New Hampshire Freshwater Fishing
New Hampshire • Maine
All New Hampshire and Maine fishing licenses are valid for the taking of fish from NH-Maine interstate waters listed below.
- Umbagog Lake in Errol/Cambridge, NH, and Upton, ME, which includes the waters of the Androscoggin River downstream to the Errol Dam, the waters of the Magalloway River upstream to coordinates 44.795602° -071.062732° to 44.795602° -071.061793° using WGS84 map datum within New Hampshire and the waters of the Rapid River upstream to the marker at Cedar Stump in Maine.
- Province Lake in Effingham/Wakefield, NH, and Parsonsfield, ME.
- Balch Pond in Wakefield, NH, and Acton/Newfield, ME.
- Horn Pond in Wakefield, NH, and Acton, ME.—The northern terminus of Horn Pond will be delineated by signage.
- Great East Lake in Wakefield, NH, and Acton, ME.
- Milton Watershed in Milton, NH, and Lebanon, ME (Milton Watershed includes all of the Milton Three Ponds—Northeast Pond, Milton Pond and Townhouse Pond, beginning at the dam in Milton to the influx of the Branch River and the Salmon Falls River).
- Lower Kimball Pond in Chatham, NH, and Fryeburg, ME.
- Spaulding Pond in Milton, NH, and Lebanon, ME.
- Salmon Falls River in Wakefield, Milton, Rochester, Somersworth and Rollinsford, NH, and Acton, Berwick and South Berwick, ME, including the upper reach of the Salmon Falls River beginning at the outlet dam of Great East Lake, also known as State Line Canal, to a point downstream marked by signage delineating the northern terminus of Horn Pond.
Whenever a period of time is named during which an act is permitted or prohibited, both the first and second dates named are included within such period.
Ice Fishing Restrictions (NH • ME)
Fish may be taken through the ice only from January 1 through March 31 in lakes and ponds (except cusk and salmon).
It is unlawful to:
- Use more than five (5) lines; except on Great East Lake where no more than two (2) lines can be used.
- Take, sell or possess for use as bait any of the following fish, dead or living—pickerel, goldfish, yellow perch, white perch, bass, sunfish, crappie, horned pout, carp or any spiny-finned fish;
Ice Fishing Shacks
No person who owns any shack or temporary structure used for ice fishing shall place, or allow to be placed, the shack or structure on the ice more than 3 days before the waters on which shack or structure is located are open to ice fishing.
All ice fishing shacks, while on the ice, must have the name and address of the owner on the outside in 2-inch letters.
Ice fishing shacks shall be removed from the ice within 3 days after those waters close to ice fishing.
Open Water Restrictions (NH • ME)
It is unlawful to:
- Have more than two (2) lines in use;
- Take, sell or possess for use as bait any of the following fish, dead or living—pickerel, goldfish, yellow perch, white perch, bass, sunfish, crappie, horned pout, carp or any spiny finned fish;
New Hampshire – Maine General Interstate Rules
Bag Limits and Minimum Lengths
|Black Bass |
(Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass)
|January 1 – March 31||2-fish daily limit; only 1 fish more than 14 inches|
|April 1 – May 14||2-fish daily limit; only 1 fish more than 14 inches|
|May 15 – June 30||Catch and release only||Artificial lures and flies only|
|July 1 – December 31||2-fish daily limit; only 1 fish more than 14 inches|
|Brook Trout||January 1 – September 30||2 fish daily limit; Minimum length 6 inches in lakes||Catch and release only October 1 – December 31|
|Rainbow Trout||January 1 – September 30||2 fish daily limit; Minimum length 10 inches in lakes and ponds and 6 inches in rivers and streams||Catch and release only October 1 – December 31|
|Brown Trout||January 1 – September 30||2 fish daily limit; Minimum length 10 inches in lakes and ponds and 6 inches in rivers and streams||Catch and release only October 1 – December 31|
|Lake Trout||January 1 – September 30||2 fish daily limit; Minimum length 18 inches||Catch and release only October 1 – December 31|
|Landlocked Salmon||April 1 – September 30||2 fish daily limit; Minimum length 14 inches||Catch and release only October 1 – December 31|
|Chain Pickerel||Open year round||10 fish daily limit; no length limit|
|Smelt||Open year round||2 quart daily limit||Angling only|
|Cusk||April 1 – December 31||None|
|All other species||Open year round||None|
Exceptions to New Hampshire – Maine General Interstate Rules
|Great East Lake||No more than 2 lines during ice fishing season; lake trout min. length is 16 inches; |
No smelt may be taken in tributaries
|Lower Kimball Pond||Use of dip nets not over 18 inches in diameter shall be permitted between sunset and 12 midnight during the open water season for smelt|
|Salmon Falls River||Closed to taking fish through the ice|
|Umbagog Lake||That portion of Umbagog Lake north of a straight line between Molls Rock, Errol, |
New Hampshire and the red post between Spillman and Glassy Coves, Magalloway Plantation, Maine shall be closed to ice fishing; brook trout minimum length is 18 inches; brook trout daily limit is 1 fish
For that portion of the river between N.H. and Vermont. “Connecticut River” means all waters of the river including the bays, set backs and tributaries, only to the first highway bridge crossing said tributaries on the Vermont and New Hampshire sides.
