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Marine Fish of New Jersey

There are approximately 450 species of vertebrate wildlife which can be found within the Garden State, along with 85 freshwater fish. Our bays, estuaries and marine waters can be home to 28 marine mammals and 336 marine finfish at some point during the year. This is an exceptional number of species for a state as small as New Jersey.

The majority of information in the table below was compiled through the work of Ken Able (citation below) and lists marine fish which can be found, along with their historical status as defined below:

Abbreviations:

A - Abundant
AS - Abundant in summer
ASF - Abundant in spring and fallI
F - Frequent
R - Rare
T - Threatened

C - Common
C-A - Common-abundant
CS - Common in summer
CSF - Common in summer and fall
CW - Common in winter
CWS - Common in winter and spring
O - Occasional
OS - Occasional in summer
OSF - Occasional in summer and fall
OWS - Occasional in winter and spring
COMMON NAME SCIENTIFIC NAME STATUS
Myxinidae:    
Atlantic Hagfish Myxine glutinosa R
Petromyzontidae:    
Sea Lamprey Petromyzon marinus C
Odontaspididae:    
Sand Tiger Odontaspis taurus A
Alopiidae:    
Bigeye Thresher Shark Alopias superciliosus O
Thresher Shark Alopias vulpinus R
Cetorhinidae:    
Basking Shark Cetorhinus maximus R
Lamnidae:    
White Shark Carcharadon carcharias R
Shortfin Mako Isurus oxyrinchus R
Porbeagle Lamna nasus R
Scyliorhinidae:    
False Cat Shark Pseudotriakis microdon R
Chain Dogfish Scyliorhinus retifer A
Carcharhinidae:    
Silky Shark Carcharhinus falciformis R
Bull Shark Carcharhinus leucas R
Blacktip Shark Carcharhinus limbatus R
Dusky Shark Carcharhinus obscurus CS
Sandbar Shark Carcharhinus plumbeus AS
Tiger Shark Galeocerdo cuvier R
Smooth Dogfish Mustelus canis A
Lemon Shark Negaprion brevirostris R
Blue Shark Prionace glauca C
Atlantic Sharpnose Shark Rhizoprionodon terraenovae R
Sphyrnidae:    
Scalloped Hammerhead Sphyrna lewini R
Bonnethead Sphyrna tiburo R
Smooth Hammerhead Sphyrna zygaena R
Squalidae:    
Spiny Dogfish Squalus acanthias ASF
Squatinidae:    
Atlantic Angel Shark Squatina dumeril CSF
Pristidae:    
Smalltooth Sawfish Pristis pectinata R
Torpedinidae:    
Atlantic Torpedo Torpedo nobiliana R
Rajidae:    
Clearnose Skate Raja eglanteria A
Little Skate Raja erinacea A
Rosette Skate Raja garmani C
Barndoor Skate Raja laevis C
Winter Skate Raja ocellata A
Thorny Skate Raja radiata O
Dasyatidae:    
Southern Stingray Dasyatis americana R
Roughtail Stingray Dasyatis centroura C
Atlantic Stingray Dasyatis sabina R
Bluntnose Stingray Dasyatis say O
Spiny Butterfly Ray Gymnura altavela R
Smooth Butterfly Ray Gymnura micrura  
Myliobatidae:    
Spotted Eagle Ray Aetobatus narinari R
Bullnose Ray Myliobatis freminvillei O
Cownose Ray Rhinoptera bonasus OS
Mobulidae:    
Manta Manta birostris R
Devil Ray Mobula mobular R
Acipenseridae:    
Shortnose Sturgeon Acipenser brevirostrum C in Delaware River
Atlantic Sturgeon Acipenser oxyrhynchus R
Elopidae:    
Ladyfish Elops saurus R
Tarpon Megalops atlanticus R
Albulidae:    
Bonefish Albula vulpes R
Anguilidae:    
American Eel Anguila rostrata A
Muraenidae:    
Green Moray Gymnothorax funebris R
Spotted Moray Gymnothorax moringa R
Ophichthidae:    
Speckled Worm Eel Myrophis punctatus R
Margined Snake Eel Ophichthus cruentifer O
Palespotted Eel Ophichthus ocellatus R
Congridae:    
Conger Eel Conger oceanicus C
