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Fishing Seasons & Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing

Species

Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily Creel Limit

minimum Length1

Trout 2
Lakes, ponds, major rivers 3, 5, 6

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

3

Housatonic River 4

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

1

20″

All other rivers and brooks

Apr. 1 – Sept. 10
Sept. 11 – Mar. 31, 2018

8
3

Lake Trout
Wachusett Reservoir 6

(see note 6)

3

Quabbin 6

(see note 6)

2

18″

Landlocked Salmon 6

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

2

15″

American Shad 7 (Connecticut and Merrimack rivers only, including their tributaries.)

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

3

Chain Pickerel

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

5

15″

Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth, singly or combined):

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

5

12″

Northern Pike

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

1

28″

Tiger Muskellunge

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

1

28″

Walleye

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

5

14″

Smelt 8

Jan. 1 – Feb. 28
May 16 – Dec. 31

All Other Freshwater Species 9

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

Striped Bass and Herring: For season, size, and possession limits call the Division of Marine Fisheries at (617) 626-1520, or visit mass.gov/marinefisheries.
Possession of: Sturgeon (all species), American Brook Lamprey, Atlantic (sea-run) Salmon, Bridle Shiner, Burbot, Eastern Silvery Minnow, Lake Chub, Longnose Sucker, and Northern Redbelly Dace is illegal! If caught, release immediately. This means remove hook or cut line and return fish to water immediately — do not pose for photographs, place on a stringer, hold in a net, or delay in any way the immediate return and release of these rare fish to the water!

Reptiles and Amphibians

Species

Open season

Daily bag limit

Possession Limit

Size Limit

For Personal Use
Bullfrog, Green Frog

July 16 – Sept. 30

12

24

none

Snapping Turtle

Jan. 1 – Apr. 30
July 17 – Dec. 31

2

2

12 in.*

For Bait
Bullfrog, Green Frog, Pickerel Frog, Wood Frog

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

10

10

less than
2½ in.**

Free Fishing Weekend

June 2 & 3, 2018 —
No freshwater license needed!

Spears, Bow and arrows

May be used to take White Suckers and Carp only. Fishing license required.

Have any questions regarding saltwater fishing regulations?

Call the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries information hotline at (617) 626-1520 or visit mass.gov/marinefisheries or email marine.fish@state.ma.us