Public hearings are held by the Fisheries and Wildlife Board for the purpose of obtaining public comments on proposed regulatory changes. These hearings are open to anyone to attend and comment either orally or in writing. The date, time and location of hearings are posted in this area along with information. Plain language summaries and the actual proposed language being considered by the Board is also posted here.

Please note: If you have a disability or medical condition and would like to request special accommodations, please contact Susan Sacco at 508-389-6342.

Public Comment Period

The Fisheries and Wildlife Board will accept written comment on the proposals at any time prior to the public hearings, and will accept either written or oral comment at public hearings. Unless otherwise noted, the Board typically extends the comment period on regulations for an additional two weeks following the public hearing, and vote on the proposal at their next regularly scheduled meeting. Comments (both oral and written) must focus on the proposed changes to the regulation.

Send written comments to:

Chairman, Fisheries and Wildlife Board
c/o Wayne MacCallum
Mass. Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
1 Rabbit Hill Road
Westborough, MA 01581

Comments by e-mail may be sent to Susan.Sacco@state.ma.us, to the attention of the Fisheries & Wildlife Board.


2014 Public Hearing Notices

December 18: Public Hearing, Westborough. 321 CMR 3.02(1) and 321 CMR 3.02(4) In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Section 5 and 72; and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 1:00 P.M. on Thursday, December 18, 2014, at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, Massachusetts, to amend rules and regulations relative to the hunting of black bear in Massachusetts.

321 CMR 3.02(1) and 321 CMR 3.02(4), respectively, provide the rules for hunting black bear in the Commonwealth, and, in relevant part, the types of animals that may be hunted concurrently during the shotgun season for hunting deer. The proposed regulatory changes would expand the areas in the Commonwealth where the hunting of black bear is allowed as well as allow black bear to be hunted during the shotgun deer season.

The proposed rules and regulations relative to the hunting of black bear in Massachusetts are detailed in the following documents: CMR 3 02(1) Bear Season - proposed red-lined pdf format of CMR 3 02(1) Bear Season - proposed red-lined
CMR 3 02(1) Bear Season - proposed clean pdf format of CMR 3 02(1) Bear Season - proposed clean
CMR 3 02(4) Bear Additions - proposed red-lined pdf format of CMR 3 02(4) Bear Additions - proposed red-lined
CMR 3 02(4) Bear Additions - proposed clean pdf format of CMR 3 02(4) Bear Additions - proposed clean


October 7: Public Hearing, Westborough. 321 CMR 2.03(3) and 3.02(4). In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, 66, and 72; and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, Massachusetts, to establish and amend rules and regulations governing the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s designation of a Youth Deer Hunt.

The proposed rules and regulations relative to the Division’s designation of a Youth Deer Hunt are detailed in the following documents: CMR 2.03 Youth Deer Hunt Proposal Redline pdf format of CMR 2.03 Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Redline
, CMR 2.03 Youth Deer Hunt Proposal Clean pdf format of CMR 2.03 Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Clean
, CMR 3.02(4), Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Redline pdf format of CMR 3.02(4) Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Redline
, CMR 3.02(4) Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Clean pdf format of CMR 3.02(4) Youth Deer Hunt Proposed Clean

October 7: Public Hearing, Westborough. 321 CMR 10.90 and 10.91. In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131A, Section 4; Chapter 131, Section 5; and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 7, 2014, at the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, Massachusetts, to amend the list of species of animals and plants protected by the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act.

The proposed regulations are available for review here: 321 CMR 10.90 MESA list changes - proposed red-lined pdf format of 321 CMR 10.90 MESA list changes - proposed red-lined
, 321 CMR 10.90 MESA List Changes - Proposed Clean pdf format of 321 CMR 10.90 MESA list changes - proposed clean
, 321 CMR 10.91 MESA Index - Proposed Redline pdf format of 321 CMR 10.91 MESA index - proposed red-lined
, 321 CMR 10.91 MESA Index - Proposed Clean pdf format of 321 CMR 10.91 MESA index - proposed clean


August 12: Public Hearing, Newburyport. 321 CMR 3.02(2). In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5 and 63, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held on Tuesday, August 12, 2014, at 3:00 P.M., at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitors' Center, 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, to establish rules and regulations relative to the 2014-2015 migratory game bird seasons and method of take.

