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Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing

Sale Prohibited

Seaweed, rockweed or sea moss of N.H. origin may not be sold outside the state. Softshell clams and oysters of N.H. origin, striped bass regardless of origin, and quahogs, littlenecks and cherrystones (Mercenaria mercenaria) less than 1 inch in shell thickness cannot be sold.

It is Unlawful to:

  • import any living marine plant or animal for release without a permit;
  • set a net so it extends beyond the thread of the stream. The thread of stream means the center of the main channel;
  • set a net within 1,000 feet of another net, measured along the thread of the stream;
  • Molest, pull, tend, possess or disturb gear used or marine species raised in a marine aquaculture operation;
  • take lobsters by diving, angling, spearing or dipping;
  • dump dead or injured fish or fish parts within bays, rivers, harbors or upon the shores. This does not restrict the use of fish or fish parts for chum or bait, nor the releasing of dead or injured undersized fish taken by angling;
  • be on a fishway without permission;
  • take salmon or striped bass by netting, except when landing by use of hand-held dip nets;
  • take finfish, horseshoe crabs, American eels or other species for commercial purposes (excluding lobster/crab) without obtaining a harvest permit, as further specified on Coastal Harvest.

Law Enforcement


It is unlawful to throw, dump, destroy or otherwise dispose of any fish, lobsters, crabs, or shellfish when a Conservation Officer has informed a person his boat, motor vehicle, wharf, dock or landing, or contents thereof, are about to be inspected. The same applies to any pot, trap, car, or any other receptacle used to catch or store lobsters or crabs. Any person who refuses or attempts to refuse to stand by for such inspection is guilty of a misdemeanor. Any lobsters or crabs, thrown or dumped or caused to be thrown or dumped, are prima facie evidence they were illegally taken. A person is guilty of a violation for each lobster or crab thrown or dumped.

Leave Lobster Pots Alone

Lobster pots, traps, warps (ropes), cars or buoys are private property, regardless of the location. This includes on the beach and in the rocks. No person except the owner or a conservation officer can possess, lift, molest or disturb them. To do so can result in a fine of $2,000 and up to 1 year in jail.