Clupeidae:    
Blueback Herring Alosa aestivalis A
Hickory Shad Alosa mediocris C
Alewife Alosa pseudoharengus A
American Shad Alosa sapidissima T
Atlantic Menhaden Brevoortia tyrannus A
Atlantic Herring Clupea harengus CW
Gizzard Shad Dorosoma cepedianum O in saltwater
Round Herring Etrumeus teres O
Scaled Sardine Harengula jaguana R
Atlantic Thread Herring Opisthonema oglinum O
Spanish Sardine Sardinella aurita O
Engraulidae:    
Striped Anchovy Anchoa hepsetus C
Bay Anchovy Anchoa mitchilli A
Silver Anchovy Engraulis eurystole O
Ariidae:    
Gafftopsail Catfish Bagre marinus R
Osmeridae:    
Rainbow smelt Osmerus mordax T
Salmonidae:    
Rainbow Trout Oncorhynchus mykiss R
Atlantic Salmon Salmo salar R
Brown Trout Salmo trutta R
Gonostomatidae:    
Longtooth Anglemouth Gonostoma elongatum R
Mullers Pearlsides Maurolicus muelleri R
Oceanic Lightfish Vinciguerria nimbaria R
Chlorophthalmidae:    
Shortnose Greeneye Chlorophthalmus agassizi C at edge of continental shelf
Synodontidae:    
Inshore Lizardfish Synodus foetens O
Snakefish Trachinocephalus myops R
Paralepidae:    
White Barracudina Notolepis rissoi R
Duckbill Barracudina Paralepis atlantica R
Sharpchin Barracudina Paralepis coregonoides R
Myctophidae:    
Glacier Lanternfish Benthosema glaciale R
Smallfin Lanternfish Benthosema suborbitale R
Horned Lanternfish Ceratoscopelus maderensis C
Warming's Lanternfish Ceratoscopelus warmingi R
Longfin Lanternfish Diogenichthys atlanticus R
Benoit's Lanternfish Hygophum benoiti R
Slender Lanternfish Hygophum reinhardti R
Winged Lanternfish Lampanyctus alatus R
Largescale Lanternfish Symbolophorus veranyi R
Bregmacerotidae:    
Antenna Codlet Bregmaceros atlanticus R
Gadidae:    
Cusk Brosme brosme R
Fourbeard Rockling Enchelyopus cimbrius R?
Atlantic Cod Gadus morhua CWS
Haddock Melanogrammus aeglefinus OWS
Offshore Hake Merluccius albidus C
Silver Hake Merluccius bilinearis A
Atlantic Tomcod Microgadus tomcod C in Hudson and Hackensack Rivers
Pollock Pollachius virens Juveniles C
Red Hake Urophycis chuss A
Carolina Hake Urophycis earlii R
Spotted Hake Urophycis regia C
White Hake Urophycis tenuis O
Ophidiidae:    
Fawn Cusk-eel Lepophidium profundorum A
Striped Cusk-eel Ophidion marginatum C
Crested Cusk-eel Ophidion welshi R
Batrachoididae:    
Oyster Toadfish Opsanus tau A
Lophiidae:    
Goosefish Lophius americanus C
Antennariidae:    
Striated Frogfish Antennarius striatus R
Sargassumfish Histrio histrio R
Chaunacidae:    
Redeye Gaper Chaunax stigmaeus R
Exocoetidae:    
Clearwing Flyingfish Cypselurus comatus R
Bandwing Flyingfish Cypselurus exciliens R
Spotfin Flyingfish Cypselurus furcatus R
Atlantic Flyingfish Cypselurus melanurus R
Flying Halfbeak Euleptorhampus velox R
Ballyhoo Hemiramphus brasiliensis R
Silverstripe Halfbeak Hyporhamphus unifasciatus O
Belonidae:    
Flat Needlefish Ablennes hians R
Atlantic Needlefish Strongylura marina CS
Agujon Tylosurus acus R
Scomberesocidae:    
Atlantic Saury Scomberesox saurus R
Cyprinodontidae:    
Sheepshead minnow Cyprinodon variegates A
Marsh Killifish Fundulus confluentus  
Banded Killifish Fundulus diaphanous A
Mummichog Fundulus heteroclitus A
Spotfin Killifish Fundulus luciae C
Striped Killifish Fundulus majalis A
Rainwater Killifish Lucania parva C
Poeciliidae:    
Eastern Mosquitofish Gambusia holbrocki C
Atherinidae:    
Rough Silverside Membras martinica C
Inland Silverside Menidia beryllina A
Atlantic Silverside Menidia menidia A
