N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.5 - General net regulations

Current through Register Vol. 54, No. 7, April 4, 2022

(a) No person shall take, catch, kill or attempt to take, catch or kill any fish within the marine waters of the State by any means except in the manner commonly known as angling with hand line or with rod and line unless specifically permitted by statute or regulation.
(b) All stakes used in fyke nets, pound nets, parallel nets or gill nets shall be marked with at least one of the following which shall be placed at least two feet above mean high water and be visible from all sides:
1. Reflectors of not less than two inches in diameter;
2. Reflecting tape not less than two inches in width;
3. Light colored flags not less than two square feet; or
4. Light colored jugs or buoys not less than 12 inches in diameter.
(c) It shall be illegal to catch fish or attempt to catch fish by means of a rod and line or hand line, commonly called angling, within 300 feet of a set (operating) fish net as licensed pursuant to this section.
(d) It shall be illegal to set a fish net as licensed pursuant to this section within 300 feet of any person actively fishing with a rod and line or hand line, commonly called angling.
(e) All nets licensed pursuant to this section must be legibly and indelibly marked with the gear identification number of the owner.
(f) No person shall set, tend, tamper with or damage in any way or remove fish or other organisms from any net requiring a license without having in his possession the numbered license issued to said person which corresponds to the gear identification number marked on such net.
(g) Individuals intending to take fish with a net in the marine waters of this State pursuant to 23:5-24.2 shall, as required, apply to the Commissioner for a license and/or permit. To be eligible for a gill net license, an applicant must provide a copy of a previously valid gill net license held by the applicant from the preceding year. Individuals must purchase the maximum number of gill net licenses to which they are entitled annually. Any licenses not purchased will be forfeited. The holder of a valid gill net license not pending revocation or court action due to violation of provisions of this subchapter may transfer the right to purchase all of the gill net licenses he or she is entitled to purchase to another individual at any time, upon notification to the Department. The new licensee shall have a license(s) issued in his or her name after payment of the fee specified in (g)5vi or 6ix below. Any licenses not purchased by the new entrant will be forfeited. Availability of Delaware Bay Gill Net Permits shall be determined pursuant to 7:25-18.6 through 18.11. Upon receipt of the application, and the prescribed license fee, the Commissioner may, in his or her discretion, issue single season licenses and/or permits as specified for each net type for the taking of fish with nets only as follows:
1. Haul seines shall have a mesh not smaller than 2.75 inches stretched and shall not exceed 70 fathoms in length, whether used singly or in series. Haul seines may be used for all species except those specifically protected.
i. The haul seine season shall begin on November 1 and end on April 30;
ii. A person shall not use or attempt to use a haul seine for any species in Lake Takanassee, Spring Lake, Wreck Pond and Deal Lake;
iii. American eel may be taken by haul seine during the season of January 1 through April 30. Any American eel taken by haul seine from November 1 through December 31 shall not be retained and must be immediately returned to the water.
iv. The haul seine resident fee shall be $ 25.00 per net.
2. Fykes shall have a length, including leaders, which shall not exceed 30 fathoms and no part of the net or leaders shall be constructed of monofilament or have a mesh larger than five inches stretched or smaller than three eight inches stretched (inside measurement). Fyke nets may be used for all species except those specifically protected.
i. The fyke season shall begin on November 1 and end on April 30;
ii. A person shall not use or attempt to use a fyke net for any species in Lake Takanassee, Spring Lake, Wreck Pond and Deal Lake, or in the area commonly known as Collins Cove off the Mullica River between a line starting at aid to navigation channel marker flashing red number 8 (latitude 39[degrees]33.36'N, longitude 74[degrees]28.39'W), bearing approximately 229[degrees]T to a point on the western shore of Collins Cove at latitude 39[degrees]33.09'N, longitude 74[degrees] 28.72'W and the Garden State Parkway where it crosses the Mullica River;
iii. No fyke net nor any part of a fyke net shall be set in the middle one third of any river, stream or tributary.
iv. All stakes used for the setting of fyke nets must be removed within 30 days of the close of the season;
v. Submerged anchored fyke nets shall be marked at each end with a fluorescent orange float at least 12 inches in diameter or a fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches by 12 inches and suspended at least three feet above the water, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag. No less than 24 square inches of any reflective material shall be attached and maintained on each marker.
vi. Winter flounder may be taken by fyke net during the season of November 1 through February 19. Any winter flounder taken by fyke net from February 20 through April 30 shall not be retained and must be immediately returned to the water.
vii. American eel may be taken by fyke net during the season of January 1 through April 30. Any American eel taken by fyke net from November 1 through December 31 shall not be retained and must be immediately returned to the water.
viii. The fyke resident fee shall be $ 12.00 per net. Each licensee shall notify the Department in their license application of the specific estuary in which they intend to fish the fyke net(s). Licensees shall notify the Department as to any change in the specific estuary within which the fyke net is located no later than seven days following the change in estuary. Such notice shall be in writing to:

Division of Fish and Wildlife

Marine Fisheries Administration

PO Box 400

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0400.

