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CNB Hunting/Fishing NJ: Highlights of Proposed 2018-2019 Fish Code Regulation Changes



October 2, 2017

New Jersey's Fish and Game Council (Council) and the DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife are proposing amendments to the 2018 - 2019 Fish Code. The proposed amendments will be published in the October 2, 2017, New Jersey Register, initiating the sixty-day public comment period which will end on December 1, 2017. (See the Notice of Rule Proposal at for a link to the full proposal.)

The Fish Code governs when, by what means, at which locations, in what numbers, and at what sizes, fish, and certain turtles and frogs may be pursued, caught, killed, or possessed in fresh waters of the state. Since the turn of the 20th century, the Fish Code has provided a system for the protection, propagation, introduction and conservation of freshwater fish in this State and for their use and development for public recreation and food supply. Biennial revisions of season dates, creel limits and other regulations based on scientific investigation and research ensures the greatest likelihood of success in reaching these goals.

A public hearing concerning the proposed amendments will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at:

NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Center
East Branch - Eldridge Road
Assunpink Wildlife Management Area
Robbinsville, NJ 08691 (Actual location is Upper Freehold Twp., Monmouth Co.)

Submit written comments by December 1, 2017 electronically at

The Council encourages electronic submittal of comments. In the alternative, comments may be submitted in hard copy to:

2018 Fish Code Comments
NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife
Mr. Larry Herrighty, Director
Mail Code 501-03, PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625-0420
ATTN: (DEP Docket No. 15-17-08)

For a complete summary of the proposed rule changes please refer to the DEP Notice of Rule Proposal or the October 2, 2017, New Jersey Register N.J.A.C. 7:25-6.

Highlights of the proposed regulation changes appear below; for details of proposed changes view the following document:
Highlights of the Proposed Amendments (pdf, 40kb)

Highlights of Proposed Regulation Changes:


  • Catch and Release For All Brook Trout Within the Brook Trout Conservation Zone
  • In-Season Fishing Closures To Be Removed for Black and Walkill Rivers
  • New Trout Stocked Wild Brown Trout Managed Waters Category for Five Streams
  • Trout Stocking To Be Discontinued On Four Waterbodies
  • Trout Stocking Boundary Limit Changes
  • Wild Trout Stream Changes
  • Barbless Hooks and No More than Three Hook Points in Total For Catch and Release Areas and Wild Trout Streams
  • Wild Trout Stream Regulations For Upper Sections of Raritan River S. Br.
  • Claremont TCA To Be Regulated As Part Of New Wild Trout Stream Section On the Raritan River S. Br.
  • Trout Stocking on Rahway River An Additional Two Miles Downstream
  • 15-inch Size Limit for Landlocked Atlantic Salmon For Trophy Trout Waters
  • Private Fishing Clubs Located On Publicly Stocked Waters May Fish During the Three-week Pre-Season Closure


  • Size Limit Increase For Muskellunge
  • Increased Size Limit For Four Select Trophy Musky Waters
  • Statewide Bass Regulations For Lake Audrey
  • List of Baitfish Species To Be Amended
  • Increased Size Limit For American Eels