Major Fishing Restrictions Planned for Northend Beaches of Brigantine

Big, ugly, but somewhat understandable changes for those that enjoy 4X4 surf fishing on Brigantine’s North End. The DEP and Department of Fish & Wildlife will be taking over a majority of these beaches and wildlife areas just north of the seawall.

Brigantine will still have access to 1500 ft. of that area, just north of the seawall. But severe restrictions on use & activities will soon be put into place.

4×4 beach access to Brigantine’s north end will soon be for fishing only. A state permit will be needed too.

Want to fish the North End surf? You’ll now need to buy a NJ State permit. See info here.

Brigantine has been in a shared services agreement with Fish and Wildlife for quite sometime. Occasionally, the area has been closed for nesting season of the piping plover bird.

The state Department of Environmental Protection will take over issuing mobile fishing permits for the state-owned North Brigantine Natural Area in 2018.

Starting in 2018, Brigantine’s 4×4 permit will no longer be valid on the north-end beaches. You will now need to deal with the State of NJ to take your truck onto those particular beaches.

To minimize environmental damage and protect nesting piping plovers and other shorebirds, the DEP will sell a limited number of permits and allow a maximum of 75 vehicles access Brigantine North-end beaches for fishing.

Only 75 vehicles will be admitted within each 24-hour period.

  • Vehicles will be prohibited in all or part of this Natural Area from May 15 — or when the first plover nest hatches, whichever comes first — to Sept. 15.
  • Closed sections will reopen in time for fall fishing season.
  • Pedestrian access is year-round.
  • Public information meeting is planned for February 2018.
  • Meeting date and location to be announced.
  • More details at Division of Parks and Forestry’s website >

Northend Brigantine 4×4 Beach Permits for 2018

  • $50 for New Jersey residents
  • $75 for non-residents

Call Bass River State Forest at 609-296-1114 for info.


The Brigantine North End Beach is divided into two separate sections.

After vehicles enter the beach at 15th Street North, the first 0.25 miles of beach heading north is owned by the City of Brigantine. The remaining portion of the northern end (about 2.75 miles) is owned by the State of New Jersey and is officially designated as the North Brigantine Natural Area. The New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry administers the site through its office at Bass River State Forest. A sign indicating where the Natural Area begins is posted.

The purpose of the State’s Natural Areas System is to protect and preserve ecologically significant lands and resources found on them, including endangered and threatened wildlife and important vegetative communities. A specific set of rules aimed at protecting these resources governs state Natural Areas, however, the State is committed to providing public access when it does not conflict with the primary goal of preserving natural diversity.

The City of Brigantine issues vehicle permits valid on the Natural Area as part of a licensing agreement with the State. Under the terms of the agreement, the City must ensure that vehicle usage minimizes any adverse impacts to the Natural Area and the rare natural resources that it protects. Furthermore, the agreement requires that the City assist with protection and management of the wildlife that utilizes the site.

As one of New Jersey’s last remaining “wild” beaches, North Brigantine Natural Area provides one of New Jersey’s most important breeding sites for the piping plover, a state endangered and federally threatened species. Other species, including the least tern, a state endangered bird, and sea beach amaranth, a state endangered and federally threatened plant species, also inhabit the site. The Natural Area is also an important migratory staging site for many species of shorebirds.

The loss of suitable nesting habitat due to coastal development is the primary reason for the historical decline of the piping plover and other beach nesting birds. Human disturbance and predation enhanced by human activities now comprise the greatest threats to these birds. Human impacts, largely due to intensive recreational use of our beaches, can be either direct or indirect. Direct impacts include crushing of nests or chicks by pedestrians or vehicles. Indirect impacts stem from disturbance by people and their pets. Human disturbance causes adults to temporarily leave eggs or chicks, making them more vulnerable to overheating and predators and interrupts crucial feeding periods. Trampling by pedestrians and crushing by off-road vehicles also threaten sea beach amaranth.

So, what does all this mean? Due to the presence of these highly imperiled species, the City of Brigantine, under the direction of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, will close portions of the Natural Area to public access during critical breeding/growing seasons.


Dogs or other pets (either leashed or unleashed) are not permitted anywhere in the Natural Area from April 1 to September 15 because they pose a significant threat to adult and juvenile piping plovers and disrupt their nesting activity. During other times of the year, pets are permitted but they must be leashed. Please note that leashed pets are allowed on the City-owned portion of the northern beach on a year-round basis.


Subscribe BrigantineNOW

3 thoughts on “Major Fishing Restrictions Planned for Northend Beaches of Brigantine”

  1. Will walk on fishermen need a state permit??? I think that this would be ridiculous. Every year for the last 30 years or so there have been less and less fishing spots in the whole South Jersey seashore. A.C. jetties have become more inaccessible, especially for older fishermen, myself included. Having to pay a fee for walk on fishing privileges (rights) is an insult to all.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *