New Jersey Fishing License: What You Need to Know Before You Cast Your Line

New Jersey Fishing License: What You Need to Know Before You Cast Your Line

Fishing in New Jersey offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the state’s rich aquatic life. However, before you cast your line, it’s essential to understand the requirements for obtaining a New Jersey fishing license. This article provides a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about the New Jersey fishing license, from the application process to fees, regulations, and more.

New Jersey Fishing License: What You Need to Know Before You Cast Your Line

License Requirements

In New Jersey, anyone aged 16 and older must have a license to fish the fresh waters of the state, including privately owned waters. This requirement applies to both residents and non-residents. However, resident anglers aged 70 and over do not require a fishing license or Trout Stamp. A driver’s license or other acceptable proof of age containing date of birth and physical description will serve as the actual fishing license. The license must be visibly displayed on outer clothing .

Farmers and immediate family members who live on the farm do not need a license to fish on their own farm but must obey all fishing regulations. A license is not required to fish marine waters, but anglers must register each year with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry .

New Jersey also offers a Fishing Buddy License, which provides reduced license prices to both a current and a new angler, or two new anglers. These discounted licenses are available to resident anglers ages 16 to 64, or nonresident anglers age 16 and up, who purchase their freshwater fishing license with a “Buddy.” A “new angler” is considered a resident or non-resident who has not purchased a fishing license or has not purchased an annual fishing license since 2010 .

It’s important to note that fishing for sharks is highly regulated by the State and federal regulations. Federal regulations prohibit targeting any prohibited species and anglers must release any prohibited shark immediately, without removing it from the water and in a manner that maximizes its chances of survival .

Application Process

To apply for a New Jersey fishing license, you must have an established residence in the state for at least the previous six months. Applications for a fishing license can be made through the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s website or the NJ Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs for New Jersey National Guard personnel .

When applying for a license, you will need to provide government identification, such as a driver’s license, for applicants aged 16 and older. First-time license buyers can establish a customer account and be assigned a lifetime Conservation Identification Number (CID) during the online registration and application process .

There are two ways to purchase a New Jersey fishing license:

  1. Online from the New Jersey Electronic License System website. Note that the online registration process requires a valid credit card for the form of payment .
  2. Licensing agents such as sporting goods and bait and tackle shops. Call ahead to ensure you can purchase the license types you need .

A New Jersey Child Support Certification is required as part of the process of obtaining a fishing license. Upon completion of these requirements, a license can be purchased through the online license system or in-person with a licensing agent .

Please note that those who use the online system to purchase their licenses are subject to additional transactional fees of 3.9% along with a credit card processing fee of 2.5% . For further assistance, you can email the New Jersey Department of Fishing and Wildlife at

Fees and Pricing

When it comes to fishing in New Jersey, understanding the fees and pricing associated with various licenses is crucial. The cost of these licenses varies depending on factors such as the type of license, the age of the angler, and their residency status.

Resident Fishing License Fees

For resident anglers aged between 16 and 64, the cost of an annual freshwater fishing license is $22.50 . This license is valid from the date of purchase until December 31 of the same year .

Senior Resident Fishing License Fees

For senior residents aged between 65 and 69, the annual fishing license fee is reduced to $12.50 . Residents aged 70 and over are not required to purchase a fishing license or Trout Stamp .

Other Fishing License Types and Fees

There are several other types of fishing licenses available. The Buddy License offers reduced license prices to both a current and a new angler, or two new anglers, saving nearly 50% off the regular fishing license cost . The All-Around Sportsman license, which includes resident fishing, firearm hunting, and bow/arrow hunting licenses, costs $72.25 .

Trout Stamp Fees

For those interested in trout or salmon fishing, a Trout Stamp is required. The cost for residents aged between 16 and 69 is $10.50 .

Non-Resident Fishing License Fees

For non-residents aged 16 and older, the annual fishing license fee is $34.00 . Non-residents also have the option to purchase a 2-Day Vacation Fishing license for $9.00 or a 7-Day Vacation Fishing license for $19.50 . Non-resident Trout Stamps cost $20 .

It’s important to note that all licenses and fishing-related permits are valid from the date of purchase to December 31 of each year .

For more detailed information on the fees and pricing of fishing licenses in New Jersey, please refer to the official websites of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and eRegulations .

Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations are essential for maintaining healthy recreational marine and freshwater fisheries. These regulations are put in place as a result of fish population assessments by biologists to help preserve fishing opportunities now and for the future. They vary greatly from state to state and can change with the tide, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date with the latest information .

Marine Fishing Regulations

Marine fishing regulations are designed to manage and conserve marine resources for current and future generations. In New Jersey, for example, these regulations are found in the New Jersey Administrative Code (N.J.A.C.) Title 7. They cover a wide range of topics, from recreational and commercial saltwater activities to specific regulations for different species of fish and shellfish .

For instance, fishing for sharks is strictly regulated by both state and federal regulations. Anglers must release any prohibited shark immediately, without removing it from the water, and in a manner that maximizes its chances of survival. Posing for pictures on the beach with a prohibited species, such as Sand Tiger Sharks, is a violation of federal regulations .

Many marine species are managed on a coast-wide basis with seasons and limits required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. These regulations must then be approved by the state’s Marine Fisheries Council. The Council usually addresses these issues at their March meeting with the management measures becoming effective in mid- to late April or early May .

Freshwater Fishing Regulations

Freshwater fishing regulations are also crucial for the long-term protection and wise use of the state’s freshwater aquatic resources. In New Jersey, for example, the Department of Environmental Protection’s Fish and Wildlife division issues a variety of permits related to these resources. These permits cover everything from baitfish harvesting to the stocking of fish in freshwater bodies .

For instance, in trout stocked waters and special regulation areas, baitfish may not be taken during the pre-season stocking closure through June 15. At all other times in these waters, baitfish may only be taken up to the daily limit with a seine not over 10 feet in length and four feet in depth or a minnow trap not larger than 24 inches in length with a funnel mouth no greater than two inches in diameter or an umbrella net no greater than 3.5 feet square. The use of cast nets is not permitted in these waters at any time .

Saltwater Fishing Regulations

Saltwater fishing regulations in New Jersey are an important part of maintaining healthy recreational marine fisheries. Unlike other states, New Jersey does not require a specific saltwater fishing license, but you will need to have a New Jersey fishing license if you are age 16 or older. However, most saltwater anglers must register with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program .

Depending on the species of fish or shellfish, there may also be specialized saltwater licenses or permits required. Always check with the state agency for updates and detailed information .

Whether you’re interested in marine, freshwater, or saltwater fishing, it’s essential to familiarize yourself with the relevant fishing regulations. These regulations are designed to protect and conserve our natural resources, ensuring that we can continue to enjoy fishing for generations to come.

In conclusion, obtaining a New Jersey fishing license is a straightforward process, but it’s essential to understand the requirements and regulations to ensure a legal and enjoyable fishing experience.

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