Managing Marine Resources
The Marine Fisheries Division of the N.H. Fish and Game Department was established by RSA 211:65. The Division is responsible for the regulation and promotion of both recreational and commercial marine fishing in the salt waters of the state. State waters include all waters within 3 miles of the coastline. The area between 3 and 200 miles of shore is under the jurisdiction of the Federal government. The Division conducts scientific investigations to monitor marine resources and habitat as well as the harvest of fishery resources within state waters. We also work with other states through the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, as well as the New England Fisheries Management Council, to manage marine species throughout their range.
Marine Species in New Hampshire
Waters within 3 miles of New Hampshire's coast provide essential habitat for many species. Organisms that use inshore and estuarine waters for spawning and nursery habitat include smelt, American shad, blueback herring, alewives and winter flounder. Coastal migratory fish such as striped bass, mackerel and bluefish frequent New Hampshire waters to feed on the abundant forage species. Shellfish common to inshore waters include oysters, softshell clams and blue mussels. Other important commercially and recreationally harvested species found in New Hampshire include Atlantic cod, haddock, pollock and lobsters. We also have marine mammals such as harbor seals and various whale species.
Coastal NH - Marine Resources
SALTWATER FISHING LICENSE REQUIREMENT
All persons age 16 and older recreationally fishing in coastal and estuarine waters of the state must purchase a N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License. This includes anglers, spearfishers and persons using other gear types who wish to take, possess, or transport marine finfish for personal use and which are not sold. Click here for more info.
Found a lobster with a white tag? Click here for information on New Hampshire Fish and Game's Lobster Tagging Program.
- Moratorium Established for 2014 Northern Shrimp Fishing Season
- Dec. 19 Hearing on Aquaculture Application for Pearl Oyster
- Atlantic Herring Closure for Area 1A
- Regional Conservation Plan for Anadromous Rainbow Smelt
- Clam Flat Status and other shellfishing information (including current closures)
- Or call the Clam Flat Hotline: 1-800-43-CLAMS
- Shellfishing maps
- More on shellfishing in NH
Commercial Saltwater Fishing
More on commercial fishing - including lobster reporting programs and advisories
Marine Permit and License Applications
Licenses available for online purchase (click on link and select "Fishing/Hunting Licenses"):
- N.H. Saltwater Recreational Fishing License
- Resident Softshell Clam (NH residents only)
- Resident Oyster (NH residents only)
Marine Fishing Laws and Rules
- New Hampshire Marine Fishing Rules (Chapter Fis 600 - Administrative Rules)
- NH Revised Statutes - Title XVIII, Fish and Game Statutes Online
Places to visit
- NH Fish and Game's Great Bay Discovery Center (Greenland)
- NH State Parks - Seacoast region
- Seacoast Science Center (Rye)
- Seabrook's Science and Nature Center