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Hunting and Fishing: Surf Fishing; Game Code Amendments; Heading Out of State?

Register Now for Governor's Surf Fishing Tourney


Mark your calendars and get your registrations in now for the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament! This year's tournament is scheduled for Sunday, October 2 at Island Beach State Park and marks the 20th anniversary of this popular family event.

The tournament offers participants an excellent opportunity to learn more about the sport of surf fishing, while enjoying a fun day with family and friends. Anglers can also feel great about the use of their registration fees, as all funds raised are used for very worthwhile purposes. These include the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide the disabled and elderly beach access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, marine education and restoration efforts, and surf fishing access.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish wins the "Governor's Award," and has his/her name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently displayed at the park. Fishing equipment is awarded to winners who catch the largest fish in a variety of species and age group categories.

Anglers planning to participate in the tournament should register early. Doing so entitles you to save on the adult registration fee, be eligible for special prizes including an early entry raffle for a surf rocket:, and avoid delays when entering the park. The early entry incentive ends September 10, 2011. After this date, anglers will be required to register at the tournament.

The pre-registration fee for the tournament is $10 for ages 18 and up and the registration fee on Tournament day is $15. The registration fee for ages 13-17 is $5 and registration is free for ages 12 and under.

For more information or to download a registration form visit .

The Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament is sponsored by the DEP's Divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Parks and Forestry as well as the NJ Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If you have not already registered please make sure you do before hitting the beach the day of the tournament.

Registration is quick, easy and free. Anglers simply need to log on to and follow the instructions on the page. 

Proposed Game Code Amendments Approved

 August 5, 2011

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife is informing the public that the NJ Fish and Game Council approved all proposed amendments to the 2011 - 2012 Game Code at its July 20 meeting. The Game Code governs the activities relating to the taking of wildlife classified as game animals, game birds, or furbearers.

The Council's approval of the amendments followed a sixty-day public comment period, which included a public hearing held on May 17, 2011 at the NJ State Museum in Trenton. The 2011 - 2012 Game Code will be effective after publication in the New Jersey Register.

The approved amendments included, but were not limited to, the following:

  • The addition of five days to the rabbit and hare hunting season
  • A statewide closure of the bobwhite quail season, with the exception of the Greenwood and Peaslee WMAs and existing semi-wild and commercial shooting preserves
  • The elimination of separate black bear hunting seminars as bear hunting will now be included in the regular hunter education classes
  • The creation of special black bear farmer permits
  • The addition of a second Saturday to the fall turkey hunting season
  • Expansion of the early bow and arrow-only coyote and fox season, and regular coyote and fox season dates
  • Removal of the requirement for youth hunters to take an antlerless deer before an antlered deer during the early fall bow deer season
  • Inclusion of five additional deer management zones (DMZ) into the Antler Point Restriction program
  • Creation of a new deer regulation set
  • Boundary changes to DMZs 19, 23, 25 and 65

The Game Code amendments will be incorporated into this year's hunting season regulations which are published in the Hunting Issue of the NJ Fish and Wildlife DIGEST. The 2011 Hunting Issue Digest will be available at license agents the first week of September and on this website at the end of August.

To view the full proposal document, see the Notice of Rule Proposal at on the DEP website.

For information on the process of amending the Game Code, see on the division's website.


Maryland CWD Containment Area added to list of states impacted by Pennsylvania’s parts ban


HARRISBURG – With thousands of Pennsylvania hunters heading off to hunt big game in other states and Canadian provinces, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe reminds hunters that, in an effort to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) into the Commonwealth, the agency prohibits hunters from importing specific carcass parts from members of the deer family – including mule deer, elk and moose – from 19 states and two Canadian provinces. 

Roe noted that this importation ban is outlined in a recently revised executive order, and affects hunters heading to: Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland (only from CWD Management Area), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, New York (only from Madison and Oneida counties), North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area), West Virginia (only from CWD Containment Area), Wisconsin and Wyoming; as well as the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. 

The executive order prohibits hunters from bringing back certain parts from any cervid from the listed states or provinces, whether the animal was taken from the wild or from a captive, high-fence operation. The specific carcass parts that cannot be brought back to Pennsylvania by hunters are the ones where the CWD prions (the causative agent) concentrate in cervids, and they are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes and any lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone; spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft tissue is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord tissue; unfinished taxidermy mounts; and brain-tanned hides.

In West Virginia, the CWD Containment Area also has been expanded as the disease has moved outside of Hampshire County. The new CWD Containment Area now includes all of Hampshire County and portions of Hardy and Morgan counties. 

For details, hunters should contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources or the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.

Pennsylvania hunters heading to a state with a history of CWD should become familiar with that state’s wildlife regulations and guidelines for the transportation of harvested game animals.  Wildlife officials have suggested hunters in areas where CWD is known to exist follow these usual recommendations to prevent the possible spread of disease:


- Do not shoot, handle or consume any animal that appears sick; contact the state wildlife agency if you see or harvest an animal that appears sick.


- Wear rubber or latex gloves when field-dressing carcasses.


- Bone out the meat from your animal.


- Minimize the handling of brain and spinal tissues.


- Wash hands and instruments thoroughly after field-dressing is completed.


- Request that your animal is processed individually, without meat from other animals being added to meat from your animal, or process your own meat if you have the tools and ability to do so.


- Have your animal processed in the endemic area of the state where it was harvested, so that high-risk body parts can be properly disposed of there.  Only bring permitted materials back to Pennsylvania.


- Don’t consume the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen, tonsils or lymph nodes of harvested animals. (Normal field-dressing, coupled with boning out a carcass, will remove most, if not all, of these body parts. Cutting away all fatty tissue will help remove remaining lymph nodes.)


- Consider not consuming the meat from any animal that tests positive for the disease.


A list of region offices and contact information appears on page 5 of the 2011-12 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest, which is presented to each Pennsylvania license buyer.  The contact information also is available on the agency’s website ( by putting your cursor on “About Us” in the menu bar under the banner, then selecting “Regional Information” in the drop-down menu and then clicking on the region of choice in the map.

The Game Commission, with the assistance of the Pennsylvania and U.S. departments of Agriculture, has conducted tests on more than 31,000 Pennsylvania deer and elk that have either died of unknown illnesses, were exhibiting abnormal behavior, or were killed by hunters.  No evidence of CWD has been found in any of these samples.

The Game Commission will continue to monitor this disease and collect samples from deer and elk that appear sick or behave abnormally.  The agency plans to test all hunter-killed elk and approximately 4,000 hunter-harvested wild deer for CWD again this year.  

First identified in 1967, CWD is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that affects cervids, including all species of deer, elk and moose. It is a progressive and always fatal disease of the nervous system.  Scientists theorize CWD is caused by an unknown agent capable of transforming normal brain proteins into an abnormal form.

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