Fishing at Gateway National Recreation Area

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Lone fisherman on the beach

What comes to mind when you think about fishing? Patience, relaxation, challenge, and memories are a few words often associated with fishing. You will find all that and a sense of stewardship, conservation, and preservation on this page. We want you to have an enjoyable time during your visit, and for those who come after you to fish. Take some time to explore, learn what the park has to offer and learn your responsibilities before casting a line or flicking a fly into the water.

Fishing Access Permits

Saltwater fishing is the only type of fishing allowed at Gateway.

Permits are required to park in many places throughout the park. Permits are also required to park after hours at any part of the park.

Off-Road Vehicle Permits (Jamaica Bay Unit, Breezy Point Tip)

Gateway National Recreation Area has established a new process for the sale and issuance of the Jamaica Bay Unit, Breezy Point Tip, Off-Road Vehicle Permits. Due to Covid-19 related safety concerns, in-person permit sales will not occur within the Ryan Visitor Center. Starting this season, Off-Road Vehicle permits will be issued through a two-step process. Starting April 1 at 10:00 a.m., the Off-Road Vehicle Permits will go on-sale ONLINE ONLY through When you purchase the Off-Road Vehicle Permit through, you will schedule an in-person equipment and vehicle inspection appointment that will occur between April 18 - 24 within the Ryan Visitor Center parking lot.

Step 1: April 1 at 10:00 a.m.

Off-Road Vehicle Permits go on-sale ONLINE ONLY through

Please note: will not accept applications prior to April 1 at 10:00 a.m.

Tip: Create an account on prior to April 1 for faster registration.

  • Starting April 1, purchase the Off-Road Vehicle Permit and schedule your vehicle inspection appointment ONLINE ONLY through
  • Click here to go directly to and to the application and sales page.
  • If the link above does not work on your browser, please go to the website and search: Breezy Point ORV Tickets. (site available starting April 1)
  • Permit sales will continue through until all permits are sold.

Step 2: April 18 - 24

On-site Vehicle Inspection at the Ryan Visitor Center parking lot by APPOINTMENT ONLY.

Please note: Remember to make your Vehicle Inspection appointment through when you purchase your permit.

  • From April 18 through April 24, 10 am - 4 pm daily, park staff will be available to inspect your vehicle and issue your permit within your scheduled appointment time.

Please remember, vehicle inspections are by appointment only and scheduled through

  • The following items are required to be in your vehicle during the inspection: 7-foot (minimum) fishing pole; reel and tackle; shovel; tow chain or rope; jack; jack support board; tire pressure gauge; appropriate spare tire; trash container; portable toilet. Please display these items in the back of your truck so that each item can be easily observed.
  • After your vehicle passes the inspection, the Off-Road Vehicle Permit sticker will be provided.

Please remember:

  • For faster registration, create an account on prior to April 1.
  • Payment must be made on-line through when you purchase the Off-Road Vehicle Permit.
  • On-site Vehicle Inspection will occur at the Ryan Visitor Center parking lot by appointment only from April 18-April 24. Appointments are made through
  • The vehicle that you will be using to access the sand road, sand lot, and beach, must be the same vehicle that you drive to your inspection appointment and you must have a valid registration for that vehicle available at the time of inspection.
  • Bring the required items in the trunk of your vehicle to pass the inspection.
  • Payment will not be accepted during the On-Site Vehicle Inspection.
  • 2020 Off-Road Vehicle Permits are valid only through April 30, 2021.
  • May 1 is the effective start date for 2021 Off-Road Vehicle Permits and will be valid through January 31, 2022.
  • Off-Road Vehicle Permits are for Fishing Access Only.
  • During Piping Plover Season from March 15 through September 15, there is no vehicle access to Breezy Point Tip. All vehicles must park at the Sand Lot during this time.


We understand this is a new process and you may have questions.

The Ryan Visitor Center remains temporarily closed, however, we are available to answer your questions by phone, Sunday through Wednesday, at (718) 338-3799.

Our Public Affairs Office is available Monday through Friday at (718) 354-4606.

2021 fishing/parking permits will be sold online beginning Feb. 1, 2021. These are not 4x4 permits. Permits cannot be picked up in person, they will be mailed out. Walk-in permit requests are not being honored at this time. Fishing/parking permits are $50 with a $5 processing fee. 2020 permits will be honored through March 31. Applicants will not be required to provide proof of fishing poles prior to receiving a permit.