Holocentridae:    
Deep Water Squirrelfish Holocentrus bullisi R
Dusky Squirrelfish Holocentrus vexillarius R
Zeidae:    
Buckler Dory Zenopsis cochifera C
Gasterosteidae:    
Fourspine Stickleback Apeltes quadracus C
Threespine Stickleback Gasterosteus aculeatus C
Ninespine Stickleback Pungitius pungitius R
Fistularidae:    
Bluespotted Cornetfish Fistularia tabacaria R
Centriscidae:    
Longspine Snipefish Macrorhamphosus scolopax R
Syngnathidae:    
Lined Seahorse Hippocampus erectus CSF
Opposum Pipefish Microphis brachyuros R
Northern Pipefish Syngnathus fuscus A
Chain Pipefish Syngnathus louisianae R
Sargassum Pipefish Syngnathus pelagicus R
Dactyloperidae:    
Flying Gurnard Dactylopterus volitans R
Scorpaenidae:    
Blackbelly Rosefish Helicolenus dactylopterus A
Spinycheek Scorpionfish Neomerinthe hemingwayi R
Highfin Scorpionfish Pontinus rathbuni R
Barbfish Scorpaena brasiliensis R
Mushroom Scorpionfish Scorpaena inermis R
Smoothcheek Scorpionfish Scorpaena isthmensis R
Spotted Scorpionfish Scorpaena plumieri R
Acadian Redfish Sebastes fasciatus O
Triglidae:    
Armored Searobin Peristedion miniatum C at edge of continental shelf
Northern Searobin Prionotus carolinus A
Striped Searobin Prionotus evolans A
Cottidae:    
Sea Raven Hemitripterus americanus C
Grubby Myoxocephalus aenaeus C
Longhorn Sculpin Myoxocephalus octodecemspinosus C
Shorthorn Sculpin Myoxocephalus scorpius R
Agonidae:    
Alligatorfish Aspidophoroides monopterygius R
Cyclopteridae:    
Lumpfish Cyclopterus lumpus R
Atlantic Seasnail Liparis atlanticus R
Inquiline Seasnail Liparis inquilinus C
Percichthyidae:    
White Perch Morone americana A
Striped Bass Morone saxatilus A
Wreckfish Polyprion americanus R
Serranidae:    
Anthias woodsi O
Black Sea Bass Centropristis striata A
Red Grouper Epinephelus morio R
Warsaw Grouper Epinephelus nigritus R
Snowy Grouper Epinephelus niveatus R
Black Grouper Mycteroperca bonaci R
Gag Mycteroperca microlepis R
Priacanthidae:    
Glasseye snapper Priacanthus cruentatus R
Malacanthidae:    
Blackline Tilefish Caulolatilus cyanops R
Tilefish Lopholatilus chamaeleonticeps A
Pomatomidae:    
Bluefish Pomatomus saltatrix A
Rachycentridae:    
Cobia Rachycentron canadum R
Echeneidae:    
Sharksucker Echeneis naucrates R
Whitefin Sharksucker Echeneis neucratoides R
Marlinsucker Remora osteochir R
Remora Remora remora R
White Suckerfish Remorina albescens R
Carangidae:    
African Pompano Alectis ciliaris R
Yellow Jack Caranx bartholomaei R
Blue Runner Caranx crysos OSF
Crevalle Jack Caranx hippos CSF
Horse-eye Jack Caranx latus R
Bar Jack Caranx ruber O
Atlantic Bumper Chloroscombrus chrysurus R
Round Scad Decapterus punctatus R
Pilotfish Naucrates ductor R
Leatherjack Oligoplites saurus O
Bigeye Scad Selar crumenophthalmus R
Atlantic Moonfish Selene setapinnis OS
Lookdown Selene vomer OS
Greater Amberjack Seriola dumerili R
Almaco Jack Seriola rivoliana R
Banded Rudderfish Seriola zonata OS
Florida Pompano Trachinotus carolinus CS
Permit Trachinotus falcatus CS
Palometa Trachinotus goodei CS
Rough Scad Trachurus lathami R
Cottonmouth Jack Uraspis secunda R
Coryphaenidae:    
Dolphin Coryphaena hippurus CS
Bramidae:    
Atlantic pomfret Brama brama R
Lutjanidae:    
Schoolmaster Lutjanus apodus R
Red Snapper Lutjanus camprechanus R
Cubera Snapper Lutjanus cyanopterus R
Gray snapper Lutjanus griseus OS
Yellowtail snapper Ocyurus chrysurus R
Vermillion snapper Rhomboplites aurorubens R
Lobotidae:    

