Recreational Saltwater Fishing

Recreational Saltwater Fishing License Requirement

All persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a NH Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold.

Buy a recreational fishing license online ($11)

Frequently asked questions about the NH Saltwater Recreational Fishing License

Seashore fishing guide - NH Fish the New Hampshire seacoast!
Click to download a seashore fishing guide, with fishing tips, locations, species, baits and more
2014 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest

2014 NH Saltwater Fishing Digest
- in flipbook, pdf or searchable web format!

Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) [formerly Marine Recreational Fisheries Statistic Survey (MRFSS)] - How does Fish and Game monitor the effort and success of our coastal anglers?

Help us collect fishing information

Striped Bass Volunteer Angler Survey (SBVAS)

Sea Run Brown Trout Survey - Berry's Brook

Shellfishing
Resources

Saltwater fish species

Coastal boating & shore fishing access sites

Coastal recreation - DES brochure listing access sites, from boat ramps to beaches (2007)

NH Licensed Charter and Party Boats

Tide charts - Maineharbors.com

NOAA Marine weather forecast

Coastal webcams - Maineharbors.com

NH Weekly Fishing Report (April - September)

Shoreline Striped Bass Hot Spots (PDF from NH Wildlife Journal magazine)

Saltwater fish consumption guidelines for N.H.

Circle Hooks: Reduce catch-and-release mortality (PDF brochure)

Party-boat fishing off the New Hampshire coast (PDF from NH Wildlife Journal magazine)

Links

Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission

New England Fisheries Management Council

Gulf of Maine Council

Coastal Conservation Association

Gulf of Maine Research Institute: Gulf of Maine Buoy

Northeast Regional Association of Coastal and Ocean Observing Systems

UNH Coastal Observing Center

Frequently asked questions

Does New Hampshire require a saltwater fishing license for recreational anglers?
Yes. As of January 1, 2011, all persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold. Click here for more information about the saltwater license.

Where is a good place to fish from the shore?
Click here for a map and list of access points.  Also, Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has an excellent list of Great Bay-area access points -- click here.

Are the stripers in?
Anglers begin catching striped bass on New Hampshire's coastline in large numbers in late May and early June, and will catch them throughout the summer months.  Isolated groups of fish can be caught following river herring runs up to coastal dams in the spring.  Check the N.H. Saltwater Fishing Digest for rules regarding fishing near fish ladders and dams on coastal rivers. For updates, check out the N.H. Weekly Fishing Report, a free email report that includes weekly recreational saltwater fishing updates for the N.H. coast, available April through September; to sign up, click here)

I launch my boat in New Hampshire and fish in Maine, where the striped bass regulations are different.  If I catch a legal striper by Maine regulations, but it is not legal by New Hampshire regulations, can I land it in New Hampshire?
No, New Hampshire length limits regarding take, possession, and transport of stripers differ from Maine.  Striped bass legally taken in Maine that do not meet the New Hampshire size and creel restrictions shall only be possessed on the waters of the Piscataqua and Salmon Falls rivers.

All striped bass landed in New Hampshire must meet New Hampshire's size and creel restrictions. No person shall cull any striped bass taken from or while on the waters under the jurisdiction of the state. A person cannot take, possess, or transport striped bass less than 28 inches in total length in New Hampshire.

The striped bass regulations as they appear in the Saltwater Fishing Digest are as follows: minimum length 28 inches; daily limit 2 fish; only 1 fish may be greater than 40" in total length; no closed season. Sale of striped bass is prohibited, regardless of origin. Netting is prohibited except when landing by use of a hand-held dip net. Gaffing is prohibited.  Head and tail must remain intact while on or leaving state waters or shores.

How can I obtain a N.H. Saltwater Fishing Digest?
Click here and on the publication cover at right to download the current NH Saltwater Fishing Digest. You can pick up a printed publication at Fish and Game's headquarters in Concord (603-271-3422) or the Department's Region 3 office in Durham, N.H. (603-868-1095).

Is there a website that has more NH saltwater fishing information?
For the moment, the best resource -- other than this site -- is the N.H. Saltwater Fishing Digest (see previous question).

Where can I talk to someone concerning questions about saltwater resources or rules?
There are marine biologists and law enforcement personnel at Fish and Game's Region 3 Office (603-868-1095) Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Do I need a license to fish in saltwater?
Yes. As of January 1, 2011, all persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold. Click here for more information and a Q&A about the saltwater license. Federal permits may also be required - see www.nero.noaa.gov/nero/neropermits.

Can children fish without a license?
Children under the age of 16, resident or nonresident, are not required to purchase a NH fishing license.

Are NH saltwater fish safe to eat?
Click here for the most recent ocean fish and shellfish consumption guidelines. Or, contact Fish and Game's Region 3 Office at 603-868-1095 or NH Department of Environmental Services at 603-559-1509.


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NH Fish and Game Dept.
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Concord, NH 03301

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