All New Hampshire resident and Vermont resident fishing licenses are valid for the taking of fish from the Connecticut River as defined above. All other nonresidents with a N.H. nonresident fishing license shall only take fish east of the Vermont low water mark while on the Connecticut River.
Open to fishing all year, except no fishing Oct. 16 – Dec. 31 from the confluence of the Upper Ammonoosuc River and the Connecticut River in Northumberland, NH, to the northern boundary of the town of Canaan, VT.
No more than 6 ice fishing devices are allowed. When fishing in open water, no more than 2 lines may be used.
The rules below apply during the open season for fishing.
- American Shad: Catch and release only.
- Atlantic Salmon: No open season for Atlantic salmon until declared by the Connecticut River Atlantic Salmon Commission.
- Black Bass (Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass): The daily bag limit for black bass is 2 fish, of which only one may be greater than 16 inches, from January 1 through March 31.
- The daily limit for black bass from April 1 through May 14 and June 16 to June 30 is 2 fish.
- Between May 15 and June 15, all black bass shall be immediately released unharmed, at the site of catch, to the waters from which taken.
- The daily limit for black bass from July 1 through December 31 is 5 fish.
- During the period beginning May 15 and ending June 15, black bass shall be taken only by artificial lures and flies.
- Black Crappie, Yellow and White Perch, Sunfish, Horned Pout (Bullhead): The daily bag limit for each species shall be 25 fish and the aggregate daily limit shall not exceed 50 fish.
- Brook, Brown and Rainbow Trout: The season for taking brook, brown or rainbow trout by all legal methods shall open on January 1 and close October 15.
- Through open water, the daily limit is 5 fish or 5 pounds (whichever limit is first reached), except the daily limit is 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Rte. 18 bridge.
- Through the ice, the daily limit is 2 fish, except the daily limit is 1 fish from the Samuel Moore Dam downstream to the Rte. 18 bridge.
- From the Pittsburg, NH-Canaan, VT boundary downstream to the bridge that crosses the Connecticut River from West Stewartstown to Canaan, VT, from January 1 through March 31, all trout and salmon shall be immediately released unharmed and fishing will be permitted with barbless, single hook lures and flies only.
- Carp: May be taken by any legal method and by bow and arrow with cord attached, in that part of the river beginning at the point on the northern boundary of Grafton County in New Hampshire which is directly opposite the town of Concord, VT, south to the Massachusetts border.
- Chain Pickerel: The daily limit is 10 fish.
- Northern Pike: The daily limit is 1 fish; minimum total length 28 inches.
- Round Whitefish: Rules pertaining to the take of Round Whitefish may be changing in 2017. Check with the Inland Fisheries Division at (603) 271-2501.
- Walleye (Pike Perch): No person shall take walleye 16 to 18 inches; the daily limit is 4 fish, of which only 1 can be larger than 18 inches.
From a point 1,600 feet upstream from the bridge in North Stratford upstream to a point 250 feet below the Lyman Falls Dam in North Stratford, and marked by a sign, the following restrictions apply: Fishing shall be permitted by artificial lures and flies only. All lures and flies shall have barbless hooks or shall have all barbs pinched so they will not interfere with removal of the hook from the fish. All fish are to be immediately released unharmed.
Vernon Dam in Vernon, Vermont, and Hinsdale, New Hampshire, shall be closed to all fishing to a point 150 feet below the dam. Wilder Dam in Wilder, Vermont, and Lebanon, New Hampshire, shall be closed to all fishing to a point 150 feet below the dam.
New Hampshire • Massachusetts
All New Hampshire and Massachusetts fishing licenses are valid for the taking of fish from NH-MA interstate waters listed below.
- Bent Pond in Winchester, NH, and Warwick, MA.
- Long Pond in Pelham, NH, and Dracut, MA.
- Lake Monomonac in Rindge, NH, and Winchendon, MA.
- Robbins Pond in Rindge, NH, and Winchendon, MA.
- Tuxbury Pond in South Hampton, NH, and Amesbury, MA.
There are no closed seasons for taking any species, by all legal methods.
For all species: see Lakes and Ponds: General Fishing Rules .
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