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New Hampshire

Saltwater Fishing

Northern Shrimp, Other Invertebrates & Marine Plants

Finfish and shellfish are not the only species that can be harvested from New Hampshire waters. The following are other species that can be harvested. Licenses may be required. See table below for details.

Invertebrates/Marine Plants

Species

License Requirement

Season

Minimum Length

Daily Bag Limit

Gear Regulations & Special Rules

Clamworms

Recreational:
None

No closed season

None

1 quart/day

  • Residents only
  • For personal use only
  • Only handheld tools with handles not to exceed 18 inches

Commercial:
Commercial
Saltwater License

No closed season

None

None

  • Only handheld tools with handles not to exceed 18 inches

Horseshoe Crab

Harvest Permit

No closed season

None

10/day (either taken or in possession)

  • Reporting required

Sea Urchins

Personal use:
None

By Hand or Pot:
Oct. 1 – March 15

2 inches (longest diameter)

None

  • Sublegal sea urchins shall be culled immediately after capture and returned immediately to the sea

Commercial:
Commercial
Saltwater License

By Hand or Pot:
Oct. 1 – March 15

Sled:
Dec. 15 – March 15

2 inches
(longest diameter)

None

  • Sublegal sea urchins shall be culled immediately after capture and returned immediately to the sea
  • Helpers working under the Commercial Saltwater License shall not take by diving
  • No possession of other marine species including lobsters, finfish or shellfish if taken by sled
  • Gear: Call Marine Fisheries Division for specific gear regulations — (603) 868-1095

Seaweeds

None

No closed season

None

3 bushels/day

  • Residents or summer residents only
  • May be taken below the high water mark during daylight hours only
  • Do not detach or injure the holdfasts of the seaweed when cutting
  • Owner’s permission is required to take flats-weed or seaweed from saltmarsh or flats
  • No seaweed may be piled below the high water mark to be hauled away
  • Sale is prohibited outside the state

Northern Shrimp

Call Marine Fisheries Division for current rules — (603) 868-1095 or see Marine Fishing Rules Fis 607.01 at nh.gov

Jonah vs. Atlantic Rock Crabs

Jonah crab
(Cancer borealis)

Jonah crab
  • Front edge of carapace is jagged with undefined “teeth” (Jonah = jagged)
    Jonah crab shell
  • Local name “Jonah crab”
  • Less aggressive when handled
  • Larger than rock crabs (carapace width up to 7 inches)

Atlantic rock crab
(Cancer irroratus)

Atlantic rock crab
  • Front edge of carapace has smooth defined “teeth”
    Atlantic rock crab shell
  • Local names include “sand” crab or “peekytoe”
  • More aggressive when handled
  • Smaller than Jonah crabs (carapace width up to 5 inches)