Finfish Commercial Regulations Table
Updated as of February 28, 2014
|Species||Fishery||Season (Open - Close)||Size Limit||Possession Limit|
|American Eel* (1)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||6 in||No Limit|
|Black Sea Bass (2)||Weirs||Jan 01 - Dec 31||12 in||No Daily Limit|
|All Gears Except Weirs||Jan 01 Mar 31||12 in||100 lb|
|All Gears Except Weirs||Apr 01 - Aug 04||N/A||0 lb|
|Fish Pots||Aug 05- Quota Dep.||12 in||300 lb|
|Hook & Line||Aug 05- Quota Dep.||12 in||150 lb|
|Mobile Gear||Aug 05- Quota Dep.||12 in||150 lb|
|Bluefish||All||Jan 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||5,000 lb|
|Cod (3)(4)||North of Cape Cod||Jan 01 - Dec 31||19 in||800 lb|
|East & South of Cape Cod||Jan 01 - Dec 31||19 in||1,000 lb|
|Dab (Plaice) (3)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||12 in||No Limit|
|Fluke (5)||P1: Nets||Jan 01 - Jan 31||14 in||w/o LOA: Prohibited|
|P1: Nets||Feb 01 - Apr 22||14 in||w/o LOA: 500 lb|
|P1: Nets||Jan 01 - Apr 22||14 in||w/ LOA: 1,000 lb per week|
|P2: Nets||Apr 23 - Jun 9||14 in||100 lb|
|P2: Longlines||Apr 23 - Jun 9||14 in||100 lb|
|P2: Handlines or Rod & Reel||Apr 23 - Jun 9||14 in||Prohibited|
|P2: Nets||Jun 10 - Quota Dep.||14 in||300 lb|
|P2: Longlines||Jun 10 - Quota Dep.||14 in||200 lb|
|P2: Handlines or Rod & Reel||Jun 10 - Quota Dep.||14 in||200 lb|
|Haddock (3)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||16 in||No Limit|
|Illex Squid (6)||All||Jan 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||No Limit|
|Longfin Squid (loligo) (6)||All||Jan 01 - Apr 30||No Limit||No Limit|
|All||May 1 - Jul 9||No Limit||No Limit|
|All||Jul 10 - Aug 31||No Limit||No Limit|
|All||Sep 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||No Limit|
|Menhaden (7)||Open Access||Jan 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||6,000 lb|
|Limited Access||Jan 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||125,000 lbs until 75% of quota harvested|
25,000 lbs until 95% of quota harvested
6,000 lbs until 100% of quota harvested
|Monkfish (3)(8)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||17 in||536 lb tails, 1,560 lb whole|
|Ocean Pout (3)||All||N/A||N/A||Prohibited|
|Pollock (3)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||19 in||No Limit|
|Redfish (3)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||7 in||No Limit|
|Scup (9)||Winter I||Jan 01 - Apr 30||9 in||50,000 lb|
|Fish Weir||May 01 - Quota Dep.||9 in||No Daily Limit|
|Trawlers||May 01 - Quota Dep.||9 in||800 lb|
|Non-Trawl||May 01 - May 31||9 in||800 lb|
|Non-Trawl||Jun 01 - Jun 30||9 in||400 lb|
|Non-Trawl||Jul 01- Quota Dep.||9 in||1,500 lb|
|Winter II||Nov 01 - Quota Dep.||9 in||TBD|
|Smelt||Hook & Line Only||Jun 16 - Mar 14||No Limit||50 fish|
|Smooth Dogfish||All Gears But Longlines||Jan 01 - Dec 31||No Limit||100 lb|
|Spiny Dogfish||All Gears||May 01 - Quota Dep.||No Limit||TBD|
|Striped Bass* (10)||Sunday||July 13 - Quota Dep.||34 in||5 fish|
|Tues, Wed, Thur||July 13 - Quota Dep.||34 in||30 fish|
|Tautog* (11)||All||Apr 16 - May 5||16 in||40 fish|
|All||Sep 01 - Quota Dep.||16 in||40 fish|
|Weakfish||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||16 in||100 lb|
|Winter Flounder (9)||Gulf of Maine||Jan 01 - Dec 31||12 in||500 lb|
|Southern New England||Jan 01 - Dec 31||12 in||50 lb|
|Witch Flounder* (3)(12)||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||13 in||1,000 lb|
|Yellowtail Flounder||All||Jan 01 - Dec 31||12 in||250 lb|
* Rule making is on-going and seasons and limits are subject to change for 2014.
