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.

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
MA Division of Fisheries & Wildlife
100 Hartwell St
West Boylston, MA 01583

Comments by e-mail may be sent to:
Mass.wildlife@state.ma.us Attn: Fisheries & Wildlife Board


 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  .

Click here for directions to 100 Hartwell Street, West Boylston.

The proposal would:

  • Provide definitions of “transgenic fish,” “baitfish,” and “commercial baitfish.”
  • Eliminate the taking of eels, carp, suckers, and shiners from inland waters for commercial sale.
  • Eliminate Emerald shiner, Spottail shiner, Fallfish, and Bluntnose minnow as commercial baitfish.
  • Eliminate the harvest of wild snapping turtles for commercial purposes and further limit their harvest for personal use.
  • Eliminate American eel, Creek chubsucker, Emerald shiner, Spottail shiner, and Bluntnose minnow from the list of baitfish that licensed fishermen are allowed to harvest for personal use.
  • Add the Quinapoxet River to the list of “Major Trout Rivers” for purposes of the regulation.

Click for a plain language summary of proposed baitfish regulations. pdf format of    Summary of Proposed Turtle Regulations 12-13

Click for a plain language summary of proposed snapping turtle regulations. pdf format of    Summary of Proposed Baitfish Regulations 12-13

 


 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.