New Hampshire has great fishing spots and a diversified range of fish on its coastlines. Whether you are a seasoned angler, hobbyist, or want to spend some good time with friends and family don’t hesitate to get your license done. Adhering to the fishing laws is a must to keep the natural fishing opportunities in New Hampshire.

General Rules:

Species– Black Bass (Large and Small mouth Bass)

Season: 1st January—31st March

  • The daily limit of Black Bass is 2. Just 1 fish can be bigger than 16 inches.

Exceptions:

  1. Gregg Lake
  2.  Warren Lake
  3.  Clement Pond
  4.  Grassy Pond

 

Season: 1st April – 14th May

  • Limited to 2 fish a day and no length restrictions.

Season: 15th May to 15th June

  • Catching fish is permitted but needs to be released.

Season: 16th June—30th June

  • 2 fish a day and no length limitations

Season: 1st July – 31st December

  • 5 fish daily limit; no length limits.

 

Species: Lake Trout

Season: 1st January—30th September

  • Maximum 2 fish a day and minimum allowed length is 18 inches
  • Bag limitations for salmon and trout fish are 2. Fishers can take 2 salmon otherwise 2 trout or 1 from each.

 

Species: Landlocked Salmon

Season: 1st April—30th September

  • The daily limit of landlocked salmon is 2 and must not be less than 15 inches. 
  • The bag limitation that applies to this species is similar to the lake trout.
  • Fishing landlocked salmon is restricted during 1st October to 31st March.

 

Species: Suckers

Fishing Laws in New Hampshire

Season: No closings for ice-fishing, angling, or traps.

  • No daily limits. Also, you can take any size and length.

 

Species: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and their hybrids

Fishing Laws in New Hampshire

Season: Open water 

  • The daily limit is 5 fish or 5 pounds whichever occurs first. No limitations on length. 
  • Fishing of this species is prohibited between one hour before sunrise and two hours after sunset.

Season: Through the ice

  • Limited to 2 fish per day. Length limitations not applied.

Restrictions:

  • It is prohibited to sell original New Hampshire rockweed, sea moss, or Seaweed externally. 
  • A person is strictly warned to leave lobster pots, warps, tarps alone as they are private property. No individual is allowed to disturb, lift, or molest a fish and will be fined $2000 or up to 1 year of jail if found to do so. Exceptions include the owner or a Conservation Officer.
  • Without permission, a person is not allowed to buy in any fish or plant for release from the water.
  • Fishermen are restricted to be on the fishway without permission
  • It is unlawful to take lobsters by diving, angling, spearing, or dipping.
  • You cannot disturb, pull, or molest any aquatic plants, animals raised in a aquaculture.
  • It is banned to set a net beyond the center of the main channel or within 1,000 feet of another net.
  • A fisherman is prohibited to collect American eels, finfish, and similar other kinds for selling purposes.  You need to get a harvest permission.
  • Do not dump injured or dead fish near the rivers, bay, shores, or harbor.

Catch and Release:

  • Be very careful with the fish and do not overplay as it might cause weakness in recovering. Release as quickly as possible.
  • Do not keep out of the water for a longer period. Always try to keep the fish in the water. It is wise to use a fine mesh net while landing fish to avoid injuries.
  • Extra care is required when releasing a fish from the hook. Do not squeeze or try to touch the fish when handling it. You can gently turn it upside down or hold it in the middle for better release.
  • Use a forefinger or thumb to untighten the hook or carry a small plier instead. If neither of the technique works, cut the leader closer to the hook to let it rust or fall out.
  • When releasing a tired fish carefully hold it in a swimming position with one hand at the bottom of the jaw and the other controlling tail. Keep moving the fish gently back and forth in the water until it can swim perfectly.

Frequently Asked Question:

  • Do I need to get my license while fishing in New Hampshire?

Both residents and non-residents will require a license while fishing in NH. Saltwater fishing would require a Recreational Saltwater Fishing License which is $11. This applies to individual anglers of 16 and above who are fishing for finfish from coastal and estuarine waters of New Hampshire.

Clam and Oyster license is available to NH residents only. You need to get an Oyster license anyway regardless of your age whereas a Clam license is needed for the age of 6 and above. Senior residents of age 68 and over can get a permanent clam/oyster license at no cost.

 

  • How much do I need to pay for a fishing license in New Hampshire?

 

License Type

Resident

Non-Resident

Recreational Salt Water Fishing

$11

$11

Freshwater Fishing

$45

$63

1 Day Freshwater Fishing

$10

$15

3 days 

N/A

$28

7 days

N/A

$35

Hunting

$32

$113

 

  • Is fishing allowed at night in New Hampshire?

Yes, for most species a person is allowed fishing at any time. However, salmon and trout are exceptions and need to be taken 2 hours past sunset and 1 hour before sunrise.

Conclusion

Hope we have answered all your questions about the fishing laws in New Hampshire. For better understanding, check this website. One tip to save you:  If you are in doubt of a fish that might not be legal, release the fish unharmed to avoid any sort of inconvenience. Happy Fishing!

You Can Also Read: Fishing Guide for Beginners

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