1) American eels are subject to regulation by the Division and the municipality. Please Consult Local Regulations.
2) Fish weirs are not subject to daily trip limits. However, the combined landings of all fish weirs are subject to a 10,000 pound annual quota allocation. From August 5 until the annual quota has been landed, all gear types are prohibited from landing or possessing black sea bass on Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Black sea bass are to be measured from the tip of the snout or jaw to the farthest extremity of the tail, not including the tail filament.
3) Groundfish species are regulated under the federal Northeast Multispecies Management Plan and federal rules apply beyond state waters. Federal permit holders may land groundfish in accordance with federal rules. However, for all species other than winter flounder, federal permit holders must adhere to the state’s groundfish trip limits while fishing in state waters. Fishing for groundfish in state waters is subject various closures spatial/temporal closures, gear type closures and species closures. , species and area closures; please review 322 CMR 4.09 , 4.11 , 8.09 , 8.12 , 8.15 and 12.04 for more details.
4) It is illegal to harvest cod from portions of Massachusetts Bay during the period of November 15 to January 31 (Winter Cod Conservation Zone ) and April 16 to July 21 (Spring Cod Conservation Zone ).
5) The P1 daily trip limits for nets is 500 lbs or vessels may obtain an LOA to land 1,000 lbs per week. The P1 trip limit is reduced to 100 lbs for all participants once 25% of the quota is landed. The P2 daily trip limit during for nets during the squid fishery (April 23 – June 9) is 100 lbs. P2 open fishing days after the squid fishery (June 10 – Quota) are Sunday – Thursday; during this period it is unlawful to land fluke on Friday and Saturday. Year-round it is unlawful to land fluke during the period of 8PM to 6AM.
6) Illex and Longfin squid are regulated under the Atlantic Mackerel, Squid and Butterfish Management Plan. Seasons and limits may be adjusted by the federal government. Visit www.nmfs.noaa.gov for more details.
7) Limited entry regulated menhaden fishery permit endorsement will be issued for the first time in 2014. All permit holders who landed more than 6,000 lbs of menhaden during any trip from 2009-2011 or currently hold a Coastal Access Permit or Inshore Net Permit are authorized to obtain a limited entry menhaden permit and thereby fish at higher trip limits. All other persons may fish for menhaden without a regulated fishery permit endorsement, but are subject to the 6,000 lb trip limit. The bycatch limit applies once the 100% of the menhaden quota is taken. To fish under the bycatch limit the menhaden landings may not exceed 5% the total weight of the commercial landings.
8) Monkfish may be processed at sea into tails and livers and landed as such products. Monkfish tails must be 11 inches in length and the total weight of monkfish tails may not exceed 536 pounds. The weight of monkfish livers must not exceed 25% the weight of monkfish tails being landed or 10% the weight of whole monkfish being landed.
9) Fish weirs are not subject to daily trip limits. However, the combined landings of all fish weirs are subject to a 275,000 pound annual quota allocation. During the May 1 – October 31 inshore scup fishery, specific gear types are subject to closed fishing days. For scup potters and hook and line fishermen, the scup fishery is closed: on Fri/Sat from May 1 – May 31; Mon/Thurs/Fri/Sat from June 1 – June 31; and Fri/Sat from July 1 until the fishery closes for the season. For draggers, the scup fishery is closed on Fri/Sat during the fluke season from June 10 until the fishery closes for the season. The Winter I and Winter II periods are managed by the federal government and seasons and limits may be adjusted by NMFS.
10) Striped bass may be taken by hook and line gear only; netting, spearing and snagging striped bass is prohibited. High-grading and fillet striped bass is prohibited.
11) The spring tautog season runs from April 16 to May 15 or until 28% of the annual quota is projected to be landed. The winter tautog season runs from September 1 through November 30 or until 100% of the annual quota is projected to be harvested.
12) Winter flounder cannot be taken inside the spawning closure area or the inshore net areas between February 1 and May 31. It is unlawful for commercial fishermen to take winter flounder inside Mt. Hope Bay and its tributaries. Federal groundfish permit holders may take winter flounder in state waters in excess of the state’s trip limits.