Welcome to 2023-24 New Hampshire Saltwater Fishing
New Rules for 2023
- $15 derelict gear surcharge to certain marine licenses (License Information)
- Spiny Dogfish commercial trip limit increased to 7,500 lbs, current Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission trip limit (Commercial Saltwater Fishing — Finfish)
- Shortfin Mako Shark — Take and possession prohibited (Recreational Saltwater Fishing — Finfish)
- Atlantic Mackerel — Recreational — 20 fish harvest or possession daily limit. (Recreational Saltwater Fishing — Finfish)
- Black Sea Bass — Recreational minimum size limit 16.5 inches (Recreational Saltwater Fishing — Finfish)
- Recreational groundfish (Recreational Saltwater Fishing — Finfish):
- Atlantic Cod — minimum size limit 22 inches and open season of September 1–October 7 for all anglers
- Haddock — 20 fish daily limit
- Effective Friday, May 26, and for the remainder of the 2023 season, recreational striped bass anglers may take, posses, or transport only one fish between 28 inches and less than 31 inches per day. All other striped bass rules remain unchanged and in effect.
Adventure on the Coast
As the Director of the NH Fish and Game Department it is my pleasure to welcome you to our digest of regulations for saltwater fishing on our seacoast. Though I live up north, my uncle was a commercial lobsterman in Maine and I spent many a day as a kid digging clams and harvesting oysters. Our coastal anglers can experience sport fishing at its finest including: striped bass, bluefish, mackerel, flounder, tuna, haddock, black sea bass, and more.
New Hampshire’s estuarine and saltwater species, including fish, lobsters, clams, and oysters, are managed by Fish and Game’s Marine Fisheries Division, based in Durham. Our biologists work closely with other state and federal agencies to protect and maintain our marine resources and habitats for both recreational and commercial fisheries. To read more about some of their important work visit wildnh.com/marine/projects.html.
Our staff are busy out and about as well and you can help. 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 this winter, I encourage you to take a few minutes to speak with them and participate in the Access Point Angler Intercept Survey or the Winter Smelt Survey. Fish and Game also invites striped bass anglers to report catch and effort online as well. Find out about these and other survey efforts involving the public at wildnh.com/marine.
So whatever your interest, or if you are new to saltwater angling, enjoy the beauty of the New Hampshire coast and all that we have to offer in our small state. See you on the water!
Scott R. Mason
N.H. Fish and Game Department