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This is the 2015 Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Guide

This guide contains regulations effective January 1st, 2015.  For regulations effective today through December 31st, 2014, please refer to the 2014 Massachusetts Fish & Wildlife Guide.

Fishing Seasons

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Open season
(All Dates Inclusive)

Daily Creel

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, 2015

8
3

LAKE TROUT

Wachusett Reservoir 6

(see note 6)

3

Quabbin 6

(see note 6)

2

18"

SALMON (Landlocked)

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

2

15"

AMERICAN SHAD 7 (Connecticut and Merrimack rivers and their tributaries)

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

3

AMERICAN SHAD 7 (All other waters, catch and release only)

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

0

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 MUSKIE (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

Jan. 1 – Dec. 31

Snapping Turtle

Jan. 1 – April 31, July 17 – Dec. 30

2

12" shell length

STRIPED BASS and HERRING: For season, size, and possession limits call the Division of Marine Fisheries at (617) 626-1520, or visit their website at www.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!

  1. Minimum length is measured as the straight line (not curved over the body) from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. The tips of any forked tail may be squeezed together for the final measurement.
  2. Trout applies to Brook, Brown, Rainbow, and Tiger Trout (a cross between a female Brown and a male Brook Trout). From Apr. 1 to Sept. 10, no more than 8 trout (as defined) may be taken daily, and only 3 of those trout may be from lakes, ponds, or major rivers3. From Sept. 11 to Mar. 31, no more than 3 trout (as defined) may be taken daily.
  3. Major Rivers: Childs, Coonamessett, Deerfield, Farmington, Green (Colrain), Green (Great Barrington), Ipswich, Jones, Mashpee, Millers, Nissitissit, North (Colrain), North (West Branch), Parker, Quaboag, Quinapoxet, Quinebaug, Seven Mile, Santuit, Scorton Creek, Shawsheen, Squannacook, Stillwater (Sterling, Princeton), Swift (East Branch), Swift (Winsor Dam to Ware River, except as posted), Tully (East and West Branches), Ware, Ware (East Branch), Westfield (all branches).
  4. Mainstem Housatonic only, from the confluence of the East and West Branches to the MA–CT line, exclusive of the catch-and-release areas where no trout may be kept.
  5. Special Brown Trout water: South Pond (Quacumquasit), Brookfield. Total daily creel is 3 trout but only 1 may be a Brown Trout and it must be at least 15".
  6. Quabbin and Wachusett Reservoirs: Opening and closing dates are set by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. For Quabbin Reservoir visit www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/massparks/region-central/quabbin-reservoir.html or call (413) 323-7221. For Wachusett / Sudbury Reservoirs visit www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr/water-res-protection/watershed-mgmt/wachusett-and-sudbury-reservoir-fishing-guide.html or call (508) 792-7806. Quabbin Reservoir and its tributary streams within the Quabbin Reservation are closed to all fishing except during the open season as set by the Department of Conservation and Recreation. The Wachusett/Sudbury/West Waushacum fishing season normally opens the first Saturday in April and closes Nov. 30, but the DCR/DWSP may alter those dates depending on ice conditions. At Wachusett Reservoir, shoreline fishing only is allowed from Gate 6 on Route 70 to Gate 36 on Route 110.
  7. American Shad are Catch-and-Release ONLY on all waters except the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers and their tributaries.
  8. Smelt may be taken by hook and line only.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
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