Link to buy fishing/parking permit.

Permits are required at the following sites or the following times.

Sandy Hook Unit

Permits are required for after hours fishing. (April 1 - Oct. 31 9 pm - 5 am, Nov. 1 - March 31 8 pm - 5 am)

Staten Island Unit

  • Permits are required at all times to park in Crooke's Point (Great Kills Park)

  • Permits are required to park after hours in any Staten Island Unit. (9 pm - 5 am April 1- Oct. 31 and 8 pm - 5 am Nov. 1 - March 31).

Jamaica Bay Unit
Permits are required at the following Jamaica Bay Unit sites:

  • A permit is required for parking at Bay 3 Lot (Riis Park East) from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. A permit is required dusk to dawn other times.
  • A permit is required for parking at Shore Road Fisherman's Lot and Yacht Club Lot from dawn to dusk. A permit is required at all times from May 15 through Sept. 15.
  • A permit is required for parking at Shore Road East (formerly known as Adaptive Aquatics Parking Lot) from dusk to dawn year-round. From May 15 through Sept. 15 permit is required from 4 pm to 9 am. No vehicle access at other times.
  • A permit is required for parking at 222nd Street Fisherman's Lot from dusk to dawn Sept. 16 through March 14. A permit is required at all times from March 15 through Sept. 15.
  • A permit is required for parking at Floyd Bennett Field from dusk to dawn year-round, except to visit concessions in designated areas.
  • A permit (or whale watching pass from the ferry operator) is required for parking at all times year-round at Riis Landing.

No license is required for saltwater fishing, but there is a saltwater registry for both New York and New Jersey.


Fishing Regulations

Fishing regulations for Gateway National Recreation follow 36 CFR 2.3 and those set by the States of New York and New Jersey.

Additional restrictions have been established:

  • Fishing is prohibited in non-tidal waters. Non-tidal waters include all fresh waters in the park.
  • The shoreline under the Verrazzano Bridge and adjacent to Battery Weed and the Torpedo Pier is closed to fishing.
  • Fishing is prohibited on lifeguard protected beaches when lifeguards are on duty. This includes 50 yards up the beach from the red lifeguard flags marking the ends of the protected swim areas.
  • Fishing is prohibited within 150 feet of posted shorebird nesting areas.
  • Due to health concerns, shellfishing is prohibited in all park waters. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and New York Department of Environmental Conservation has closed and "condemned" certain waters to the harvesting or collecting of shellfish. The waters around the park are included in this closure.
  • Net fishing is prohibited on swimming beaches and within 100 feet of swimming beaches.

Fish Consumption Advisories in National Park Waters

The Environmental Protection Agency, states, territories, and tribes provide advice on fish and shellfish caught in the waters in their jurisdiction to help people make informed decisions about eating fish. Advisories are recommendations to limit your consumption of, or avoid eating entirely, certain species of fish or shellfish from specific bodies of water due to chemical or biological contamination.

Fish is part of a healthy balanced diet, but eating wild fish and shellfish caught in park waters is not risk free. Parks are “islands”, but the much larger “ocean” that surrounds them affects the natural resources inside a park. Other aquatic toxins are the result of natural biological processes. Also, chemical contaminants that originate outside of park boundaries can come into parks.

Mercury is an example of a toxin originating outside a park that can find its way into a park. Mercury exists naturally in some rocks, including coal. When power plants burn coal, mercury can travel in the air long distances before falling to the ground, usually in low concentrations. Once on the ground, microorganisms can change this elemental mercury to methyl mercury. This type of mercury can build up in animal tissues, and it can increase in concentration to harmful levels. This high concentration can occur in large predatory fish - those often pursued and eaten by anglers. Studies have shown that fish in some National Park System waters have mercury levels that may be a concern to people who regularly eat a lot of fish.

Fishing Throughout the National Park Service

We invite you to visit the Fish and Fishing website for more information about fish and fishing in the National Park Service. You will learn about conservation, different fish species, and parks that offer fishing.

Last updated: April 1, 2021

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

210 New York Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10305


(718) 354-4606

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