• Miles of uncrowded white sandy beaches extend to the horizon, separating the clear blue ocean and undulating grass-covered dunes.

    Fire Island

    National Seashore New York

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  • New Backcountry Camping procedures

    Reservations for required permits must be obtained through Recreation.gov. Due to the breach at Old Inlet, access to both east and west wilderness camping zones must now be from Davis Park or access points west, and involve a 2½ to 10 mile hike. More »


Black egg case on white sandy beach.

Sometimes you just see evidence of  the abundance of fish in the sea. This beachcombing "find" is the egg case of one of the skates, a kite-shaped fish related to sharks and rays. The egg case is also called a mermaid's purse.

Numerous species of fish have been recorded in the waters around Fire Island.

The finfish species likely to be landed by commercial harvesters from nearby waters are bluefish, winter flounder, summer flounder, weakfish, Atlantic silversides, and menhaden.

Recreational fishing species include fluke, winter flounder, bluefish, weakfish, tautog, and black sea bass.

Some of the fish species found within the boundaries of Fire Island National Seashore are present only as older juveniles and adults, and do not use the bay as a spawning and nursery area. These transient species include striped bass, menhaden, and eels.

Other species (bluefish, winter flounder, fluke, tautog, black sea bass) use Fire Island waters as both nursery grounds for young-of-the-year stages as well as adults. The value of Seashore estuarine habitats for these species is great.

Ecologically important species, those that are an important forage species for piscivorous (fish-eating) fishes, include Atlantic silversides, bay anchovy, sand lance, northern pipefish, and others. Killifishes are a major component of the fish fauna of salt marsh habitats.


A series of Science Synthesis Papers was published in 2005 to support the preparation of a General Management Plan for Fire Island National Seashore, and includes the following related reports.


Essential Fish Habitat

The waters offshore and around Fire Island have been identified as Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for various lifestages of the following species of fish:

  • Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar) EFH
  • Pollack (Pollachius virens) EFH
  • Whiting (Merluccius bilinearis) EFH
  • Red Hake (Urophycis chuss) EFH
  • Winter Flounder (Pleuronectes americanus) EFH
  • Yellowtail Flounder (Pleuronectes ferruginea) EFH
  • Summer Flounder or Fluke (Paralicthys dentatus)
  • Windowpane Flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus) EFH
  • American Plaice (Hippoglossoides platessoides) EFH
  • Ocean Pout (Macrozoarces americanus) EFH
  • Atlantic Sea Herring (Clupea harengus) EFH
  • Monkfish (Lophius americanus) EFH
  • Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) EFH
  • Atlantic Butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus) EFH
  • Atlantic Mackeral (Scomber scombrus) EFH
  • King Mackeral (Scomberomorus cavalla) EFH
  • Spanish Mackeral (Scomberomorus maculatus) EFH
  • Cobia (Rachycentron canadum) EFH
  • Scup or Porgie (Stenotomus chrysops) EFH
  • Black Sea Bass (Centropristus striata) EFH
  • Sand Tiger Shark (Odontaspis taurus) EFH
  • Common Thresher Shark (Alopias vulpinus) EFH
  • Blue Shark (Prionace glauca)
  • White Shark (Charcharadon carcharias) EFH
  • Tiger Shark (Galeocerdo cuvieri) EFH
  • Dusky Shark (Charcharinus obscurus) EFH
  • Sandbar Shark (Charcharinus plumbeus) EFH
  • Shortfin Mako Shark (Isurus oxyrhyncus) EFH
  • Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) EFH
  • Skipjack Tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) EFH

(See attachment to Environmental Assessment for Smith Point County Park Fishing Pier: Essential Fish Habitat Assessment for Narrow Bay)

The Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council (MAFMC) is one of eight regional fishery management councils created by the 1976 Magnuson Fisheries Conservation and Management Act, renamed Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Conservation and Management Act in 1996 (PL-94-265). The MAFMC is responsible for the creation of management plans for fishery resources (FMPs) in Federal waters off New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.

Did You Know?

Group watching birds near marsh and trees.

You might get to observe a number of birds on a ranger-guided walk at the William Floyd Estate: a blackburnian warbler perched on a tree branch, a woodcock flushed from the fields, or a bald eagle chasing an osprey with a fish over the salt marsh! More...