3. Miniature fyke or pots shall only be used for the taking of catfish, suckers, killifish (Cyprinodontidae), and eels. The mesh of this net type shall be no smaller than one-half inch by one-half inch bar, inside measurement. The net type shall not have leaders or wings and shall not exceed 16 inches in diameter if cylindrical or 201 square inches in cross section if any other configuration in any of the marine waters of this State.
i. The miniature fyke or pot season shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31;
ii. The miniature fyke or pot resident fee shall be $ 100.00 regardless of the number of miniature fykes or pots employed;
iii. One or two miniature fykes or pots may be used for the taking of killifish or eels only for bait without application for or granting of a license, provided, however, that killifish or eels taken without having a valid license in possession may not be sold or used for barter.
iv. No miniature fyke or pot shall be placed in any man-made lagoon or in any marked or charted channel except noncommercial pots or miniature fykes fastened to a pier or other shore connected structure by a line no longer than twice the depth of the water at that point.
v. No license holder shall use more than 300 miniature fykes or pots for the taking of catfish, suckers, killifish, and eels.
vi. All persons holding a miniature fyke net license shall keep, on forms provided by the Division, accurate records of their catch and effort using that gear, including name, amount of gear used, fishing time, area fished, species caught, total amount of each species taken, and any other data required by the Division that is relevant to the management of the fishery. These forms shall be completed for all fishing activity with miniature fyke nets for the months of January through December, inclusive; signed by the licensee attesting to the validity of the information; and filed within 10 days following the end of the reported month with the Division at the address shown on the reporting form. Said filing must be current before a license for miniature fyke nets is issued for the subsequent year. If there was no harvest for a given month, a report to that effect shall be submitted to the Division. Failure to file on or before the 10th of the month following the month of record may lead to suspension or permanent revocation of said license by the Department according to the following schedule:
(1) First offense: no suspension;
(2) Second offense: 120 days suspension; and
(3) Third offense: permanent revocation;
vii. Prior to suspension or revocation of the license, the licensee shall have the opportunity to request a hearing in accordance with the procedures at 7:25-18.17 .
viii. The Department shall automatically remove and reduce to zero the number of previous reporting offense(s) on a licensee's record if the licensee does not commit any other reporting offenses under (g)3v above for 18 months from the date of the first reporting offense on record or from the date of completion of the suspension imposed as a result of a second reporting offense on record.
ix. A licensee cited for violation of (g)3v above may submit a nullification request to nullify the reporting offense and any resulting penalty be nullified due to extraordinary hardship or exceptional circumstance in accordance with this subsection and (g)3x through xi below. The licensee shall submit the nullification request as part of the request for an adjudicatory hearing on the reporting offense filed in accordance with 7:25-18.17 . The nullification request shall:
(1) Identify the specific reporting offense for which the nullification is requested;
(2) Explain in detail why the licensee was not able to comply with the reporting requirements outlined at (g)3v above, including a statement of the type and degree of hardship that prevented compliance with the reporting requirements and the hardship that will result to the licensee if the reporting offense is not nullified; and
(3) Provide appropriate documentation as necessary to support the request for nullification.
x. The Department shall nullify an offense and any resultant penalty under (g)3v above, if it determines that:
(1) By reason of extraordinary hardship or exceptional situation or condition, the licensee was precluded from complying with the reporting requirements;
(2) By reason of extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition, strict compliance with the reporting requirements at (g)3v above would result in exceptional and undue hardship upon the licensee;
(3) The circumstances supporting (g)3x(1) and (2) above were not created by the licensee or persons under his or her control; and
(4) The approval to nullify will not unreasonably interfere with the orderly administration of these reporting requirements.
xi. The Department shall provide written notice to the licensee of its decision to approve or deny the nullification request. If the Department denies the nullification request, the request for an adjudicatory hearing on the reporting offense shall be deemed to include a request for an adjudicatory hearing on the denial of the nullification request. If the Department approves the nullification request, the request for an adjudicatory hearing on the reporting violation shall be deemed withdrawn as moot.
4. The bait net season shall begin on January 1 and shall end on December 31. Except as provided in 23:5-24.2, bait net resident fees shall be $ 10.00 per license.
i. Bait nets shall be limited to one or more of the following types:
(1) Hand held dip nets 24 inches in diameter or less;
(2) Bait seines not exceeding 150 feet and mesh not less than three eighths inches stretched, inside measurements, and not more than 2.5 inches stretched;
(3) Cast nets not exceeding 30 feet in diameter;
(4) Lift or umbrella nets not exceeding four feet square; and
(5) Killipots with mesh not less than three sixteenth inches bar, inside measurements, and not exceeding 10 inches in diameter or 25 inches in length if cylindrical or 2,000 cubic inches for any other conformation for the taking of killifish (Cyprinodontidae spp.) only; and
ii. No person shall harvest or attempt to harvest fish by any means from the Deal Lake flume, the Lake Takanassee spillway or Wreck Pond spillway on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, during the months of April and May in any year.
5. Drifting gill nets shall be used only in the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, and the tributaries of Delaware Bay. The smallest mesh of any drifting gill net shall be not less than five inches stretched from February 12 through February 29. Except as provided in (g)5iii below for drifting gill nets in the Atlantic Ocean, from March 1 through December 15, the smallest mesh of any drifting gill net in the Delaware Bay, the tributaries of Delaware Bay, and in the Atlantic Ocean within two nautical miles of the mean high water line shall not be less than 2.75 inches stretched; for areas of the Atlantic Ocean not within two nautical miles of the mean high water line, the smallest mesh of any drifting gill net shall not be less than 3.25 inches stretched mesh during this period. Drifting gill nets are subject to the permitting and reporting requirements specified in (g)5vii below and in 7:25-18.12 . These nets shall not individually exceed 200 fathoms in length. Individual drifting gill nets shall not be fastened together to form a series of nets exceeding 400 fathoms in length beginning February 12 through May 15 or exceeding 200 fathoms in length beginning May 16 through December 15. Drifting gill nets may be used for all species except those specifically protected.
