With the return of the spring fishing season, the Department of Environmental Protection is reminding all saltwater anglers and owners of for-hire vessels in New Jersey to register or re-register online with the state’s free saltwater fishing registry.
Last year, Governor Christie signed a bill into law that created the free New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. The state’s free saltwater fishing registry complies with federal requirements, yet avoids a $15 saltwater registration fee imposed by the federal government on Jan. 1, 2011.
“The state’s free saltwater fishing registry was a great success in its first year, with more than 250,000 people signing up,” said Rich Boornazian, Assistant DEP Commissioner for Natural and Historic Resources. “Online registration remains a very simple process. It takes just a minute or two to register. The information gathered from the registry helps protect and manage our marine resources.”
The federal registry requirement is part an effort by the National Marine Fisheries Service to improve the quality of data used in fisheries management.
The DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife developed an easy web-based registration system for anglers to register and print their registration. To register, visit www.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov and click the box to “Renew Any Registration.”
Registrations expire at the end of each calendar year. Some 251,000 individuals registered online with the program in 2011. Through late March of this year, more than 120,000 New Jersey anglers already have registered.
Anglers 16 and older must register with the state system even if they have already registered with the federal system, or if they have a New Jersey freshwater license. They must carry the printed registration with them when fishing. However, people harvest crabs and clams are not required to register. Registration is required when fishing for lobster only when using a spear, hook-and-line, hand line, rod-and line or by hand.
Those who fish from a for-hire party or charter fishing vessels that are registered with the program are not required to file for an individual registration.