Skip to main content
New Jersey

Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing

New Jersey Division of Fish & Wildlife

State of New Jersey

Philip D. Murphy, Governor

Sheila Y. Oliver, Lieutenant Governor

Department of Environmental Protection

Shawn LaTourette, Commissioner

New Jersey DEP Fish and Wildlife

Dave Golden, Assistant Commissioner
Lisa Barno, Administrator, Species and Habitat Conservation

Joe Cimino, Administrator, Marine Resources Administration

Ginger Kopkash, Administrator, Communications and Business Administration
Russ Babb, Chief, Shellfisheries

Jeff Brust, Chief, Marine Fisheries

Shawn Crouse, Chief, Freshwater Fisheries

Jason Hearon, Chief, Land Management
John Heilferty, Chief, Endangered and Nongame Species

Al Ivany, Chief, Information and Education
Frank Panico, Chief, Conservation Police
Carole Stanko, Chief, Wildlife Management
Cindy Kuenstner, Editor

New Jersey DEP Fish and 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 coastal license agents, bait and tackle shops and Fish and 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 Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Cover photo: Ready to go fishing.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Councils

Marine Fisheries Council

Richard N. Herb, Acting Chair

Dr. Eleanor Ann Bochenek

Dr. Patrick Donnelly

Warren (Barney) Hollinger

Jeff Kaelin

John J. Maxwell

Joe Rizzo

Robert R. Rush, Jr.

Kevin Wark

To contact any member of the Marine Fisheries Council, please email [email protected]

Atlantic Coast Shellfish Council

John J. Maxwell, Chair

Walter L. Johnson, III, Vice Chair

Paul Felder

George Mathis, Jr.

Delaware Bay Shellfish Council

Warren (Barney) Hollinger, Chair

Stephen J. Fleetwood, Vice Chair

Richard Malinowski

Scott Sheppard

Where to Write Us

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


New Jersey DEP Fish and Wildlife

Report Marine, Shellfish and Finfish Violations

(609) 748-2050 or call the 24-hour DEP Hotline: 877-WARNDEP
Violators of the Marine Fisheries laws are subject to a $30–$100 per fish or $300 to $3,000 fine.

Federal Marine Fisheries Contacts

NOAA Fisheries
Enforcement Hotline

24-hour non-emergency tipline (800) 853-1964

NOAA Fisheries Office of Law Enforcement — Northeast Enforcement Division HQ

(978) 281-9249

Federal Fisheries Law Enforcement Field Offices

Wall: (732) 280-6490
Northfield: (609) 415-2941

New Jersey DEP Fish and 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.

Mark Your Calendar for the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament!

May 15, 2022

Island Beach State Park, Seaside Park, NJ

Enjoy a great day of surf fishing with family and friends at the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish wins the "Governor's Award" and will have their name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park. Prizes are awarded to winners in a variety of age group and fish species categories.

All funds raised by the tournament go toward improving beach access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment plus marine education and restoration projects.

The tournament is sponsored by NJDEP’s Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Forestry, New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

For more information visit: or call 609-748-4347.

Operation Game Thief

Report Abuse of our Outdoor Heritage!


24 Hours a Day, Seven Days a Week

The person who poaches, pollutes habitat and abuses public land tarnishes the image of sportsmen and robs us of our fish and wildlife
as well as tax and license dollars. You can make a difference.

Call OGT to report:

  • Negligent use of firearms
  • Over the limits for game and fish
  • Commercial exploitation of fish and wildlife
  • Pollution of habitat, dumping on state land
  • Destruction of signs and state property
  • Illegal killing, taking or possession of any wildlife

It's Free. It's Confidential.

You May Be Eligible for a Reward.

Funded by the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs.

Designed to encourage sportsmen to report poaching and wildlife crimes.

Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact


New Jersey participates in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact which means that a violator with repeat convictions of New Jersey marine fishing laws may face license suspensions in participating states.

Operation Game Thief — Short Stripers Net Fines

On March 28th, 2021, shortly after 10 a.m., the Operation Game Thief tip line received an anonymous call concerning an individual keeping short striped bass from the Raritan Bay. The angler in a yellow raincoat was seen throwing three fish on the beach in the area of Ocean Blvd in Old Bridge Township.

Conservation Police Officer James Woerner responded to the call, taking up surveillance from a distance. Once he witnessed the man in the yellow coat and a companion catch and keep an undersized fish, Officer Woerner moved in to make an inspection. The men—both from Bound Brook, New Jersey—were found with ten, undersized striped bass. The smallest fish measured 18 inches. The limit at the time was one fish per person, measuring 28 inches to less than 38 inches.

Both men received summonses for the violations, later paying $300 in penalties, plus court costs.

Operation Game Thief: (855) OGT-TIPS

Accessible Fishing Sites

Enjoy more than 50 accessible New Jersey fishing sites for those with mobility disabilities. All sites are wheelchair-accessible except the Musconetcong River in Morris County, where vehicle access is to the shoreline. Visit

2022 Sedge Island Summer Programs

Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center is offering a variety of programs in the summer of 2022 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]

Be the First to Know!
Get on the List

The Marine Fisheries and Shellfish e-mail list, that is. Get the latest information on Fish and Wildlife events, public hearings and other marine resource issues. Our six other lists help you get the most out of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife resources. Sign up today at:

DEP Action Line, 24 Hrs.

The Department has a toll-free telephone hotline number you can use to report environmental incidents, abuses, and complaints in New Jersey.

(877) WARN-DEP
(877) 927-6337

Keep Our Water Clean—
Use Pumpouts

Ready To Serve Boaters! Visit marina pumpout facilities or contact one of the pumpout boats. A complete listing of operational pumpout facilities at marinas and detailed information on the pumpout boats can be found at

Proper maintenance and operation of your on-board toilet and holding tank are critical to ensure they function properly.

  • Always use sufficient water when flushing
  • Use toilet paper designed for use in marine/RV systems
  • Have your marina inspect your onboard toilet system to make sure it is operating properly

Conservation Police and Regulation Information

Contact a New Jersey Fish and Wildlife Conservation Police office that serves the county where you hunt or fish.

  • 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)
  • To report violations anonymously
    call Operation Game Thief

    (855) OGT-TIPS