i. Separate drifting gill nets or a series of joined drifting gill nets shall not be set or fished closer than 100 fathoms from any other net or series of nets;
ii. Separate drifting gill nets or a series of joined drifting gill nets shall be marked at each end with a fluorescent orange float at least 12 inches in diameter or a fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches by 12 inches and suspended at least three feet above the water, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag. No less than 24 square inches of any reflective material shall be attached and maintained on each end marker. A white float measuring at least eight inches in diameter shall be located approximately 20 feet inside of each end marker;
iii. Drifting gill nets shall be used in the Atlantic Ocean only from February 12 through December 15. Drifting gill nets shall not be used in the Atlantic Ocean within 100 fathoms of the marked channel of any inlet. From September 1 through December 15, if using nets with four inches or greater stretched mesh, a licensee may utilize no more than two drifting gill nets subject to the requirements of this paragraph or two staked/anchored gill nets subject to the requirements of (g)6 below, and the nets shall be tended at all times. For the purpose of this subparagraph, "tended" means an operator shall be no more than one-half nautical mile (3,040 feet) from the nearest portion of the nets and both nets must be fully brought into the boat within five hours of the initial set. Drifting gill nets between 2.75 inches stretched mesh and 3.25 inches stretched mesh shall be subject to the permitting and reporting requirements specified in (g)5vii below, and:
(1) Shall only be fished within two miles of the MHWL;
(2) Shall only be fished between the hours of sunrise and sunset;
(3) Shall be no higher than eight feet (off the bottom) while fishing; and
(4) A maximum of 200 fathoms per licensed fisherman shall be in the water at any one time;
iv. Drifting gill nets shall be used in the tributaries of Delaware Bay only for the season extending from February 12 through May 15 and July 15 through December 15;
v. Drifting gill nets shall be used in Delaware Bay only from February 12 through December 15, subject to the additional conditions specified in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.12. For the purpose of this section, that portion of Delaware Bay defined by the New Jersey-Delaware boundary on the west, Loran C27180 on the east, and Loran C42830 on the north, during the period from May 15 through June 15, shall be known as the Brandywine Shoal Restricted Area.
(1) No more than two drifting gill nets shall be permitted to be set or operated within the Brandywine Shoal Restricted Area by any vessel.
(2) No more than one drifting gill net shall be permitted to be set or operated, nor shall any net be left unattended, within the Brandywine Shoal Restricted Area by any vessel at night (from sunset to sunrise) or on any public holiday as specified at 36:1-1 or weekend. For the purpose of this section, "unattended" means that set of circumstances where the operator is more than 100 feet from the nearest portion of his net.
vi. The drifting gill net resident fee shall be $ 20.00 per net.
vii. Individuals utilizing drifting, staked or anchored gill nets less than 3.25 inches stretched mesh in the Atlantic Ocean or in the Delaware Bay after February 29 in any calendar year shall possess a Gill Net Mesh Exemption Permit.
(1) An individual shall apply annually for the permit.
(2) All permittees shall submit monthly reports of their catch and effort and other information as may be determined by the Department on forms provided by the Department. These reports shall be filed with the Division no later than 10 calendar days after each monthly reporting period. If no fishing activity was conducted under this permit during the month, a report to that effect shall be provided. Gill Net Mesh Exemption permittees shall be personally responsible for guaranteeing the timely delivery of reports to the Division as well as the accuracy of all information contained therein. The Department may demand that a permittee provide proof of the truth of any data contained in any report submitted to the Division under this program. If the permittee fails to file a true, complete monthly report with the Division by the 15th day of any month, the Division, in its discretion, may contact the permittee by the most expeditious method available in order to secure a complete report.
(3) If the Division is unable to secure a true, complete monthly report from the permittee by such informal means or the Division has credible evidence that the data on any report is false, the Division shall notify the permittee in writing of the Division's intention to revoke the permittee's Mesh Exemption privilege for the reasons stipulated in the notice, effective 20 business days after the date on the written notice (excluding the date on the notice) and of the Division's suspension of the permittee's Mesh Exemption privileges in the interim, effective on a date stipulated in the notice but no sooner than 10 business days after the date of the notice (excluding the date on the notice).
(4) The permittee may request a hearing to contest a proposed revocation of Mesh Exemption privileges in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, 52:14B-1 et seq., and the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules, N.J.A.C. 1:1. The request for an administrative hearing must be received in writing by the Department within 20 business days from the date on the Division's notice of suspension and intention to revoke, excluding the date on the notice. However, if a timely request for a hearing is not received by the Department, any allegation contained in the notice shall be deemed admitted by the permittee and Mesh Exemption privileges shall be revoked as of the date stipulated in the notice, without any further action by the Division.
(5) The Division Director may, in his or her sole discretion, stay the suspension of Mesh Exemption privileges pending a hearing on the notice of proposed revocation of Mesh Exemption privileges for any good cause set forth in a written petition from the permittee, including sworn statements from the permittee or other persons with knowledge relevant to the allegations on which the Division action is based. The petition and its supporting statements and documentation shall be made available to the court and all parties in advance of any hearing.
(6) The Division shall reinstate Mesh Exemption privileges suspended for late or incomplete reports, but no more than three times per permittee in any single permit year, if that permittee personally delivers any missing reports, completed, along with a credible written explanation for the delay and/or omissions to the Division within 20 business days from the date on the notice of suspension.
(7) Any permittee who has had a Mesh Exemption privilege revoked shall be disqualified from exercising any privilege associated with a Mesh Exemption permit for 24 months following:
(A) The effective date of an uncontested notice of proposed revocation of privileges;
(B) The date of the Commissioner's Final Decision affirming revocation of Mesh Exemption privileges; or
(C) The filing date of the court order affirming the Commissioner's Final Decision revoking Mesh Exemption privileges, whichever is applicable.
(8) The Division shall issue a Mesh Exemption permit to an applicant pending resolution of a contested Division proposal to revoke that applicant's Mesh Exemption privilege, but that permittee shall not exercise or enjoy any Mesh Exemption privilege if the Division has already suspended that permittee's Mesh Exemption privilege pending resolution of a proposed revocation until:
(A) The Division Director lifts the suspension of that permittee's Mesh Exemption privileges;
(B) The Commissioner issues a Final Decision reinstating that permittee's Mesh Exemption privileges; or
(C) A court of competent jurisdiction orders reinstatement of that permittee's Mesh Exemption privileges, as the case may be.
