMAs requiring boat ramp maintenance permits:

  1. Round Valley Angler Access
  2. Assunpink
  3. Dennis Creek
  4. Tuckahoe
  5. Mad Horse Creek
  6. Union Lake
  7. Menantico Ponds
  8. Prospertown Lake

Accessible Fishing Sites

For people with disabilities, visit:

An Accessible Fishing Sites list is available to assist anglers whose mobility is impaired.

All sites are wheelchair-accessible except for the Musconetcong River in Morris County, where vehicle access is to the shoreline.