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A valid New Jersey fishing license is required for residents at least 16 years and less than 70 years of age (plus all non-residents 16 years and older) to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey, including privately owned waters. Resident anglers age 70 and over do not require a fishing license or Trout Stamp. A driver license or other acceptable proof of age containing date of birth and physical description will serve as the actual fishing license. License must be visibly displayed on outer clothing.

A person must have an established residence in New Jersey for at least the previous six months to obtain a resident fishing license. 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. For more information visit https://www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry/

A discounted fishing license is available to all residents, age 65 and under 70 years of age. Resident anglers age 70 and over do not require a fishing license or Trout Stamp.

A valid fishing license AND trout stamp are required to fish for or possess trout and salmon for all anglers 16 and over, and residents under the age of 70. No trout stamp is required for residents age 70 years and over. Trout Stamp is required whether or not you keep the trout you catch.

A valid New Jersey fishing license is required for non-residents at least 16 years and older to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey, including privately owned waters. License must be visibly displayed on outer clothing.

A valid fishing license AND trout stamp are required to fish for or possess trout and salmon for non-residents 16 and over.

Not ready to purchase a full-year license? A 7-day vacation license is available to non-residents wishing to test the great fishing opportunities in New Jersey without committing to an annual license. A trout stamp is still required to fish for or possess trout and salmon.

Looking to fish for a weekend or a day? A 2-day license is available to non-residents looking to explore New Jersey’s fishing opportunities for a short time without purchasing an annual license. A Trout Stamp is still required to fish for or possess trout and salmon.

Want to introduce someone new to fishing or want to learn to fish with a friend? Purchasing a Buddy License will help to save both of you nearly 50% off your fishing license! The Fishing Buddy License offers 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 never purchased a fishing license or has not purchased an annual fishing license since 2010.

A Boat Ramp Permit is required for people wishing to utilize select Wildlife Management Area’s (WMA) boat ramps that do not have a current fishing or hunting license. Residents 70 years and older are not required to obtain a permit.

WMAs requiring a Boat Ramp Permit include: Round Valley Angler Access, Assunpink, Dennis Creek, Tuckahoe, Mad Horse Creek, Union Lake, Menantico Ponds, and Prospertown Lake.

The “All Around Sportsman License” includes license to hunt with a shotgun, bow and arrow, and to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey. A trout stamp is still required to fish for or possess trout and salmon.

A person on active duty in the United States armed services, regardless of their current residency, are entitled to purchase a resident New Jersey fishing license. Active duty military ID must be shown to the license agent as proof of entitlement.

Only New Jersey National Guard personnel in good standing are entitled to free hunting and fishing licenses, permits and stamps. These privileges are not available using Fish & Wildlife’s website. However, the NJ Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs can issue fishing licenses through their DMAVA website.

For all other free hunting and fishing licenses, call 609-530-6866, email robert.greco@dmava.nj.gov, or write to: NJ Dept of Military and Veterans Affairs, Attn: MSG (Ret.) Robert Greco (RSB-RALV), PO Box 340, Trenton, NJ 08625-0340.

Free hunting and fishing licenses, stamps and permits are available for resident veterans with a service-connected disability.

Newly applying disabled veterans can obtain their hunting and fishing licenses and stamps by mailing the application and all required documentation to: New Jersey Fish & Wildlife, Attn: Disabled Veteran Licensing, MC 501-03, PO Box 420 Trenton, NJ 08625-0420. Fish & Wildlife offices no longer accept Disabled Veteran Certifications in person. For information and updates, click here.

All licenses, stamps and permits for which the veteran is eligible will be free of charge. For questions call 609-292-2965.

Residents afflicted with total blindness may obtain a free fishing license. Call (609) 292-2965 for an application.

FRESHWATER PERMITS

WHICH PERMIT DO I NEED?

PERMITS

To protect the state’s freshwater resources, a fish stocking permit is required before introducing any fish, their fry or eggs, into any waters, regardless of ownership. To reduce the risk of the introduction of disease or parasites, fish must be purchased from a New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife approved hatchery source.

More information and application
A Scientific Collecting Permit is required to sample or collect freshwater fish and other wildlife. Permits are issued to paid consultants, educational, or scientific organizations that provide environmental or natural resource education to its students or a governmental unit or private institution whose primary service is the evaluation of environmental or natural resource conditions. In most cases specimens are to be released immediately and unharmed.

A scientific collecting permit is required for the salvage or collection of fish related to a water lowering where the remaining water level is insufficient to support fish. Specimens may not be sold or used for any other purposes, such as medical research, or any other activity that does not provide a natural resource educational experience or scientific investigation that is consistent with the goals of New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife.

More information and application
A water lowering permit is required to partially or completely lower a body of water, regardless of ownership. Water withdrawal activities (water supply, irrigation, etc.) which are specifically permitted or exempted by the Department of Environmental Protection do not require a water lowering permit from Fish & Wildlife. Important seasonal restrictions apply.

