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Changes in Recreational Fishing Rules for Cod and Haddock

DURHAM, NH — The recreational fishing measures in federal waters in the Gulf of Maine (more than three miles from shore) for cod and haddock have changed to the following:

Recreational possession of cod is prohibited year round. Last year anglers were allowed to keep 1 cod per day during the months of August and September.

For haddock, the daily bag limit for anglers is being reduced from 15 to 12. The minimum size required for haddock remains unchanged at 17 inches. In addition to the existing spring closure of March 1 through April 14, a fall closure for haddock will be in effect from September 17 through October 31.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is in the process of implementing complementary state rules (setting the same limits in state waters), following approval by the Joint Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules, possibly as early as August 18.

The 2016 recreational catch in the Gulf of Maine was greater than predicted, according to a NOAA Fisheries Bulletin. The cod recreational harvest limit was exceeded by 92 percent. Haddock catch exceeded the harvest limit by 15 percent.