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State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection - New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program
State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why does NJ have a saltwater recreational angler registry?
  2. Why does the federal government need a registry of saltwater anglers?
  3. When did the NJ registry requirement go into effect?
  4. How do I register?
  5. When can I register for next year?
  6. What information does the federal government need from the state?
  7. Does New Jersey's registry meet the federal registry requirements?
  8. I already signed up for the federal registry; do I still need to register in NJ?
  9. Are there any exemptions for the NJSRRP requirement?
  10. Why must I provide the last four numbers of my Social Security number in order to register?
  11. What is the penalty for individuals caught fishing without registering with the NJSRRP first?
  12. What is the penalty for owners/operators of for-hire vessels caught fishing without registering with the NJSRRP first?
  13. What is the penalty for individuals or for-hire vessel owner/operators who have registered but are caught fishing without their certificate?
  14. Why is the registration limited to only web-based?
  15. I don't have a computer. Is there a number I can call or is there another way to register?
  16. I can register on-line but do not have a printer and do not have e-mail access. What should I do?
  17. What if I have a problem with the website or my registration?
  18. If I lose my registration, can I get a duplicate?
  19. What happens with my registration information?
  20. Will the registry really improve saltwater fisheries?
  21. Does the NJ registry exempt me from registering with the federal registry?
  22. What waters are covered under the registry?
  23. I have a freshwater fishing license and fish in tidal freshwaters of the Delaware River; do I still need to register?
  24. Does the registration allow NJ to obtain Sport Fish Restoration funding?
  25. How much will this cost next year?
  26. I have a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Permit from NMFS. Does this exempt me from the NJSRRP?
  27. How many anglers fish in NJ's marine waters?
  28. Will I need to register if I plan to fish from the shore?
  29. Will I need to register if I fish on a private or public pier?
  30. What recreational gear beside hook and line would require registry?
  31. Will I need to register in order to harvest crabs, mussels, clams, lobsters, shrimp and other shellfish?
  32. I'm a diver; I never fish with a rod and reel. Do I need to register?
  33. I fish in the Delaware Bay. Will the NJSRRP be accepted in the State waters of Delaware?
  34. Will the New Jersey registry be accepted in New York waters?
  35. Will I need to register to bring back fish to NJ if I fish outside NJ's jurisdiction?
  36. Can I register my private boat so my guests do not have register?
  37. Can a for–hire vessel registration be issued to an owner for multiple vessels?
  38. I have a commercial fishing license; do I still need to register if I go fishing for fun?
  39. If I register, can I transfer my card to another person if I'm not using it?
  40. Do I need to register if I am not fishing, but simply helping my child, who is under 16, learn to fish?
  41. If, at the last minute, I decide to bring a guest on my boat for a day of fishing, must he/she register for one day?
  42. If I register can I keep all the fish I catch?
  43. If I am out fishing in Delaware Bay with my family, which consists of an 11-year old and a 17-year old, and I am the only one that is registered, how many possession limits of fish can we keep?
  44. Can I register for my entire family?
  45. I am the owner of a for-hire vessel (party/charter boat). Do I need to register my vessel?

 

  1. Why does NJ have a saltwater recreational angler registry?

    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.

  2. Why does the federal government need a registry of saltwater anglers?

    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.

  3. When did the NJ registry requirement go into effect?

    The registration requirement was effective May 4, 2011.

  4. How do I register?

    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.

  5. When can I register for next year?

    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.

  6. What information does the federal government need from the state?

    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.

  7. Does New Jersey's registry meet the federal registry requirements?

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

  8. I already signed up for the federal registry; do I still need to register in NJ?

    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.

  9. Are there any exemptions for the NJSRRP requirement?

    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.

  10. Why must I provide the last four numbers of my Social Security number in order 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.

  11. What is the penalty for individuals caught fishing without registering with the NJSRRP first?

    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.

  12. What is the penalty for owners/operators of for-hire vessels caught fishing without registering with the NJSRRP first?

    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.

  13. What is the penalty for individuals or for-hire vessel owner/operators who have registered but are caught fishing without their certificate?

    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).

  14. Why is the registration limited to only web-based?

    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.

  15. I don't have a computer. Is there a number I can call or is there another way to register?

    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.

  16. I can register on-line but do not have a printer and do not have e-mail access. What should I do?

    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.

  17. What if I have a problem with the website or my registration?

    Questions or comments can be directed to the Registry Administrator via the Contact Us web page at www.nj.gov/dep/saltwateregistry/contact.html. 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.

  18. If I lose my registration, can I get a duplicate?

    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.

  19. What happens with my registration information?

    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.

  20. Will the registry really improve saltwater fisheries?

    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.

  21. Does the NJ registry exempt me from registering with the federal registry?

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

  22. What waters are covered under the registry?

    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.

  23. I have a freshwater fishing license and fish in tidal freshwaters of the Delaware River; do I still need to register?

    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.

  24. Does the registration allow NJ to obtain Sport Fish Restoration funding?

    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.

  25. How much will this cost next year?

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

  26. I have a Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Permit from NMFS. Does this exempt me from the NJSRRP?

    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.

  27. How many anglers fish in NJ's marine waters?

    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.

  28. Will I need to register if I plan to fish from the shore?

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

  29. Will I need to register if I fish on a private or public pier?

    Yes.

  30. What recreational gear beside hook and line would require registry?

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

  31. Will I need to register in order to harvest crabs, mussels, clams, lobsters, shrimp and other shellfish?

    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.

  32. I'm a diver; I never fish with a rod and reel. Do I need to register?

    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.

  33. I fish in the Delaware Bay. Will the NJSRRP be accepted in the State waters of Delaware?

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

  34. Will the New Jersey registry be accepted in New York waters?

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

  35. Will I need to register to bring back fish to NJ if I fish outside NJ's jurisdiction?

    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.

  36. Can I register my private boat so my guests do not have register?

    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.

  37. Can a for–hire vessel registration be issued to an owner for multiple vessels?

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

  38. I have a commercial fishing license; do I still need to register if I go fishing for fun?

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

  39. If I register, can I transfer my card to another person if I'm not using it?

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

  40. Do I need to register if I am not fishing, but simply helping my child, who is under 16, learn to fish?

    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.

  41. If, at the last minute, I decide to bring a guest on my boat for a day of fishing, must he/she register for one day?

    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.

  42. If I register can I keep all the fish I catch?

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

  43. If I am out fishing in Delaware Bay with my family, which consists of an 11-year old and a 17-year old, and I am the only one that is registered, how many possession limits of fish can we keep?

    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.

  44. Can I register for my entire family?

    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.

  45. I am the owner of a for-hire vessel (party/charter boat). Do I need to register my vessel?

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

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Last Updated: October 20, 2013