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A Message from the Director

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing

Saltwater Fishing’s Irresistible Lure

My day-to-day activity as the Director of the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) offers me countless opportunities to appreciate the roles we play in the management and preservation of recreational fisheries in Massachusetts. Dedicated research projects studying the biology and behavior of our most beloved sport fish, free angler education clinics, habitat restoration, and public access projects, all of these programs promote and support a healthy connection to our coastal waters. The funds from your Massachusetts Recreational Saltwater fishing permit are dedicated solely to these activities, preserving our chances to experience the unmatched thrill of saltwater angling for generations to come. Commissioner Ron Amidon – a sportsman and recreational fisherman himself – and I offer our gratitude to everyone who participates in recreational saltwater fishing, and we hope to extend your excitement for the 2018 season with the articles and information provided in this guide.

As I reflect on my personal connections to recreational saltwater angling I think of my young grandson who is captivated with the activity, specifically the thrilling hit of a striped bass! This past year I was fortunate to see other children discover the joy of fishing for the first time at some of our DMF-sponsored saltwater angler education youth fishing clinics. We met families from all over the state at events in Fort Taber, Bass River, and Salem Willows Fishing Piers.

Perhaps nowhere else is the bounty of our waters more visually striking than in the 2017 list of Saltwater Derby winners. Improving all anglers’ access to the water, whether it be from shore or vessel, is one of our top priorities. This public access is essential for those who wish to target derby worthy fish!

We will also continue to be diligent with updates concerning species management and regulation changes. We are committed to continually improving the precision of catch estimates, ensuring we are properly managing a host of stocks and sharing our findings openly with the public. Support of this research through collaboration with neighboring states will offer a wider scope of study on many of our most prized recreational species.

This Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide is published each year to provide you with everything you need to get the best fishing gear, locate services and businesses within your community, and, of course, a detailed overview of saltwater species found in our waters. We look forward to seeing all of you out enjoying all that Massachusetts Saltwater fishing has to offer!

Your Permit Dollars at Work

Public Access

  • Develops and maintains three large fishing piers – Yarmouth, Oak Bluffs, Newburyport
  • Funds small projects improving or repairing existing access sites – Rockport, Marblehead, Gloucester, Manchester, Beverly, Weymouth, Quincy, Marshfield, Duxbury, Fall River, Swansea, Yarmouth and more!
  • Funds the deployment of dedicated recreational artificial reefs – Harwich Reef

Angler Education

  • Provides free clinics for young anglers
  • Develops online resources for classroom educators

Improved Recreational Catch Data

  • Increases the sampling size for the Marine Recreational Information Program and the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey

Research and Conservation

  • River herring population management and restoration work
  • Striped bass migratory patterns and genetics

For more information see our website www.mass.gov/marinefisheries