Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing
The Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (GBNERR) was designated in 1989 and is part of a network of 29 Reserves across the nation. The Great Bay Reserve is managed by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department in cooperation with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The program sets aside important estuarine areas for long-term research, education and stewardship.
The Great Bay Reserve includes all of Great Bay, Little Bay and the tidal portions of the Bellamy, Oyster, Lamprey, Squamscott and Winnicut Rivers. In addition, there are 2,935 acres of upland that comprise the boundary of the Reserve. All Reserve lands are open to the public for hunting and fishing. Go to greatbaypartnership.org to view maps highlighting all conservation lands in the Great Bay area.
The efforts of the Reserve are focused at the Great Bay Discovery Center and the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center in Greenland off Route 33. The 50-acre site includes a 1,300-foot boardwalk, a high-tide-only boat access, and indoor and outdoor exhibits featuring the cultural and natural history of the Great Bay Estuary, as well as antique coastal hunting and fishing artifacts. The interpretive centers are open May to October and are free of charge.
Year round, the Reserve holds a number of special programs, including interpretive kayak tours and programs for children. The Reserve provides technical training for coastal decision makers through its Coastal Training Program and conducts coastal research and monitoring. The facilities feature a number of innovative technologies for managing stormwater and reducing energy consumption, including a porous pavement parking lot, composting toilets, solar roofing and a geothermal heating and cooling system.
Great Bay National
Estuarine Research Reserve
N.H. Fish and Game Department
225 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824
Great Bay Discovery Center/
Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center
89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH 03885
Volunteer for Great Bay!
Share your passion for the Great Bay and join the volunteer family at the Great Bay Discovery Center. Volunteers are needed to help implement the school and summer programs, staff the exhibit rooms, work on special events, help with research projects, and keep the grounds and gardens looking great.
Call the Great Bay Discovery Center at (603) 778-0015 or visit greatbay.org for more information.
2021 Free Fishing Days —
Saturday, January 16 and Saturday, June 5
- Recreational fishing by angling only
- All other regulations apply
- Saltwater or freshwater
- NO LICENSE REQUIRED*
* Participants in fishing tournaments must have a license, even on free fishing days.