New Hampshire Recreational Fishing Changes for 2017

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire anglers should be aware of several new rules in effect for 2017.

New Freshwater Fishing Rules for 2017:

New Hampshire law now prohibits the use and sale of lead sinkers and jigs with a total weight of one ounce or less, regardless of length. This change took effect on June 1, 2016.
A winter Free Fishing Day has been established in New Hampshire. The 2017 winter Free Fishing Day will take place on January 21.

A freshwater bait dealer’s license now allows the sale of aquatic invertebrates for use as fishing bait.

No more than 6 fishing bait traps may be used for personal use to take fishing bait, and all traps, holding boxes or other receptacles shall be plainly marked with the name and address of the owner or user.

Starting in 2017, the fee to conduct a fishing tournament will increase to $49; the fee to conduct a fishing tournament that is catch, measure and immediate release shall be $10.

It is illegal to tag, brand, fin-clip or otherwise mark any fish prior to release without a written permit to do so.

The season for round whitefish is now closed, as it has become a state-listed species.
New Recreational Saltwater Rules for 2017:

Changes have been made to the recreational closed season, daily limit, minimum size and minimum fillet size for cod (see page 7 of the NH Saltwater Fishing Digest, available at This change took effect on August 1, 2016.

The recreational closed season and daily limit for haddock have changed (see page 7 of the NH Saltwater Fishing Digest). This change took effect on May 1, 2016.

Note for Boaters:In order to help prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants and animals, RSA 487:16-d now requires boaters to drain their boat and other equipment that holds water, including live wells and bilges, when leaving a waterbody (fresh or salt water).