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Recreational Lobster and Crabbing Regulations

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing

Recreational Regulations

Recreational Lobster Regulations

All Areas

Trap Limit

With trap endorsement, may fish 10 traps per household.

Bag Limit

15 lobsters per day. Lobsters may be stored and retrieved in excess of this limit, provided fishing activity is not occurring.

Night fishing

No trap fishing ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise.

Egg Bearing Females

It is unlawful to possess or land any lobster that is egg bearing, from which eggs have been forcibly removed, or that has come in contact with any substance capable of removing eggs.

V-Notch

It is unlawful to possess or land any female lobster that bears a v-shaped notch or indentation on the base of the tail flipper to the right of the center flipper that is 1⁄8″ or deeper with or without setal hairs.

Prohibited Gears

It is unlawful to possess or land any lobster taken by spear gun, pole spear, or other device that pierces the shell as means of harvest; by dipping or dipnet; by star trap or any trap that is fished in an open configuration until retrieved; by dragging or the use of any hauled nets or dredges; or snaring and poles with loops.

Gulf of Maine Recreational Lobster Area

Minimum Size

31⁄4″

Maximum Size

5″

Escape Vent

One rectangular vent 115⁄16″ x 53⁄4″ or two circular vents of 27⁄16″ in diameter

Outer Cape Cod Recreational Lobster Area

Minimum Size

33⁄8″

Maximum Size

Escape Vent

One rectangular vent 2″ x 53⁄4″ or two circular vents of 25⁄8″ in diameter

Southern New England Recreational Lobster Area

Minimum Size

33⁄8″

Maximum Size

51⁄4″

Escape Vent

One rectangular vent 2″ x 53⁄4″ or two circular vents of 25⁄8″ in diameter

Recreational Crab Regulations

Species

Minimum Size

Possession Limit

Closed Season

Egg Bearing

Night Fishing

Blue Crabs

5” shell width

25 crabs

January 1 – April 30

Prohibited

No tending or hauling traps ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise. Use of non-trap gears is allowed at night.

Other Edible Crabs (not including green crabs)

No size requirement

50 edible crabs combined and not to exceed 25 blue crabs.

January 1 – April 30

Prohibited

No tending or hauling traps ½ hour after sunset to ½ hour before sunrise. Use of non-trap gears is allowed at night.

Crab Identification

Blue Crab

Rock Crab

Jonah Crab

Green Crab