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Recreational Fishermen: Gulf of Maine Cod Season Opens August 1

July 27, 2016

Beginning on Monday, August 1, recreational fishermen may again retain cod in federal waters of the Gulf of Maine. The bag limit is one cod, per person, per day.

This increase from last year’s zero possession limit is due to a slight increase in the biomass of Gulf of Maine cod, which allowed an increase in the recreational harvest limit.

Current recreational regulations for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock are:

YEAR Gulf of Maine Haddock Gulf of Maine Cod
Bag Limit Size Limit Open Season Bag Limit Size Limit Open Season
2016 15 17 inches May 1-Feb 28; Apr 15-30 1 24 inches Aug 1-Sep 30


We also want to remind recreational fishermen of the transit regulations:

If you fish inside and outside of the Gulf of Maine Regulated Mesh Area on the same trip, or if you fish outside the regulated area and then transit the regulated area, you must comply with the most restrictive (larger) minimum fish size for all cod and haddock on board. 

For cod, the larger minimum size is 24 inches, and for haddock, the larger minimum size is 18 inches.

Minimum Fish Sizes (total length in inches)
Species Inside Gulf of Maine Outside Gulf of Maine Most Restrictive
Cod 24 22 24
Haddock 17 18 18


If you fish for cod and haddock exclusively outside the Gulf of Maine Regulated Mesh Area, you must remove all bait and hooks from fishing rods, and any cod or haddock on board must be gutted and stored before transiting the Gulf of Maine.

Read our fishery bulletin (pdf - go to page 11) for more information.

Happy fishing!

Questions? Contact Jennifer Goebel at 978-281-9175 or email