New York State Sport Fishing Laws

New York State Sport Fishing Laws
New York state has several hundred miles of saltwater fishing opportunities to take advantage of, and within those waters is a variety of fish and shellfish that can be captured for the sport of it, including striped bass, mackerel, bluefish and flounder. However, if one is planning to fish in the area, it is best to know some of the regulations that go along with it so as not to end up with steep fines or even the possibility of loosing some equipment.


There are limits to when a person can catch certain fish, and in some cases to how many can be kept as well as the size of the fish. For instance, summer flounder cannot be under 21 inches long and the amount that can be caught in any give day is two. They also can only be caught between May 15 and June 15 and between July 3 and August 17. A bluefish on the other hand has no size limit for up to 10 fish and after that they cannot be under 12 inches. Only 15 per day can be caught and there is no date range on fishing for them. Other regulations for fish include: heads and tails cannot be removed or be cleaned in anyway until they are at shore and striped bass can only be fished south of the George Washington Bridge. These and all other regulations with regard to limits and locations can be found at the link below in the Resources section.


With regard to shellfish, horseshoe crabs can be fished for year-round and there is no limit of size, but the quantity is five. Blue crab has limit on size based on the type of shell and only 50 can be caught during a day. Lobsters have there own regulations. American lobster in the Long Island Sound area must be at least 3 5/16 inches. They can be fished for all year and a total of six can be caught per day. In the area considered the Atlantic, the length has to be 3 3/8 inches, but everything else is the same. A recreational permit must be purchased to fish for lobster, and if a lobster is spawning, it must be put back.


Sharks, although considered fish, have there own set of regulations. Most sharks are limited to one per boat with a length of at least 54 inches, however, there are a couple of sharks that have no size limit. They are the Atlantic sharp nose and the bonnet head shark. Even though many sharks are allowed to be caught, there is a list just as long that are forbidden. The sand tiger, white and Caribbean reef are among those that cannot be removed from the water. Also, sharks cannot be cleaned or have their head and tail removed before being brought ashore. The sale of sharks is forbidden. Finally, white sharks can be caught with rod and reel as long as they are released immediately.

Article Written By Tara Dooley

Tara Dooley has written for various websites since 2008. She has worked as an accountant, after-school director and retail manager in various locations. Dooley holds a Bachelor of Science in business management and finance.

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