Tripletail

Lobotes surinamensis  
Gerreidae:    
Irish pompano Diapterus auratus R
Spotfin mojarra Eucinostomus argenteus R
Silver jenny Eucinostomus gula R
Tidewater mojarra Eucinostomus harengulus R
Flagfin mojarra Eucinostomus melanopterus R
Haemulidae:    
Pigfish Orthopristis chrysoptera R
Sparidae:    
Sheepshead Archosargus probatocephalus R
Sea bream Archosargus rhomboidalis R
Spottail pinfish Diplodus holbrooki R
Pinfish Lagodon rhomboides R
Scup Stenotomus chrysops A
Sciaendae:    
Silver perch Bairdiella chrysoura C
Spotted seatrout Cynoscion nebulosus R
Weakfish Cynoscion regalis A
Banded drum Larimus fasciatus R
Spot Leiostomus xanthurus C-A
Southern kingfish Menticirrhus americanus O
Northern kingfish Menticirrhus saxatilis C
Atlantic croaker Micropogonias undulatus C
Black drum Pogonias cromis C
Red drum Sciaenops ocellatus O in Delaware Bay
Mullidae:    
Red goatfish Mullus auratus R
Spotted goatfish Pseudupeneus maculatus R
Kyphosidae:    
Bermuda chub Kyphosus sectatrix R
Ephippidae:    
Atlantic spadefish Chaetodipterus faber R
Chaetodontidae:    
Foureye butterflyfish Chaetodon capistratus R
Spotfin butterflyfish Chaetodon ocellatus F in late summer
Banded butterflyfish Chaetodon striatus R
Pomacanthidae:    
Gray angelfish Pomacanthus arcuatus R
Pomacenthidae:    
Sergeant major Abudefduf saxatilus R
Mugilidae:    
Striped mullet Mugil cephalus A
White mullet Mugil curema A
Sphyraenidae:    
Great barracuda Sphyraena barracuda R
Northern sennet Sphyraena borealis C
Polynemidae:    
Atlantic threadfin Polydactylus octonemus R
Labridae:    
Tautog Tautoga onilis A
Cunner Tautogolabrus adsperus C
Scaridae:    
Emerald parrotfish Nicholsina usta R
Zoarcidae:    
Ocean pout Macrozoarces americanus C
Stichaeidae:    
Snakeblenny Lumpenus lumpretaeformis R
Arctic shanny Stichaeus punctatus R
Radiated shanny Ulvaria subbifurcata R
Pholidae:    
Rock gunnel Pholis gunnelus R
Anarhichadidae:    
Atlantic wolffish Anarhichas lupus R
Uranoscopidae:    
Northern stargazer Astroscopus guttatus O
Blenniidae:    
Striped Blenny Chasmodes bosquianus O
Crested Blenny Hypleurochilus germinatus R
Feather Blenny Hypsoblennius hentz O
Seaweed Blenny Parablennius marmoreus R
Ammodytidae:    
American Sand Lance Ammodytes americanus A
Northern Sand Lance Ammodytes dubius A
Eleotridae:    
Fat Sleeper Dormitator maculatas R
Gobiidae:    
Darter Goby Gobionellus boleosoma R
Highfin Goby Gobionellus oceanicus R
Naked Goby Gobiosoma bosc A
Seaboard Goby Gobiosoma ginsburgi O
Acanthuridae:    
Ocean Surgeon Acanthurus bahianus R
Blue Tang Acanthurus coeruleus R
Trichiuridae:    
Oilfish Ruvettus pretiosus R
Atlantic Cutlassfish Trichiurus lepturus R
Scombridae:    
Wahoo Acanthocybium solandri R
