Many fishing clubs give back to the sport by participating...

Many fishing clubs give back to the sport by participating in charity fishing tournaments and other programs. Here, mate Stan Rand and captain Jack Picciano show off a big striper caught during a Wounded Warriors charity fishing tournament. Credit: Tom Schlichter

If you like to fish on Long Island, here are saltwater and freshwater fishing regulations you need to know:


For the latest regulations, visit DEC's website at

American shad: Possession prohibited.

Atlantic menhaden: No minimum size, 100 fish possession limit, in season all year.

Atlantic sturgeon: Moratorium, no possession.

Blackfish: Four fish per day of 16 inches or longer. In season Oct. 5-Dec. 14.

Black sea bass: Minimum size of 13 inches, daily limit of 8; season July 15-Dec. 31 (rules are changing).

Blue crabs: Daily possession limit of 50; in season all year. Hard-shell crabs must be 4 1 / 2 inches, soft-shell crabs must be 3 1 / 2 inches, and peeler-shredder crabs 3 inches. Crabs in spawn, with eggs visible, may not be possessed. Note: 50 crab possession limit is a total for all species of crab.

Bluefish: Open season all year. Restrictions for bluefish, including snappers: No minimum size for first 10 fish; 12 inches total length for the next 5. Daily possession limit is 15, no more than 10 of which can be less than 12 inches total length.

Cobia: 37 inches minimum length; daily limit of 2; in season all year.

Cod: In season all year. Minimum length of 22 inches. Limit of 10, no limit on federally permitted party or charter boats.

Fluke (summer flounder): 18 inches minimum; daily possession limit of 5; open season May 17- Sept. 21.

Haddock: 18 inches minimum; no possession limit; in season all year.

Hickory shad: No size limit; daily possession limit of 5; in season all year.

Horseshoe crabs: No size limit; daily possession limit of 5; in season all year.

King mackerel: 23 inches minimum length; daily possession limit of 3; in season all year.

Monkfish (goose fish): 17 inches minimum length (11-inch tail length); no possession limit; in season all year.

Pollock: 19 inches minimum; no possession limit; in season all year.

Red drum: No minimum size; no limit for fish less than 27 inches long; fish more than 27 inches shall not be possessed. In season all year.

River herring (alewife and blueback herring): Possession prohibited in marine waters (south of the George Washington Bridge).

Scup (porgy): Minimum size of 10 inches with a possession limit of 30 from May 1 to Dec. 31. Passengers fishing on licensed party or charter boats may each possess up to 45 scup from Sept. 1 to Oct. 31.

Shark (including mako, common thresher and blue, see website for complete species list): In season all year, 54-inch minimum from tip of snout to fork of the tail; one per vessel per trip. Federal permit required, party and charter boat passengers covered under captain's permit.

Prohibited sharks: Atlantic angel, Galapagos, basking, longfin mako, bigeye sand tiger, narrowtooth, bigeye sixgill, night, bigeye thresher, sand tiger, bignose, sharpnose sevengill, Caribbean reef, bluntnose sixgill, Caribbean sharpnose, smalltail, dusky, whale, silky and sandbar. White sharks can be fished for on rod and reel, provided the angler releases the shark immediately without removing it from the water.

Recreational American lobster: Subject to different LMA restrictions.

Striped bass: Season is April 15-Dec. 15. Marine waters (south of George Washington Bridge), possession limit for private anglers is one fish between 28 and 40 inches and one fish more than 40 inches long. Passengers aboard party or charter boats possessing a striped bass permit may take two fish at least 28 inches long. Customers who take two striped bass must have an original dated receipt from the licensed vessel. Striped bass season north of George Washington Bridge is March 16 to Nov. 30; limit is one fish at least 18 inches long.

Spanish mackerel: 14 inches minimum length; daily possession limit of 15; in season all year.

Weakfish: Limit one daily; 16-inch minimum (10 inches filleted, 12 dressed). In season all year.

Winter flounder: Limit is 2 fish per day; 12-inch minimum. In state waters, open season is April 1 through May 30 (possibly changing).

Yellowfin tuna: Open all year. 27 inches curved-fork length minimum; 3 per person per day. Federal permit required; party- and charter-boat passengers covered under captain's permit.

Yellowtail flounder: 13 inches minimum length; no possession limit, in season all year.


Black crappie: In season all year; 25 maximum per day, 9-inch minimum size.

Bluegill: In season all year; 15 fish per day allowed, in combination with pumpkinseed.

Brook trout: Stricter than for other trout. See below.

Brown trout: See regulations below.

Chain pickerel: In season first Sat. in May through following March 15. Nassau: Minimum 18 inches, 3 fish per day. Suffolk: Minimum 15 inches, 5 per day, Except Deep Pond (Wading River), catch and release only.

Largemouth bass: Rules apply to largemouth and smallmouth bass. Nassau season is first Sat. of June through April 30, catch and release only. Suffolk season is first Sat. of June through Nov. 30, 12-inch minimum, 5-fish limit; then catch and release only Dec. 1 through April 30 (Note: It is illegal to fish for bass May 1 through the day before the first Sat. in June). At Blydenburgh Lake (Smithtown), catch and release Dec. 1 through the Fri. before first Sat. in June, then same as Suffolk in general. Artist Lake (Middle Island) and Belmont Lake (North Babylon), Randall Pond (Ridge) permit catch and release only, all year.

Pumpkinseed: In season all year; 15 maximum per day, in combination with bluegill.

Rainbow trout: See below.

Walleye: Lake Ronkonkoma and Fort Pond (Montauk): 18-inch minimum, 3-fish limit first Sat. in May-March 15.

Yellow perch: In season all year; 15 maximum per day. In Nassau, fish must be at least 8 inches.


Freshwater and tidal streams: Brown and rainbow trout year-round, no minimum length, 3 fish per day. Brook trout April 1-Sept. 30, catch and release only. Call these parks for special trout rules: Caleb Smith 631-265-1054, Connetquot River 631-581-1005, Southaven 631-854-1414.

Ponds and lakes: Year-round, no minimum length, 3 fish per day. Exceptions: East Lake (aka Swan Lake, in Patchogue), April 1 to Nov. 30, 10-inch minimum, 3 fish per day; at Laurel Lake (Laurel) and Deep Pond (Wading River), year-round season, 12-inch minimum, 3 fish per day.

Best bets: Trout are found primarily in streams but also in ponds and lakes. Largest are found in tidal areas of trout streams. For local stocking sites, see and search stocking information.

How anglers can register

Anglers must register Check the DEC's website for current regulations. Marine registrations are free and valid for one year from the date you register. Sign up at a licensing sales agent, online at or by calling 866-933- 2257, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays.

All residents who fish in the New York State Coastal Marine District and adjacent federal waters must be registered.

More information about the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is available at You also can call the state Department of Environmental Conservation at 631-444-0435 (saltwater) or 631-444-0280 (freshwater) or visit for more.

For federal rules on catching mako shark, call 301-713-2347. For rules on bluefin and yellowfin tuna, call 888-872-8862. Also visit the National Marine Fisheries Service permit shop webpage at