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Fishing Seasons & Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon Massachusetts Hunting & Fishing

 

Fishing Seasons and Limits

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

Stiped Bass and Herring: For season, size, and possession limits call the Division of Marine Fisheries at (617) 626-1520, or visit their website at 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!

Ice Fishing

All anglers are allowed up to five hooks through the ice at one time. A hook is defined as an angling device attached to the line of a tip-up or jig stick that is designed to take one fish at a time. This includes plain hooks, treble hooks, spinners, spoons, bait harnesses, jigs, or plugs. The device in question is not restricted to a single hook – lures with multiple treble hooks count as one hook in the water. Hooks can be on any combination of tip-ups or jig sticks, but no more than five hooks total.

All anglers must be able to tend their own hooks (tip-ups or jig sticks). Adults may assist minors with cutting holes or removing hooks, but minors must be capable of tending tip-ups or jig sticks on their own.

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.**

Fishing license required. Bullfrogs, green frogs, wood frogs, and pickerel frogs may be taken by hand or by hand-held dip net. Snapping turtles may be taken by hand, hand-held dip net, or gaff.