6. Staked and anchored gill nets shall be used only in the Atlantic Ocean, Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, and the Delaware Bay and its tributaries. No unattended, overnight staked, or anchored gill net shall be set in the Atlantic Ocean from June 15 through October 31. No unattended, overnight anchored gill net shall be set in Delaware Bay from June 15 through September 30. For the purpose of this paragraph, "unattended" means that set of circumstances where the operator is more than 1/2 nautical mile (3,040 feet) from the nearest portion of his or her net. Staked or anchored gill nets shall not be fastened together to form a series of net exceeding 400 fathoms in length from the beginning of the season through May 15 or exceeding 200 fathoms in length beginning May 16 through December 15, subject to the additional conditions specified in 7:25-18.12 .
i. Separate staked or anchored gill nets or a series of joined staked or anchored gill nets shall not be set closer than 20 fathoms from any other net or series of nets;
ii. Separate staked or anchored gill nets or a series of joined staked or anchored gill nets shall be marked at each end with a fluorescent orange float at least 12 inches in diameter or a fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches by 12 inches and suspended at least three feet above the water, measured from the surface of the water to the bottom of the flag. No less than 24 square inches of any reflective material shall be attached and maintained on each marker. A white float measuring at least eight inches in diameter shall be located approximately 20 feet inside of each end marker;
iii. Staked and anchored gill nets may be used in the Atlantic Ocean for any species except those specifically protected only beginning February 12 through December 15, where individual gill net length shall not exceed 50 fathoms. The smallest mesh of any such net used in the Atlantic Ocean shall not be less than five inches stretched beginning February 12 through February 29 and not less than 3.25 inches stretched beginning March 1 through December 15. From September 1 through December 15, if using nets with four inches or greater stretched mesh, a licensee may utilize no more than two staked/anchored gill nets subject to the requirements of this paragraph or two drifting gill nets subject to the requirements of (g)5 above, and the nets shall be tended at all times. For the purpose of this subparagraph, "tended" means an operator may be no more than one-half nautical mile (3,040 feet) from the nearest portion of the nets and both nets must be fully brought into the boat within five hours of the initial set. Staked or anchored gill nets shall not be used in the Atlantic Ocean within 100 fathoms of the marked channel of any inlet;
iv. Subject to 7:25-18.12 (e), staked and anchored gill nets shall be used only for shad in the Raritan Bay or Sandy Hook Bay and only beginning February 1 through May 15, where individual gill net length shall not exceed 30 fathoms. The smallest mesh of any such net used in Raritan Bay or Sandy Hook Bay shall not be less than five inches stretched;
v. Staked gill nets may be used in the tributaries of Delaware Bay for any species except those specifically protected only beginning January 1 through May 15 and July 15 through December 15, where individual gill net length shall not exceed 30 fathoms. The mesh of any such net used in the tributaries of Delaware Bay shall not be less than 2.75 inches stretched nor greater than 3.25 inches stretched beginning January 1 through February 29 and no mechanical means shall be utilized to retrieve such net. The mesh of any net shall not be less than 2.75 inches from March 1 through May 15 and July 15 through December 15. No net shall be set across the middle one third of any tributary or the mouth of any tributary, nor shall any net be set in a manner that impedes navigation;
vi. Staked gill nets may be used in Delaware Bay only from February 1 through December 15, except as further defined by statute and/or rule. Individual staked gill net length shall not exceed 30 fathoms. The mesh of any such net used in Delaware Bay shall be 2.75 inches stretched beginning February 1 through February 29 except that staked gill nets of a mesh not less than 2.75 inches stretched or greater than 3.25 inches stretched may be used within one half nautical mile of the MHWL from January 1 through February 29 provided no mechanical means are utilized to retrieve such nets. From March 1 through December 15 the smallest mesh of any staked gill net shall not be less than 3.25 inches stretched except within two nautical miles of the mean high water line where the smallest mesh shall not be less than 2.75 inches stretched and subject to the permitting and reporting requirements specified in (g)5vii above and 7:25-18.12. Staked gill nets shall not be used in that portion of Delaware Bay known as the Brandywine Shoal Restricted Area as defined in (g)5v above;
vii. The use of anchored gill nets is permitted in the tributaries of Delaware Bay for any species, except those specifically protected, only beginning January 1 through May 15 and July 15 through December 15, where individual gill net length shall not exceed 30 fathoms. The mesh of any such net used in the tributaries of Delaware Bay shall not be less than 2.75 inches stretched nor greater than 3.25 inches stretched beginning January 1 through February 29 and no mechanical means shall be utilized to retrieve such net. The mesh of any net shall not be less than 2.75 inches from March 1 through May 15 and July 15 through December 15. No net shall be set across the middle one third of any tributary or mouth of any tributary, nor shall any net be set in a manner that impedes navigation;
viii. The use of anchored gill nets is permitted in the Delaware Bay only from February 1 through December 15, except as further defined by statute and/or rule. Individual anchored gill net length shall not exceed 30 fathoms. The smallest mesh of any such net used in the Delaware Bay shall not be less than five inches stretched beginning February 1 through February 29 except that anchored gill nets of a mesh not less than 2.75 inches stretched or greater than 3.25 inches stretched may be used within one half mile of the mean high water line from January 1 through February 29 provided no mechanical means are utilized to retrieve such nets. From March 1 through December 15 the smallest mesh of any anchored gill net shall not be less than 3.25 inches stretched except within two nautical miles of the mean high water line where the smallest mesh shall not be less than 2.75 inches stretched and subject to the additional conditions specified in 7:25-18.12. Anchored gill nets shall not be used in that portion of the Delaware Bay known as the Brandywine Shoal Restricted Area as defined in (g)5v above;
ix. The staked and anchored gill net resident fee shall be $ 3.00 per net.
