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New Jersey

Freshwater Fishing

Size, Season & Creel Limits

Certain waters are closed to fishing for all species from March 22 to April 10, 2021 at 8 a.m. because of trout stocking. Refer to General Trout Information for complete lists and exceptions. Regulations in red are new this year. For Delaware River and Greenwood Lake, see regulations on Delaware River.

Season

Location

Minimum Size

Daily Limit

Largemouth & Smallmouth Bass

Jan. 1–April 14

April 15–June 15 Catch & Release only (all waters)

June 16–Dec. 31

Statewide (exceptions below)

12 inches

5 combined

Lunker Bass Lakes: Alloway, Assunpink, Parvin and Delaware lakes; Splitrock Reservoir

15 inches

3 combined

Largemouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass

Conservation Regulations: Ryker Lake

15 inches

2 combined

Northern Pike, Tiger Musky, Muskellunge*

Open year round

March 20–May 20 are Catch & Release only for Echo Lake Reservoir, Mercer Lake, Mountain Lake, Monksville Reservoir

Statewide

Northern Pike: 24 inches

2

Statewide (exceptions below)

Tiger Musky & Muskellunge: 40 inches

1 combined

Northern Pike

Trophy Muskie Waters: Echo Lake Reservoir, Greenwood Lake, Lake Hopatcong & Monksville Reservoir

Tiger Musky & Muskellunge: 44 inches

Muskellunge

*IMPORTANT: trout may not be used as bait in the Pequest River drainage.

Chain Pickerel and Redfin Pickerel

Chain Pickerel

Open year round

Statewide

15 inches

5 combined

Walleye

Walleye

Jan. 1–Feb. 28

March 1–April 30 Catch & Release only

May 1–Dec. 31

Statewide

18 inches

3

Striped Bass (freshwater only)

Striped Bass

March 1–Dec. 31

Statewide

One @ 28" to < 38"

1

Hybrid Striped Bass (freshwater only)*

Hybrid Striped Bass

Open year round

Statewide (exceptions below)

16 inches

2

March 1–Dec. 31

Raritan River (downstream of Duke Island Park dam)

One @ 28" to 38"

1

American Shad

American Shad

Open Year Round

Season Closed in all other fresh waters

Delaware River Mainstem (see regulations on Delaware River)

3

Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

Open year round

Statewide

12 inches

5

Crappie (Black and White)

Crappie

Open year round

Statewide

8 inches

10 combined

Sunfish and All Other Species with No Specified Creel Limits

Rock Bass, White Perch, Yellow Perch, Sunfish (see below for sunfish exceptions), Bullheads, White Catfish, Suckers, Carp, Bowfin, Pumpkinseed and all other species with no specified creel limit.

Open year round

Statewide (exceptions below)

No minimum size

25 combined

Conservation Regulation Ryker Lake

Sunfish: 7 inches

10 combined

Yellow Perch: No minimum size

10

Conservation Regulation Rainbow Lake (Salem Co.)

Sunfish: 7 inches

10 combined

Banded, Blackbanded, BlueSpotted and Mud Sunfish

Closed

Statewide

Protected

0

Freshwater Baitfish (See Baitfish for complete description of gear types and restrictions)

American Eel, Banded Killifish, Creek Chub, Fallfish, Fathead Minnow, Gizzard Shad, Golden Shiner, Margined Madtom, Mummichog, and Tadpole Madtom. For Herring, Alewife and Blueback—see Baitfish Regulations (Baitfish).

Open year round

Exceptions In trout stocked waters baitfish may only be taken with hook and line: from April 10 to June 15, or in waters open to fishing during the pre-season closure, from March 22 to June 15.

Statewide

No minimum

Exception American Eel: 9 inches

35 combined

*Regulations for Striped Bass may change in 2021. Check our website for updates.