The proposed rules and regulations relative to the 2014-2015 migratory game bird seasons are detailed in the following documents: Migratory Bird 321 CMR 3 02 proposed redline pdf format of Migratory Bird 321 CMR 3 02 proposed redline
 Migratory Bird Table 321 CMR 3 02 proposed redline pdf format of Migratory Bird Table 321 CMR 3 02 proposed redline
 Migratory Bird 321 CMR 3 02 proposed clean pdf format of Migratory Bird 321 CMR 3 02 proposed clean
 Migratory Bird Table 321 CMR 3 02 proposed clean pdf format of Migratory Bird Table 321 CMR 3 02 proposed clean
 

Click here for directions to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Visitors' Center. Please note that there is no entrance fee for visiting the headquarters and visitors’ center; a fee is charged only for access to the refuge itself.


June 17: Public Hearing, East Wareham. 321 CMR 2.11; 5.00. In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Section 12, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 3:00 P.M. on June 17, 2014, at the UMass Cranberry Station, 1 State Bog Road, East Wareham, Massachusetts, to establish and amend the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s rules and regulations relative to the display of hunting, sporting, fishing, or trapping licenses pdf format of Public Hearing Notice 2.11 Display of Sporting, Hunting
.

Click here for directions to the UMass Cranberry Station.

The proposal at 321 CMR 2.11 would expressly allow a sportsman or sportswoman to utilize a mobile device, such as a smartphone, to display a relevant hunting, sporting, fishing, or trapping license, provided that the mobile device is capable of displaying a true, complete and legible image of the current, valid license. 


June 17: Public Hearing, East Wareham. 321 CMR 5.00. In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Section 4(3); Chapter 21A, Section 2(28); Chapter 30A, Sections 2 and 3; Chapter 131, Section 12; and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 3:00 P.M. on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, at the UMass Cranberry Station, 1 State Bog Road, East Wareham, Massachusetts, to codify in regulations the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s criteria, procedures, and related definitions used to designate waterbodies as Coldwater Fish Resources pdf format of Public Hearing Notice 321 CMR 5.00: COLDWATER FISH RESO
.

Click here for directions to the UMass Cranberry Station.

The proposal would put into regulation the criteria, procedures, and related definitions used by the Division to designate waterbodies as Coldwater Fish Resources (CFRs).  The proposed regulations also provide notice of where the Division’s list of current CFRs is available for review by regulatory authorities and the public.

Certain kinds of fish are sensitive to increases in water temperature and require cold water to fulfill one or more of their life stage requirements. Since the 1940s, the Division has documented the presence of coldwater fish in waters of the Commonwealth. With these regulations, the Division is codifying its longstanding approach to designating CFRs in conjunction with major revisions that the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is making to its Water Management Act (WMA) regulations at 310 CMR 36.00. 

The DEP’s revised WMA regulations address recommendations arising out of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs’ (EEA) Sustainable Water Management Initiative, which included the participation of the DEP, the Department of Fish and Game and the Division, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, public water suppliers, and environmental organizations.  Under the DEP’s revised WMA regulations, an applicant with a water withdrawal point affecting a CFR designated by the Division pursuant to 321 CMR 5.00 will be required, after consulting with the DEP and the relevant EEA agencies, to submit a plan to the DEP that minimizes the effect on the CFR by optimizing use of the applicant’s other withdrawal points, if any.


 2013 Public Hearing Notices

December 17: Public Hearing, West Boylston. 321 CMR 4.01-4.03, 4.09; 3.05: In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, 11, 25, 26, 52, and 52A and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 1:00 P.M. on December 17, 2013, at the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, 100 Hartwell St, Suite 230, West Boylston, Massachusetts, to establish rules and regulations relative to the Taking of Certain Fish; Taking of Carp and Suckers for Purposes of Sale; Taking of Commercial Eels from Inland Waters; Propagation, Culture, Maintenance, and Sale of Protected Freshwater Fish pdf format of Baitfish regs
; and Hunting, Fishing, Trapping, and Taking of Reptiles and Amphibians in all Counties of the Commonwealth pdf format of Snapping Turles
.


 October 18: Public Hearing, Belchertown. 321 CMR 3.02(2): In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5 and 63, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, October 18, 2013, at the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, 100 Hartwell St, Suite 230, West Boylston, Massachusetts, to establish rules and regulations relative to the 2013-2014 migratory game bird seasons pdf format of Migratory Bird Table redline 2013
and methods of take pdf format of Migratory Bird redline 2013
.


