Executive Director’s Message

Saltwater Marine Fishing Regulations New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing

Fish New Hampshire’s Coast

Though New Hampshire has the shortest coastline of any state that borders an ocean, it offers great sport fishing opportunities: striped bass, mackerel, flounder, tuna, haddock, and more. Our recreational and commercial fisheries are a time-honored tradition and a significant contributor to the state’s economy. Anglers are seeing quite a bit of opportunity in New Hampshire’s coastal waters these days.

I am a longtime seacoast resident, former commercial fisherman, and have had a lobster license for the past 19 years. I have seen many changes, including the warming of the water temperatures. So it is more important than ever that Fish and Game manages our coastal resources in the public trust. Our roots date back to 1865, when the Commission on Fisheries was established. In 1965, Fish and Game’s Marine Fisheries Division was established to oversee the increasingly complex task of managing coastal resources. Today, New Hampshire’s estuarine and saltwater species, including fish, lobsters, clams, and oysters, are managed by Marine Fisheries Division, based in Durham.

Our biologists work closely with other state and federal agencies to protect and maintain marine resources and habitats for recreational and commercial fisheries. These efforts are essential to rebuilding groundfish stocks, enhancing related habitat, and maintain healthy populations. Help Fish and Game staff monitor coastal species by taking part in our surveys. If you encounter Fish and Game’s trained survey staff at one of the many saltwater fishing access sites along New Hampshire’s seacoast or on the ice in the winter, I encourage you to take a few minutes and speak with them and participate in the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey, the Volunteer Angler Striped Bass Survey, or the Winter Smelt Survey. All data help our scientists to manage species better and ensure healthy populations for generations to come.

So enjoy the beauty and opportunity New Hampshire has to offer, year round.
See you on the coast!

Glenn Normandeau

Executive Director

N.H. Fish and Game Department

N.H. Fish and Game — Our Mission

As the guardian of the state’s fish, wildlife and marine resources, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works in partnership with the public to:

  • Conserve, manage and protect these resources and their habitats;
  • Inform and educate the public about these resources; and
  • Provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate these resources.

The N.H. Fish and Game Department receives Federal Assistance from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, and thus prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, age and sex, pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or service, please contact or write the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Division of Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration, 4001 N. Fairfax Drive, Mail Stop: WSFR – 4020, Arlington, Virginia 22203, Attention: Civil Rights Coordinator for Public Programs.

Photo © Dan Hayward

About This Publication

This publication is a summary of fishing regulations. It is not the full laws or rules. It is intended only as a guide to seasons and other necessary marine information. For more detailed information concerning regulations, consult the New Hampshire Fish and Game Law Book, Fish and Game Administrative Rules, or contact your local Conservation Officer. Fish and Game laws and rules may be viewed at any Fish and Game office; Legislative Services, Administrative Rules, in the State House Annex, 25 Capitol St., Room 219, Concord, NH 03301; and at fishnh.com or nh.gov. A compendium of Fish and Game laws may also be purchased at Department headquarters in Concord for $41.

Wildlife Heritage Foundation of New Hampshire

The official non-profit partner of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, the Wildlife Heritage Foundation raises money and works with wildlife professionals and conservation education partners to fund Fish and Game’s conservation of wildlife and natural places. The foundation has supported a wide range of projects, including tracking and mapping of ovigerous female lobsters and monitoring river herring passage over the breached Wadleigh Falls Dam on the Lamprey River. Funding for the foundation’s grants program comes from individual and corporate donors and from the annual auction of fish and game permits and licenses. The foundation accepts general and targeted cash donations, as well as planned gifts and tangible assets; in most cases, contributions are tax-deductible.

To learn more about the foundation or make an online donation, visit nhwildlifeheritage.org or contact (603) 496-2778 or admin@nhwildlifeheritage.org. Thanks for your support!

Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration:
75 Years of Restoring, Managing and Researching Fish and Wildlife

Our thanks to hunters, shooters, anglers, boaters and our industry partners! With the purchase of firearms and ammunition, archery equipment, fishing equipment, and motorboat fuels, hunters, anglers and manufacturers pay excise taxes that are distributed to state fish and wildlife agencies for approved projects.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service joins state fish and wildlife agencies, private industry and the public in a partnership to conserve fish and wildlife resources.

With help from over $150 million in federal aid funding over nearly three quarters of a century, N.H. Fish and Game has been able to:

  • Gain knowledge through research
  • Manage fish and wildlife populations
  • Acquire Wildlife Management Areas
  • Improve and protect aquatic habitat
  • Restore fish and wildlife populations
  • Conduct Hunter and Aquatic Education programs
  • Construct, upgrade and maintain more than 140 public access sites for boating and fishing.

Your purchase of hunting and fishing equipment and motorboat fuels supports wildlife and sport fish restoration and boating access facilities.

Share your love of fishing—
Become a Volunteer “Let’s Go Fishing” Instructor!

For more information on the “Let’s Go Fishing” program, call (603) 271-3212.

Aquatic Resources Education
N.H. Fish and Game Department