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Recreational Fishing Rule Changes for Cod and Haddock in Effect for State Waters

Cheri Patterson: (603) 868-1095
Kevin Sullivan: (603) 868-1095

August 21, 2017

DURHAM, NH -- New recreational fishing measures for cod and haddock are now in place for New Hampshire state waters. The rules issued by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department complement measures put in place in July of this year for federal waters in the Gulf of Maine (more than three miles from shore).  The rules include the following changes: 


  • Recreational possession of cod is prohibited year round. Last year anglers were allowed to keep 1 cod per day during the months of August and September.
  • For haddock, the daily bag limit for anglers is reduced from 15 to 12. The minimum size required for haddock remains unchanged at 17 inches. In addition to the existing spring closure of March 1 through April 14, a fall closure for haddock will be in effect from September 17 through October 31.


The changes stem from the fact that the 2016 recreational catch in the Gulf of Maine was greater than predicted, according to a NOAA Fisheries Bulletin. The cod recreational harvest limit was exceeded by 92 percent. Haddock catch exceeded the harvest limit by 15 percent.


The new rules also address:

  • Implementing federal minimum sizes and possession limits for bluefin tuna in New Hampshire state waters;  and
  • Prohibiting the take of oysters, clams, and mussels from licensed aquaculture sites that are properly marked with yellow buoys by individuals other than the license holders or their designees.


To read the full text of the new rules, visit


For more information, contact Fish and Game’s Marine Fisheries Division at (603) 868-1095.

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