September 24: Public Hearing, Dalton. 321 CMR 2.12; 9.01 and 9.02: In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, 23, 24, and 26 and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held at 3:00 P.M. on September 24, 2013, at the Western Wildlife District office of the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton, Massachusetts, to establish rules and regulations relative to the Artificial Propagation of Birds, Mammals, Reptiles, and Amphibians pdf format of CMR 321 2 12_Exotic Propogation_redline
; the Exemption List pdf format of CMR 321 9 01_Exotic Exemption List redline
; and the List of Domestic Animals pdf format of CMR 321 9 02_Exotic Domestic List redline
.


August 29: Informational Hearing, Sudbury: In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5 and 63, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of an informational hearing to be held Thursday, August 29, 2013, at 3:00 P.M., at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center, 680 Hudson Road, Sudbury, Massachusetts, to establish rules and regulations relative to the 2013-2014 migratory game bird seasons and method of take.


June 21: Public Hearing, Bourne: In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5 and 72, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held Friday, June 21, 2013 at 3:00 pm at the Worcester Surf Casting Club, 40 Old Monument Neck Rd, Bourne, MA 02532, to establish and amend rules and regulations governing certain Classes of Hunting, Fishing, and Trapping Licenses pdf format of CMR321_206_Blind_paraplegic
.


April 20 -- Public Hearing, Hudson -- In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, and 72, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a public hearing to be held Saturday, April 20, 2013, at 11:10 A.M., at the Riverside Gun Club, 16 Wilkins Street, Hudson, Massachusetts, to establish and amend rules and regulations relative to the Taking of Certain Fish (American Shad) pdf format of cmr321_401_american_shad
.


2012 Public Hearing Notices

October 23 -- Public Hearing, Dalton -- In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, 63 and 66, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a Public Hearing to be held at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, October 23, 2012, at the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton, MA., to permanently establish rules and regulations relative to the 2012-2013 migratory game bird seasons and method of take.

(Those seasons which opened in September were set by emergency regulation after the September 25, 2012 informational meeting held in Wareham.)


August 30 -- Public Hearing & Informational Hearing, Wareham -- At 3:00 pm the Fisheries and Wildlife Board will be holding a Public Hearing at at the UMass Cranberry Experiment Station, 1 State Bog Road, East Wareham to establish rules and regulations relative to the fall turkey hunt. The proposed regulations change would open Wildlife Management Zones 10, 11, and 12 to the hunting of wild turkey during the fall season.

In accordance with the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 131, Sections 5, and 72, and Chapter 30A, Section 2, NOTICE is hereby given of a Public Hearing to be held at 4:00 P.M. on August 30, 2012, at the UMass Cranberry Experiment Station, 1 State Bog Road, East Wareham, Mass., 02538 to establish rules and regulations relative to the hunting and tagging of deer.

The above will be followed by an Informational Hearingon the 2012-2013 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Seasons. The Fisheries & Wildlife Board will vote on the proposal at the conclusion of the informational hearing in order to meet the filing date as set by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Those seasons (such as the early goose season) which open in September will be set by emergency regulation.


June 20 -- Public Hearing, Dalton -- At 3:00 PM the Fisheries and Wildlife Board will be holding a Public Hearing at the MA DFW Western District Office, 88 Old Windsor Road, Dalton, Massachusetts. The hearing regards proposed revisions that would provide an alternative online option for sportsmen and sportswomen to report the harvest of game and obtain the DFW seal and to hunting, fishing, and trapping license classes.


March 27-- Public Hearings, Westborough -- At 3 PM, Tuesday March 27, 2012, the Fisheries and Wildlife Board will be holding two Public Hearings at the Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, Westborough Field Headquarters, 1 Rabbit Hill Road, (off North Drive) Westborough, MA.

The first hearing regards proposed revisions to the Division’s Falconry regulations. The proposed regulations would ensure that Massachusetts remains in compliance with the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, eliminate the need for Massachusetts falconers to obtain both a federal and state permit, enhance and improve the sport of falconry, and regulatory requirements for falconry.

The second hearing regards proposed revisions to the Division's regulations on the taking of wild Atlantic salmon. The proposed regulatory revisions would prohibit the harvest of wild Atlantic salmon upstream of the Essex Dam in the Merrimack River and would coincide with the opening in Spring 2012 of the fish trap at the Essex Dam.