Recreational Marine Fishing Registry
On March 31, 2011, the New York no-fee recreational marine fishing registry was set in place to comply with state laws. This suspended the fee associated with the state's recreational marine fishing license that was originally set up in October 2009.
Information from the New York registry is incorporated into the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) nationwide database of recreational marine anglers. The database helps in efficiently obtaining fishing activity information, which is vital in setting quotas, size and bag limits, and fishing seasons each year.
Who Needs to Register
Anglers age 16 and older need to register if they are:
- Fishing in the Marine and Coastal District, which includes all the waters of the Atlantic Ocean within three miles from the coast, and all other tidal waters within the state, including the Hudson River up to the Tappan Zee Bridge.
- Fishing any water, such as the Hudson River, Delaware River, or Mohawk River and their tributaries, for "migratory fish from the sea" such as striped bass, hickory shad, blueback herring, alewife. (Please review the license requirements in the Hudson River Fishing Regulations for more information).
You do not need to register if you are:
- Fishing aboard an appropriately licensed party or charter boat in the marine and coastal district. This does not include charter boats in the Hudson River north of the Tappan Zee Bridge.
- A New York State licensed party/charter boat owner.
- A Connecticut or Rhode Island resident who has a marine fishing license from their respective state (more details for out-of-state anglers).
Effective Registration Dates
Registration is valid for one full calendar-year: January 1 through December 31. Therefore, anglers must enroll in the New York State registry once a year prior to any fishing activity. There is no lifetime registration.
How to Register
The following list provides details on several different ways in which you can register:
- Visit any location where fishing and hunting licenses are sold (find a license issuing agent near you), which includes:
- most town clerk offices;
- many bait and tackle shops;
- sporting goods stores; or
- DEC regional offices in Albany, Allegheny, Buffalo, Ray Brook and Watertown
- Register online
- Call 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257)
Proof of Registration
If registering in person, you will immediately receive a registration card that you must carry with you at all times while angling. If registering by phone or online, you will receive a confirmation number receipt that you must carry with you until you receive your registration card in the mail.
Fishing in Waters Outside of New York State
Federal waters (beyond three miles from shore)
New York registered anglers (both resident and non-resident) are automatically enrolled in the federal registry (National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) nationwide database) and may fish in federal waters (beyond three miles from shore).
- Connecticut and Rhode Island waters: New York State registered anglers (both resident and non-resident) are able to fish in bordering waters of Connecticut or Rhode Island without having to purchase a Connecticut or Rhode Island marine fishing license.
- New Jersey waters: New York anglers must register through New Jersey's Saltwater Recreational Registry Program before fishing.
There are no provisions that allow New York State registered anglers to fish in states that do not have salt waters bordering New York State, such as Delaware, Massachusetts, Florida, etc. If a New York state registered angler is fishing in one of these non-border waters, then he/she is required to purchase an appropriate fishing license or enroll in a registry from that state.
Information for Out of State Anglers
States with bordering waters
- Connecticut and Rhode Island residents: Anglers that have a marine/saltwater fishing license from Connecticut or Rhode Island are allowed to fish in New York State waters without having to enroll in the New York State registry.
- New Jersey residents: New Jersey residents must enroll in New York's registry to fish in New York's waters.
States with non-bordering waters
Anglers licensed by states that do not have salt waters bordering New York State, such as Massachusetts, Delaware, Florida, etc. must enroll in New York State's recreational marine fishing registry.