Unlawful Actions

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  • The sale of freshwater fish is prohibited.
  • Snagging fish in freshwaters is prohibited. Any fish accidentally snagged must be immediately released to the water.
  • No fish may be taken by use of a set line in freshwater.
  • Exceeding daily bag limits of fish is prohibited, whether taken from one or several water bodies.
  • No person may have in his possession at one time more wildlife than he may lawfully take in 2 days.
  • No person shall have live lake trout, landlocked salmon, brook trout, black bass, northern pike, or black crappie in their possession, except if the person is a bass tournament permittee or is an aquaculturist permittee or has a permit to import, possess, or release these fish.
  • Release of fish in waters other than where caught is prohibited. Fish must be returned to the water where taken.
  • Culling of fish, except during permitted bass tournaments, is prohibited.
  • The water surrounding any dam containing a fishway is closed to fishing. (See Rivers and Streams with Special Rules).
  • The use of alewives, carp or goldfish as live bait while fishing is prohibited. The use of shad or whitefish as bait for cusk is prohibited.
  • Importation of fish or their eggs, including bait fish, is prohibited without a special permit.
  • Except as otherwise specifically permitted, it is unlawful to use or have in possession a set line, net, fishing otter, trawl, grapple, spear, jack, jack light, poisons, explosives or electrical device or any other device for killing or stunning fish.
  • To counsel or aid another in violating a fishing rule is prohibited.
  • The use of lead sinkers (1 ounce or less) and jigs (less than 1 inch along its longest axis) is prohibited in all freshwater. Sale of lead sinkers (1 ounce or less) and jigs (less than 1 inch along its longest axis) is prohibited.
  • The use of a gaff to take fish in any fresh waters of the state is prohibited.

When in doubt about whether a fish you have caught is legal, play it safe and release the fish unharmed.


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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The New Hampshire Department of Fish & Wildlife allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with New Hampshire Department of Fish & Wildlife Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The New Hampshire Department of Fish & Wildlife neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,