7. Pound nets shall have a mesh not smaller than two inches stretched and may be used for all species except those specifically protected. These nets shall be used only in Raritan Bay, Sandy Hook Bay, Delaware Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.
i. The pound net season shall begin on February 15 and end on May 15 in the Delaware Bay and begin on January 1 and end on December 31 in all other areas;
ii. No person shall possess or harvest American eel from a pound net between September 1 and December 31.
iii. The pound net resident fee shall be $ 100.00 per net.
8. Wire pound nets shall not extend into the Delaware Bay further than 300 feet from the mean low water mark nor 300 feet from the outside of the flats which fall bare at low water and may be set and used in the Delaware Bay only.
i. The wire pound net season shall begin on March 1 and end on December 31.
ii. American eel may be taken by wire pound net during the season of March 1 through August 31. Any American eel taken by wire pound net from September 1 through December 31 shall not be retained and must be immediately returned to the water.
iii. The wire pound net resident fee shall be $ 25.00 per net.
9. Parallel net may be used to take carp, catfish and suckers only and shall be used only in Delaware Bay and its tributaries. Parallel nets shall have a mesh not smaller than 3.5 inches stretched and not exceed 100 fathoms in length. They shall be set approximately parallel to the shore and only at the low water mark. No net shall be set across any tributary or mouth of any tributary, nor shall any net be set in a manner that impedes navigation.
i. The parallel net season shall begin on September 1 and end on May 31;
ii. The parallel net resident fee shall be $ 10.00 per net.
10. Shrimp trawls shall be used for the taking of grass shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.) or sand shrimp (Crangon spp.) only. Any organisms other than these shrimp taken with a shrimp trawl shall immediately be returned to the waters from which such organisms were taken. The internal opening of the trawl shall have a maximum width of 60 inches and a maximum height of 12 inches. The mesh of the net shall not be greater than one-half inch stretched. No boat shall have more than two trawls working at the same time, and each trawl shall be independently and separately attached to the vessel by a single cable or tow line.
i. The shrimp trawl season shall begin on April 15 and end on December 15;
ii. The shrimp trawl resident fee shall be $ 12.00 per net.
11. Lobster or fish pots may be used for the taking of all species except those specifically protected and pursuant to the specific requirements of 7:25-14.3 through 14.20 and shall be used only in the Atlantic Ocean, Delaware Bay, Raritan Bay, and Sandy Hook Bay except as provided in 7:25-18.5A or (g)11x below.
i. To be eligible for a lobster or fish pot license in 2003, an applicant must provide a copy of a previously valid New Jersey lobster or fish pot license held by the applicant in one of the years from 1995 through March 31, 2002. To be eligible for a lobster or fish pot license in all subsequent years, an applicant must provide a copy of a previously valid lobster or fish pot license held by the applicant from the preceding year.
(1) No additional lobster or fish pot licenses shall be issued until the number of licenses decreases below the number issued in 2003.
(2) Applications for a license shall be available from the Department; and successful applicants shall be chosen by lottery, if necessary, from all completed applications received by the Department. When additional licenses are available, unsuccessful applicants from the previous lottery will be given the first right to the license provided they purchase a license within 30 days of being notified by the Department. Notification by the Department shall be by first class mail. It is the responsibility of the applicant to provide the Department with written notification of any change in mailing address. Once a lottery list is exhausted, the Department shall notify commercial docks and fishing organizations as to the availability of licenses.
(3) The holder of a valid lobster or fish pot license not pending revocation or court action due to violation of provisions of this subchapter may transfer the right to the license at any time, upon application to the Department. The new licensee shall have a license issued in his or her name after payment of the fee specified at (g)11xii below and pursuant to the specific requirements of 7:25-14.13 through 14.20.
(4) Individuals intending to harvest lobsters by lobster pots for recreational purposes must purchase a fish and lobster pot license. Individuals holding a fish and lobster pot license issued for the recreational harvest of lobster shall receive an allocation for 10 lobster pots to be fished in State waters only and shall not harvest more than six lobsters per license per day. Lobsters taken under the provisions of a fish and lobster pot license for recreational purposes may not be sold, offered for sale or used for barter.
(5) Fish and lobster pot licenses issued for the recreational harvest of lobster shall not be included in the total of fish and lobster pot licenses identified in (g)11i(1) above.
ii. All lobster and fish pots shall have a maximum size less than a volume equivalent to 22.950 cubic inches (376,082 cubic cm) when deployed in the waters as specified in (g)11 above, except as provided in (g)11x below.
iii. Any fish or lobster pot license holder shall have priority in retaining the same license number previously issued to him or her provided that he or she has submitted a license application requesting the previously issued license number prior to March 1 of the current year and that the license number applied for was assigned to an active license not more than two years prior to the application;
iv. Effective January 1, 1986, each fishing vessel subject to this regulation must display its license number on the port and starboard sides of the deckhouse or hull and on an appropriate weather deck so as to be visible from above. The license number affixed to each vessel subject to this paragraph must be of block Arabic numerals at least 10 inches in height and of a color contrasting the background;
v. Effective January 1, 1986, all lobster or fish pots or traps and associated buoys and other gear deployed in the salt waters of this State and not permanently attached to the vessel must be legibly and indelibly marked with one of the following codes of identification:
(1) The State lobster or fish pot gear identification number; or
(2) The full name and address of the State lobster or fish pot license holder.
