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New Jersey

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

Health Advisory

Eating Fish and Crabs Caught In New Jersey Waters

Fishing provides enjoyable and relaxing recreation. Fish are an excellent source of protein and other nutrients and play a role in maintaining a healthy, well-balanced diet. Many anglers enjoy cooking and eating their own catch. However, elevated levels of potentially harmful chemical contaminants such as dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides and mercury have been found in certain fish and crabs in some New Jersey waters. Fish consumption advisories have been adopted to guide citizens on safe consumption practices.

To reduce exposure to harmful chemical contaminants when preparing and eating the fish species taken from the identified waters, it is essential to follow the guidelines provided. The DEP encourages you to consult the Fish Smart-Eat Smart Fish Advisory Guide or, for a complete list of state and federal marine fish consumption advisories visit for making decisions about eating recreationally caught fish and crabs.

Easy Fish Chowder


Black sea bass, ling or fluke fillets,
about 1–1.5 pounds

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

¼ cup sweet onion, finely chopped

3–4 tablespoons butter

4 medium fingerling potatoes, chopped

1–2 tablespoons cornstarch

2–3 cups milk



Smoked salt

Garlic powder


  1. In a large deep-dish skillet, dutch oven or stock pot, sauté onion and celery in 2–3 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. Cook until very soft. Add small amounts of water; cover and steam if needed.
  2. Move onion and celery to one side of pan. Add remaining butter and fish fillets. Season fillets with smoked salt on one side. Sauté about 3 minutes, flip, then sauté another 3 minutes until fish is mostly cooked. (Meat will turn white.)
  3. Add chopped potatoes and about ½ cup of water; cover and steam to cook potatoes, about 5 minutes. If needed, add small amounts of water to prevent sticking or burning. Water helps to steam the food, not to serve as broth, so use very little.
  4. Thoroughly mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch into 2 cups of cold milk. (For a thicker broth, use 2 tablespoons.) Slowly add to the pan; stir gently. Let simmer until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and serve.

NOTE: Shrimp (shelled), scallops and littleneck clams work well if additional seafood is desired. Add at the same time as the fish fillets. Ensure the clam shells open from cooking.