Staten Island Water's Fishing Forecast

Fishing Regulations


Saltwater Fishing Regulations - Recreational

Important News

  • The recreational limits for tautog (blackfish) have changed. The size limit increased to 16 inches and the fishing season is shorter--from October 8 through December 4. The daily possession limit remains the same, 4 fish. This is in effect as of December 30, 2011.
  • Starting January 1, 2012, anglers must enroll in the 2012 annual no-fee recreational marine fishing registry before going saltwater fishing. Registration for 2012 is valid through December 31, 2012.

Laws and regulations are frequently amended by the Legislature or DEC. Please check with the Bureau of Marine Resources to ensure that the fishing limits below are in effect (contact information can be found in the column to the right). Links to the actual text of the Marine Fish Regulations (Part 40) and Lobster and Crab Regulations (Part 44) are in the Important Links column to the right. Additionally, a printable PDF copy of the following regulations can be found in the column to the right.

Effective Date for Regulations: December 30, 2011.

Marine Recreational Fishing Limits
Species Size Limits
(Total Length in Inches)
Daily Possession Limits
(Number of Fish)
Open Seasons
Summer flounder (fluke) 20.5 3 May 1 - Sept 30
Winter flounder 12 2 April 1 - May 30
Tautog (blackfish) 16 4 Oct 8 - Dec 4
Bluefish (including "snappers") No minimum size for first 10 fish
12 TL for the next 5
No more than 10 of which shall be less than 12" TL
All year
Weakfish 16
10 filleted
12 dressed
1 All year
Atlantic cod* 22 10* All year
Pollock 19 No limit All year
Haddock 18 No limit All year
Striped bass: marine waters**
Anglers aboard licensed party/charter boats
28 2*** Apr 15 - Dec 15
Striped bass: marine waters**
All other anglers
28 - 40
Apr 15 - Dec 15
Striped bass: Hudson River north of George Washington Bridge 18 1 Mar 16 - Nov 30
Red drum No minimum size No limit for fish less than 27" TL.
Fish greater than 27" shall not be possessed.
All year
Spanish mackerel 14 15 All year
King mackerel 23 3 All year
Cobia 37 2 All year
Atlantic sturgeon Moratorium Moratorium Moratorium
Black Sea Bass 13 10 June 13 - Oct 1 Nov 1 - Dec 31
Scup (Porgy)
Anglers aboard licensed party/charter boats


June 8 - Sept 6
Sept 7 - Oct 11***
Scup (Porgy)
All other anglers
10.5 10 May 24 - Sept 6
American eel 6 50 All year
Monkfish (goose fish) 17
11 tail length
Any number All year
American Shad Possession Prohibited Possession Prohibited Possession Prohibited
Hickory Shad No size limit 5 All year
Yellowtail flounder 13 No limit All year
Oyster toadfish 10 3 July 16 - May 14
Horseshoe crabs No size limit 5 All year
Blue Crab+
Hard Shell
Soft Shell
4 1/2"
3 1/2"
50 All year
All Other Crabs+ No size limit 50 All year
American lobster+ (Recreational permit required) 3 3/8" minimum carapace length 51/4" maximum carapace length 6 All year

*Anglers on board federally permitted party or charter vessels may possess any number of Atlantic cod, consistent with federal rules.

** Marine waters -- South of George Washington Bridge

*** The customer of any party/charter boat who takes more than 10 scup from Sept 7 - Oct 11 or takes two striped bass from Apr 15 - Dec 15 must possess an original dated receipt from the licensed vessel.

+ Lobsters and crabs in spawn (eggs visible thereon) may not be taken or possessed.

++ Peeler or shedder crabs are hard blue crabs which have a fully formed soft shell beneath the hard outer shell and the impending shedding process is evidenced by the white sign along the outer rim of the paddle-like appendages on the crab's fifth pair of legs.

Recreational Fishing Regulations for Sharks
Category Species Minimum Size Limit Daily Possession Limit
Allowed Sharks Tiger, Blacktip, Bull, Great hammerhead, Lemon, Nurse, Scalloped hammerhead, Smooth hammerhead, Spinner, Blue, Shortfin mako, Oceanic whitetip, Porbeagle, Common Thresher 54 inches fork length* One shark per vessel per trip, except that one additional Atlantic Sharpnose and one additional Bonnethead may be taken and possessed per angler per trip.
Atlantic Sharpnose, Bonnethead, Finetooth, Blacknose No size limit
Smooth Dogfish, Spiny Dogfish No size limit Any number
Prohibited Sharks Atlantic angel, Galapagos, Basking, Longfin mako, Bigeye sand tiger, Narrowtooth, Bigeye Sixgill, Night, Bigeye thresher, Sand tiger, Bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, Smalltail, Dusky, Whale, White+, Silky and Sandbar, Sharpnose sevengill, Bluntnose sixgill. No possession allowed No possession allowed

* Fork length means the straightline measurement of a fish from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail. The measurement is not made along the curve of the body.

+ A person may fish for white sharks with rod and reel, provided the person releases such fish immediately with a minimum of injury and that such fish may not be removed from the water.

Other provisions

All landed sharks must have head, tails and fins attached.
No sale allowed.
No finning.




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