vi. No person other than the license holder shall remove fish or lobsters from any pot or trap. Anyone tending fish or lobster pots or traps after January 1, 1986, shall have in his or her possession the numbered license which corresponds to the gear identification number on the vessel and the gear identification number or name and address affixed to the pots and buoys being tended. The license must be displayed for inspection upon request of any authorized officer. No one shall cut or break the lines or otherwise tamper with or damage any pot, trap, or buoy which he or she does not own;
vii. All lobster and fish pots shall be constructed to include one of the following escape vents in the parlor section of the pot located in such a manner that it would not be blocked or obstructed in normal use by any portion of the pot, associated gear, or the sea floor:
(1) In a fishery in which the possession of lobster on board a vessel or landed from a vessel exceeds 100 lobsters per trip day (based on a 24-hour period) up to a maximum of 500 lobster per trip for trips of five days or longer, the escape vent(s) shall be not less than:
(A) A rectangular portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 1.9375 inches (49.2 mm) by 5.75 inches (146.0 mm). Effective July 1, 2003 the unobstructed opening shall be increased to not less than 2 inches (50.8 mm) by 5.75 inches (146.0 mm). Effective July 1, 2010, the unobstructed opening shall be increased to not less than 2 and 1/16 inches (52.4 mm) by 5.75 inches (146.0 mm); or
(B) Two circular portals with unobstructed openings not less than 2.688 inches (68.3 mm) in diameter;
(2) In a fishery in which the possession of more than 100 pounds of scup on board a vessel or landed from a vessel occurs, the escape vent(s) shall be not less than:
(A) A rectangular portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 2.25 inches (57.2 mm) by 2.25 inches (57.2 mm); or
(B) A circular portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 3.1 inches (78.7 mm) in diameter.
(3) In a fishery in which the possession of black sea bass on board a vessel or landed from a vessel occurs, the escape vent(s) shall be not less than:
(A) A square portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 2.0 inches (50.8 mm) by 2.0 inches (50.8 mm);
(B) A rectangular portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 1.375 inches (34.9 mm) by 5.75 inches (146.0 mm); or
(C) A circular portal with an unobstructed opening not less than 2.5 inches (63.5 mm) in diameter.
(D) Effective January 1, 2007, all lobster and fish pots used for the harvest of black sea bass shall have at least two escape vents.
(4) In a fishery in which more than one of the escape vents listed in (g)11vii(1) through (3) above is applicable, the pots shall be constructed with the largest of the applicable escape vents.
viii. All lobster and fish pots shall be constructed to include a ghost panel or other mechanism which is designed to create an opening to allow the escape of lobsters and fish after a pot has been abandoned or lost, and which meets the following specifications:
(1) The opening covered by the panel or created by other approved mechanism shall be located in the outer parlor section(s) of the pot, shall be in a position which allows the unobstructed exit of lobsters or fish from the pot and shall be of the following dimensions:
(A) Not less than 3.75 inches (95.25 mm) by 3.75 inches (95.25 mm), or
(B) Not less than three inches (76.2 mm) by six inches (152.4 mm) when used in a fishery in which the possession of black sea bass on board a vessel or landed from a vessel occurs.
(2) The panel shall be constructed of, or fastened to the pots with, one of the following materials: untreated wood lath; untreated cotton, hemp, sisal or jute twine not greater than 3/16 inch (4.76 mm) in diameter; non-stainless, ungalvanized, uncoated ferrous metal not greater than 3/32 inch (2.4 mm) in diameter; or magnesium alloy, timed float release (pop-up device), or similar magnesium alloy fasteners;
(3) The door of the pot may serve as the ghost panel if the door is fastened to the pot with a material specified in (g)11viii(2) above;
(4) The escape vent specified in (g)11vii above may serve as a ghost panel if the escape vent is incorporated into a panel constructed of, or attached to the pot with, a material specified in (g)11viii(2) above, and, upon breakdown of the degradable materials, will create an opening of at least the dimensions specified in (g)11viii(1)(A) and (B) above for the exit of lobster and fish; and
(5) Pots constructed entirely or partially of wood shall be considered to be in compliance with this subparagraph if constructed of wood lath to the extent that deterioration of wooden component(s) will result in an unobstructed opening as specified in (g)11viii(1)(A) and (B) above.
ix. No person shall land or attempt to land for the purpose of sale any Jonah crabs harvested with a lobster, fish, or conch pot without a valid New Jersey lobster pot permit.
x. A modified lobster or fish pot may be used for the taking of conchs or whelks and spider crabs in all marine waters of the State including the Atlantic Ocean with the exception of the Newark Bay Complex and except as provided in 7:25-18.5A.
(1) Any such conch pot is defined as a rectangular shaped device no larger than 30 inches on any side; or a cylindrical shaped device not greater than 34 inches in diameter and 30 inches in height. Conch pots must allow for an unobstructed opening on their top surface measuring not less than eight by eight inches square or nine inches in diameter. Conch pots using horseshoe crabs as bait must contain a bait-saving device containing a horseshoe crab or parts of a horseshoe crab as bait which, by design, extends the effective fishing time of the horseshoe crab bait in the water. Conch pots cannot contain a parlor, funnel, or other entrapping mechanism in the interior of the pot. Any similar configuration may be approved for use upon application to the Division and receipt of written approval. Such applications must contain a diagram detailing the shape and dimensions of the requested conch pot configuration.
(2) Conch pots may be tended only from 0400 hours (4:00 A.M.) to 2100 hours (9:00 P.M.).
(3) No conch pot shall be placed in a creek, ditch or tributary less than 50 feet wide at mean low water, in any marked or charted channel or in any man-made lagoon;
xi. The lobster or fish pot season shall begin on January 1 and end on December 31;
xii. The resident fee for lobster or fish pots shall be $ 100.00 regardless of the number of pots employed.
