51° Good Morning
51° Good Morning
LifestyleRecreationWater Sports

Does your catch measure up?


For the latest regulations, visit DEC's website at

American shad: Possession prohibited.

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 10-Dec. 31.

Bluefish: Open season all year. Restrictions for bluefish, including snappers, follow: 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.

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

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.

Fluke (summer flounder): 19 inches minimum; daily possession limit of 4; open season May 1-Sept. 29.

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.

Mako shark: In season all year. For shortfin mako, 54-inch minimum from tip of snout to fork of the tail; one per vessel per trip. Fishing for longfin mako is prohibited.

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.

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.

River herring (alewife and blueback herring): Possession prohibited in saltwater and freshwater.

Striped bass: Season is April 15 through 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.

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.

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.


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.

More Lifestyle