NJDEP Saltwater Fishing Registry

NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program
Frequently Asked Questions

The U.S.Congress, through the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Reauthorization Act of 2006, required the federal government to create a national registry of saltwater anglers.  Effective January 1, 2010 anglers and for-hire vessels were required to register with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).  In 2011, NMFS instituted a $15.00 registration fee. By State statute, N.J.S.A. 23:2B-22, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is required to establish a free recreational saltwater registry.  A New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program exempts recreational fishermen and for-hire vessels from registration under the federal program.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) implemented the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program (NJSRRP) effective May 4, 2011 through Administrative Order No. 2011-05. The NJSRRP facilitates cooperation between DEP and recreational fishermen in order to preserve the long–term future of saltwater fishing.  The registry will also serve as a contact list of anglers and vessel owners/operators which will help to define conservation impacts or economic and marine stewardship benefits associated with recreational fishing.
An angler registry will facilitate better recreational fishing data in two ways: first it creates a database of recreational fishermen; and second, it allows for an improved survey pool. Instead of asking a random sample of coastal U.S. residents if they’ve gone fishing, an angler registry would target only those who have identified themselves as saltwater anglers, or for-hire vessel owners or operators.
The registration requirement was effective May 4, 2011.

The only means to register is an on-line, web enabled registry. All anglers and for-hire vessel owners and operators can register at www.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov.

Individual anglers and for-hire owner/operators can register for next year’s Saltwater Recreational Registry Program starting October 31st. Registrations expire at the end of each calendar year and must be renewed annually. To renew a registration select “Renew Any Registration“. Anglers or for-hire vessel owners/operators who have not registered with the NJSRRP previously should select “New Individual Registration” or “New For-Hire Registration” respectively.

The federal government needs enough information to contact recreational fishermen in order to conduct an angler survey. More specific information about minimum data requirements can be found at www.countmyfish.noaa.gov.

Yes. New Jersey’s program is consistent with all federal requirements.

Yes.  All anglers and for-hire vessel owners and operators must register with the NJSRRP.  New Jersey will provide a complete dataset to the National Marine Fisheries Service to establish and maintain a list of exemptions from the federal saltwater angler registration program.

Yes. Anyone under the age of 16 and any individual fishing only on a registered party or charter (for-hire) boat are not required to register.

The last four digits of the Social Security number, as well as date of birth, are used to create a unique identification for each angler and also establish verification to ensure that a person only registers once.

Any person who fails to register with the NJSRRP will be subject to a penalty of $25 for a first offense and $50 for subsequent offenses.

Any owner/operator of a for-hire vessel that fails to register with the NJSRRP will be subject to a penalty of $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses.

Any person or for-hire vessel owner/operator who fails to produce his/her NJSRRP registration certificate will be subject to a penalty equivalent to that of having not registered. (see #11 and #12).

DEP developed an on-line webpage for registration in order to minimize cost and expedite implementation.  This provides 24/7 access. Registrants can go on-line to register and print their registration at anytime, day or night.

No, the only method of registration will be on-line by visiting www.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov. If you do not have a computer, the DEP recommends visiting a local library for access to the NJSRRP.

Individual anglers and for-hire owner/operators are required to have their registry certificate with them and available for inspection if asked by a law enforcement officer. If you do not have a printer available when you register, you will need to provide a valid e-mail address so your registration information can be sent to that address. You can then print out the registry certificate at a later time.

Questions or comments can be directed to the Registry Administrator via the Contact Us web page at dep.nj.gov/saltwateregistry/contact/. You can use the form there to send a message to the Administrator. The Registry will also provide guidance throughout the registration process to reduce or eliminate any user difficulties when registering.

Duplicate copies can be retrieved by clicking the “Access Current Registration” button on the Saltwater Registry page, and then choosing “Generate Duplicate Registration”. Certificates can only be used by the registrant, however, and cannot be shared with anyone else.

The DEP will send the required information to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) for inclusion with data from other coastal states so they can conduct their surveys. The contact information will be utilized by the NMFS to contact random saltwater anglers or for-hire boats in the registry to ask questions about their recent saltwater fishing activity.   The information is confidential and will only be provided to the NMFS as required for New Jersey to maintain its exempted status.

