Fire Island National Seashore | FISHING AND HUNTING

Surf fishing at Fire Island National Seashore (photo by Iitherland)

Surf fishing at Fire Island National Seashore (photo by Iitherland)


Non-commercial surf fishing in the Atlantic Ocean is allowed on any beach at Fire Island National Seashore except lifeguarded beaches during the summer season (unless a beach has been closed for safety reasons or animal nesting season). No fishing is permitted at the Sailors Haven Marina, the Watch Hill Marina, or the pier at the Fire Island Lighthouse. Bay fishing is also allowed, but access to the shore is very limited due to the dense vegetation that covers most of the island and extends to much of the bay shoreline.

No special permit or license is required from the National Park Service to fish, but those 16 and older must enroll in the free New York Recreational Marine Fishing Registry, and all New York State fishing regulations apply. No harvesting of horseshoe crabs is allowed.

Boaters may fish within the waters of Fire Island National Seashore. The only exception is that no boat can come within 300 feet of the Fire Island Lighthouse Pier.


Waterfowl hunting is allowed at Fire Island National Seashore during New York State waterfowl hunting season. In addition to a New York State hunting license, federal duck stamp, valid drivers license, and confirmation number from the Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program, hunters need a permit from the National Park Service. These can be obtained at the Otis Pike Wilderness Visitor Center.

The wilderness is divided into an east and west zone. The east zone is in the Otis Pike Wilderness from Hayhole Point to Long Cove near Watch Hill. The west zone is along the shores of East Fire Island, West Fire Island, and Sexton Island.

For more information, see the National Park Service’s Hunting web page for Fire Island National Seashore.


Waterfowl hunters and fishermen can obtain a recreational off-road vehicle permit for driving on the beaches adjacent to the Otis Pike Wilderness. Permits can be obtained at the Wilderness Visitor Center starting on September 1st. They are good from September 15th to December 31st. For more information, call the Visitor Center at (631) 281-3010.

Unfortunately, a breach in the island west of the Wilderness Visitor Center limits driving to only the area between the visitor center and the breach, a two-mile span. Vehicles cannot enter the wilderness from Watch Hill. Hunting and fishing is still allowed in the wilderness west of the breach, but sportsmen can only access the area by foot or boat.

The adjacent Robert Moses State Park and Smith Point County Park also allow beach driving, but they have a separate permit system.

Breach in Fire Island

Breach in Fire Island

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With a few exceptions, use of any photograph on the National Park Planner website requires a paid Royalty Free Editorial Use License or Commercial Use License. See the Photo Usage page for details.
Last updated on May 29, 2020
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