Fishing Regulations for Long Island, New York

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Fishing is a popular pastime on Long Island, with a variety of freshwater and saltwater fishing locations available, ranging from small ponds and rivers to fishing in the Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The island also has a plethora of different fish species, including sunfish, trout, and sharks. If you don't have your own fishing boat, party and charter boats are available for fishing off of the coast of Long Island. Be sure to purchase your fishing license and take a look at these fishing regulations before you cast your line.

Recreational Marine Fishing Registration for Saltwater Fishing
To fish in the Long Island Sound, Great South Bay, or any of the other salt waters within three miles of the Long Island Coast, you’ll first need to register with the New York DEC. Registration is free and can be done online, by calling the DEC at 1-866-933-2257, or by visiting any of these authorized locations. If you register online, make sure you print your registration as you will not receive one in the mail.

Image Courtesy of Department of Environmental Conservation

Marine and Coastal District anglers do not need to be registered if they are fishing aboard a licensed party or charter boat in the Marine or Coastal District, or if you are a New York State licensed party or charter boat owner. Anglers from Connecticut and Rhode Island can also fish on Long Island as long as they hold a marine fishing license from their respective state. 

Those fishing for clams, crabs, lobsters, mussels, oysters, or scallops are also exempt from registration, but may be subject to other requirements. Tuna and shark fishing requires a National Marine Fisheries Service permit, and lobstering can only be done with New York State recreational lobster permit (available only to residents). There are no state permits required for crabbing or non-mechanical clamming and shellfishing, but crabs are subject to harvest seasons and limits and individuals towns often require residents to obtain a local permit before clamming or shellfishing.

Fishing Licenses
Anyone age 16 or older who wishes to fish in freshwater in New York must register for a fishing license. NY fishing licenses are valid for one full year from the date of purchase. Licenses are also required for frog spearing and catching, and catching freshwater baitfish for personal use. 

To register, visit your town clerk office or local bait and tackle shop or sporting goods store and fill out a free registration form. Anglers can also register online with the Department of Environmental Conservation.

A fishing license is not necessary for fishing on licensed fishing preserves, residents or their family members fishing on their own land, lessees fishing on their own land, or those with pond fish farm licenses.

Fishing License Fees

License Type Resident Cost Non-Resident Cost
Coastal Saltwater Fishing Registraion Free Free
Active Duty Military Free Resident Pricing
Veterans w/ 40% service-related disabilities $5 xx
Senior Annual (Ages 70+) $5.00 $50.00
Annual (Ages 16-69) Fishing $25.00 $50.00
7 Day Fishing $12.00 $28.00
1 Day Fishing $5.00 $10.00
Lifetime Freshwater Fishing (Ages 0-69) $460.00 xx
Lifetime Freshwater Fishing (Ages 70+) $65.00 xx
Lifetime Fishing and Hunting (Ages 0-5) $380.00 xx
Lifetime Fishing and Hunting (Ages 5-11) $535.00 xx
Lifetime Fishing and Hunting (Ages 12-69) $765.00 xx
Lifetime Fishing and Hunting (Ages 70+) $65.00 xx

Fishing licenses are not needed for free fishing days, which include the last full weekend in June and other free fishing events.

Suffolk County Special Freshwater Fishing Regulations (Effective Through March 31, 2017)

Waters Species Open Season Minimum Length Daily Limit Method
All Waters Crappie All Year 9" 15  
Sunfish (bluegill & pumpkinseed) All Year Any Size 15  
Yellow Perch All Year Any Size 15  
All waters except Belmont Lake, Artist Lake, Blydenburgh Lake, and Randall Pond Black Bass 1st Sat in June-Nov 30 12" 5 It is illegal to fish for bass during the period from May 1 through the Friday preceding the first Saturday in June
Dec 1 - Apr 30 Catch  & Release Only
Fort Pond and Lake Ronkonkoma Walleye 1st Sat in May - March 15 18'' 3  
Blydenburgh Lake Black Bass 1st Sat in June-Nov 30 12" 5  
Dec.1 - Friday before 1st Sat in June Catch & Release Only  
Artist Lake, Belmont Lake, Randall Pond Black bass All year Catch & Release Only  
All Freshwater & Tidal Lakes & Ponds Except East Swan Lake, Laurel Lake, & Deep Pond Trout All year Any Size 3 Ice Fishing Permitted
East (Swan) Lake Trout April 1 - Nov 30 10'' 3  
Laurel Lake Trout All year 12'' 3 Ice Fishing Permitted
Deep Pond Trout All Year 12" 3 Ice Fishing Permitted
Chain Pickerel All Year Catch & Release Only Ice Fishing Permitted
All Freshwater & Tidal Streams Except the Nissequogue River in Caleb Smith, Carman's River in Southaven County Park, & Connetquot River in Connetquot River State Park Brown & Rainbow Trout All Year Any Size 3  
Brook Trout April 1 - Sept 30 Catch & Release Only  
Connetquot and Caleb Smith Parks Trout Park Regulations apply, permit required. Call (631) 581-1005 for Connetquot, (631) 265-1054 for Nissequogue.
Carman's River (Southaven County Park) Special Regulations by River Sections. Call 631-854-1414 for additional park regulations.
Carman's River (Southaven County Park) Brook Trout April 1 - Sept 30 Catch & Release Only  
From LIPA Transmission Lines at Gate G Upstream to Yaphank Avenue Trout April 1 - Sept 30 Catch & Release Only Fly Fishing Only
From Cement Dam Upstream to LIPA Transmission Lines at Gate G

Brown & Rainbow Trout

April 1 - Sept 30 9'' 3 Fly fishing only
From Cement Dam Downstream to Hards Lake Dam Brown & Rainbow Trout April 1 - Sept 30 9'' 3  

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation


Nassau County Special Freshwater Fishing Regulations (Effective Through March 31, 2017)

Waters Species Open Season Minimum Length Daily Limit
All Waters Crappie All Year 9" 15
Sunfish (bluegill & pumpkinseed) All Year Any Size 15
Yellow Perch All Year 8" 15
Pickerel 1st Sat. in May to Mar. 15 18" 3
Black Bass 1st Sat. in June-Apr. 30 Catch and Release Only It is illegal to fish for bass during May 1 through Friday after the 1st Sat. in June
All Ponds and Lakes Trout All year Any size 3
All Streams Brain & Rainbow Trout All Year Any Size 3
Brook Trout Apr 1 - Sept 30 Catch and Release Only 0

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation


Saltwater Fishing Regulations for all of New York State (Effective As Of June 23, 2016)

Species Size Limits (Total length in inches) Daily Possession Limits (number of fish) Open Seasons
Summer Flounder (Fluke) 18" 5 May 17 - Sept 21
Winter Flounder 12" 2 April 1 - May 30
Tautog (Blackfish) 16" 4 Oct.5 - Dec 14
Bluefish (including "Snappers") No min. for first 10 fish, 12'' for the next 5 15, No more than 10 of which shall be less than 12'' All Year

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
Red Drum No Minimum

No Limit for Fish Less Than 27''
No Fish Over 27'' Allowed to be Kept

All Year
Striped Bass (south of George Washington Bridge) 28" 1 April 15 - Dec 15
Striped Bass (Hudson River north of George Washington Bridge) 18''-28'' or >40'' 1 April 1 - Nov 30
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 15"



June 27 - Aug 31
Sept 1 - Oct 31

Nov 1 - Dec 31

Scup (Porgy) 10" 30 May 1-Dec. 31
Scup (Porgy)
Anglers aboard party/charter boats


May 1-Dec 31
Sept 1-Oct. 31

American Eel 9

25 for individual
50 for party/charter boat captain & crew

All Year
American Eel (NYC: Harlem & East Rivers, Hudson River, Tributaries North to Troy Dam) 9-14" for use as bait only 25 for use as bait only All Year for use as bait only
Monkfish (Goose Fish)

11" tail length

Any number All Year
Anadromous River Herring (Alewife & Blueback Herring) Possession prohibited Possession Prohibited Possession Prohibited
American Shad Possesion 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
Atlantic Menhaden No size limit 100 All Year
Horseshoe Crab No size limit 5 All Year
Hard Shell Blue Crab 4.5" 50 All Year
Soft Shell Blue Crab 3.5" 50 All Year
Peeler/Shedder Blue Crab 3" 50 All Year
All Other Crabs No size limit 50 All Year
American Lobster (recreational permit required)

Lobsters and Crabs with eggs may not be taken or posessed.
3 3/8" minimum carapace length, 5 1/4" maximum carapace length 6

LMA 4: Closed April 30 to May 31

LMA 6: Closed Sept. 8 to Nov. 28.

All other LMAs open all year.

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation


Recreational Fishing Regulations for Sharks (Effective As Of July 16, 2015)

Category Species Minimum Size Limits Daily Possession Limit
Allowed Sharks Tiger, Blacktip, Bull, Lemon, Nurse, Spinner, Blue, Shortfin Mako, Oceanic Whitetip, Porbeagle, Common Thresher, Blacknose 54 Inches Fork Length One shark per vessel per trip, except that one additional Atlantic Sharpnose and one additional Bonnethead can be taken and possessed per angler per trip
Great Hammerhead, Scalloped Hammerhead, Smooth Hammerhead 78 Inches Fork Length
Atlantic Sharpnose, Bonnethead, Finetooth, Blacknose No Size Limit
Smooth Dogifsh, Spiny Dogfish No Size Limit Any number
Prohibited Sharks Atlantic Angel, Galapagos, Basking, Longfin Mako, Bigeye Sand Tiger, Narrowtooth, Bigeye Sixgill, Night, Bigeye Thresher, Sandtiger, Bignose, Caribbean Reef, Caribbean Sharpnose, Smalltail, Dusky, Whale, White, Silky and Sandbar, Sharpnose Sevengill, Bluntnose Sixgill No Possession Allowed No Possession Allowed

Source: Department of Environmental Conservation

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