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Notice of Rule Proposal:
Proposed Amendments to 2012–2013 Fish Code N.J.A.C. 7:25-6

Take notice that the NJ Department of Environmental Protection, Fish and Game Council is proposing amendments to N.J.A.C. 7:25-6, the Fish Code.  A statement of the substance of the proposal follows:  The proposed 2012-2013 Fish Code, N.J.A.C. 7:25-6, states when, by what means, at which locations, in what numbers, and at what sizes, freshwater fish may be pursued, caught, killed, or possessed.  Since the turn of the 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.  The Fish Code governs when, by what means, at which locations, in what numbers, and at what sizes, fish may be pursued, caught, killed, or possessed.  Proposed amendments include the following: The Code provides that species of warmwater fish that do not have specific daily creel and possession limits shall have a daily creel and possession limit of 25 in total.  The Council is proposing to expand this protection to all species of freshwater fish that do not have a designated creel limit.   Sixty-one species of fish that are native to the fresh waters of New Jersey are proposed to be defined under the term “Indigenous fish”.  Proposed dates for the “opening day” of the 2013 to 2016 trout seasons.  The Council proposes to add South Vineland Park Pond (Cumberland County) and Brookaloo Swamp (Warren County) to the Division’s trout stocking program.  In addition, four waterbodies are also proposed to be removed from the Division’s trout stocking program Clarks Pond (Essex), Mullica Hill Pond (Gloucester), Riverview Beach Pond (Salem), and Trout Brook-Hope (Warren).  The proposal also includes adjustments to boundaries of the trout stocked sections of Honey Run and Lopatcong Creek to assure appropriate protection of stocked fish in these waterbodies.  The Council proposes to increase the creel limit on lake trout in Round Valley Reservoir to six fish, 15 inches to less than 24 inches in length, and one additional fish, 24 inches or greater, for a daily creel total of seven lake trout to reduce a current stockpile of fish less than 24 inches.  A 15 inch minimum size limit and a daily creel and possession limit of three for largemouth bass is proposed for Alloway Lake (Salem County).  For consistency with Pennsylvania, the Council proposes to increase the current rod limit from two to three for the Delaware River.   To further improve consistency with Pennsylvania, the taking of eels, herring, and bullheads while bow fishing on the Delaware River is proposed to be prohibited while allowing the taking of catfish.  The Council proposes to clarify bow fishing regulations by identifying ten species of fish which may be taken by bow anglers.  Currently, the Code identifies thirteen species which may not be taken.

The proposal is scheduled to be published in the New Jersey Register dated August 1, 2011.  A copy of the proposal is available from:  A copy of the proposal (PDF) is available from: Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) website; LexisNexis Customer Services at (800) 223-1944 or  Be advised that there may be a fee for obtaining a copy of the proposal from some sources.

A public hearing(s) concerning the proposal is scheduled as follows:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 7 pm
NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife Central Region Office
Assunpink Wildlife Management Area
1 Eldridge Road
Robbinsville, NJ 07719

Written comments may be submitted by September 30, 2011 to:

Gary J. Brower, Esq.
ATTN: 10-11-06
NJ Department of Environmental Protection
Office of Legal Affairs
Mail Code 401-04L; PO Box 402
401 East State Street, 4th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

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