Fishing, hunting and trapping regulations are found within the Game Code and Fish Code and summarized in the corresponding issues of the Fish and Wildlife DIGEST. These regulations are based on Permanent Statute Title 23 and are revised periodically though amendments to the codes. Enforcement is the responsibility of the Bureau of Law Enforcement.
License types and fees, the Sunday hunting prohibition, and certain other regulations are the responsibility of the State Legislature. For information on any proposed Legislative law changes visit the State Legislature homepage and enter "hunting" or "fishing" in the "Keyword" search box - most, if not all, relevant bills will appear in the results.
NOTE: New Format for Deer Hunting Regulations!
The nine Regulation Sets have been reformatted into two tables - one each for archery and firearm hunting. Regulation Sets (groups of deer management zones with the same season length and bag limits) still exist in the Game Code and are used when developing deer management strategies.
Please be aware that fishing for sharks is 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. For example, Sand Tiger Sharks are a prohibited species, therefore posing for pictures on the beach with this species or any other species on the prohibited list is a violation of federal regulations. Additional information on the regulations regarding these species can be found at:
NOTE: Many marine species are managed on a coast-wide basis with seasons and limits required by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. Those regulations must then be approved by our 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. The Marine Digest is published in May. Regulations remain in effect until changed.
For information on saltwater regulations changes, check this page and our homepage for news releases, subscribe to the NJ Marine Fishing E-mail List for automatic notification, or call the "listen-only" line at 609-292-2083. Marine Fisheries staff can be contacted at 609-748-2020.