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Public Information Meeting for Licensed Fishing Bait Dealers


The Inland Fisheries Division of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is reviewing its current Freshwater Fishing Bait Dealer rules and regulations to see if they can be improved to benefit bait dealers, Fish and Game, and the state’s angling community.


In order to provide an opportunity for input and suggestions from the bait dealer community, the Department will hold a public information meeting on March 29, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at Fish and Game Headquarters at 11 Hazen Drive, Concord, NH.


"A lot of changes have transpired in recent years, and we want to ensure that we are keeping up with the evolution of these changes," said Jason Smith, Inland Fisheries Division Chief.


"The current rules for licensed fishing bait dealers have served us well, but we feel that some adjustments may be helpful to assist you with serving New Hampshire anglers more effectively and efficiently, meanwhile protecting the State of New Hampshire’s precious natural resources. We encourage licensed bait dealers to attend and bring forward any ideas and suggestions you may have," said Smith.


Baitfish Species and Import Rules


Approved Baitfish Species: Possession, Importation and Release

NH laws and Fish and Game rules related to:


Importing and Releasing Wildlife (RSA 207:14)
No person shall import, possess, sell, exhibit, or release any live marine species or wildlife, or the eggs or progeny thereof, without first obtaining a permit from the NH Fish and Game Department's Executive Director.


Possession and Use of Live Fish for Bait (Fis 402.08)
Only the following species shall be possessed and used as live fish for bait when fishing any freshwaters of the state:


Common name (Scientific name)


Importation of Finfish for Bait (Fis 502.07)
Licensed bait dealers shall obtain a permit from the NH Fish and Game Department (Fis 1104.07) before importing any shipment or lot of baitfish from hatchery sources or wild stock. Such permits shall be issued to import only:


Scientific name, Common name

  • Catostomus commersoni, common/white sucker
  • Erimyzon oblonguscreek, chub sucker
  • Fundulus sp., tomcod/killifish
  • Notemigonus crysoleucas, golden shiner/Arkansas shiner
  • Luxilis cornutu, common shiner
  • Notropis hudsonius, spot tail shiner
  • Hybognathus regius, Hunt's shiner/Eastern silvery minnow
  • Notropis atherinoides, emerald shiner
  • Couesius plumbeus, Northern/lake chub
  • Semotilus atromaculatus, creek chub
  • Semotilus corporalis, fallfish
  • Osmerus mordax, rainbow smelt [See Fis 502.07 (c) paragraph (i)]


No baitfish shall be imported from states known to have waters infested with zebra mussels or from states which allow the import of baitfish from states infested with zebra mussels unless the source of baitfish is approved free of zebra mussels (Fis 502.09 and Fis 502.10).


Release of Fish (Fis 402.06)

(a) No live fish shall be released in any waters of the state unless they shall be returned into the waters from where taken except as permitted by the executive director under a permit to release specified in Fis 805.


(b) No person shall have live lake trout, landlocked salmon, brook trout, black bass, northern pike, or black crappie in their possession, except if the person is participating in a permitted bass tournament, or holds a current aquaculture permit, importation permit, possession permit or permit to release for the fish in possession.