Yes. More accurate catch statistics will enable agencies to improve management of marine fisheries in New Jersey and elsewhere. Scientifically sound marine fishery management will result in sustainable fish populations and enhanced recreational fishing opportunities.

Any individual or for-hire vessel fishing in New Jersey’s marine and tidal waters, fishing in federal waters (3 – 200 miles from shore) or landing their recreationally caught fish in New Jersey must register. NJSRRP requires all anglers and for-hire vessels to register in order to obtain the most accurate and complete information available.

Yes, as long as you are a recreational fisherman.  The NJ registry is consistent with all federal requirements.

Yes. The NJSRRP is consistent with the federal registry which includes all tidal waters.  A freshwater fishing license does not meet the federal registry requirements for tidal waters.

No. The only way to obtain Sport Fish Restoration funding is to develop a registration or licensing structure to generate revenue for a state’s wildlife agency.

The enabling legislation directed DEP to establish a NJSRRP including a free registry program.

No.  Any individual fishing in New Jersey’s marine and tidal waters, fishing in federal waters (3 – 200 miles from shore) or landing their recreationally caught fish in New Jersey must register, regardless of his/her HMS permit.

The latest Federal data available is from 2006 which estimates the number of anglers fishing in New Jersey ranges from 500,000 to 1,000,000. This program will facilitate more recent data. In 2011, 251,025 individuals and 1013 for-hire vessels registered with the NJSRRP.

Yes. If you are fishing recreationally for fish in State marine or tidal waters, you will need to register.

The NJSRRP requires registry by anglers using any of the following gear: spear, hook-and-line, hand line, rod-and-line, or by hand.

It depends on the targeted species and the method used to harvest. If recreationally harvesting shellfish, an individual is not required to register, but it is likely that other license or permit requirements apply to those species.  Registration is required when recreationally fishing for finfish or lobster when using any of the following recreational gear:  spear, hook-and-line, hand line, rod-and-line, or by hand. Although recreational crabbing does not require registry, there may be other licenses and permits required to harvest crab or lobster with commercial gear. Please visit the Division of Fish and Wildlife’s website at www.njfishandwildlife.com or see the Marine Digest for more details.

Yes.  The NJSRRP requires registry by recreational fishermen using any of the following gear: spear, hook-and-line, hand line, rod-and-line, or by hand.

No. You will still need to possess a valid Delaware fishing license to fish in the state waters of Delaware.

No. New Jersey residents must enroll in New York’s registry to fish in New York’s waters.

Yes.  Anglers fishing in waters adjacent to the state such as federal waters or the waters of the state of Delaware or New York must be registered in order to land fish in the state of New Jersey.

No. All guests must register if fishing in marine and tidal waters, unless they are less than 16 years of age. The intent of the legislation creating the marine registration was so the state could more accurately assess the impact of recreational fishing and to meet the requirements of the Federal Registry Program. A private boat is not an accepted exemption under that program.

The vessel registration is issued to the owner and a specific vessel. Each vessel must have its own registration.

Yes. If you are recreationally fishing for finfish, you need to register.

No. It is unlawful to transfer a certificate to any other individual.

Yes, if you do anything that might be construed as fishing. For example, if you bait the hook and toss the line, you are fishing. If you take the fish off the hook for the child, you are fishing. However, if you just sit in the boat, don’t touch any of the tackle, and simply observe, you are not fishing. If a law enforcement officer asks for your registration you will have to prove that you aren’t fishing. To be safe, we suggest registering.

Yes. Registration is required for anyone fishing in marine (and tidal) waters. Your guest will be able to go online to register and print a certificate at any time, day or night.

No, you will be held to the State’s recreational size and possession limits.

Two, your possession limit and your 11-year-old’s possession limit. Your 17-year-old is required to register to take finfish recreationally and would then be allowed his/her possession limit as well. Possession limits are specific to an individual.  Each individual, regardless of their age or registration status, may only possess the quantity of fish per species as permitted by law.  Possession limits are not transferable and may not be grouped together to form a group limit.

Yes. You will need the last four numbers of everyone’s social security number as well as other required information for those family members who are 16 years or older.

Yes. All for-hire vessels are required under the federal mandate and the NSRRP to register.