Frigate Mackerel Auxis thazard R
Little Tunny Euthynnus alletteratus CS
Skipjack Tuna Katsuwonus pelamis R
Atlantic Bonito Sarda sarda O
Chub Mackerel Scomber japonicus R
Atlantic Mackerel Scomber scombrus A
King Mackerel Scomberomorus cavalla O
Spanish Mackerel Scomberomorus maculates O
Cero Scomberomorus regalis O
Albacore Thunnus alalunga C
Yellowfin Tuna Thunnus albacares C
Bigeye Tuna Thunnus obesus O
Bluefin Tuna Thunnus thynnus CS
Xiphiidae:    
Swordfish Xiphias gladias CS
Istiophoridae:    
Sailfish Istiophorus platypterus R
Blue Marlin Makaira nigricans R
White Marlin Tetrapterus albidus C
Stromateidae:    
Black Ruff Centrolophus niger R
Black Fathead Cubiceps baxteri R
Barrelfish Hyperoglyphe perciformis R
Harvestfish Peprilus alepidotus O
Butterfish Peprilus triacanthus A
Freckled Driftfish Psenes cyanophrys R
Bluefin Driftfish Psenes pellucidus R
Bigeye Squaretail Tetragonurus atlanticus R
Bothidae:    
Twospot Flounder or Spottail Flounder Bothus robinsi R
Gulf Stream Flounder Citharichthys arctifrons A
Horned Whiff Citharichthys cornutus R
Angelfin Whiff Citharichthys gymnorhinus R
Bay Whiff Citharichthys spilopterus R
Smallmouth Flounder Etropus microstomus C
Gulf Flounder Paralichthys albigutta R
Summer Flounder Paralichthys dentatus A
Fourspot Flounder Paralichthys oblongus C
Windowpane Scophthalmus aquosus C
Dusky Flounder Syacium papillosum R
Pleuronectidae:    
Witch Flounder Glyptocephalus cynoglossus C
American Plaice Hippoglossoides platessoides R
Atlantic Halibut Hippoglossus hippoglossus R
Winter Flounder Pleuronectes americanus A
Yellowtail Flounder Pleuronectes ferrugineus C
Achiridae:    
Hogchoker Trinectes maculatus C
Cynoglossidae:    
Blackcheek Tonguefish Symphurus plagiusa R
Balistidae:    
Orange Filefish Aluterus schoepfi R
Gray Triggerfish Balistes capriscus R
Queen Triggerfish Balistes vetula R
Ocean Triggerfish Canthidermis sufflamen O
Fringed Filefish Monacanthus ciliatus R
Planehead Filefish Monacanthus hispidus R
Ostraciidae:    
Scrawled Cowfish Lactophrys quadricornis R
Trunkfish Lactophrys trigonus R
Smooth Trunkfish Lactophrys triqueter R
Tetraodontidae:    
Web Burrfish Chilomycterus antillarum R
Spotted Burrfish Chilomycterus atinga R
Striped Burrfish Chilomycterus schoepfi O
Porcupinefish Diodon hystrix R
Smooth Puffer Lagocephalus laevigatus OS
Northern Puffer Sphoeroides maculatus CS
Checkered Puffer Sphoeroides testudineus R
Molidae:    
Ocean Sunfish Mola mola O

Citation:
Able, K.W. 1992. Checklist of New Jersey saltwater fishes. Bull. N.J. Acad. Sci. 37(1):1-11

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Department of Environmental Protection
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Last Updated: February 14, 2006