12. Subject to 7:25-18.12 (e), shad nets for the Hudson River shall be held in place by either stakes or anchors and shall not exceed 200 fathoms in length. The smallest mesh of any shad net shall not be less than five inches stretched.
i. Shad nets shall be marked at each end with a fluorescent orange float at least 12 inches in diameter or a fluorescent orange flag at least 12 inches square and suspended at least two feet above the mean high waterline.
ii. Shad nets shall be used in the Hudson River for the taking of shad only.
(h) Nonresident license fees shall be the same as resident fees established in this section if a resident of this State may obtain a license to fish for similar species of fish with similar gear in the nonresident applicant's state for the same fee as a resident of that state. Otherwise, the license fee for a nonresident is 10 times the license fee charged to a resident.
(i) The Commissioner, with the approval of the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council, may modify seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps, or reporting requirements specified in this section, by notice, in order to maintain and/or to come into compliance with any fishery management plan approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission pursuant to 16 U.S.C. § 5104(b) or to maintain consistency with any Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, New England Fishery Management Council, or South Atlantic Fishery Management Council plan adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service or any plan implemented by the National Marine Fisheries Service. Additionally, where fishing seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps, or reporting requirements have been developed in accordance with (i)1 below and differ from those specified in the fishery management plan, but have been approved by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, New England Fishery Management Council, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service through the conservation equivalency process as achieving the same quantified level of conservation for the fishery governed by that plan, such fishing seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps, or daily, weekly, or monthly reporting requirements may be modified by notice. The Department shall provide notice of any such modification in the New Jersey Register, on the Department's website, through email, when provided, to commercial license holders, and in the Division's commercial regulation publication. All such notices shall be effective when the Department files the notice with the Office of Administrative Law, or as specified otherwise in the notice.
1. Proposed fishing seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps, or reporting requirements to be included in a submission to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, New England Fishery Management Council, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service as being conservationally equivalent to the fishing seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps, or reporting requirements specified in the applicable fisheries management plan shall be established, as follows:
i. The Commissioner shall consider the following factors in determining the fishing seasons, mesh sizes, maximum net lengths, species allowed to be harvested by specific gear types, escape vent sizes, ghost panel sizes, daily, weekly, or monthly reporting requirements, or acceptable materials for fastening ghost panels to pots and traps to be included in a conservation equivalency proposal:
(1) The temporal and spatial distributions of the species in State waters;
(2) The species' life history characteristics;
(3) The potential impact on the number of participants able to participate in the fishery;
(4) The ability of supporting industries to provide necessary services to optimize participation, for example, charter and day-fishing fleet availability;
(5) Potential conflicts with the open seasons for other recreational and/or commercial fisheries; and
(6) Enforcement efficiency.
ii. The conservation equivalency proposal must be approved by the New Jersey Marine Fisheries Council at a public meeting prior to submission to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, New England Fishery Management Council, South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, and/or the National Marine Fisheries Service. Public notice of the meeting, including an agenda, shall be provided on the Department's website at http://www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/marcncl.htm . The agenda shall specify that the meeting will include discussion of a potential conservation equivalency proposal.
(j) An applicant who is otherwise eligible for a Gill Net or Lobster or Fish Pot license under (g)11 above, but who fails to provide a copy of his or her license before the December 31 expiration of that license, may request an extension of time to renew in accordance with this subsection and (k) through (m) below.
1. The written request, along with any supporting documentation, shall be submitted to:

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife

PO Box 400

Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0400

2. The request shall:
i. Identify the specific license for which the extension of time to renew is requested;
ii. Explain in detail why the extension of time to renew is needed, including a statement of the type and degree of hardship that prevented the timely renewal of the license, and the hardship that will result to the applicant if the license is not renewed; and
iii. Provide appropriate documentation as necessary to support the request for extension.
(k) The Department shall approve an extension request under (j) above only if it determines that the request and documentation demonstrate that:
1. By reason of extraordinary hardship or exceptional situation or condition, the applicant was precluded from renewing his or her Gill Net License or Lobster or Fish Pot License during the 12-month application period preceding the year for which the license/permit is requested;
2. By reason of extraordinary or exceptional situation or condition, strict compliance with the deadline in (g)11 above would result in exceptional and undue hardship upon the applicant; and
3. The circumstances supporting (k)1 and 2 above were not created by the applicant or persons under his or her control, and the approval of the extension will not unreasonably interfere with the orderly administration of the licensing program.
(l) The Department shall provide written notice to the applicant of its decision to approve or deny the request for extension.
(m) The denial of an extension request may be appealed pursuant to the procedures outlined in 7:25-18.17, Request for adjudicatory hearing.

Notes

N.J. Admin. Code § 7:25-18.5
Amended by R.1988 d.285, effective 6/20/1988.
See: 19 N.J.R. 1610(a), 20 N.J.R. 1344(b).
Substantially amended.
Amended by R.1988 d.286, effective 6/20/1988.
See: 20 N.J.R. 866(a), 20 N.J.R. 1345(a).
Amended (g)4.
Administrative Correction to (g)6vi: Added text.
See: 22 N.J.R. 2301(a).
Amended by R.1991 d.278, effective 6/3/1991.
See: 22 N.J.R. 1311(a), 23 N.J.R. 1792(a).
Changed "persons" to "individuals"; added reference to "permits" in (g).
Amended by R.1992 d.143, effective 3/16/1992.
See: 24 N.J.R. 4(c), 24 N.J.R. 1113(a).
Further eligibility qualifications for certain fishing with nets added at (g); specifications regarding the tributaries of the Delaware Bay.
Amended by R.1992 d.449, effective 11/16/1992.
See: 24 N.J.R. 207(a), 24 N.J.R. 4256(a).
