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Welcome Letter

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing


Put down those electronic devices; leave the web for a while; get fishing!

After about one year as MarineFisheries’ Director I’ve come to appreciate the great importance and impressive value of marine recreational fisheries found here in our Bay State. Whether from shore, a boat, or a for-hire charter or headboat vessel—targeting striped bass, cod, haddock, flounders, tautog, black sea bass, fluke, scup or bluefish, just to name a few—you’re guaranteed to have a terrific experience on the water. These fisheries are supported by vital shore-side bait and tackle services and boat providers. Many men, women, and children captivated by the wonders of the deep and shallows are these fisheries’ critical core.

I’ve also come to understand how our Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Panel’s advice and guidance have kept us focused on how best to spend saltwater fishing permit fees for improving angler access and opportunities. For example, in the spring of 2016 these funds helped create the Harwich artificial reef, as well as the reconstruction of the Bass River fishing pier.

Collecting accurate and detailed recreational fisheries’ data is a top priority for MarineFisheries. Angler surveys are conducted statewide as part of the federal Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP). Survey results provide scientists with important data used in stock assessments and many parts of the fisheries management process. Your continued participation and cooperation with samplers along the coast is paramount to the success and sustainability of our rich recreational fisheries.

This 2017 Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide is one way we demonstrate our high regard for marine recreational anglers and the industries that support them. Take note of the table listing Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby Winners. I’ll be there to recognize the 2016 award recipients. I look forward to record-breaking weights and lengths giving continued evidence that anglers are serious in their pursuit of the big one that won’t get away and benefit from MarineFisheries’ conservation measures designed to make recreational fishing a most rewarding experience. So, put down your electronic devices; get out on the water; leave the web for a while; and get fishing!

Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Charles D. Baker


Karen E. Polito

Lieutenant Governor

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Matthew A. Beaton


Department of Fish and Game

George N. Peterson Jr.


Mary-Lee King

Deputy Commissioner

Division of Marine Fisheries

Dr. David E. Pierce


January 2017

Marine Fisheries
Advisory Commission:

Raymond W. Kane Jr. – Chatham


Kalil Boghdan – Hamilton

William Doyle – Plymouth

Michael Pierdinock – Plymouth

Charles Quinn – South Dartmouth

Gus Sanfilippo – Gloucester

Arthur Sawyer – Gloucester

Andrew Walsh – Stoughton

Louis Williams – Salem

Marine Recreational Fisheries
Development Panel

Patrick Paquette – Hyannis


Kalil Boghdan – Hamilton

Mike Moss – Sutton

Michael Pierdinock – Plymouth

Bill Smith – Pembroke