Recreational Regulations

Recreational Regulations intended as a general summary of Massachusetts marine recreational fishing regulations. Please refer to the full laws and regulations page for complete details.

Recreational Saltwater Fishing Permits

Purchase or renew your Massachusetts recreational saltwater fishing permit.

Recreational Lobster Permits

Purchase or renew your Massachusetts recreational lobster permit.

Saltwater Fishing Derby

The Division of Marine Fisheries coordinates its longstanding and popular Massachusetts Saltwater Fishing Derby in different categories: Weigh-In and Catch and Release. This Derby runs from January 1 through November 30 each year and is fee-free.

Sport Fish Restoration

The Sport Fish Restoration Program (SFR) provides grant funds to fish and wildlife agencies within the states, the District of Columbia, and insular areas for fishery projects, boating access, and aquatic education.

Species Profiles

Profile pages for different sorts of species that live in the waters surrounding Massachusetts including finfish, shellfish, and crustaceans.

Electronic Recreational Angler Logbook (eLogbook)

The eLogbook is MarineFisheries’ electronic recreational angler logbook.  It does two jobs in one! Volunteer recreational anglers record their daily fishing log into the database through an online connection. These anglers can look through their logs by tables and colorful graphs, making it an easy way to keep track of personal fishing efforts.

Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide

Each year, the Massachusetts Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide provides you with basic information about the Commonwealth’s recreational fishing rules and opportunities.  Available at tackle shops throughout the state and at each of our offices (found here), this guide is updated annually to reflect the current regulations and hot topics in Massachusetts recreational angling.

Massachusetts Saltwater Game Fish Records

Check here for up to date Massachusetts saltwater game fish records.

Public Access

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts plays an important role in supporting recreational fishing activity in the northeast region of the United States. In fact, about half of all regional participation occurs here. Nearly 700,000 men, women and children are estimated to participate in saltwater fishing in our tidal waters each year.

Head Boat Locations

Map of head boat locations. 

Tackle Shop Locations

Map of tackle shop locations. 

Boat Ramp Locations

This map is intended to identify coastal boat ramps in Massachusetts.

Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team (SADCT)

The Sportfish Angler Data Collection Team (SADCT) program is a group of volunteer anglers collecting biological samples of selected recreational fish species in Massachusetts marine waters. SADCT is part of an Atlantic coast-wide effort to manage and conserve recreationally targeted species. Information gathered through SADCT is provided to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) to support conservation and sustainability efforts.

Fish Responsibly

All recreational anglers should practice to be the model Responsible Angler. Responsible Anglers value the marine resources and know that by minimizing our impacts on fish populations, we help preserve, protect, and enhance these resources for future generations.

The Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund

In 2011, the Commonwealth established a recreational saltwater fishing permit to comply with the Saltwater Act, a state law prompted by a federal mandate enacted to improve estimates of saltwater fishing effort and catch data. The fee for the permit was set at $10 for both residents and non-residents alike, and is free for recreational anglers who are 60 years and older.  In conjunction to the permit, the Marine Recreational Fisheries Development Fund was established as a dedicated fund, to ensure a ‘user-pay/user-benefits’ program. This means that all fees collected from the sale of recreational saltwater fishing permits can only be used on approved marine recreational fishing programs.