Get Email Updates

Get Text Alerts

Sign up for recreational and commercial text alerts

Northeast Multispecies (Groundfish); Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Regulations

Contact:
Sustainable  Fisheries Division
(978) 281 –9315
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 30, 2018

Effective Date:  May 1, 2018

We are implementing new management measures for the Georges Bank cod recreational fishery.  These changes take effect on May 1, 2018.  Recreational management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock will remain the same as 2017 measures.    

Georges Bank Cod

We are increasing the minimum size of Georges Bank cod from 22 to 23 inches.  We are also implementing a 10-fish, per person, per day, possession limit for the for-hire fishery.  The 10-fish possession limit for private recreational anglers will remain in place.

Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Fishing Measures for Georges Bank Cod

Year

Bag Limit

Size Limit

Open Season

2018

10

23 inches

All Year

Bag limits are per person per day and size limits are minimum total length.

Gulf of Maine Cod and Haddock

We are maintaining status quo (2017) management measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock.

Fishing Year 2018 Recreational Fishing Measures for Gulf of Maine cod and haddock

Year

Gulf of Maine Haddock

Gulf of Maine Cod

Bag

Size

Open

Bag

Size

Open

Limit

Limit

Season

Limit

Limit

Season

2018

12

17 inches

May 1 – September 16

November 1 – February 28

and April 15 – April 30

 

 

Gulf of Maine Cod Possession Prohibited

 

Bag limits are per person per day and size limits are minimum total length. 

Additional information on the fishing year 2018 recreational measures can be found at our Recreational page.

Cod Spawning Protection Areas

Recreational vessels remain subject to the Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area.  Recreational vessels are also now subject to the Winter Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area.

Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection Areas

Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Area (Whaleback)

Gear Restrictions

Gulf of Maine (Whaleback) Cod Spawning Protection Area

From April 1 through June 30 of each year, all recreational vessels, including private recreational and charter/party vessels, may only use pelagic hook-and-line gear, as defined below, when fishing in the Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area.

Point

N. Latitude

W. Longitude

CSPA1

42° 50.95’

70° 32.22’

CSPA2

42° 47.65’

70° 35.64’

CSPA3

42° 54.91’

70° 41.88’

CSPA4

42° 58.27’

70° 38.64’

Winter Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area

From November 1 through January 31 of each year, all recreational vessels, including private recreational and charter/party vessels, may only use pelagic hook-and-line gear, as defined below, when fishing in the Winter Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area.

Point

N. Latitude

W. Longitude

WSPA1

42° 23.61’

70° 39.21’

WSPA2

42° 07.68’

70° 26.79’

Pelagic hook-and-line gear is defined as handline or rod and reel gear that is designed to fish for, or that is being used to fish for, pelagic species.  No portion of this gear may be operated in contact with the bottom at any time.

Possession Restrictions

Any vessel fishing in the Gulf of Maine Whaleback Cod Spawning Protection Area, or the Winter Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area, including pelagic hook-and-line gear by recreational vessels, is prohibited from possessing or retaining regulated species or ocean pout from April 1 through June 30 of each year. 

Transiting

Recreational vessels are allowed to transit the Gulf of Maine Cod Spawning Protection Area, and Winter Massachusetts Bay Spawning Protection Area provided all gear is stowed in accordance with the regulations.

For small entity compliance guides, this bulletin complies with section 212 of the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement and Fairness Act of 1996.  This notice is authorized by the Regional Administrator of the National Marine Fisheries Service, Greater Atlantic Region.