More information and application
A WMA Fishing Tournament Permit is required to conduct a fishing tournament on any water within a designated state Wildlife Management Area. For the purposes of this permit a “fishing tournament” is defined as any organized fishing event, from shoreline or boat, with more than 10 anglers or more than 5 boats participating, whichever is less.

A written report of the tournament results is required and must be submitted within two weeks after the date of the event. A report form is supplied with approved permits. Waterbodies managed by other entities, such as state parks, local municipalities, etc., may have separate permitting requirements. Tournament organizers are advised to check with the specific waterbody owner for additional permitting requirements or restrictions regarding tournaments.

More information and application
The harvest of certain species of wildlife in excess of established recreational daily limits is permitted under special commercial permits issued by New Jersey DEP Fish & Wildlife. Commercial permits are issued for the taking of snapping turtles, bullfrogs and green frogs, and various species of fish other than baitfish using certain gear types (haul seines, gill nets and fykes). Each permit carries specific timing, gear, and species restrictions to afford protection to targeted and non-targeted wildlife species. All permits require the submittal of harvest reports. All commercial harvest permits issued by the Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries are valid in fresh waters of the state only; separate rules apply in marine waters.

More information and application
Organizations, governmental or licensed private care facilities that are responsible for the physical or mental developmental health of persons who have a lifelong need of supervised care may apply for a special limited-use fishing license for patients under their care. The license allows patients to fish, without a license or stamp in specified waterbodies provided they are escorted by the staff of the organization.

Applications, in the form of a letter of request, should be submitted at least 21 days prior to the event on the organization’s official letterhead stationery. The letter must contain the date(s) of the proposed event or time frame, the specific waterbody name(s), and the number of disabled persons requesting to be covered. Send the letter to: New Jersey Fish & Wildlife, Bureau of Freshwater Fisheries, PO Box 394, Lebanon, NJ 08833. The established season, size and creel limits apply. This license does not cover staff members.

BUDDY UP AND SAVE

Save almost 50% OFF your license

frequently asked questions

For difficulty printing in the electronic license system, FIRST ensure that your version of Adobe Acrobat Reader is current. Otherwise, log out then log in again to the system and choose “Reprint Documents.” Look for pop-up PDF. If that fails to print your license, call Aspira at (888) 773-8450 for additional assistance.

For any issues with purchasing a license call Aspira at (888) 773-8450 or email at NJDFWLicenses@dep.nj.gov.
You can replace a license or stamp at any license agent or online at Fish and Wildlife’s internet license sales site, also linked through our regular website at NJFishandWildlife.com. For fishing licenses or trout stamps originally purchased online, a reprint can be made free of charge on plain paper. Durable stock duplicates can be ordered online for $2 per item and will be mailed.
Yes, a fishing license required to fish all fresh waters of the state, including private and tidal waters. However, when fishing below or downstream of the designated freshwater license boundary line (designated locations where a river changes from freshwater to saltwater) a fishing license is not required. Please refer to our most recent Fishing Digest under “Fishing License Boundary Lines.”
Yes, a valid fishing license and trout stamp are both required to fish for or possess trout and salmon for all anglers (resident and non-resident) age 16 and over plus residents under age 70. No license or trout stamp is required for residents age 70 years and over.
That depends on the level of assistance. For baiting a hook or netting and unhooking a fish, a license is not required. If you cast, retrieve or fight the fish for a child, a license is required.

A child, under the age of 16 may fish without a license until December 31 of the year they turned 16. So if your child turned 16 in July they may continue to fish until December 31 of that year. They will however, need a license beginning January 1 of the following year.
A fishing license does not include the right to trespass. In New Jersey, property rights are assigned to the landowner — the key part being land. When wading in a stream or standing along a shoreline to fish, you may do so only from property that is open to the public; if not, you must have permission from the landowner. The same applies for launching a boat or kayak. However, while in a boat or kayak, and not standing on the bottom (land) of the stream or lake, you are allowed to fish and navigate anywhere in the water. Remember, getting out of a boat or kayak must be at a location open to the public unless you have previous permission from the landowner. Fish and Wildlife urges all anglers and boaters to be respectful of private property and to be courteous to landowners.
For assistance in changing your profile in our licensing system, please call NJDEP Fish and Wildlife at 609-292-2965 or email the license system staff at NJDFWLicenses@dep.nj.gov.
Additional information on hunting and fishing license sales can be found here.

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NOTE: Anyone needing assistance with the License Web Site should e-mail NJDFWLicenses@dep.nj.gov or call 908-637-4125 ext 0. Detailed information on the Integrated Electronic Licensing System (IELS) is available on the main License Information page.

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Copyright © State of New Jersey, 1996-2022
Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
609-777-3373
Last Update: August 31st, 2022