Requirements to eliminate fyke netting and haul seining from certain small bodies of water.
Amended by R.1994 d.202, effective 4/18/1994.
See: 25 N.J.R. 5397(a), 26 N.J.R. 1633(a).
Amended by R.1994 d.615, effective 12/19/1994.
See: 26 N.J.R. 1931(a), 26 N.J.R. 5011(a).
Amended by R.1995 d.82, effective 2/6/1995.
See: 26 N.J.R. 4277(b), 27 N.J.R. 487(a).
Administrative correction.
See: 27 N.J.R. 1794(a).
Administrative correction.
See: 27 N.J.R. 2212(a).
Administrative change.
See: 27 N.J.R. 4916(c).
Amended by R.1996 d.587, effective 12/16/1996 (operative January 1, 1997).
See: 28 N.J.R. 3998(a), 28 N.J.R. 5231(a).
Made changes to mesh sizes throughout; inserted (g)2iii, (g)4ii, and (g)11vi; and recodified from (g)2iii through (g)2viii as (g)2iv through (g)2ix, (g)4ii and (g)4iii as (g)4iii and (g)4iv, and (g)11vi through (g)11x as (g)11vii through (g)11xi.
Amended by R.1997 d.246, effective 6/2/1997.
See: 29 N.J.R. 285(a), 29 N.J.R. 2555(a).
In (g), made nonsubstantive changes; and substantially amended (g)11.
Amended by R.1999 d.52, effective 2/16/1999.
See: 30 N.J.R. 3881(a), 31 N.J.R. 538(a).
Rewrote (g)11; and added (i).
Amended by R.2001 d.73, effective 3/5/2001.
See: 32 N.J.R. 4435(a), 33 N.J.R. 874(a).
Amended by R.2001 d.346, effective 9/17/2001.
See: 33 N.J.R. 453(a), 33 N.J.R. 3352(a).
In (g), rewrote the second sentence and deleted the fifth sentence in the introductory paragraph, inserted 3iv, rewrote the first sentence in 9 and substituted "exceeds 100 lobsters" for "occurs" in 11vi(1).
Administrative change.
See: 34 N.J.R. 921(a).
Amended by R.2002 d.277, effective 8/19/2002.
See: 34 N.J.R. 1375(a), 34 N.J.R. 2995(a).
Rewrote (g).
Emergency amendment, R.2003 d.223, effective 5/1/2003 (to expire June 30, 2003).
See: 35 N.J.R. 2366(a).
In (g)11ix(1), inserted a new third sentence.
Adopted concurrent amendment, R.2003 d.305, effective 6/30/2003.
See: 35 N.J.R. 2366(a), 35 N.J.R. 3611(b).
Provisions of R.2003 d.223 adopted without change.
Amended by R.2004 d.20, effective 1/5/2004.
See: 35 N.J.R. 4224(b), 36 N.J.R. 174(b).
In (g)2, deleted former vii and viii, and recodified former ix as new vii; in (g)11ix, inserted "and spider crabs" following "conchs or whelks".
Administrative change.
See: 37 N.J.R. 1177(b).
Public Notice: Horseshoe crabs.
See: 37 N.J.R. 4074(a), 5066(a).
Amended by R.2005 d.413, effective 11/21/2005.
See: 37 N.J.R. 742(a), 37 N.J.R. 4408(a).
Added (j)-(m).
Administrative change.
See: 38 N.J.R. 5359(a).
Petition for Rulemaking. Horseshoe crabs.
See: 39 N.J.R. 700(b), 1528(a).
Amended by R.2008 d.15, effective 1/7/2008.
See: 39 N.J.R. 143(a), 40 N.J.R. 126(a).
In the introductory paragraph of (g), inserted "or she"; added (g)3v and (g)3vi; in the introductory paragraph of (g)11, deleted "and" preceding "pursuant to"; in the introductory paragraph of (g)11i, substituted "March 31" for "h 31"; rewrote (g)11i(4) and (g)11i(5); and in (i), inserted "or to maintain consistency with any Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council plan adopted by the National Marine Fisheries Service".
Administrative change.
See: 42 N.J.R. 1374(a).
Administrative change.
See: 44 N.J.R. 493(a).
Administrative change.
See: 45 N.J.R. 205(a).
Administrative change and correction.
See: 46 N.J.R. 212(b).
Amended by R.2015 d.168, effective 11/2/2015.
See: 47 N.J.R. 315(a), 47 N.J.R. 2669(c).
In the introductory paragraph of (g), inserted a comma following "1997" twice, and inserted a comma following the third occurrence of "2000"; in the introductory paragraph of (g)11, inserted "N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5A or "; and in the introductory paragraph of (g)11ix, inserted "and except as provided in N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.5A".
Administrative change.
See: 48 N.J.R. 131(a), 647(a).
Amended by R.2016 d.057, effective 6/6/2016.
See: 47 N.J.R. 1815(a), 48 N.J.R. 953(b).
Rewrote the introductory paragraph of (g) and of (g)5; in (g)3vii, substituted "in accordance with the procedures at N.J.A.C. 7:25-18.17" for "pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq., and the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules, N.J.A.C 1:1"; added (g)3viii through (g)3xi; and in the introductory paragraph of (g)6, inserted "or her".
Amended by R.2016 d.169, effective 12/5/2016.
See: 48 N.J.R. 876(a), 48 N.J.R. 2608(a).
In the introductory paragraph of (g), deleted "(g)" preceding "6ix"; rewrote (g)5iii and (g)6iii; and in the introductory paragraph of (g)6, substituted "paragraph" for "section".
Amended by R.2021 d.142, effective 12/20/2021.
See: 53 N.J.R. 297(a), 53 N.J.R. 2139(a).
Rewrote (i).

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